What Is New York’s Clean Pass Program?

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California Clean Pass vehicle

The Clean Pass program combines three New York State agencies, the State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to ensure that low emission and energy efficient vehicles are allowed to use the Long Island Expressway’s HOV or High Occupancy Vehicle lane.

The Clean Pass program in a way rewards owners of vehicles that are environmentally friendly with both lesser fuel consumption and lower emissions to use the generally fast moving HOV lane, even during the morning rush to work.  This change significantly increases those allowed to use the HOV lane from just buses, motorcycles and vehicles with two or more occupants.

This program is a part of former New York Governor George Pataki’s plan to encourage more motorists to purchase energy efficient vehicles.  The vehicles must pass certain qualifications to be deemed a Clean Pass vehicle.  Clean Pass vehicles are given a sticker so that they are properly identified as cars that are allowed to use both the east and westbound HOV lanes of the Long Island Expressway.

How Do I Know If My Vehicle Qualifies For The Clean Pass Program?

To apply and participate in the Clean Pass program you must be the registered owner of an eligible vehicle and have the proper New York State registration and a completed Clean Pass application submitted to the DMV.  Drivers should have their registration card available when talking to a DMV representative about the Clean Pass program.

The DMV has also created an online method of applying to the Clean Pass program through its website here.   Once your application has been approved the DMV will send you a Clean Pass sticker at no added fee.  Commercial vehicles are not eligible to participate in the program.

The general criteria for a vehicle to be eligible for the Clean Pass program are that the vehicles must be certified to California Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standards and have a fuel economy rating of 45 miles per gallon or better under the United States Environmental Protection Agency standard.  A list of current eligible vehicles can be found on this website.

These vehicles were chosen to participate in the Clean Pass program because these cars use an alternate source of energy other than standard petroleum and these vehicles have very high fuel efficiency ratings.  Not only that these cars are very environmentally friendly as they have very clean emissions.

The incentives of Clean Pass participation include access to the LIE/HOV lanes regardless of the number of passengers, stress reduction during the daily commute and personal savings in gas, money and time.

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This post was written by Adam Rosenblum


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