A low-use vehicle (does not include school buses) is one that operates less than 1,000 miles per calendar year within California’s borders. Until January 1, 2020, low-use vehicles also include vehicles that travel less than 5,000 total miles per calendar year. Engine or PTO hours are no longer used to determine low-use. Vehicles which meet these annual mileage limits will be exempt from PM filter or engine-upgrade requirements in any calendar year.
How do I take advantage of the low-use vehicle exemption?
Each January you can designate which trucks will use the low-use exemption for the year. You must report vehicle information and odometer readings by January 31 of the compliance year or within 30 days of purchasing a vehicle. You must also report end of year odometer readings and when the vehicle is sold to demonstrate the vehicle met the mileage limits. You must also keep records of odometer readings, vehicle purchases, and sales.
I travel in and out of California, how can I qualify for the low-use exemption?
If you travel less than 1000 miles per year in California, you will need to report odometer readings like other fleets; however, you will also need to track and report the total miles traveled outside of California. The miles traveled outside California are subtracted from the total miles operated when determining compliance. Fleet owners must keep documentation of the miles traveled inside and outside California, like International Registration Plan records, fuel tax records, or other documentation. The owner must provide records to the Air Resources Board (ARB) upon request.
Thus if you need to drive more than 5,000 miles annually, you will only be allowed to travel 1,000 miles per year in California. If you can stay under 5,000 total miles annually you can drive anywhere inside or outside of California.