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FAQ: CARB Warning on DMV Registration Renewal

FAQ: CARB Warning on DMV Registration Renewal Notice

What does the "Non-Compliant Vehicle" message on my Registration Renewal Notice mean?

If you received a "CARB Non-Compliant Vehicle" message on your DMV Vehicle Registration Notice, it means that as of January 1, 2020, your vehicle will not be compliant with or excluded from the California Air Resources Board’s Truck & Bus Regulation. The law requires the DMV to deny registration for any vehicle that is non-compliant or has not reported to CARB as compliant or exempt from the Regulation.

How does my vehicle become CARB compliant?

To comply with the Truck & Bus Regulation’s Engine Compliance Schedule, most vehicles must be replaced or the engine must be repowered with a 2010 or newer engine. The compliance schedule lays out when diesel engines that are subject to the rule must comply. Heavier vehicles also have filter requirements.

Are there any extensions available for my registration?

If your vehicle is not compliant, you may be able to pay your registration fee to receive a 90-day Temporary Operating Permit (TOP) from DMV. The 90-day period starts on the day your current vehicle registration expires. While you can drive during this period, the vehicle is still not compliant with CARB’s Truck & Bus Regulation and you could still be cited. The TOP is not a compliance extension; CARB considers a TOP permit your final opportunity to either demonstrate or achieve compliance with the Truck & Bus Regulation.

Are there any exemptions to the rule?

There are two remaining compliance options, both of limited use. The Low-Use Exemption requires you to operate less than 1,000 miles annually in the state, and the NOx Exempt Area Flexibility Option requires you to install a diesel particulate filter and operate exclusively in certain areas of the state. All other flexibility options or extensions are no longer available, by law. To become CARB compliant under one of these options and receive DMV vehicle registration, the vehicle owner must report in CARB's TRUCRS reporting database, affirming Low-Use or NOx exempt status, and follow the requirements of the exemption going forward.

Are there any other extensions or exceptions CARB can grant me for my vehicle?

The Truck and Bus Regulation is California law. CARB’s staff, management, executive officers, and board members are all bound by the requirements of the regulation and do not have the authority to offer any additional extensions or exceptions not already provided for in the law.

Can I sell my non-compliant vehicle in California?

If you plan to sell a non-compliant vehicle subject to the regulation, you must provide a specific disclosure statement in writing to the buyer on the bill of sale, sales contract addendum, or invoice regarding the Truck & Bus Regulation. The rules do not cover selling a non-compliant vehicle out-of-state.

Why have I never heard about these requirements?

The Truck & Bus Regulation has been in effect since 2008 and engine replacement requirements began as early as 2013. Information on this and other CARB regulations are in the DMV Commercial Driver Handbook. Since 2008, CARB has deployed multiple outreach efforts and hosted numerous trainings and events throughout the state. More focused outreach has occurred during the past two years, during which time CARB has sent warning letters and postcards to affected vehicle owners using DMV registered addresses. We have also employed various other techniques to spread awareness because, although the Regulation is not new, the DMV verification process for vehicle registration is. CARB and the DMV have worked hard to ensure vehicle owners are not caught off-guard.

Is there any state funding for the purchase of new vehicles?

The Truck Loan Assistance Program helps small business owners affected by the Truck & Bus Regulation to secure financing for upgrading their fleets with newer trucks. Other financial incentives may be available for the replacement of vehicles that have more than one year remaining before their compliance deadline. 

Crossroads, a preferred lender in the California Capital Access Program, helps small fleets find the right program, get the necessary approvals, and navigate a fast and easy path to securing a newer truck with competitive rates and flexible terms. Get Started Now

How can I find more information?

  • Visit for more information on the Truck & Bus Regulation and DMV compliance verification.
  • Visit DMV’s Webpage for more information on compliance verification.