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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Florida DMV Website
http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/html/titlinf.html

Florida Inherently Low Emissions Vehicle/Hybrid Vehicle List
http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/dmv/94-05ILEVa.pdf

Hybrid HOV Decal Form
http://www3.hsmv.state.fl.us/Intranet/d ... /83027.pdf

It might be worthwhile for Florida Prius Owners to get the Florida HOV Registration for a >single driver< to use HOV Lanes >at any hour< now.
Other states (CA, VA, etc) have capped the total numbers of Hybrid HOV Decals issued as more and more Hybrids use HOV Lanes.

South Florida Counties are extending the HOV Only Lane times from 5:00am - 10:00am and 2:00pm - 8:00pm on I-95 in some South Florida Counties.

It might be worth the $5.00/year to be able to be able to solo-drive the Prius in FL or other States' HOV Lanes.

Total numbers of Hybrid HOV Decals can be capped at anytime in the future. It seems other states have "grandfathered in" early applicants.

(We were the "Southern Most Prius in the US" Saturday morning, at Mile Marker Zero on US Hwy 1 in Key West, just 90 miles from Cuba.)
Happy Owners Silver 2005 Prius w/15K miles
Happy Owners Dirftwood 2005 Prius w/5K miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
There may be some states that indicate "Hybrid Vehicle" on the vehicle registration papers. Florida has no such designation yet.

The FL DMV list of vehicles, if you look at the *.pdf's ( Florida DMV Website http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/html/titlinf.html Florida Inherently Low Emissions Vehicle/Hybrid Vehicle List) covers more than a dozen different vehicles, including many Compressed Natural Gas vehicles that are not seen every day.

I suspect that many early Hybrid users of the HOV lanes, will be explaining on the roadside to highway patrol officers, just why they were in the HOV lanes at rush hours. It may take a while for everyone "in the trenches" to get the news.

Prius or other Hybrid vehicles are not an everyday sight in South Florida yet. We saw just one other Prius (got our first "Prius Wave" in their rear view mirror) on the Interstate over the past weekend driving 500 miles to Key West and back. We averaged 53.5 mpg for the trip, as speed limits along US Hwy 1 in the Keys are 55 mph or less.

I certainly don't want to the the first one to explain to every highway patrol officer along I-95 all about Hybrid regulations, tax breaks, mpg, etc.

Happy Owners 2005 Silver Prius w/15K miles
Happy Owners 2005 Driftwood Prius w/5K miles
 

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note that single-occupant Prius with the FL HOV decal have been stopped and fined for riding single-occupant in the FL HOV lanes. The FL legislation that approved the hybrid use of the stickers stated that the hybrids could only use them once they got federal approval.

The real question comes in: does the Highway Transportation Bill that just got signed, which has some allowances for hybrids to use HOV lanes, now make the FL stickers useful?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the "Heads-Up" on FL HOV limitations

MRV, thanks for the "Heads-Up" on the FL Hybrid HOV problems.

I went to the FL vehicle registration office Tuesday afternoon with two completed FL DMV forms for the FL HOV Decals. The clerks were at a complete loss as to what to do with the forms and had to search a lengthy Regulation RB-01 and RB-52, and consult a supervisor.

I was told that both of our original registrations were incorrect and we would have to "surrender" both registrations and re-register both Prius correctly as "LEV". Hybrids are in that class with CNG vehicles, but "Hybrid" does not appear anywhere on the registration screens, only in the Reg Bulletins. They requested affadavits from our Toyota Dealer that our Prius were indeed classed as a "Low Emissions Vehicles", even though they are listed by Model on their own RB's. I guess it was just bureaucratic "CYA - Cover Your Affadavits" on their part.

Apparently there is a very obscure check box labeled only as "LEV" at the bottom, right of the second or third screen, during the Florida Vehicle Registration process (that only the clerk sees). Of course the clerks in the FL registration offices just ignore it (LEV stands for Low Emissions Vehicles, but is not explained on the screens) because most have never registered any "LEV", Hybrid, CNG vehicles.

MRV, Please reference your sources on Florida Hybrids with HOV Decals being ticketed for using FL HOV lanes during restricted hours. We don't want to become "test cases" until use of FL HOV by solo-drivers with HOV Decals is legally valid. Any savings of time even during the most congested rush hours would evaporate by just a single "day in court".

This seems to be yet another "Catch-22" in the "early adopters" program of our having to train everyone else our vehicles.
 

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Hey, thanks for the info. I plan on heading out to the local dead man walking line, er, DMV on Friday to see about this sticker. I wonder, since I just got my car WEDNESDAY, and only have the temp regs card, will they give it to me???
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good Luck at the FL "Dead Man Valking"

I don't know if they processed your Prius FL Registration correctly or not.
There is some obscure, new "LEV" check box that most clerks just ignore.

It seems the critical key is that elusive "LEV" check box at the bottom, right of the second or third registration screen that the DMV clerks fill in.

You will >Never Even See It< unless you lean over the counter far enough to make the County Security Guards nervous enough take the safety locks off their side-arms.

I was told by the FL DMV supervisor that unless that "LEV" box was checked on the Original FL Registration, they could not issue a HOV Decal for a Prius, even though the Prius is specifically listed on their list of "LEV" vehicles. We must surrender our incorrect, original registrations and get new "LEV" registrations (at their cost), before we could apply for HOV Decals.

Catch-22

We now have copies of the original Certificates of Origen from Japan, and affadavits from the Toyota Dealer that the Prius is indeed a "Low Emissions Vehicle" and will try the FL "Dead Man Valking" lines again next week.

MRV has posted on this site that the FHP has issued tickets to Hybird Cars using the HOV Lanes during rush hours, stating that Federal Law has not specifically allowed such usage. The recently passed Federal Energy Bill is not very clear on this. The California Assembly has clarified HOV usage by Hybrids in their state as of August 10, 2005.

I would not hold your breath waiting for the part-time FL Legislature to do the same any time soon.

Let us all know how you make out with your Prius FL Registration and the FL HOV Decal application.

Our local DMV clerks looked at their own FL DMV HOV applications like we were trying to get HOV Decals for both Mars Robotic Rovers to use the FL HOV Lanes during rush hours. Although they might qualify someday for the FL "LEV" list if their batteries last that long, we all know that they would be run over by typical FL rush hour traffic in short order.

Good Luck.
 

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I got the sticker today. And then put it on my car (it's a big and ugly sticker, and has to go on the LOWER RIGHT HAND side of your rear window, which in the case of the PRIUS, which is the rear window? The upper part, or the lower part??)....

I got in to my car, looked at the special reg. card, and noted they screwed up. It had my VIN number from my (former) SCION xB. A TOYOTA, I know, but not the same TOYOTA.

The line was long; otherwise I would have gone back in and fixed it.
 

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actually, it's the federal Transportation Bill, not the federal Energy Bill, that supposedly gave hybrids the OK to be in the HOV lanes with a single occupant. CA was very quick in implementing it...

I think the article was posted on: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/floridaprius/

Unfortunately, the article is too old to be on the Sun-Sentinel's website. It used to be at:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/ ... ws-broward
But you can read a text copy here:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/61435
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just got my Florida HOV Decal 08/22/2005

I finally got my Florida DMV HOV Decal for my Prius yesterday, 08/22/2005.

In the two weeks since I last tried to get a Florida HOV Decal for my Prius, things have improved significantly at our local Florida DMV office.

My wife was able to get her HOV Decal for her Prius at the same office last week, with little difficulty after they called over a DMV supervisor.
No submitting any "Low Emissions Vehicle" affadavits, no "surrender of registrations", just submitting the correct Florida DMV HOV application form.

They now know to look for the obscure "LEV" box, but not all the clerks can find it "buried" at the bottom of the second or third registration screen.
I even heard a cashier tell a co-worker they have issued several HOV Decals lately (we know of at least two: my wife and I).

After the DMV supervisor pointed out the obscure "LEV" box to the clerk, it was then checked, and a corrected registration sent to the DMV cashier. I paid my $5.00 fee and was handed a 3" x 4" orange HOV Decal to be affixed to the outside, right side of the lower rear window of my Prius. I put it on the vertical, smaller rear window glass, black masking, just over the "Safety Plate Logo" and just one very small corner of the decal can be seen in the rear view mirror.

Now the real "Road Test" is to see if >every< Florida Highway Patrol Officer on I-95 recognizes the HOV Decal, and doesn't pull us over "just to chat" about our driving in the the HOV lanes during rush hour.
 

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I got the sticker at the Delray Beach office in February with no hassles whatsoever. On another note, a couple of police officers on separate occasions have asked me what the sticker is for. When I told them...they said they'd never heard of that before and didn't know there was any kind of exemption available.

I haven't had any problems using the HOV lane with the sticker, but I don't commute everyday...so probably not a good test.
 
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