California is taking pollution seriously. Though the Truck and Bus regulation first went into effect on December 31, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will take a more significant step to enforce compliance. Beginning January 1, 2020, vehicles out of compliance will be blocked from registration with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

What is the Regulation?

Carriers domiciled in California with diesel-powered vehicles over 14,000 GWVR must “reduce exhaust emissions by meeting particulate matter filter requirements and upgrading to a 2010 or newer engine model year.” This means if your truck has an engine from before 2010, you may need to replace it.

Who is Affected?

This regulation applies to nearly all diesel-fueled trucks, buses and school buses with a GVWR over 14,000. But there are exemptions, and if you’re exempt, you may not want to spend the money to replace your engine if you don’t have to. On the flip side, you don’t want to find out you’re not exempt when your registration is denied. 

Your vehicle is exempt if it is

  • Dedicated snow-removal
  • Gasoline or dedicated natural gas
  • A Public Agency or Utility Vehicle (not federal)
  • A drayage (port or rail) truck
  • Transit/Urban bus
  • Personal use motor homes or recreational vehicles
  • Personal, non-commercial pickup trucks with a manufacturer’s GVWR less than 19,500 lbs
  • GVWR under 14,000 lbs

If you’re wondering about those three in the middle and asking yourself why those groups are exempt, don’t worry. It’s not regulators being unfair. Public agency and utility vehicles, drayage trucks and transit/urban buses are exempt from this regulation because each category has their own regulation tailored to the unique needs of the industry.

And those aren’t the only exemptions available. There are two that may be just what you’re looking for. Your vehicle may be eligible for an exemption if:

  • You operate under 1,000 miles in California in a calendar year
  • You operate solely in areas defined as NOx Exempt Areas

If You’re Not Exempt…

If your vehicle is not eligible for an exemption, what do you need to do to comply? First you should figure out the model year of your engine. That will determine your compliance date, if any. Then visit the California Diesel Truck Resource Website and fill out their Engine Replacement Guide. This guide will tell you what your date of compliance is. 

If replacing your engine sounds impossible, there are also plenty of financial assistance programs to help you get your vehicle into compliance. Find those resources here.

 Though this law has been in effect for a few years, the consequences are getting serious in 2020. Take steps to ensure your truck is in compliance.

Download the complete infographic here