Hi. I'm a newbie here, but I've hung out in the Nissan Leaf forum for a while now. Come July, it's time for me to make the switch to something with better range, so here I am on this forum.
It occurred to me, based on another thread, that it would be useful to know which dealerships make you wait for you CA HOV stickers, and which give them to you before you leave the lot with your new vehicle. I suggest that we all share knowledge on this topic, and I'll start with some of my own right here. If you know of a California dealer that, as a matter of policy, pre-registers for the HOV stickers, so that they can (hopefully) provide them to the customer when they drive off the lot, rather than making the customer wait weeks for them, please post information on that dealer.
I made some phone calls to dealers in and around my area, and the following are the answers I got. I make no claim that I'm representing these dealerships correctly, or that the people I talked to actually knew what they were talking about. That said, hopefully this information helps someone else decide where to buy/lease, and helps to convince dealers to order these stickers in advance.
I can't post real links yet, since I'm a newbie, so below are the pieces a California DMV website link that can be reconstructed, explaining to dealers exactly how to pre-register EV's so that the stickers are available to customer when they drive off the lot.
The important part in that link says this (bold added by me): "Effective September 16, 2013, dealers selling new vehicles that are eligible for white and green Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) decals can obtain decals in advance of selling the vehicles
www dot dmv dot ca dot gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/cav_decal
I'm pretty sure green got removed from that policy, but white can still use it.
Simpson Chevrolet Irvine:
Says they order the HOV stickers for every single car, immediately, as soon as they order the car. Says they reserve the stickers for the exact car for which they were ordered, as legally required. Says they have the biggest inventory of Bolts around, and they're selling faster than new stickers are showing up. If a car sells before the stickers come, those stickers will be given to the customer as soon as the dealership gets them.
Weseloh Chevrolet Carlsbad:
Originally insisted that stickers simply can't be ordered until the car is purchased by the customer. After telling them that other dealers were doing it, they said they'd look into pre-registering for HOV stickers. I let them know that this post was coming, and told them they might want to follow up on this.
City Chevrolet San Diego:
Originally insisted that stickers can't be ordered until the car is purchased. When I read them the first line of the "link" above, they forwarded me to someone else. That person said that the DMV limits how many cars a dealer can pre-register. Since other dealers insist that they have the largest inventory and all EVs are pre-register, I'm guessing there really isn't a sticker limit.
Quality Chevrolet Escondido:
Also says they order the HOV stickers for every single car, immediately, when they order the car. Claims to have some HOV stickers in stock right now, but can't promise that the car you want will have the sticker at the time of purchase. Also says they have the biggest inventory of Bolts around, and they're selling quickly. If the car sells before the stickers come, those stickers will be given to the customer as soon as the dealership gets them.
Ron Baker Chevrolet National City:
At first insisted that stickers can only be ordered once the car is purchased by the customer. When I pressed the issue, I was informed that the stickers are "back ordered", or something to like that, but that their standard policy is to order them when they order the vehicle.
As for me, prior to showing up at the dealership, I will call to see if the vehicle I want has stickers in stock. Prior to signing the paperwork for lease/purchase, I will be asking to see the actual stickers and DMV-issued, HOV registration slip, and then I will be verifying the VIN and serial numbers match.
So, there it is. Hopefully others will post the CA HOV pre-registration policy of the dealers in their area.