Fleet Rule for Public Agencies and Utilities - Vehicle Retirement

This page updated July 30, 2012

The Fleet Rule for Public Agencies and Utilities allows a municipality or utility to "retire" a vehicle and have the "retired" vehicle count towards the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) compliance requirement. This page is intended as guidance to insure the proper "retirement" of a municipality or utility vehicle, and provides links to documents that will assist the municipality or utility in this effort.


The municipality or utility is responsible for the proper retirement and record keeping of retirement of their fleet to be compliance with title 13, CCR, section 2022.1. Additional details can be found in title 13, California Code of Regulations (sections 2022 and 2022.1).


What vehicles are affected?
This regulation affects on-road diesel fueled vehicles greater than 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating powered by a 1960 through 2006 model year heavy duty diesel engine owned, leased or operated by a municipality or a utility. Some 2007 and newer engines that do not meet the 0.01 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) standard are also subject to this regulation. The regulation requires a municipality or utility to apply Best Available Control Technology (BACT) according to a specific compliance schedule. However, if a municipality or utility "retires" a vehicle per the definition set in the regulation, the municipality or utility may count the vehicle as compliant toward its BACT commitment.

What is "retirement"?

Retirement is defined by title 13, California Code of Regulations (CCR), section 2022 as: The withdrawal of an engine or vehicle subject to this regulation from a municipality or utility fleet in California; the engine may be sold outside of California, scrapped, converted for use in a low-usage vehicle or low-population county low-usage vehicle. Retirement or retire also means the transfer of an engine or vehicle, which is subject to this regulation and has been brought into compliance with title 13, CCR, section 2022.1(b), from a municipality or utility fleet in California to another person or entity in California.


Simply stated, if a municipality or utility "retires" a vehicle, the vehicle must meet one of the following requirements:

  • sold in-state with BACT installed.
  • sold, registered and operated out-of-state,
  • scrapped,
  • used as a low-usage or low-population county low-usage vehicle, or


In December 2008, ARB approved modifications to the regulation to allow publically owned 2004 -2006 model year dual engine street sweepers sold within the State of California to qualify as retired. Although this the regulation will not be codified until the end of 2009, as of January 1, 2009 municipalities who wish to sell a 2004 through 2006 model year dual engine sweeper within the State of California will receive BACT credit.

How does a municipality or utility get BACT "credit" if the vehicle is sold out of state?

A municipality or utility seeking BACT "credit" from selling a vehicle out of state must:

  • obtain a California registration block application (VIN Stop),
  • obtain verification from the buyer that they have been notified the vehicle has a VIN Stop, must be registered and operated out of state or apply BACT, and
  • if the municipality or utility is using a third party to sell the vehicle such as a dealership or an auction house, they must establish a third party contract outlying the requirements of the regulation.


How do I obtain a California vehicle registration block (VIN Stop)?

To place a VIN Stop, the fleet manager needs to:

  • Ensure all vehicle documentation required through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is completed prior to requesting a VIN stop. This includes all DMV paperwork such as duplicate title, "Mark for Export" for international sales, salvage title, or junk title for scrap. Once a VIN Stop is placed, no other DMV activity is allowed.
  • Obtain the following information for each vehicle for submittal for the VIN application:
    • Vehicle Identification number (VIN) number
    • Year and make of the vehicle
    • Engine size and engine family name
  • Apply for the VIN Stop through the Air Resources Board (Do not contact DMV). The application process for each vehicle VIN Stop is made through ARB's VIN Stop Application Program. ARB requests that the VIN Stop application is completed 30 days priory to sale of the vehicle or transfer of the vehicle to a third-party for sale.
  • Enter a valid email address and phone number during the application process as ARB will send a copy of the application by e-mail to verify the VIN Stop has been sent to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). KEEP THE TRANSMITTED EMAIL AS PROOF OF YOUR REQUEST FOR A VIN STOP AND FOR YOUR RECORD OF VEHICLE RETIREMENT.

Retiring a vehicle with BACT applied

  • Municipality and utility vehicles with BACT applied can be sold within the state of California and do NOT need to apply a VIN Stop or establish a third party contract with the seller. BACT includes highest level diesel emission control strategy (DECS), alternative fuel, or engine meeting the 0.01 gram per brake horsepower- hour particulate matter standard.
  • The DECS should be in good working order prior to sale. Documents providing the vehicles duty cycle, DECS installation date, DECS maintenance, warranty status, and other service history should be provided to the buyer. A copy of these documents should be kept in the original fleet's records.
  • The municipality or utility must notify the buyer of the requirement to keep the DECS installed and in proper working order. A copy of the notice to the buyer should be kept in the original fleet's records.

What are the buyer notification requirements?

A municipality or utility must obtain confirmation from the buyer to ensure they are aware of the requirement that the vehicle cannot be registered or used in the State of California unless the vehicle meets BACT.

ARB has developed a template "Out of State Sales Verification" form for general use. A municipality or utility may modify this form to show proof that a fleet vehicle was sold out of state. However, the form should contain all of the information in the ARB's original "Out of State Sales Verification" form template. Most importantly, a municipality or utility should obtain a written statement from the buyer with the buyer's contact information, such as name, address, and phone number; as acknowledgment from the buyer that the vehicle can not be operated in California unless the vehicle meets the BACT requirements of the regulation.

The Out of state sales verification should be signed by the buyer and filed in fleet records of the municipality or utility.

What are my responsibilities if I sell my PAU vehicles through a third party contract (Dealers and Auctions Houses)?

A municipality or utility using an auction house, dealer, or third party to sell their fleet vehicles must establish a "Third Party Vehicle Seller Contract." The Third Party Vehicle Seller Contract requires the third party vehicle seller to:

  • obtain a written statement from the buyer with the buyers acknowledgment that the vehicle cannot be registered or operated in California unless the vehicle is in compliance with BACT. This written statement is provided to the municipality or utility selling the vehicle, and
  • advise the buyer to inform future buyers that the vehicle cannot be registered/operated in California unless the vehicle is in compliance with BACT.

What are the dealer and/or auction house's responsibilities?

It is the responsibility of the dealership or auction house to:

  • ensure that the subsequent buyer is aware that the vehicle cannot be registered/operated in California; and
  • advise the buyer of potential costs involved if the buyer is going to try to register it in California. Currently, retrofits can cost between $8,000 to $20,000, or more. Buyers wishing to apply a diesel emission control strategy (retrofit) to a vehicle can obtain a list of manufacture approved installers at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/publicfleets/onroaddeviceinstallerlist.pdf.

Dealers failing to comply with the requirements within the regulation could face civil penalties or jeopardize their dealers' license.

How do I remove a VIN Stop?

The VIN Stop can be removed if the vehicle's engine meets BACT by:

  • retrofitting with the highest level diesel emission control strategy (DECS),
  • repowering with an engine that meets the 2007 model year engine standard of 0.01 grams per brake horsepower-hour, or
  • repowering with an alternative fuel engine as defined by the regulation.


To remove the VIN Stop, submit the following documentation:

  • invoice demonstrating installation of the DECS by an manufacture approved installer, date of install, owners information, the vehicle information as required for VIN Stop (i.e. VIN number, license plate, year, and make), the diesel emission control strategy information (i.e. manufacturer, DECS family name and serial number); and
  • a photograph of the device installed on the vehicle.


In instances where the municipality or utility changes their compliance strategy and is keeping the vehicle in its fleet, the VIN Stop can be removed by contacting ARB with the following information:

  • Name of agency and fleet contact person;
  • the vehicle's information (i.e. VIN number, License plate, year, and make); and
  • Reason for request (brief)


Requests for VIN Stop removal can be sent by e-mail or mail to:

Craig Duehring, Manager
In-Use Control Measures Section, MSCD
Air Resources Board
1001 I Street
P.O. Box 2815
Sacramento, CA 95812

What documents do I need to keep for a vehicle sold out-of-state?

A municipality or utility should keep copies of the following documents:

  • a copy of the VIN Stop application provided by ARB; and
  • bill of sale showing the date of sale, vehicle and engine information, and buyer information. Consider using the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sales forms (i.e. Bill of Sale and Release of liability); and
  • verification showing the buyer was aware of the out of state registration requirements (such as Out of State Sales Verification form); and
  • copy of the third party contract, if applicable.

Keep these documents filed with the vehicle's other record keeping documents and make available for ARB, upon request. Do not send this information to ARB.

What documents do I need to keep for a scrapped engine or vehicle?

ARB only requires the engine to be scrapped; the chassis may be resold. The engine core must be destroyed. A scrapped engine can be kept on site for spare parts provided that the engine core is not re-usable. Documentation is required. Documentation may include but is not limited to:

  • pictures
  • contracts
  • sales receipts
  • engine labels

Contact ARB at the time of the scraping to identify additional items that may be required.


If the agency is scrapping the entire vehicle, an online VIN Stop Request Application Form can be submitted to ensure the scrap yard does not resell your vehicle. In addition, the municipality or utility is urged to file a Non-repairable Vehicle Certificate or Non-Revivable Junk title with the DMV. Remember to file all DMV documents prior to applying for a VIN Stop.

How do I get credit for a low use vehicle?

  • Low-usage vehicles and Low-Population County low-usage vehicles are considered retired vehicles. These vehicles must be labeled as "low-usage vehicle," or "Low-Population County low-usage vehicle," and have documents maintained on the mileage driven or hours used.
  • Annual mileage or hours are recorded on the vehicle label. Low-usage vehicles are operated for less than 1,000 miles or fifty (50) hours on an annual rolling mileage or engine hour average, averaged over five (5) years. Low-Population County low-usage vehicles are operated for less than 3,000 miles or 150 hours on an annual rolling mileage or engine hour average, averaged over five (5) years
  • A working odometer or hour meter is required.
  • If a vehicle is used in high idling or power takeoff operations (PTO), hours must be tracked.
  • If a vehicle is designated as a low-usage vehicle for credit towards BACT, then when or if it is sold, the vehicle must be sold out-of-state, scrapped, or if sold within California, have BACT applied.

What if we do not comply with the regulation?

Non-compliance with the record keeping requirements of the regulation may result in a penalty of $100 for each day that the records are not kept. Failure to install BACT on engines as required could result in penalties of up to $1,000 to $10,000 per day for each violation, as allowed by the Health and Safety Code. The regulation is enforced by ARB Enforcement staff.

How do I get notified about new tools to help me comply with the Fleet Rule for Public Agencies and Utilities?

To automatically be notified when new compliance assistance tools are developed, sign up for the "publicfleets" list serve, or contact us directly if you have questions.




preload