Low-Emission Vehicle Program

This page last reviewed January 25, 2017

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Following a November 5, 1998, hearing, the Air Resources Board (ARB) amended California's Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) regulations. The new amendments, known as LEV II, will advance the state's clean air goals through improved emission reduction standards for automobiles. These amendments were formally adopted by the ARB on August 5, 1999, and, after approval by the California Office of Administrative Law on October 28, 1999, became operative November 27, 1999.

The ARB first adopted LEV standards in 1990. These first LEV standards run from 1994 through 2003. LEV II regulations, running from 2004 through 2010, represent continuing progress in emission reductions. As the state's passenger vehicle fleet continues to grow and more sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are used as passenger cars rather than work vehicles, the new, more stringent LEV II standards are necessary for California to meet federally-mandated clean air goals outlined in the 1994 State Implementation Plan (SIP).

The SIP is the state's "road map" to attain federal clean air standards by 2010 and includes among its measures strategies to further reduce air pollution from automobiles and other mobile sources. When LEV II is fully implemented in 2010, it is estimated that smog-forming emissions in the Los Angeles area will be reduced by 57 tons per day, while the statewide reduction will be 155 tons per day.

In 2012, ARB adopted the LEV III amendments to California's Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) regulations. These amendments include more stringent emission standards for both criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases for new passenger vehicles.

LEV II Fact Sheet   View a one-page summary of the Low-Emission Vehicle II program.
California Low-Emission Vehicle Regulations and Test Procedures   View the latest "clean" versions (without underline and strikeout) of the ARB's regulations and most of the Test Procedures for low-emission vehicles and zero-emission vehicles.
    They include the major "LEV III" amendments for both criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases; these amendments became operative August 7, 2012.
 LEV III Regulation   Click here to get the formal documents and information regarding the development of the LEV III amendments. To find the LEV program regulations, click California Low-Emission Vehicle Regulations and Test Procedures.
LEV II Regulation   Click here to get the informal documents and information regarding the development of the LEV II amendments. To find the LEV program regulations, click California Low-Emission Vehicle Regulations and Test Procedures.
Evaporative Emission Controls for Motor Vehicles   Click here to find out about the new evaporative emission standards included in the LEV II rulemaking.
Low-Emission Vehicle Program (1995 and 1996)   Click here to find information on the Low-Emission Vehicle Program as it was amended in 1996.
On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program   Click here to get information on ARB's On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program.

Contact Information:

For more information, please contact Sarah Carter at (626) 575-6845.