Department of Environmental Protection


Air Quality, Energy & Sustainability

Drive Green

Frequently Asked Questions for New Jersey Low Emission Vehicle Program

As a motorist and a consumer, you can help reduce air pollution! When you purchase a new vehicle, you can make a choice that improves our air quality and global climate.

When were the Low Emission Vehicle regulations approved?

It was signed into law as P.L. 2003, c.266 on 01/14/2004. The Statute directed New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to implement the LEV program to be effective on January 1, 2009. DEP promulgated the Low Emission Vehicle Regulation under N.J.A.C 7:27-29 which became effective on January 27, 2006. The rules are applicable to light duty motor vehicles below 8,500 Ibs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) manufactured and delivered for sale in New Jersey beginning in model year 2009 and later. It does not include medium-duty vehicles, off-highway vehicles, all terrain vehicles (ATV) and motorcycles.

What are the implications for motorists?

If you want to title a new vehicle in New Jersey, whether purchase or lease, it must be “California Certified”, EPA “50-State” or “California only” to meet emission requirements, with some minor exceptions, beginning January 1, 2009.

How do I verify that a vehicle is “California certified”?

Two main ways:
a) the Manufacturer Source of Origin(MSO) / Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO) must indicate “Certified for sale in 50 States” or “Certified for sale in California” (See examples below)
b) The label under the hood in the engine compartment must indicate it is “California certified”, EPA 50-State or California-Only vehicle.
"50-State Vehicle: This vehicle conforms to U.S. EPA and California regulations applicable to (the vehicle model year) model-year new motor vehicles."
"California-Only Vehicle: This vehicle conforms to U.S. EPA and California regulations applicable to (the vehicle model year) model-year new motor vehicles introduced into commerce only for sale in California."

What is meant by “new” vehicle?

LEV Regulations consider any current model year vehicle purchased with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer to be a new vehicle.

What weight class of vehicle is included?

The LEV rules cover any passenger car and light-duty truck up to 8,500 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or less, excluding off-highway vehicles. “Passenger car” includes any motor vehicle designed primarily for transportation of individuals and having a design capacity of 12 individuals or fewer.
A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable total weight of a road vehicle or trailer when loaded - i.e including the weight of the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, cargo, and trailer tongue weight. Some commercial cargo vans and large SUVs are exceeding 8,500 Ibs GVWR limits.
Most vehicles manufactured for sale in this country have a placard (sticker) with this information. It is located typically either in the driver's side door or doorframe, in the owner’s manual, or also may be present on another sticker immediately under the hood near the radiator.