Green Vehicle Laws and Regulations in Louisiana
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Louisiana sets laws to help protect the planet and benefit the state, even though some regulations only apply to green vehicles such as electric cars (EV), hybrids, alternative fuel vehicles (AFV), and other fuel-efficient vehicles. These eco-friendly laws might evolve as LA focuses increasingly on environmental issues, unlike Louisiana'a general traffic laws which rarely change.
To keep up with latest regulations, also consult your local Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) office and the Alternative Fuels Data Center. To learn how your eco-friendly driving habits can save you time and money, check out our Louisiana Green Driver Incentives page.
Louisiana Green Vehicle Registration and Emissions
Although the LA Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) requires most vehicles to undergo a visual anti-tampering check and gas cap integrity test, not all need an emissions test for first-time car registration and vehicle registration renewal. The State exempts new vehicles for the first 2 years.
For more on emissions test exemptions, consult our LA green driver incentives page. To find more on emissions and inspection requirements, visit LA Smog and Emissions Checks or the Louisiana Department of Environment Quality (DEQ).
LA Special Fuels Tax for Alternative Fuel Vehicles
If you own or operate a motor vehicle that runs via an internal combustion engine or has the ability to run on liquefied petroleum gas or compressed natural gas, you might be subject to an annual special fuels tax as a Louisiana taxpayer. The amount varies depending on your vehicle's gross weight.
For vehicles weighing 10,000 lbs. or less (gross weight), you'll either pay:
- An annual flat rate of 80% of $150 based on the special fuels tax rate.
- A variable rate that equals 80% of the present special fuels tax rate as long as it doesn't exceed the annual flat rate mentioned above.
For vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs, (gross weight), you'll pay 80% of the current special fuels tax rate. This aggregate annual tax won't be less than the annual flat rate.
Of course, some vehicles are exempt. And if you own a school bus, different rates apply. For full details, refer to the Louisiana Revised Statues (Title 47, Section 802.3). You can also inquire with the Department of Revenue's Special Programs Division by calling (225) 219-2200.
Safety Requirements for Automatic Propane-Dispensing Devices
As an LA consumer, know that retail propane stations must post step-by-step instructions on how to operate automatic fuel dispensing devices that are accessible by the general public. That goes for self-service, coin-operated, credit card, and any other pump-activating device. For specifics, refer to Louisiana Revised Statues (Title 40, Section 1853.1).
Operating Low-Speed Vehicles on Louisiana Roadways
Certain eco-friendly and alternative fuel vehicles qualify as low-speed vehicles. As such, they must:
- Maintain valid Louisiana vehicle registration.
- Display a valid license plate.
- Fulfill state and federal requirements for safety equipment.
Additionally, to operate a low-speed vehicle—as a Louisiana resident or otherwise—you must hold a valid driver's license.
LA Low-Speed Vehicle Roadway Restrictions
The State prohibits motorists from operating low-speed vehicles on Louisiana streets* with a posted speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour (mph). However, it can cross through an intersection of a road that has a posted speed limit of greater than 35 MPH.
*This includes any highway, divided highway, roadway, or street. Refer to Louisiana Revised Statutes (Title 32, Section 300.1) for specifics.
Inspection Requirement for Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles
All vehicles that can run on liquefied petroleum gas must receive a safety inspection conducted by the Louisiana Petroleum Gas Commission. Minimum safety standards set by the assistant secretary cover compression and conversion equipment in regard to compressed natural gas vehicles—including installation. For more, consult the Louisiana Revised Statutes (Title 30, Section 732) or contact the LP-Gas Commission at (225) 925-4895.