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Driving With Your Dog in the Carpool Lane - Legal or Not? [INFO]

Matt Formica
Matt Formica

Jun 05, 2015

dog in passenger seat of car driving in carpool lane with dog

Living in Los Angeles is great for many reasons ... But traffic isn't one of them.   Which is why using the carpool lane can be very helpful...

And since I'm often driving around town with my pup, I recently began to wonder:

Can I drive in the carpool lane if it's just my dog and me in the car?

The answer .... NOPE!

Apparently, in California, and all other states with HOV lanes, a dog is not considered a passenger.  (Insert Olsen twins voice here: "How rude!")

According to the California Department of Transportation's website:

"Each vehicle that travels on an HOV lane must carry the minimum number of people posted at the entrance signs. Usually that means at least two people, or in some cases three people. Each child counts as an occupant, but pets, infants still in the womb, inflatable dolls or ghosts do not (we've heard 'em all). Violators are subject to a minimum $481 fine."

siberian husky sitting in back seat of owners car

Personally, I think that pets, especially dogs, should count as passengers.  Maybe I'll have to make a run at politics in the future...

But until then, just know that the next time you have Fido in the car and are thinking of using the carpool lane to save some time, it's technically against the paw! 

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