The Department of Revenue has started accepting applications for the Smart Pass program, which allows hybrid vehicles to drive in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes without satisfying the two-passenger minimum. Applications will be posted online at www.Tennessee.gov/revenue/vehicle/hovpass.htm, where registered owners of qualifying hybrid vehicles can download it and submit it to the department. Drivers will receive a small decal for their vehicle that must be displayed in order to drive in HOV lanes without additional passengers.
Public Chapter 1121 allows qualifying hybrid vehicles to drive in HOV lanes because they are inherently low-emission and energy efficient. The first HOV lane was opened in the Nashville area in 1993, and lanes continue to expand in the Davidson and Shelby County areas.