The fine for driving alone in the HOV lane is $619 with the court surcharge. It is eligible for diversion (defensive driving), but it will still cost a pretty penny. The actual fine is $354, but the court surcharge is mandated and not waived. Refer to page 31.
This legislation did not pass, but it does show that the fine is $619 total.
© Judy Hedding
I started researching it after a girl I used to work with got pulled over for it (and rightfully so). She thought that just because she bought a hybrid, it meant she could drive in that lane. Didn't bother to register it with the state or try for the special tag or plate, even though it would have been denied because they've already reached the limit. Serves her right! :)
The writer provides this information to me as an update to the civil penalty amount that I mention in my article about Maricopa County HOV lanes. First of all, it is true that just because you own a hybrid vehicle, that doesn't mean you can legally use the HOV lane. I first wrote about this in 2007. Those 10,000 hybrid plates are long gone, there is no waiting list, and no one at ADOT has mentioned to me that they intend to add any more.
Now, on to the issue of the fine for the ticket. I'm really not able to see where the two links provided support the conclusion that the total cost of a ticket for driving in the HOV lane without a driver and at least one passenger during stipulated time periods is $619. I called DPS who advised that in Maricopa County the fine is $370. The Phoenix Municipal Court advises that if a person is eligible to take the defensive driving class to avoid fines and points on the license, then all that is required is the cost charged by the defensive driving school, typically from about $180 to $200 at this time. If defensive driving class is not an option for whatever reason, there are additional fees that bring the total fine to about $415. That amount may vary by a few dollars here and there depending on what court handles the item.
Of course, I have no real case to provide the court and I was getting general answers to general questions. If anyone has any real-life specifics to share, please comment below.