California Enacts Lead-Acid Battery Fee, Effective April 1, 2017

Effective April 1, 2017, California has enacted a $1.00 California battery fee on the purchase of a replacement lead-acid battery and a $1.00 manufacturer battery fee on the sale of a lead-acid battery to a dealer, wholesaler, distributor or other person in the state. On April 1, 2022, the California battery fee will increase to $2.00. The manufacturer battery fee will end on March 31, 2022.

A lead-acid battery, the type commonly found in vehicles, is a battery weighing more than five kilograms (about 11 pounds), primarily composed of both lead and sulfuric acid (liquid, solid, or gel), with a capacity of six or more volts, that is used as:

  • A starting battery for delivering a high burst of energy to start an internal combustion engine,
  • A motive power battery to provide the power for propulsion of a vehicle, including watercraft,
  • A stationary storage or standby battery to be used in a system where the battery acts as electrical storage or a source of emergency or backup power, or
  • A source of auxiliary power to support the electrical systems in a vehicle

For the California battery fee, dealers may retain 1.5% of the fee as reimbursement for costs associated with collection of the fee. Dealers must charge a refundable deposit, subject to sales tax, when a consumer purchases a replacement lead-acid battery and does not simultaneously provide a used lead-acid battery to the dealer. Dealers are required to state the fee and refundable deposit on the invoice for all sales of replacement lead-acid batteries. Dealers also must post a written notice of the fee.

Dealers and manufacturers are required to register, report electronically, and pay the fees to the California State Board of Equalization (BOE).Certain exemptions and exclusions apply to the California battery fee. For more information, visit the California State BOE webpage. (Special Notice L-489, California State Board of Equalization, February 2017)

Posted on March 13, 2017