California Battery Fee

Beginning on April 1, 2017 a mandatory $1 California Battery Fee must be collected for lead acid battery purchases, similar to the current fee for tires. The text of the law can be read here:

The fee must be listed as a separate line item on the invoice as “California Battery Fee”. If a person purchases more than one lead-acid battery in a single transaction, and is therefore imposed more than one California lead-acid battery fee in that transaction, the dealer is not required to individually list on the invoice each California lead-acid battery fee imposed, but may instead condense the fees to a single-line item. Also, dealers are not to accept more than six batteries per customer per day.

Note that there is no charge for warranty batteries or replaced batteries under a service agreement. Facilities will have to register with the State BOE and remit fees to the state after completing appropriate forms (forms not yet available). The facility will be able to retain 1.5% of the fee as reimbursement for any costs associated with the collection of the fee and the dealer will remit the remainder to the State Board of Equalization (state board) for deposit into the Lead-Acid Battery Cleanup Fund. On and after April 1, 2022, the amount of the fee will increase to two dollars.

Dealers can continue to charge their normal core credit fee if the core is not provided at the time of battery purchase. Customer must bring the core to the dealer within 45 days of the new battery purchase to claim the deposit paid at the time of the battery purchase. The refundable deposit must be indicated on the invoice as a separate line item and not included with any other fees or charges. After 45 days, if no core is returned, the dealer can keep the core credit minus the sales tax remitted.

A written notice is to be included for batteries sold OR included on the invoice as follows:

“This dealer is required by law to charge a non-refundable deposit of a $1.00 California Battery Fee and a refundable deposit for each lead-acid battery purchased. A credit for the refundable deposit will be issued if a used lead-acid battery is returned at the time of purchase or returned within 45 days of the new battery purchase along with the receipt”. A PDF version of this sign is available here: