Manufactured and Mobilehome Insignia of Approval

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) insignia is required on mobilehomes, commercial modulars, and special purpose commercial modulars. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) label is required on manufactured homes.

The 1957 California Legislature recognized the need to establish construction standards in order to assure the health and safety of California purchasers and occupants of mobilehomes, commercial modulars and recreational vehicles (originally referred to as trailer coaches). The Legislature passed laws requiring HCD to establish regulations and standards and that an insignia of approval be issued to all such mobile units to indicate compliance. Inspections and insignia issuance began when the first regulations became effective on September 1, 1958.

The insignia distinguishes units constructed to the California standards from those contracted in states or countries without equivalent standards or no standards at all. California law prohibits the sale or offering for sale, rent, or lease of mobilehomes, commercial modulars, special purpose commercial modulars manufactured on or after September 1, 1958, that do not bear a California Insignia of Approval, or manufactured homes manufactured on or after June 15, 1976, that do not bear a Federal HUD Label. It is a misdemeanor to sell, rent, or lease such units without the required insignia or label.

The authority to develop the construction standards, conduct inspections, and issue the insignia is assigned by law to HCD.

HUD Labels 

All manufactured homes manufactured on or after, June 15, 1976, are constructed to Federal standards. In the case of a manufactured home, the HUD label will bear the name of HUD on a 2-inch by 4-inch red metal plate affixed to the outside surface of the rear at the floor level. The HUD label number is stamped into the label and is required on HCD's registration records and documents to verify compliance with the insignia or label requirements. A serial number is not required on a HUD label.

California Insignia
                  Sample HUD Label

California Insignia of Approval

The location, type, and color of the California Insignia of Approval issued to mobilehomes, multifamily manufactured homes, commercial modulars, and special purpose commercial modulars have changed over the years. The insignia will bear either the name of the State of California, Department of Industrial Safety, Division of Housing; or the State of California, Department of Housing and Community Development. Since 1999, recreational vehicles, including park trailers, are no longer regulated by California and will not bear an insignia from the State.


Example of a State insignia of approval or Department insignia
   Sample California Insignia of Approval


The insignia is approximately 1-1/2 to 3 inches in height and 3 to 4 inches in length. It will be either a metal plate affixed to the exterior siding by rivets, or an aluminum foil material affixed by an adhesive. Insignia colors are black, green, red or blue depending on the type of unit and when it was manufactured. The insignia will be located on the exterior wall near the main entrance door either at floor level or on the rear exterior wall at floor level as shown below.

Each insignia contains a number which is included on HCD's registration records and documents as verification of compliance with the manufacturing requirements. Special purpose commercial modulars also must be registered and titled by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The insignia may contain other information such as the unit's serial number preceded by the letter(s) "SN" or vehicle identification number preceded by the letters "VIN" which should not be mistaken for the insignia number. All of these details are important to identify the specific unit in question.

Various locations for an insignia

For manufactured homes, each section of the manufactured home must have a HUD certification label (PDF) from HUD. Replacement labels are not offered for manufactured homes. The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) can provide an owner with a label verification letter that will suffice for missing HUD labels.

An insignia of approval from HCD shows that the unit complies with the laws and building standards in effect at the time the insignia of approval was issued. The HCD insignia measures 1-1/2 inches by 3 inches and is dark red or black for either a commercial modular or a special purpose commercial modular. All California insignias have an imprinted number. Insignias are attached to the unit at the time that they are manufactured or replaced if lost or damaged beyond recognition. The law requires that they be attached at all times, especially prior to both the initial sale and resale of the unit. A color brochure that graphically demonstrates these insignias may be found within the Insignia of Approval Information Booklet (coming soon).

If your California insignia is missing or is damaged beyond recognition, you may request a replacement by submitting a fully completed form HCD-416 (PDF) and the required fees for each transportable section to:

HCD-Manufactured Housing Program
P.O. Box 31, Sacramento, CA 95812

 
  • Complete the form in its entirety and submit to the address indicated along with the required fees.
  • Using the data on the form, program staff will research to find record of original insignia issuance.
  • If original issuance is found, the replacement insignia may be issued. If no record is found, the application is sent to one of HCD's field offices with a request for an inspection. The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that the unit still complies with the standard. If the unit complies, the insignia may be issued. If it does not, compliance must be achieved before a replacement insignia can be issued.

How long does this process take? 

If the application is complete and evidence of the original insignia is clear, the process takes several weeks. The most common reasons for delay are:

    • Application form is incomplete.
    • Application fee is not included.
    • Department records are incomplete.
    • Unit must be inspected. 

Is there anything else to know about? 

Yes. California Health and Safety Code Section 18026 requires that manufactured homes in California either bear a HUD certification label or an HCD insignia prior to sale, rent, or lease. Violation of this law is considered a misdemeanor under California law. 

If there is no HCD record that a California Insignia of Approval was issued, your mobilehome, multifamily manufactured home, commercial modular, or special purpose commercial modular will need to be inspected before a new insignia can be issued.

HCD's inspection is conducted to determine compliance with codes and standards for electrical, heat producing, plumbing, fire and life safety systems and equipment. If violations are found, they must be corrected and then verified by reinspection.

In addition to the inspection requirement, for a mobilehome built after September 15, 1971, and before June 15, 1976, or any commercial modular, you must submit a written statement certifying that the subject unit was inspected and found to be in compliance or was brought into compliance with the requirements for the structural and thermal systems established in Title 25, California Code of Regulations, Part 1, Chapter 3, Subchapter 2 . The certification must be signed by a California licensed engineer or architect and should be submitted along with the application for inspection.

To apply for an HCD inspection, you must complete and submit the Manufactured Housing Permit Application, form HCD 415 (PDF).

When submitted to HCD, the completed application must be accompanied by the insignia fee and the minimum one-hour inspection fee. Payment must be in the form of a check or money order payable to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

If HCD's inspection requires more than one hour, additional inspection fees will be due for each half hour or portion thereof exceeding the first hour at the rate shown under "Inspection Fee."

Insignia Fee Schedule

New Insignia

Replacement Insignia

Inspection Fee

Mobilehomes $51

Commercial Modulars $51

Special Purpose Commercial Modulars $51

Manufactured Homes $83

Commercial Modulars $83

Special Purpose Commercial Modulars $83

Minimum first hour $196

Second and subsequent hours $82

Additional half hour $41

Codes and Standards Offices

Headquarters and Area Offices
(800) 952-8356
Headquarters
2020 W. El Camino Avenue, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95833
Northern Area Office
9342 Tech Center Drive, Suite 550, Sacramento, CA 95826
Southern Area Office
3737 Main Street, Suite 400 Riverside, CA 92501
Registration and Titling District Offices
1530 Hilton Head Road, Suite 107, El Cajon, CA 92019
(619) 441-2326
3737 Main Street, Suite 400, Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 782-4431
3220 South Higuera Street, Suite 103B, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 549-3373