Manufactured and Mobilehome Insignia of Approval
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) insignia is required on mobilehomes, commercial coaches, and special purpose commercial coaches. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) label is required on manufactured homes mobilehomes.
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 coaches 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 coaches, special purpose commercial coaches 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 HUD label.
The authority to develop the construction standards, conduct inspections, and issue the insignia is assigned by law to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
In the case of a manufactured home manufactured on or after June 15, 1976, the HUD label will be a 2-inch by 4-inch red metal plate affixed to the outside surface of the rear at the floor level. It will bear the name of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The number stamped into the label is the HUD label number 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 of Approval
The location, type, and color of the California Insignia of Approval issued to multi-unit manufactured mobilehomes, commercial coaches, special purpose commercial coaches, and recreational vehicles 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.
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, used on insignias that 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.
Each insignia contains a number which is included on HCD's registration records and documents as verification of compliance with the insignia requirements except for special purpose commercial coaches, which 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.
An insignia of approval from the Department of Housing and Community Development (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 1.5" x 3" 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 (PDF).
For units manufactured on or after June 15, 1976, each section of the manufactured home must have a HUD certification label (PDF) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
If your insignia is missing or is damaged beyond recognition, you may request a replacement by submitting a fully completed form HCD-416 (PDF) and the $83.00 fee for each transportable section to the Manufactured Housing Section at Department of Housing and Community Development, 2020 West El Camino Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95833.
- If the form is not fully completed or if the information is not clear, it will be returned with instructions for re-submittal.
- Using the data on the form, Department records are researched to establish if there is any record of original insignia issuance.
- If original issuance is found, the replacement insignia is issued. If no record is found after at least a second search, the application is sent to one of our 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 is 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:
- The application form is incomplete.
- The application fee is not included.
- The Department must do additional research and records are incomplete.
- The 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 your multi-unit manufactured home, commercial coach, special purpose commercial coach, or recreational vehicle was issued a California Insignia of Approval, HCD will need to inspect the unit before a new California Insignia of Approval 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 HCD's reinspection.
In addition to the inspection requirement, for a mobilehome or manufactured home built after September 15, 1971, and before June 15, 1976, or any commercial coach, 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 the California Code of Regulations, Title 25, 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 Inspection Application Form HCD 415. You may obtain this application at any of the Division's district offices or you may contact the Manufactured Housing Program Office in Sacramento to have one mailed to you.
The completed application, when submitted to HCD, 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 eceeding the first hour at the rate shown under "Inspection Fee."
Insignia Fee Schedule
NOTE: The fees listed above are those in effect at the time this pamphlet was printed according to the California Code of Regulations, Title 25, Division 1, Subchapter 2, Section 4044. Should these fees change at a later date, the most current fee will be required.
Commercial Coaches $48.00
Special Purpose Commercial Coaches $48.00
Manufactured homes, commercial, coaches or special purpose commercial coaches
Not exceeding one (1) hour $66.00
For each half hour $33.00, exceeding the first hour
Codes and Standards Area and District Offices
Northern Area Office
Southern Area Office
2444 Main Street, Suite 160
7777 Alvarado Road, Suite 302
2986 Bechelli Lane, Suite 201
8911 Folsom Boulevard
100 Paseo De San Antonio, Room 306
3220 South Higuera Room 103 B
2333 North Broadway, Suite 200
20201 Sherman Way, Suite 106
The regulations adopted in accordance with the Health and Safety Code which establish codes and standards, inspection requirements, application procedures, and fees, may be found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 25, Division 1, Chapter 3, Subchapter 2, commencing with Section 4000. Most public libraries will have a copy of the California Code of Regulations or you may purchase a copy from.
- Barclays Law Publishers
400 Oyster Point Boulevard
P.O. Box 3066, South San Francisco, CA 94083
Please write or call the number listed above for the current cost of the California Code of Regulations Title 25, Division 1 Chapter 3 entitled Factory Built Housing, Recreational Vehicles, and Commercial Coaches.
If you have any questions or require additional information, please call the Manufactured Housing Program Office at (916) 445-3338, or write:
- Department of Housing and Community Development
Division of Codes and Standards, Manufactured Housing Section
P.O. Box 31, Sacramento, CA 95801