States' Vehicle Asset Policies in SNAP
Because of the outdated nature of the SNAP Policies, new legislation allows for States to create their own policies. There has been a strong effort to re-structure vehicle policies.

States are now allowed to use SNAP with the method for valuing vehicles that the state has established under a TANF/MOE-funded cash or non-cash assistance program so long as it is not more restrictive than federal SNAP rules.

Alternatively, states may employ in SNAP the vehicle asset rule from a TANF/MOE-funded benefit or service program for households that are authorized to receive that TANF/MOE benefit. Under the SNAP, households that receive TANF/MOE-funded benefits are "categorically eligible" for SNAP benefits and do not have to meet the SNAP asset test in order to receive benefits. In some states, all food stamp households are eligible for the TANF/MOE-funded benefit program. In others, only a small number of households are eligible for the services. For households that do not receive such benefits, the state must apply an alternative vehicle policy. They may use federal SNAP rules or import the rule from a TANF/MOE-funded assistance program.

These new policy options have given states that ability to craft vehicle asset rules in SNAP that work best for them. It also gives states the ability to make the rules consistent with other programs, such as TANF and Medicaid, ensuring that the SNAP rules do not work against other programs' goals.

State SNAP Vehicle Policy
Alaska (AK)
Excludes the value of a vehicle if it is necessary for transport to meet basic needs (obtaining food, medical care, transportation to and from work, school, or training.) All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP resource test
Alabama (AL)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Arkansas (AR)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per household. All other vehicles subject to federal SNAP rules.**
Arizona (AZ)
Excludes the value of leased or unlicensed vehicles, vehicles used to provide food through hunting or fishing, and vehicles owned solely by an SSI recipient. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules.**
California (CA)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules.**
Colorado (CO)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per household. All other vehicles are subject to the federal vehicle asset rules. **
Connecticut (CT)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules. **
District of Columbia (DC)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Delaware (DE)1

Exclude the value of all vehicles. *
Florida (FL)
Excludes vehicles following federal SNAP exemptions. For households without any members subject to the work requirements, excludes the equity value of one vehicle up to $8,500. For households with one (or more) members subject to the work requirements, excludes the combined equity value of as many as there are household members subject to the work requirements up to a total of $8,500. All other vehicles (including unlicensed vehicles) will have their equity value count against the SNAP resource limit.
Georgia (GA)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules. **
Hawaii (HI)2

Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules. **
Iowa (IA)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules. **
Idaho (ID)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules. **
Illinois (IL)
Excludes vehicles following federal SNAP exemptions. Then excludes the value of one vehicle per adult (and minor under 18 who drives to employment, training, or school). All other vehicles are evaluated for their equity value following the federal SNAP rules.
Indiana (IN)3
Excludes the value of all vehicles used for transportation. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules.**
Kansas (KS)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Kentucky (KY)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Louisiana (LA)
Excludes the value of all vehicles, except RV's. The equity value of RVs count against the SNAP resource limit.
Massachusetts (MA)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Maryland (MD)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Maine (ME)
For households with children (under 18 or 18 and a full-time student) living with a parent or caretaker relative, excludes the value of all vehicles. For other households, excludes the value of only one vehicle. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules.
Michigan (MI)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.*
Minnesota (MN)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules.**
Missouri (MO)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Mississippi (MS)4
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicles asset rules.**
Montana (MT)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per household. All other vehicles subject to the SNAP equity test.
North Carolina (NC)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per adult. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules. **
North Dakota (ND)
Excludes the value of all vehicles. *
Nebraska (NE)
Excludes one vehicle up to $12,000 fair market value. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules.5

New Hampshire (NH)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per adult. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules. **
New Jersey (NJ)
Excludes the fair market value of one vehicle up to $9,500. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules.**
New Mexico (NM)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.*
Nevada (NV)
Excludes the value of vehicle per household. All other vehicles are subject to the federal SNAP rules.**
New York (NY)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per household. Federal SNAP exemptions are applied to additional vehicles. Additional vehicles can be excluded of adults require them for employment or training activities. All other vehicles are evaluated for their full equity value.
Ohio (OH)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Oklahoma (OK)
Excludes the equity value of one vehicle up to $5,000. All other vehicles subject to the federal SNAP rules. **
Oregon (OR)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.*
Pennsylvania (PA)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per household. All other vehicles subject to federal SNAP rules.
Rhode Island (RI)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules.**
South Carolina (SC) 6

Excludes the value of all vehicles.*
South Dakota (SD)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per household. All other vehicles subject to the federal SNAP rules.
Tennessee (TN) 7
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules.**
Texas (TX)
Excludes the fair market value of one vehicle up to $15,000. All other vehicles will be subject to the federal SNAP rules with the excess value of vehicles counted toward a $5,000 resource limit.
Utah (UT)
Excludes the fair market value of one vehicle up to $8,000. All other vehicles subject to the federal SNAP rules.
Virginia (VA)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules.**
Vermont (VT)
Excludes the value of one vehicle per adult (maximum two vehicles exempted). All other vehicles subject to federal SNAP rules.
Washington (WA)
Maintaining federal SNAP vehicle asset rules.**
Wisconsin (WI)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
West Virginia (WV)
Excludes the value of all vehicles.
Wyoming (WY)
Excludes the fair market value of two cars combined up to $12,000, if the household contains a married couple. Otherwise, will exclude the fair market value of only one car up to $12,000. All other vehicles subject to the federal SNAP rules.
1 - CT plans to exclude the equity value of one vehicle up to $9,500. All other vehicles will be subject to the SNAP rules. Regulations to implement the new rules are pending.

2 - HI is considering a plan to exclude the value of all vehicles by aligning their policy to a TANF-funded child care assistance program.

3 - IN planned to implement this policy in March 2002.

4 - MS is considering a plan to exclude the value of one vehicle per household by aligning their policy to TANG cash assistance. All other vehicles would be subject to federal SNAP rules.

5 - NE is in the final rule making process on this policy. It will be implemented shortly.

6 - For all non-categorically eligible households, SC excludes the value of one licensed/registered vehicle per licensed driver in the household.

7 - TN provides extended services to all households leaving TANF cash assistance, making them categorically eligible for SNAP benefits for a period of up to two years.

8 - UT excludes the value of one vehicle per household for individuals with extenuating circumstances, such as the disabled.


* In these states, virtually all SNAP households are authorized to receive a TANF/MOE-funded benefit that make them categorically eligible for SNAP. Therefore, virtually all food stamp households are subject to the vehicle asset rule from the TANF/MOE-funded benefit program instead of the federal food stamp rule. That is the policy described in this table. In some states, a small number of households may not be authorized to receive the TANF/MOE-funded benefit; they would be subject to the federal rules or the vehicle asset rules of a TANF/MOE-funded assistance program with which the state has aligned SNAP rules.

** Federal SNAP Vehicle Asset Rules:

Licensed vehicles are handled as follows:

For the following vehicles, the amount of the fair market value over $4,650 is counted:

  • One licensed vehicle per adult household member, and
  • Any other vehicle a teen-aged member drives to work, school, or job training, or to look for work.
  • Vehicles are NOT counted if they are:
  • Used over 50 percent of the time for income-producing purposes,
  • Annually producing income consistent with their fair market value,
  • Needed for long distance travel for work (other than daily commute),
  • Used as the home,
  • Needed to transport a physically disabled household member, or
  • Needed to carry most of the households fuel or water,
  • Or, if the household has little equity in it (no more than $1,500).

For all other vehicles, the fair market value over $4,650 or the equity value, whichever is more, is counted as a resource. For unlicensed vehicles, the equity value of the vehicle is counted. (Some States use the same policy on excluding vehicles for SNAP as they use for TANF. Check with the local SNAP office to see what its policy is on counting vehicles.)

The information in this table was collected from a survey completed by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, DC). States' Vehicle Asset Policies in SNAP, written by Stacy Dean and Ray Horng; Revised February 13, 2002. This whole report can be found at www.cbpp.org.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a non-partisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs, with and effort focusing on low- to moderate-income people.

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