i'd say just send away for it, and if you get 'em are caught after the fact, just plead ignorance. i think you'll get 'em.
LITTLE STORY: when they FIRST formally announced this program, i sent away the request (crude form)... with no money.
then when the "official" form came out, i resent that one WITH the $8. i got my decals a few weeks later.
then about 3 weeks ago, i get a letter from the DMV regarding my initial request for the HOV decals. it was a notice telling me as soon as i send my $8, they'll send me my decals! (lol) well, i'm not gonna take advantage. but i think it's a clear indicator as to how chaotic things must be up there. TAKE ADVANTAGE! (ha)