COVID-19 Impacts on BAR Programs and Services

While California continues to navigate the uncertainty of coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit its spread, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) is committed to supporting consumers, licensees, applicants, and our other stakeholders by maintaining delivery of our programs and services. BAR is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, coordinating with state and local governments, and working with our partners to protect the health of Californians.

We appreciate your patience as we work on implementing new technologies to work remotely and adhere to social distancing guidelines. We apologize in advance for any delays in reaching our staff or potential delays in our processing times.

The following information is intended to inform our stakeholders on impacts to BAR services as a result of COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve, additional information and updates will be made available.

General Information

How do I get up-to-date information about BAR programs and services impacted by COVID-19?

For up-to-date information, visit this webpage or call (800) 952-5210. You can also get updated information on BAR’s social media channels:

For general information and updates concerning COVID-19, please visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California website.

Are BAR offices closed?

In response to the governor’s stay at home order issued on March 19 and other local directives, and to safeguard the health of our employees, BAR headquarters and field office locations are closed to the public until further notice.

We are working diligently to continue business as normal and appreciate your patience as we navigate during this uncertain time. We apologize in advance for any delays in reaching our staff or potential delays in our processing times.

What BAR services are available online?

The following services are available online:

Information for Consumers

Can I submit a Consumer Assistance Program application?

Yes. Visit the Consumer Assistance Program page to submit your application online. Please note, there may be delays in processing times.

Can I check the status of my Consumer Assistance Program application?

Yes. You can check the status of your application on the Consumer Assistance Program page.

Will my Consumer Assistance Program eligibility be extended?

Please contact the CAP Call Center at (866) 272-9642 for assistance.

Can I file a complaint?

Yes. File a complaint online or call (800) 952-5210 for assistance. Please note, there may be delays in processing times.

Can I submit a Public Records Act request?

Yes. Visit our Records Request Guidelines page for more information. Please note, there may be delays in processing times.

Can I subpoena records for small claims court?

Yes. Visit our Records Request Guidelines page for more information.

I’m unable to obtain a Smog Check inspection as required to renew my vehicle’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) registration because of orders or directives put in place by state and local health officials. What can I do?

BAR advises consumers to file their DMV paperwork, including all required DMV fees, even if they have not received their Smog Check certificate. Once state and local orders or directives are no longer in effect, consumers can then obtain the required Smog Check certificate and complete the DMV vehicle registration process.

Are Referee stations taking appointments?

Please contact the Referee Call Center at (800) 622-7733 for assistance with appointment scheduling.

Information for Licensees and Applicants

Licensure

I have scheduled my initial licensure exam(s) for Smog Check repair technician, Smog Check inspector, brake adjuster, and/or lamp adjuster, but the PSI test centers are closed. What do I need to do?

Candidates can reschedule up to and including the day of testing. NOTE: In most cases, candidates can reschedule their examinations online and they are encouraged to do so.

For more information, please visit the PSI website.

What if I can’t take my renewal examination(s) due to PSI test center closures?

Please contact BAR Licensing at (855) 735-0462 for assistance.

My license will be expiring. Am I required to submit my renewal by the expiration date?

Pursuant to applicable statutes and regulations, your license must be renewed, and all applicable fees must be paid, before the license expiration date.

Can I submit a license application?

Yes. Visit our Getting Licensed page for more information. Please note, there may be delays in processing times.

Can I check the status of my license application?

Please contact BAR Licensing at (855) 735-0462 to check the status of your application.

Business Operations

Should my business remain open?

On March 19, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, directing all individuals living in California to stay at home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. The order refers to federal critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and additional sectors designated by the State Public Health Officer as essential critical infrastructure workers to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.

The State Public Health Officer has designated automotive repair and maintenance facilities as essential workforce in the Transportation and Logistics Sector. In addition, auto supplies and repair commercial retail stores are designated as essential workforce under other community-based government operations and essential functions.

BAR strongly encourages licensees to check with their local county health department to determine what activities are also considered essential and non-essential and whether your business should remain open. Licensees are also advised to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interim guidance for businesses and employers.

How can my business practice social distancing in transactions between employees and consumers?

BAR’s Write It Right guide provides valuable information to help businesses incorporate electronic estimates and invoices and electronic or telephonic authorizations into their operations.

I have a brake and/or lamp station and have submitted payment for brake and/or lamp certificates. Will my order be processed?

Yes. However, there may be delays in processing times.

I have a meeting scheduled with a BAR representative. Is it canceled?

Face-to-face meetings involving BAR representatives, including office conference and station inspections may be canceled. There may be situations where meetings can be conducted by phone. BAR will contact you should this be an option for your situation.

How do I remove a technician from my analyzer?

Please contact your local field office for assistance.

I closed my Smog Check station in response to orders or directives put in place by state and local health officials. Will this impact my STAR score?

Station closure should not affect a licensee’s STAR score. However, BAR is closely monitoring the situation to ensure stations are not adversely impacted.

Enforcement Actions

I have been ordered to complete training because of a citation or a disciplinary case but am having difficulty finding the training. Can I get an extension?

For any questions regarding completion of training, please contact the Enforcement Operations Branch at (916) 403-8060. Phone staff will record your information and have a member of enforcement staff contact you to discuss. Please note that due to limited staff in the office, it may be necessary to leave a message and call back number.

I have a payment due as a result of a citation penalty or disciplinary order. Am I required to make payment?

Pursuant to applicable statutes and regulations, all fines and cost recovery payments must continue to be made by the scheduled due date. If circumstances prevent you from making scheduled payments, please contact the Enforcement Operations Branch at (916) 403-8060. Please note that due to limited staff in the office, it may be necessary to leave a message and call back number.

My business is subject to a disciplinary order that becomes effective during the stay at home order. Will I have to comply with that order?

Yes. Pursuant to applicable statutes and regulations, BAR will continue to enforce the order of the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs on the stated effective date. This includes any order for suspension of licenses.

I submitted an appeal of a STAR invalidation, an appeal of the denial of a license application, or an appeal of a citation. Will that be accepted?

Yes. BAR will continue to review, process, and respond to all appeals as required by the applicable statue or regulation.

My STAR privileges are currently suspended. Will they be reinstated on time?

If eligible, your station’s STAR privileges will be reinstated on time.

I have a hearing scheduled to appeal a BAR decision or to defend myself in a BAR case. Will that take place?

The Office of Administrative Hearings has closed all courtrooms to the public in response to the governor’s stay at home order. Any hearings scheduled will likely be continued. The Office of the Attorney General will be reaching out to you on behalf of BAR to reschedule (continue) the hearing. However, if you have further questions, please contact the Enforcement Operations Branch at (916) 403-8060. Phone staff will record your information and have a member of enforcement staff contact you to discuss. Please note that due to limited staff in the office, it may be necessary to leave a message and call back number.