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Smog Check Technician License Descriptions

A Smog Check technician, first and foremost, is a professional, working as a partner with government and the public in cleaning up California's air. Regulations established three classes of Smog Check Technician license. Detailed descriptions and requirements follow each license type:

  • Intern: license is valid for all areas of the state. The license is valid for two years, and is nonrenewable. This license allows an individual, under the direction of a supervising Licensed Smog Check technician, to perform repairs or adjustments (no inspections) to the emission control systems on vehicles subject to the Smog Check Program.

    To qualify for the Intern Technician License, the applicant must provide proof of successful completion of BAR's Basic Clean Air Car Course. To qualify for the Basic Clean Air Car Course, the applicant must have one year of automotive experience and/or education in the engine performance area.

  • Basic: license is valid in the Basic or Change of Ownership program areas of the state. This license allows an individual to inspect, diagnose, adjust, repair and certify the emissions control systems on vehicles subject to the Basic Area Smog Check Program in attainment areas.

    The applicant must provide proof of one of the following:

    1. Completion of training course(s) approved by BAR in the following areas: Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, and Advanced Engine Performance; or
    2. Certification or a passing score from the National institute for Automotive Service Excellence in the certification categories of Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6) and Engine Performance (A8) and Advanced Engine Performance Specialist (L1).

    To qualify to take the examination, the applicant must provide proof of one of the following requirements:

    1. Successful completion within the last 24 months of the Basic Clean Air Car Course. To qualify for the Basic Clean Air Car Course, the applicant must have one year of automotive experience and/or education in the engine performance area; or
    2. Possession of a valid and unexpired Intern Technician License and one year of verifiable experience in the vehicle engine performance area after obtaining the Intern Technician License; or
    3. Possession of either an Associate of Arts (AA) degree, Associate of Science (AS) degree, or a certificate in Automotive Technology from a state accredited or recognized college, public school, or trade school with a minimum of 360 hours of coursework in the engine performance area, and successful completion of BAR's Basic Clean Air Car Course within the last 24 months; or
    4. Possession of a valid and unexpired Smog Check technician's license other than an Intern Technician License
  • Advanced: license is valid for all areas within the state. The license allows an individual to inspect, diagnose, adjust, repair and certify the emissions control systems on vehicles subject to all Smog Check program areas.

    The applicant must provide proof of one of the following:

    1. Completion of training course(s) approved by BAR in the following areas: Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, and Advanced Engine Performance; or
    2. Certification or a passing score from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence in their certification categories of Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6), Engine Performance (A8), and Advanced Engine Performance Specialist (L1).

    To qualify to take the examination, the applicant must provide proof of one of the following requirements:

    1. Successful completion within the last 24 months of the Basic and Advanced Clean Air Car Course. To qualify for the Basic Clean Air Car Course, you must have one year of automotive experience and/or education in the engine performance area; or
    2. Successful completion of BAR's Advanced Clean Air Car Course within the last 24 months, possession of a current and unexpired Intern Technician License and one year of verifiable experience in the vehicle engine performance area completed after obtaining the Intern Technician License; or
    3. Successful completion of BAR's Basic and Advanced Clean Air Car Course within within the last 24 months, and possession of either an Associate of Arts (AA) degree, Associate of Science (AS) degree, or a certificate in Automotive Technology from a state accredited or recognized college, public school, or trade school with a minimum of 360 hours of coursework in the engine performance area; or
    4. Possession of a valid and unexpired Basic Area (EB) Smog Check Technician's License and completion of the Advanced Clean Air Car Course within the last 24 months; or
    5. Possession of a valid and unexpired Advanced Emission Specialist (EA) Smog Check Technician's License.
    Update Training: An initial or renewal applicant must provide proof of successful completion of a BAR-certified update training course (if required).

Technicians employed to perform inspections, repairs, and certifications at stations in the Enhanced program areas must obtain an Advanced Emission Specialist Technician License

How to Apply

Prospective Smog Check technicians, as well as technicians whose license will soon expire, may apply for a new or renewed license by completing the following official DCA/BAR application:

* The Bureau of Automotive Repair's "Application for Smog Check Technician License" is currently unavailable. Please contact the Licensing Unit at (855) 735-0462 to obtain the application.

How to Prepare

Aspiring Smog Check technicians may wish to view the Auto Repair and Smog Check Newsletter, which is packed with information useful to Smog Check technicians and those who wish to become a licensed technician.

Schools

In order to become a licensed Smog Check Technician, you will need professional training, which is available throughout the state. The following lists will help you find the school nearest you which offers the required classes.

BAR certified classes may only be given by BAR-certified schools and BAR-certified instructors. Not all schools give all classes all of the time; class schedules are based on demand. Use these lists to check with the schools nearest you to determine class scheduling and pricing.

Search our database of BAR-certified training institutions

Description of BAR-certified training courses

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