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 our stakeholders throughout the course of this pandemic and to provide continuity of 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 consumers, licensees, and applicants of 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?

Due to the state of emergency and the executive order issued on March 19 by Governor Newsom for Californians to stay at home, all BAR offices 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.

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?

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 at no penalty and no documentation required. NOTE: In most cases, candidates can reschedule their examinations online and they are encouraged to do so. The PSI test centers in the United States will close starting March 20 until April 13. PSI will be calling all scheduled candidates that are not registered with an email address. A PSI staff person will be calling candidates starting today through Saturday. After that, an automated phone message will be used to contact candidates. The PSI toll-free line is averaging 4,000 calls per hour. Candidates should expect an unprecedented delay in reaching a live person. The online tool is available to candidates for rescheduling.

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?

The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health are ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. We strongly encourage you to assess whether your business provides essential critical infrastructure to the state and follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check with your local county health department to determine what activities are also considered essential and non-essential.

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 the BAR Industry Help Desk at (866) 860-8509 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 as a result of the current situation.

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.