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Q&As: Registration, Licensure, and Renewal Requirements

ARD Registration and Station Licensure

Do I need to be registered with the Bureau of Automotive Repair?

Businesses or individuals that receive compensation for repairing, altering, or diagnosing malfunctions of motor vehicles must be registered as an Automotive Repair Dealer (ARD) with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). Refer to Business and Professions Code sections 9880.1 and 9880.2 for more information on BAR registration.

How do I apply for an Automotive Repair Dealer registration?

To apply for an ARD registration, submit a completed ARD application and the applicable fee.

Businesses wishing to apply for a Smog Check, Lamp, and/or Brake station license(s) must also apply for an ARD registration.

How do I apply for a station license?

To apply for initial licensure of a Smog Check, Lamp, and/or Brake station, an existing ARD or ARD applicant must submit the appropriate station application(s) and fee(s).

Licenses will be issued only after a BAR representative performs an onsite inspection of the station to confirm that the applicant meets the qualifications prescribed by regulations. To prepare for the onsite inspection, refer to the appropriate station checklist available here.

What type of station(s) may be added to an existing or new ARD registration?
  • Smog Check Station
  • Lamp Station
  • Brake Station
What are the fees for registration and licensure?

License/Registration Type Application Fee
Automotive Repair Dealer $200.00
Smog Check Station $100.00
Brake and/or Lamp Station $10.00

If I have a current Smog Check Test-Only station, can I open a Smog Check Test-and-Repair station?

Yes. However, a Smog Check Test-Only station and Smog Check Test-and-Repair station under common ownership (either partial or whole) may not be located adjacent to one another or in the same business park, strip mall, or industrial complex.

Can I change my Smog Check station type?

Yes. To change the designation of your Smog Check station (i.e. from Test-and-Repair to Test-Only or vice-versa), submit a new Smog Check station application, the applicable fee, and a new Station NGET Enrollment Form. You must specify the requested effective date of the change on the application.

Upon receipt of the application and fees, a BAR representative will contact your station to schedule a required onsite inspection. The new license will be issued only after the station passes the onsite inspection. Be advised that your station may experience some downtime during this process.

What if I move my station?

A registrant or licensee must notify BAR within 14 days of any changes to either the mailing or street address. Click here to complete the Change of Name/Address/Corporate Officers form. There is no fee for changing your address. However, an onsite inspection of the new location is required before your station may perform any inspections.

Smog Check Inspector (EO), Smog Check Repair Technician (EI), and Brake and/or Lamp Adjuster Licensure

How do I apply for a Smog Check Inspector and/or Smog Check Repair Technician license?

To apply for a Smog Check Inspector (EO) and/or Smog Check Repair Technician (EI) license, submit a completed application and the applicable fee. Applicants must meet specific qualification requirements at the time of application. After BAR has reviewed your application and determined your eligibility, the examination administration contractor will mail you a notice with instructions for scheduling your examination(s).

For more information, refer to the Inspector flowchart and/or the Repair Technician flowchart.

How do I apply for a Brake and/or Lamp Adjuster license?

To apply for a Brake and/or Lamp Adjuster license, complete and submit the appropriate application(s) and the applicable fee(s). After BAR has reviewed your application(s) and determined your eligibility, the examination administration contractor will mail you a notice with instructions for scheduling your examination(s).

What are the fees for initial licensure?

License Type Application Fee
Initial Smog Check Inspector (EO) and/or
Smog Check Repair Technician (EI)
$20.00
Initial Brake Adjuster $10.00
Initial Lamp Adjuster $10.00

Renewals

How often must I renew my registration and/or license?

ARDs and Smog Check, Brake, and Lamp stations must renew their registrations and/or licenses annually. BAR will mail a courtesy renewal notice 90 days prior to the expiration date. Shop owners are responsible for renewing their registration/license before expiration to avoid delinquent fees and having their analyzer(s) locked out.

Smog Check Inspectors (EO) and Smog Check Repair Technicians (EI) must renew their license every two years. Courtesy renewal notices are mailed out 120 days prior to the license expiration date. Separate renewal notices are sent to licensees who hold both the Smog Check Inspector (EO) and Smog Check Repair Technician (EI) license. Smog Check Inspector (EO) and Smog Check Repair Technician (EI) licensees must meet specific continuing education requirements (update training). Smog Check Repair Technicians (EI) must also meet certification requirements in order to renew their license. Click here for more information.

Brake and Lamp Adjuster licenses expire every four years. Licensed adjusters do not renew their license, but rather resubmit an initial application and fees to retake the examination prior to their license expiration date.

What if I don't receive a renewal notice?

If you do not receive a courtesy renewal notice in the mail, you are still responsible for renewing each registration/license by the expiration date.

In lieu of a renewal notice, you may submit a copy of your registration and/or license with the applicable renewal fees. Include your registration/license number on the check or money order made payable to the Department of Consumer Affairs and mail to:

Department of Consumer Affairs
Cashiering Unit
P.O. Box 989001
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9001

What if I do not renew my registration and/or license by the expiration date?

If the renewal application and fees are postmarked after the registration and/or license expiration date(s), a delinquency fee will be charged for each registration and/or license you are renewing. Delinquent renewals will not be processed until all fees are received.

If you own a licensed Smog Check station and your ARD and/or Smog Check station renewal payments are delinquent, your station's analyzer(s) will be locked out and you will not be allowed to inspect, test, diagnose, repair, or issue certificates of compliance.

Upon expiration of a Smog Check Inspector (EO) and/or Smog Check Repair Technician (EI) license, licensees must immediately cease inspecting, testing, or repairing vehicles, as applicable. Smog Check Inspectors (EO) and Smog Check Repair Technicians (EI) who do not submit their renewals within one year of the expiration date will be required to submit a new application and fees, take required courses, and retake the examination.

What are the renewal and delinquent fees?

Registration/
License Type
Renewal
Fee
Delinquency/
Late Fee
Automotive Repair Dealer $200.00 $50.00
Smog Check Station $100.00 $50.00
Smog Check Inspector (EO) $20.00 None
Smog Check Repair Technician (EI) $20.00 None
Brake Station $5.00 $2.50
Lamp Station $5.00 $2.50
Brake Adjuster $5.00 $2.50
Lamp Adjuster $5.00 $2.50


Can I overnight my renewal payment?

Yes. Payments may be sent overnight to the following address:

Department of Consumer Affairs
Cashiering Unit
1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite S100
Sacramento, California 95834

Can I renew my license online?

Yes. Online license renewal is available for Automotive Repair Dealer (ARD) registrations and station licenses that will expire within the next 90 days or have not been expired for more than one year, and Smog Check Inspector (EO) and Smog Check Repair Technician (EI) licenses that will expire within the next 150 days or have not been expired for more than one year. Click here to review eligibility requirements and begin the online renewal process.

Can I expedite my renewal?

No. Renewals are processed in the order they are received. The processing time is typically two weeks from the time of receipt. A license remains valid between the date of receipt and its processing, provided it is submitted on or before the expiration date.

Can I renew my registration and/or license(s) if I have changes to my business?

A change involving a name, address, or phone number can be documented on your renewal notice, check or money order, or by submitting a completed Change of Name/Address/Corporate Officers form. Please note that a registrant or licensee must notify BAR within 14 days of a business name or address change.

A change to a sole ownership, partnership, or corporation (other than a corporate officer change) requires a new application and payment of applicable fees.

If I do not renew my ARD registration and Smog Check station license on time, will my station's STAR certification be affected?

Yes. Your STAR certification will be removed from your analyzer(s) and your station will be locked out from performing inspections until both the ARD registration and Smog Check station license are current.