Automotive Repair (Bureau of)
Bureau of Automotive Repair History & Overview
Automotive Repair Program
From its headquarters in Sacramento and through 12 field offices around California, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) conducts consumer protection services related to automotive repair. BAR registers and regulates automotive repair dealers, accepts and resolves auto repair complaints from the public, investigates violations of the Automotive Repair Act and, when appropriate, refers cases to law enforcement authorities. BAR also administers a statewide licensing program of repair facilities and service technicians in lamp and brake inspection and repair. BAR licenses more than 34,000 auto repair dealers in California.
Smog Check Program
In 1982, California became the 20th state in the nation to adopt a vehicle inspection and maintenance (Smog Check) program. BAR is mandated by law to administer the Smog Check program. There have been a number of program changes over the years, but the goal of Smog Check remains the same: to reduce air pollution produced by motor vehicles. BAR licenses over 7,050 privately-owned Smog Check stations and more than 15,000 Smog Check technicians, thereby implementing the program through a decentralized system.
Each year, BAR handles over 14,800 consumer complaints involving auto repair. BAR's complaint resolution efforts result in approximately $6.3 million being returned to consumers in the form of direct refunds, rework of the vehicle at no charge, or adjustments to the final bill.