We spend a fair amount of time on our blog, criticizing and complaining about California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair. That’s understandable, because as attorneys who represent technicians and station owners who are “in trouble” in some way, shape or fashion with the Bureau of Automotive Repair, we aren’t exactly seeing everyone on their best days. But the great thing about an American democracy is that everyone gets to speak their mind in a respectful fashion, and everyone is entitled to their day in court (even it it’s ‘just’ administrative court). That said, we thought we’d take a moment and share some of the resource available on the Bureau of Automotive Repair website at https://www.bar.ca.gov/. You may be aware of these, or maybe not. But it’s useful to know what’s there –
- Applying or Renewing a License at https://www.bar.ca.gov/Industry/Getting_Licensed.html#ARD. Here you can be an automotive repair dealer, a SMOG check station, a Brake and/or Lamp Station, or a technician of various types. Learn how to get your license.
- Check a License Status at https://www.bar.ca.gov/Consumer/Verify_License.html. Here, you can find license and discipline information for stations and licensees registered or licensed with the BAR.
- Check a Star Score at https://www.bar.ca.gov/pubwebquery/star/welcome.aspx. Curious about your STAR score? Start here to find out.
- Contact the BAR. Here is a very handy list of emails and phone numbers where you can find BAR representatives across the state.
- Email List – here’s where you can sign up for the official Bureau of Automotive Repair email list at https://www.bar.ca.gov/About_BAR/Email_List_Signup.html.
- CalARC at https://californiaarc.org/Registration. This is the website to post job openings as employers, or if you’re a technician, to find employers who are seeking workers.
- Laws and Regulations at https://www.bar.ca.gov/About_BAR/Laws_and_Regulations_Resources/index.html. This is the “goto” resource to learn about the laws and regulations that govern our industry.
- CAP Operations Manual (as of July 2015) at http://bit.ly/2c4EzgP.
- CAL ARC (California Automotive Resource Center) at https://www.californiaarc.org/. This is the official government-sponsored area for ‘Smog Check Professionals’
- Smog Check Training Materials at https://www.bar.ca.gov/Industry/Training/index.html. Everything from BAR-OIS training to Visible Smoke Test Training, and everything in between.
- How to Improve Your STAR Score at https://www.bar.ca.gov/Industry/STAR_Program/How_to_Improve_Your_STAR_Score.html. Curious about ‘aborted tests’ or ‘fuel cap not performed?’ Go here to learn what you get dinged for, and what you can improve on.
- Look at a Vehicle Cutpoint at https://www.bar.ca.gov/pubwebquery/cutpoints/showmake.aspx. Browse Acceleration Simulation Mode (ASM) TEST Emission Standards and Gross Polluter Standards in clickable format.
- File a Complaint at https://www.dca.ca.gov/webapps/bar/complaints.php. This is more for the consumer, but it’s where they can go to file a formal complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair.
- Request a BAR Speaker. Want an official BAR representative to come talk to your industry group or other association? Do it at http://www.dca.ca.gov/about_dca/ambassador_prog.pdf. You can also request a ‘Write it Right” presentation at http://www.dca.ca.gov/about_dca/ambassador_prog.pdf.
A Wealth of Information from the Bureau of Automotive Repair
So there you go, there’s a wealth of information at the Bureau of Automotive Repair. Everything’s hunky-dory, right? Well, not exactly. As is so often true in a regulated industry, there’s what they “say” they do, and what they “actually” do. There’s what’s written in the laws and statutes that govern our industry, and there’s how they are actually applied. There’s you, on the one side, and the bureaucrats on the other. Sadly, often times employees in a government institution are judged and rewarded by having a pretty aggressive stance against the industry itself. It can be perceived as “us” against “them,” rather than a bunch of hard-working, tax-paying independent station operators and technicians just trying to make an honest living. So, if you’re having some issues with respect to the Bureau of Automotive Repair, yes – be sure to peruse their official information on the Website, but also, please reach out to an attorney for a free consultation.