If the California Bureau of Automotive Repair Sends an Undercover Car to Your Business, You Can Be in Trouble

It’s a tough job being a SMOG tech. It’s dirty. It’s close to a lot of pollution, and there are literally thousands upon thousands of cars on California highways. It’s complicated to ensure that they are all in compliance as you make SMOG inspections.Undercover cars from the Bureau of Automotive Repair

Then, just to add to your woes, you have the Bureau of Automotive Repair which, if you remember your schooldays, is rather like having the headmaster peering over your shoulder as you are trying to answer an exam question. The big difference is that, with the headmaster, at least you know that he is there. With the Bureau of Automotive Repair you don’t know they are there until they have been and gone with an undercover car which you or one of your employees has inspected, and you have apparently committed a SMOG tech license violation because you receive a citation or accusation from the Bureau of Automotive Repair.

Even if you do receive an Accusation, it will contain very little information, and in order to establish any information about an undercover vehicle that was used it is necessary to file a Motion to Compel Discovery. The BAR will usually have signed copies of invoices and VIR’s which will confirm that the vehicle was tested or repaired at your station.

The Bureau of Automotive Repair Is There To Catch You Out

You have to remember with the Bureau of Automotive Repair that they are not there to support you and your business. Their whole raison d’etre is to try and catch you out. And they use a whole range of dirty tricks in order to do so. Some of their undercover cars have hidden cameras or recorders, and we have been asked if this is not an invasion of privacy of you or your employees. Unfortunately, the law says that it is not. Your home, your personal car, an office, and so on, are subject to privacy, but your business is open to the general public and is, therefore, not subject to privacy. Furthermore, the courts have ruled that the use of hidden cameras is legitimate for most government agencies.

If you are accused of a smog tech license violation, you need to take immediate action. We have also been asked if it is necessary to use our services in order to make an informal appeal. The answer is that it is not essential, but at the same time, going it alone is rather like knowing that a car has four wheels, an engine, a steering wheel, and so on, and then trying to carry out a SMOG check with just that knowledge. You would be very unlikely to be successful.


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