No Smog Technician Likes the Bureau of Automotive Repair. They Are a Controversial Authority!

According to California State law, it is required that vehicles get a SMOG check in California every few years. How often depends on the age of the vehicle. It sounds pretty simple, right? The BAR is controversialBut it gets complicated. The industry is regulated by the Bureau of Automotive Repair and in many situations its’ job is controversial.

The STAR program is extremely complex, and California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair sends out more than 1,000 STAR Certificate Invalidations every year. That means that, on average, you will receive one every seven and a half years or so. Of course, some SMOG stations never receive one, while others may receive several. If you put a foot wrong, your STAR certification is gone, and for most stations that is enough to put them out of business for good.

If you receive one of these from the BAR, the answer is to appeal. The grounds for appeal will be as varied as the reasons for the Invalidation, and these can be one of many – or more than one. If you receive more than one invalidation regarding a SMOG check in California, you will likely need to appeal again. If the number is different on the Invalidation, then it is a new Invalidation and you need to appeal it.

Is An Attorney Necessary?

We often get asked if it is necessary to appoint an attorney. While you would expect us to say that it is, the short answer is that you could get yourself into a lot of trouble if you don’t. It doesn’t have to be us, but it does need to be an attorney with experience of dealing with the BAR. It is a question of “horses for courses”. You wouldn’t ask a plumber to rewire your home: you need an expert electrician who has the experience. The same thing applies to using an attorney for dealing with a BAR Invalidation.

We probably have more experience of the BAR than anyone, because it is all I have done for my whole legal career. I just deal with BAR cases, and they keep me quite busy enough. The way I look at it is that when you hand it over to me you can go back to work and do your job and I’ll do mine. We let the BAR know that we are handling the case and that includes all future Invalidations. Part of the problem is that these all have deadlines, and if you miss one, it means STAR shut off. We have never missed a deadline yet.

When you appoint us, you can carry on doing a SMOG check in California and let us add you to our long list of success stories in dealing with STAR Invalidations.


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