Legislation and Regulations Update
The following are updates on various legislative and regulatory proposals. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, given the nature of the legislative process, the information provided may not reflect the latest updates. The most current bill information is located on the California Legislative Information website. For additional information on the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) regulatory actions, or to learn more about future opportunities for public participation, visit the Regulatory Actions page at www.bar.ca.gov.
Assembly Bill 2113 (Low) was chaptered on September 27, 2020. The bill requires programs within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to expedite and assist the initial licensure process for an applicant who supplies satisfactory evidence that they are a refugee, have been granted political asylum, or have a special immigrant visa. The bill also authorizes DCA boards and bureaus to adopt regulations necessary to administer these provisions.
Senate Bill 878 (Jones) was chaptered on September 24, 2020. This bill requires each licensing program within the Department of Consumer Affairs to prominently display on its website (at least quarterly) the current average timeframe for processing initial and renewal license applications for each license it offers or the combined average timeframe for processing initial and renewal applications.
Rehabilitation and Substantial Relationship Criteria
As required by Assembly Bill (AB) 2138 (Chiu, Chapter 995, Statutes of 2018), this proposed regulatory action seeks to reduce barriers to licensure for individuals with prior criminal convictions, which may reduce recidivism and provide economic opportunity to California’s residents. In addition, the proposal seeks to improve clarity, transparency, and consistency for applicants, licensees, and registrants in the BAR’s use of their criminal histories. Further, by reducing barriers to licensure, BAR anticipates benefits to consumers who may have greater access to licensed professionals.
Status: The Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action was published in the Notice Register on February 21, 2020, initiating the first public comment period. BAR issued a 15-day Notice for Public Comments on revisions to the regulation text on May 4, 2020. A second 15-day Notice for Public Comment was issued on May 20, 2020. A Final Statement of Reasons, which will include responses to all comments received during the public comment periods, will be published upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). Adoption is expected fall 2020.
Consumer Assistance Program Updates
BAR adopted emergency regulations, effective August 31, 2020, updating the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) to increase the state’s contribution toward emissions-related repairs from a maximum of $500 to as much as $1,200. For additional information on this action, see the Consumer Assistance Program Updates article in this edition of the Automotive Repair and Smog Check News.