COVID-19 Impacts on BAR Programs and Services

While California continues to navigate the uncertainty of coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit its spread, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) is committed to supporting consumers, licensees, applicants, and our other stakeholders by maintaining delivery of our programs and services. BAR is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, coordinating with state and local governments, and working with our partners to protect the health of Californians.

The following information is intended to inform our stakeholders on important issues and impacts to BAR programs and services as a result of COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve, additional information and updates will be made available.

Essential and Non-Essential Services

On March 19, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, directing all individuals living in California to stay at home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. The order refers to federal critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and additional sectors designated by the State Public Health Officer as essential critical infrastructure workers to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.

We have received a number of inquiries concerning whether the licensed services and activities performed by BAR licensees are essential operations permitted under the order. The State Public Health Officer has designated automotive repair and maintenance facilities as essential workforce in the Transportation and Logistics Sector. In addition, auto supplies and repair is designated as essential workforce under other community-based government operations and essential functions.

BAR strongly encourages licensees to check with their local county health department to determine what activities are also considered essential and non-essential and whether your business should remain open. Licensees are also advised to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interim guidance for businesses and employers.

BAR Offices Closed to the Public

In response to the governor’s order and other local directives, and to safeguard the health of our employees, BAR headquarters and field office locations are closed to the public until further notice. We continue to perform our business functions and appreciate your patience as we work on implementing new technologies to work remotely and adhere to social distancing guidelines. We apologize in advance for any delays in reaching our staff or potential delays in our processing times.

Online Resources for Our Stakeholders

We encourage our stakeholders to take advantage of online resources available at www.bar.ca.gov:

  • Up-to-date information is available on our new COVID-19 Impacts to BAR Programs and Services page. Updates for consumers, licensees, and applicants will be added as additional information becomes available.

  • Conduct a license search, find a station, file a complaint, renew a license, submit a Consumer Assistance Program application, and more. Our online services are always available.

  • Review the Automotive Repair Act and related laws and regulations online. BAR licensees have a responsibility and an obligation to comply with these requirements at all times.

  • Learn about documentation options to promote social distancing in transactions between licensees and consumers. BAR’s Write It Right guide provides valuable information to help licensees incorporate electronic estimates and invoices and electronic or telephonic authorizations into their business operations.

  • Visit our Contact Us page. Find contact information for our programs and services, including the Consumer Information Center, BAR Industry Help Desk, field offices, Licensing Program, and more.

We appreciate your cooperation and patience during this challenging time, and remain committed to serving Californians through continued and adaptable regulation of the automotive repair and Smog Check industry.


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