BAR-OIS Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is the BAR On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System (BAR-OIS)?

The BAR-OIS is the Smog Check equipment required when inspecting most model-year 2000 and newer gasoline and hybrid vehicles and most 1998 and newer diesel vehicles. The system consists of a certified Data Acquisition Device (DAD) and off-the-shelf equipment, including a computer, bar code scanner, and printer.

When was the BAR-OIS implemented?

The BAR-OIS and new inspection procedures specified in the Smog Check Manual were implemented statewide on March 9, 2015.

What vehicles must be tested on the BAR-OIS?

The following vehicles, all under 14,001 GVWR, require inspection on the BAR-OIS:

  • 2000 and newer model-year gasoline and flex fuel (methanol or ethanol) powered vehicles with OBD II
  • 2000 and newer model-year hybrids
  • 2000 and newer model-year dedicated propane and natural gas (CNG, LNG, or LPG) vehicles with OBD II
  • 1998 and newer model-year diesel powered vehicles

For more information on test requirements, refer to the Smog Check Manual.

What vehicles must be tested on the BAR-97 Emissions Inspection System (EIS)?

The BAR-97 EIS is required for inspecting model-year 1999 and older gasoline vehicles, any model-year gasoline vehicle not equipped with OBD II, and any model-year gasoline vehicle over 14,000 GVWR.

For more information on test requirements, refer to the Smog Check Manual.

What tests and equipment shall be used when inspecting vehicles with a BAR Referee label?

Unless the BAR Referee label has specific inspection instructions, use the Smog Check Manual to determine if a vehicle with a Referee label requires a BAR-97 EIS or a BAR-OIS inspection.

Can a station reject certain types of vehicles?

Yes. The Smog Check Manual permits a station to reject a vehicle when the station lacks the equipment, tools, or reference materials necessary to inspect or repair a particular vehicle. In addition, a repair station may choose not to service certain types of vehicles or inspection failures. In each of these cases, the station must reject the vehicle before starting the inspection or repair. Refer to the Smog Check Manual for more information.

Can vehicles requiring a BAR-OIS inspection receive their Smog Check in any Smog Check program area (e.g., enhanced, basic, change of ownership)?

Yes, since the BAR-OIS inspection is the same no matter where the vehicle is registered. Directed vehicles, including confirmed gross polluters, must be inspected at STAR stations, but may be inspected in any program area.

Can an auto parts store become a test-only Smog Check station and perform the BAR-OIS inspection on model-year 2000 and newer vehicles?

Yes, provided that the auto parts store is registered with BAR as an automotive repair dealer, is licensed as a Smog Check station, and employs a licensed Smog Check inspector, the store could perform OBD inspections using the BAR-OIS.

Equipment

What are the equipment requirements for the BAR-OIS?

A BAR-OIS consists of a BAR certified Data Acquisition Device and other off-the-shelf equipment, including a computer, bar code scanner, and printer. The BAR-OIS uses the California BAR-OIS software to communicate with BAR's central database through an internet connection. The bar code scanner is used to input technician information, the vehicle identification number (VIN), and DMV renewal information. The printer provides a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) containing inspection results for motorists and a Smog Check Certificate of Compliance number for passing vehicles.

What is a Data Acquisition Device?

A Data Acquisition Device (DAD) is an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) scan tool that, when requested by the California BAR-OIS software, retrieves OBD data from the vehicle. The DAD connects between the BAR-OIS computer and the vehicle's diagnostic link connector (DLC). The DAD is the only BAR-certified component of the BAR-OIS.

What are the minimum standards for off-the-shelf equipment?

The California BAR-OIS software will function on computers running 32 or 64 bit Microsoft Windows operating system versions: 7, 8.0, 8.1, and 10. The California BAR-OIS software is not compatible with Windows 8 RT, typically installed on tablet type computers. (Please note, keyboard arrow keys do not work when using Windows 10.) The California BAR-OIS software is not compatible with Microsoft Windows 11. BAR will notify stations when a version of the California BAR-OIS software compatible with Windows 11 will be released.

Microsoft internet Explorer is also required and versions 9, 10, and 11 have been verified to work with the California BAR-OIS software.

The bar code scanner may be wired or wireless, but must be capable of connecting to the computer (e.g., USB connection, Bluetooth), must be compatible with the Microsoft Windows operating system you are using, and able to at least scan 1-d (linear type) bar codes. Optionally, a 2-d (square type) bar code scanner may be used for late model-year vehicles. Among the many models available, BAR successfully used the following bar code scanners in its laboratory testing of certified DAD units: 1-d wired type models: Honeywell MS9520, Symbol LS2208, Symbol LS4208; 1-d wireless type model: Motorola LI4278; and 2-d wired type models: Wasp WDI-4500 and HP4430.

The printer may be any technology (laser, ink, etc.), compatible with the Microsoft Windows operating system used, and use 8½ inch by 11 inch plain paper. The printer may have a wired or wireless connection to the BAR-OIS computer.

NOTE: BAR only supports issues related to the California BAR-OIS software. You are responsible for any issues related to off-the-shelf equipment. DAD vendors are required to support issues related to their DAD. DAD vendors may also support issues related to off-the-shelf equipment acquired from them.

What type of internet connection is required to run the California BAR-OIS software?

Dial-up connections are not able to transmit data quickly enough, and therefore are no longer acceptable. A reliable internet connection is crucial to ensure your ability to perform inspections. The California BAR-OIS software requires a continuous internet connection when performing a Smog Check inspection. If your internet is interrupted during an inspection, that inspection may resume when the internet connection is restored or may result in an aborted inspection and require restarting the inspection, depending on how long the internet connection has failed. Please consider the following when making decisions regarding your internet connection service:

  • A faster internet connection will increase the speed of the California BAR-OIS software. Typically the connection speed claimed by most internet service providers is the maximum speed possible. Actual speed may be less.
  • The connection speed decreases when the same internet connection is shared with other shop applications (e.g., Mitchell On-Demand, ALLDATA, parts suppliers, etc.).
  • The connection speed decreases when the internet is shared with customers for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Does the BAR-OIS need a dedicated phone line or internet connection?

No. The BAR-OIS does not need a dedicated phone line or dedicated internet connection. The BAR-OIS may share an internet connection with other devices in the station.

Can the DAD connect to the BAR-97 EIS?

No. If a BAR-OIS is incorporated into a BAR-97 EIS cabinet, the BAR-OIS must have a separate computer from the BAR-97 EIS computer, and the BAR-97 EIS tamper systems must remain intact. Currently, there is no BAR certified BAR-97 EIS that has a provision for the additional BAR-OIS equipment incorporated into the cabinet.

Are wireless DADs available?

Yes. The BAR certified DAD vendors are required to sell a hardwired DAD, but may also offer a wireless product. Please contact the BAR certified vendors for additional information on their products.

Can multiple DADs be used on one computer?

No. Each DAD must be connected to its own computer as the BAR-OIS software will only work with one DAD at a time.

Can the DAD cable be extended?

No. DAD cables are considered part of the certified DAD package. They cannot be modified or extended. Please check with the BAR certified DAD vendors for their available certified cable length.

Are all stations required to have BAR-97 EIS, fuel cap tester, and low pressure fuel evaporative tested?

Only STAR stations are required to have and maintain all BAR-certified Smog Check inspection equipment, including the BAR-97 EIS. Since non-STAR stations have the option to only inspect vehicles requiring the BAR-OIS inspection, these stations are not required to have the BAR-97 EIS unless they are inspecting vehicles that require a BAR-97 EIS inspection. All stations must possess the tools and reference materials for the types of vehicles being inspected and/or repaired. Refer to Section 1.8.0 of the Smog Check Manual for station equipment requirements.

May the BAR-OIS be used as a mobile device outside of the station?

No. The BAR-OIS may only be used within a building at the address of a licensed Smog Check station. California Code of Regulations section 3340.15 (a) states, "The testing and repairing of vehicles shall be performed only in a work area of the station that has been approved by the bureau during the licensing inspection." Section 1.8.3 of the Smog Check Manual states, "The BAR-97 EIS and the BAR-OIS shall be used within a building. The BAR-97 EIS and the BAR-OIS shall not be used in an environment that would subject them to excessive heat, cold, dust, or moisture."

Since accepted trade standards specify how emission related repairs are performed and verified, repair technicians must refer to them to determine what repair equipment is required for a particular repair. Depending on the trade standard, a BAR-97 EIS or other tailpipe emissions measurement tool (e.g., a 5-gas analyzer) may or may not be necessary to perform or verify certain repairs.

All stations must possess the tools and reference materials for the types of vehicles being inspected and/or repaired. Refer to the Smog Check Manual for both inspection and repair equipment requirements.

Why is inspection equipment (BAR-97 or BAR-OIS) not required at Smog Check repair-only stations?

Many emissions related repairs can be made and verified without the use of the BAR-97 EIS or BAR-OIS. For example, a catalyst monitor can be run instead of performing a tailpipe inspection to confirm a repair. The station equipment requirements are specified in the "Equipment and Reference Material Requirements" table in the Smog Check Manual. Additional equipment may be required to inspect and/or repair certain vehicles in accordance with accepted trade standards.

Start Up

Is a DAD disclosure agreements required when renting/leasing equipment?

No. DAD disclosure agreements are no longer required to be submitted to BAR.

What steps do I take to start using my BAR-OIS?

  1. If your DAD vendor does not supply and install a complete BAR-OIS solution that is pre-configured with the BAR-OIS software and ready for use, the following steps will need to be taken to set up your DAD.
  2. Connect the bar code scanner, which may need to be programmed for use with your computer, and printer to the computer.
  3. Connect the computer to the internet.
  4. Load the DAD Vendor's software and connect the DAD. Follow the DAD vendor's installation instructions to ensure the DAD is communicating properly with the computer. If the DAD is unable to communicate with the computer, consult your DAD vendor for technical support.
  5. Access the internet using the computer to view BAR's BAR-OIS Registration and OIS Software Download as well as the California BAR-OIS: User Guide. These materials explain how to create a California BAR-OIS software account and set up the California BAR-OIS software. A station wall license, technician wall license, technician BAR-97 EIS password, and a unique email address are necessary before beginning.
  6. Create a California BAR-OIS software account by visiting the California BAR-OIS Registration and Download website. Your DAD vendor will notify you when your DAD has been unlocked and will then provide you the website address for registration and download. For assistance with the California BAR-OIS software, use BAR's online training or contact BAR's Industry Help Desk at (866) 860-8509 or BAR.IndustryHelpDesk@dca.ca.gov.
  7. Download and install the California BAR-OIS software on your computer. This may take several minutes if the process also installs additional .net software from Microsoft.

How do I become familiar with the California BAR-OIS software?

Training materials are available on the BAR-OIS page on BAR's website and within the BAR-OIS software under the "Help" menu. DAD vendors may or may not offer training programs/services for various users of the BAR-OIS.

Service

Who supports the California BAR-OIS software?

BAR's Industry Help Desk is available to answer questions about the California BAR-OIS software. Contact the BAR Industry Help Desk by phone at (866) 860-8509 or by email, BAR.IndustryHelpDesk@dca.ca.gov.

Who may service the DAD equipment?

Per the BAR OBD Inspection System Data Acquisition Device Specification, the BAR-certified DAD vendor is required to provide, at a minimum, the following:

  • Technical support from 8am to 5pm via toll-free phone number Monday through Friday (excluding State holidays).
  • Respond, during the hours above, to DAD customer inquiries within two (2) business hours of receipt of request.
  • Support via a website that offers tips on how to diagnose DAD problems, frequently asked questions about the DAD, and how to resolve DAD incidents.

Consult with DAD vendors on their intended service solutions; some may offer additional service.

How long is the DAD warranty?

The BAR-certified DAD vendor will provide at least a one (1) year warranty for their DAD at no cost to the station, per the BAR OBD Inspection System Data Acquisition Device Specification.

Who may service the supporting BAR-OIS equipment (computer, bar code scanner, and printer)?

Since this equipment is not BAR-certified, the station or any other company the station chooses may service this equipment. Stations may wish to consult with their vendor regarding service solutions.

Who do I contact about internet connection issues or BAR-OIS server connection issues?

The California BAR-OIS software contains internet Check indicators located under File, and within the Self-Diagnostics screen. The "internet Connection:" indicator shows when the BAR-OIS computer is on the internet by connecting to a generic web page. The "BAR-OIS Connection:" indicator shows when the BAR-OIS computer is on the internet and able to connect to the VID. A green-colored indicator means the connection is active, a red-colored indicator means the connection is down, and a gray-colored indicator means the BAR-OIS software is unable to check connectivity.

Contact your internet provider to resolve internet connection issues. Contact the Cal-VIS Billing Help Desk at (888) 229-9389 for VID connection issues.

Software

Does the California BAR-OIS software advise inspectors which vehicles need a tailpipe test?

No. Inspectors must use the Smog Check Manual to determine which vehicles require a BAR-97 EIS inspection and which vehicles require a BAR-OIS inspection.

Does the California BAR-OIS software ever pass a vehicle but not issue a certificate?

The California BAR-OIS software will not issue a certificate of compliance for a passing vehicle when the software detects the DAD changing to a different DAD during the inspection, or when the vehicle does not need a certificate (e.g., government fleet and military personnel not registered in California). Also, the California BAR-OIS software will not issue certificates on vehicles requiring a BAR-97 EIS inspection (e.g., 1999 and older model-year gasoline powered vehicles, or vehicles over 14,000 GVWR).

What information does the California BAR-OIS software retrieve from the vehicle?

The DAD will only retrieve data relevant to conducting a Smog Check inspection. All OBD data that the vehicle indicates it supports and is requested by the California BAR-OIS software will be retrieved. Sensitive data, such as vehicle location (GPS) and accident-related information (air bag deployment), will not be retrieved.

Does the BAR-OIS use a Vehicle Lookup Table (VLT) similar to the BAR-97 EIS?

No. The BAR-OIS does not use a Vehicle Lookup Table (VLT). Vehicle Identification Number VIN-based information is used to activate any vehicle test exceptions or special test sequences.

Is there a BAR-OIS training mode for station inspection?

There is no training mode in the California BAR-OIS software. Training materials exist both on BAR's website and within the California BAR-OIS software itself. Alternately, new users can perform an inspection, but then choose not to issue a certificate at the end. This exercise is still considered a pre-test and the station will be charged an electronic transaction fee. Some DAD vendor solutions may offer 'Manual Mode' functionality for the DAD, separately from the California BAR-OIS software. Consult with the BAR-certified DAD vendor for options.

Can I run other software on the BAR-OIS computer?

Yes. Other software may be used on the BAR-OIS computer. Since the computer used in the BAR-OIS is not a BAR-certified device, the station owner may use the computer at his/her discretion. However, it is the owner's responsibility to maintain their computer and ensure there are no conflicts with the California BAR-OIS software. You should always keep anti-virus software current on your computer.

Can I use the Smog Check certificates from my BAR-97 on my new BAR-OIS?

No, you must purchase a new book of Smog Check certificates for your BAR-OIS.

I'm trying to set up automatic Smog Check certificate reordering on my BAR-OIS. Why aren't Smog Check certificates being ordered?

The very first order using the California BAR-OIS software must be done manually. After that, if you have setup automatic Smog Check certificate reordering, the reorder will be automatic.

I'm trying to register my station, but the email verification code sent to validate my email is expired. How long is the verification code valid?

The email verification code is only valid for 15 minutes for security reasons. Some email providers may delay or not deliver the email from the registration process. If you are experiencing this delay, we recommend that you create a free email account using a service such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

I'm trying to download the California BAR-OIS software, but I keep getting an error page that says that I am not authorized to view the page. What station staff are authorized to download BAR-OIS software?

Downloading of the California BAR-OIS software is reserved for station owners and station managers.

I am a station owner but I keep getting an error page that says that I am not authorized to view the page. Why am I getting this message?

Make sure that you are using your station owner account. Station owners who also have an inspector/technician account may only access certain pages when logged into their station owner account.

Who is allowed to perform station owner functions in the BAR-OIS software?

The station owner on file with BAR's Licensing Program can perform the functions of station owner in the BAR-OIS software. Station owners wishing to designate a new BAR-OIS station owner in the BAR-OIS software should contact their local BAR Field Office for onsite owner verification to approve the change. Note that changing the BAR-OIS station owner role does NOT update the station ownership with BAR Licensing.

What BAR-OIS software functions are available to an inspector/technician who has also been assigned the station manager role?

An Inspector/Technician who has been assigned the role of station manager has access to the following Manage Station functions:

  • Station Settings - controls the hours a BAR-OIS is allowed to operate and the number of VIR's printed
  • OBD Inspection Systems - controls the modification or creation of a BAR-OIS
  • Certificates - controls the ability to purchase and view certificate inventory
  • Reports - controls the ability to see reported data, including number of inspections, inspectors, technicians, inventory, certificate orders, and BAR-OIS
  • View Station Information - displays the station and station license information
  • Update Contact Information - change the station information printed on the VIR

What functions are permitted for each user/station role?

The BAR-OIS software restricts certain functions or options to specific authorized users/station roles. A warning message will display when users attempt to access an unauthorized function. Refer to the following table for a complete listing of user roles and functions/options within the BAR-OIS software.

NOTE: If someone other than the true owner of the station is given the permission to use the owner role, they will have the ability to manage the station and purchase certificates.

BAR-OIS Function/Option User/Station Role
Junior Admin Senior Admin Manager Owner Technician
1. Perform Inspection No No No No Yes*
2. Repair Only Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3. Reprint VIR Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
4. DAD Diagnostics No No No No Yes*
5. Manage Station: 1 Station Settings No Yes Yes Yes No
5. Manage Station: 2 OBD Inspection Systems No No Yes Yes No
5. Manage Station: 3 Certificates No Yes Yes Yes No
5. Manage Station: 4 Reports No No Yes Yes No
5. Manage Station: 5 View Station Information No No Yes Yes No
5. Manage Station: 6 Update Contact Information No No Yes Yes No
6. Manage Staff No No Yes Yes No
7. Manage Messages Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
8. Manage Account - all options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

* EO (Inspectors) only

The BAR-OIS software update will not download. What should I do?

internet connectivity issues may be preventing your computer from downloading the BAR-OIS software update. Perform one or more of the following steps to help resolve any connectivity issues before reattempting to download the software update:

  • Verify your internet connection using the diagnostic tools built into the BAR-OIS software by selecting FILE > SELF DIAGNOSTICS. A green-colored indicator means the connection is active, a red-colored indicator means the connection is down, and a gray-colored indicator means the BAR-OIS software is unable to check connectivity. If a red or gray-colored indicator is displayed, select RETRY to refresh the indicator and to determine if the connection has been restored
  • Protect your internet Wi-Fi connection. The connection speed decreases when the internet connection is shared with other staff and customers for Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Connect your BAR-OIS to your router using a network cable instead of using your Wi-Fi connection
  • Reboot your computer, modem, and router

If you continue to experience internet connectivity problems after performing these steps, contact your internet service provider for further assistance.

NOTE:

  • Your computer may require a Windows administrator password to complete the download. If you acquired your computer from a DAD vendor, you may need to enter the administrator password set by the DAD vendor. If necessary, contact your DAD vendor for this password information
  • Firewall and/or virus scan software may need to be disabled to perform the download. Contact a computer service company if you require assistance with any hardware issues
  • In extreme circumstances, it may be necessary to remove the BAR-OIS software from your computer and reload the software from the BAR-OIS Registration and Download website (https://start.calbarois.com/calvis-registration/). Be advised, station owners and station managers are the only users authorized to download the BAR-OIS software. (NOTE: Software updates may be downloaded by all BAR-OIS users.)

Cost

How much does a Data Acquisition Device (DAD) cost?

Information supplied by the DAD vendors suggests that BAR-certified DADs are available for about $1,500 depending on options (e.g., wired vs. wireless, etc.). BAR does not have the authority to control equipment cost. The cost of equipment is determined solely by the DAD vendors, or third party suppliers.

How much does a complete Bureau of Automotive Repair OBD Inspection System (BAR-OIS) cost?

Similar to DAD costs, the BAR does not have the authority to control equipment cost. Information supplied by the DAD vendors suggests complete BAR-OIS packages, including the computer, bar code scanner, printer, cart, and DAD are available for between $4,000 to $5,000 depending on the DAD vendor and equipment. Shops may build their own BAR-OIS by purchasing a BAR-certified DAD from a DAD vendor or third party supplier, and a compatible computer, bar code scanner, and printer from any available retailer.

Is there a cost for the California BAR-OIS software?

No. The California BAR-OIS software runs on a State-controlled server and is accessed using the station's internet connection, similar to online banking.

Does the state control the cost of a BAR-OIS inspection?

No. Smog Check inspection cost is set independently by stations.

Can I charge different rates for the BAR-97 and BAR-OIS inspection?

Yes, as long as the customer is informed prior to beginning the inspection. Inspection prices also must be posted.

Do stations have to pay an electronic transaction fee when conducting a BAR-OIS inspection?

Yes. Similar to the current BAR-97 EIS, an electronic transaction fee is charged each time the BAR-OIS is used to perform an inspection. The fee is currently the same as the BAR-97 EIS inspection fee and goes directly to BAR's contractor who developed and maintains the Smog Check central database.

How can Smog Check certificates be purchased?

Books of 50 Smog Check certificates may be purchased electronically within the California BAR-OIS software, or may be purchased manually through BAR Cashiering. The California BAR-OIS software restricts the purchase of these certificates to the Station Owner, the Station Manager, and the Senior Administrator.

Has the certificate fee changed for BAR-OIS inspections?

No. The certificate fee for both BAR-OIS and BAR-97 inspections is $8.25.

What BAR-OIS acquisition options exist?

Stations may choose among purchase, rent, or lease options.

Pass-Fail Standards

How have the OBD inspection failure criteria changed?

Section 3340.42.2 of the California Code of Regulations lists possible failure criteria for OBD II-equipped vehicles. The new readiness monitor standards were implemented on both the BAR-97 EIS and the BAR-OIS after the BAR-OIS equipment was required statewide. BAR notified stations prior to monitor change. The failure criteria include the following:

  • MIL does not illuminate when the ignition is on and the engine is off
  • MIL illuminates continuously or flashes with the engine running
  • OBD system reports the MIL as commanded on
  • OBD system reports a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC)
  • OBD system data indicates the system has not yet been sufficiently operated to determine the presence or absence of a DTC
  • OBD system does not communicate with the EIS or BAR-OIS
  • OBD system data is inappropriate for the vehicle being tested
  • OBD system data does not match the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or an Air Resources Board (ARB) exempted OBD software configuration
  • OBD system reports incomplete readiness monitor(s) as specified below:
    • Gasoline-powered vehicles model-years 1996 through 1999 with more than one (1) incomplete monitor
    • Gasoline-powered vehicles model-years 2000 and newer with any incomplete monitors, excluding the evaporative system monitor
    • Diesel-powered vehicles model-years 1998 through 2006 with any incomplete monitors
    • Diesel-powered vehicles model-years 2007 and newer with more than two (2) incomplete monitors

When were the OBD monitor readiness standards implemented?

Starting May 4, 2015, BAR reduced the number of allowable incomplete OBD II readiness monitors for both BAR-OIS and BAR-97 inspections to the following new criteria:

  • Gasoline vehicles:
    • 1996-1999 model-years are allowed one incomplete readiness monitor
    • 2000 and newer model-years are allowed only an incomplete evaporative monitor
  • Diesel vehicles:
    • 1998-2006 model-years require all monitors to be complete
    • 2007 and newer model-years are allowed two incomplete readiness monitors

For vehicles that are given an exception to these rules, refer to the On-Board Diagnostic Test Reference.

Yes. Lack of power or ground at the DLC will not cause a BAR-OIS inspection failure due to no communication with the vehicle. When these circuits are faulty, the DAD should still communicate with the vehicle; however, follow the instructions provided by your DAD vendor to use any auxiliary power cable or ground cables. Each DAD vendor has different methods for supplying auxiliary power or ground.

STAR Information

What STAR performance measures are not used to evaluate BAR-OIS inspections?

  • Fuel Cap Not Performed
  • Evap Not Performed
  • Timing Not Performed
  • ASM Restarts
  • Aborted Tests
  • Incorrect Gear Selection

What STAR performance measures are used to evaluate BAR-OIS inspections?

  • Similar Vehicle Failure Rate (SVFR)
  • Follow-up Pass Rate (FPR)

Is BAR-97 EIS OBD test data used in STAR performance measures?

OBD inspections using the BAR-97 EIS for 1996-1999 model-year vehicles will continue to be analyzed for purposes of STAR performance measures.

Consumer Information

How will consumers find stations with the proper equipment to inspect their vehicles?

Station advertising and signage continue to play a key role in alerting consumers about the types of vehicles that can be inspected at each station. The simplest approach is to look for a STAR station, since they are required to have all the inspection equipment. The table below indicates the type of inspection and equipment required to inspect different types of vehicles.

My car is...

FUEL TYPE MODEL-YEAR BAR-97 EIS Tailpipe-based Inspection BAR-OIS Computer-based Inspection
Gasoline & Alternative Fuels 2000 and newer, OBDII equipped through 14,000 GVWR x
Gasoline & Alternative Fuels 2000 and newer that are not OBDII equipped or are over 14,000 GVWR x
Gasoline & Alternative Fuels 1976 - 1999 x
Diesel All 1998 and newer through 14,000 GVWR x
Hybrid All 2000 and newer x

Do hybrid vehicles require a Smog Check inspection?

Yes. Effective April 1, 2015, all 2000 and newer model-year hybrid (gas/electric) vehicles require a Smog Check. Just like traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles eight model-years and newer are exempt from the biennial Smog Check requirement. Hybrid vehicles four model-years and newer are also exempt from the change-of-ownership Smog Check requirement. Hybrid vehicles receive the same BAR-OIS and visual inspections as non-hybrid 2000 and newer model-year gasoline powered vehicles; however, the visible smoke test is not required for hybrid vehicles.