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 more information on legislation or regulation proposals, or to learn about future opportunities for public participation, visit www.bar.ca.gov.


Assembly Bill (AB) 2138 (Chiu and Low) was signed by Governor Brown and chaptered by the Secretary of State's Office on September 30, 2018. Beginning July 1, 2020, Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) entities will be limited in the use of criminal history to deny, suspend, or revoke a license to convictions for crimes substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the individual is seeking licensure or is licensed. Programs may not use acts involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit that did not result in a conviction as a basis for the denial of a license. Other revisions include the adoption of a seven year limitation on convictions eligible for licensure denial, subject to specified exemptions, and a ban on requiring applicants to self-disclose prior convictions unless the application is made for a license type that does not require a fingerprint background check.

AB 2392 (Santiago) was signed by Governor Brown and chaptered by the Secretary of State's Office on September 17, 2018. Beginning July 1, 2019, all storage and towing fees are required to be reasonable. The bill establishes presumptively reasonable towing and storage fees, specifies unreasonable fees, and specifies requirements for vehicles access and inspection and payment of fees.

AB 2832 (Dahle) was signed by Governor Brown and chaptered by the Secretary of State's Office on September 27, 2018. The bill creates the Lithium-Ion Car Battery Recycling Advisory Group to review and advise the Legislature on policies pertaining to the recovery and recycling of lithium-ion vehicle batteries and requires the submission of policy recommendations to the Legislature by April 1, 2022.

AB 3141 (Low) was signed by Governor Brown and chaptered by the Secretary of State's Office on September 18, 2018. The bill extends BAR's sunset date on January 1, 2023, repeals the exception for licensure for “minor services,” from the definition of "repair of motor vehicles," defines "preventative maintenance services" and allows such services to be performed without a written estimate under the specified circumstances, and authorizes BAR to access the Department of Motor Vehicles photographic license database for purpose of enforcing the Automotive Repair Act and Smog Check Program.


BAR-97 Specifications

BAR adopted regulations, effective August 2, 2018, to update the BAR-97 Emissions Inspection System (EIS) specifications and bring them into compliance with new technologies and procedures required because of the BAR-97’s long service life. Changes include internet protocol (IP)-based communications with the Vehicle Identification Database (VID), integrated Low Pressure Fuel Evaporative Tester (LPFET) communications with the VID, and updated inspection screen prompting to assist inspectors selecting the correct inspection equipment (i.e., BAR-97 EIS or BAR On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System [OIS]). Updates to the Smog Check Manual address several necessary items, including deleting the visual inspection requirement of fuel caps for model-year 1996 and newer gasoline vehicles and the addition of Appendix C to identify which aftermarket parts and emission control changes require an Air Resources Board (ARB) Executive Order exemption.

The first phase of implementation went into effect on November 1, 2018. As of that date, all Smog Check stations are required to follow the updated 2017 Smog Check Manual. In addition, all BAR-97 EIS analyzers are required to connect to BAR's central database through an internet connection in lieu of a dedicated dial-up phone line. Implementation of future phases will be communicated via ET Blasts as that information becomes available. See the related “Updated BAR-97 Equipment and Smog Check Manual” article.

Electronic Documents and Consumer Authorization

BAR adopted regulations, effective September 13, 2018, to allow electronic estimates and authorizations in automotive repair transactions between ARDs and consumers. The regulations also clarify current language and reorganize estimate, work order, and invoice provisions to more closely align with automotive repair transactions. See the related “Updated Write It Right Guide” article.

The approved Regulatory Actions including regulations text, an Updated Informative Digest, and Final Statement of Reasons, which will include responses to all comments received during the public comment periods, are posted at www.bar.ca.gov.

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