Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program Update

As required by Assembly Bill 471 (Low, Chapter 372, Statutes of 2021), the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) is developing a new Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program. The new program will combine the current brake and lamp inspections into one program and add other vehicle safety systems to the inspection.

Over the past year, BAR held four public workshops aimed at soliciting valuable input from industry and stakeholders. This input was instrumental in the drafting of a Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Manual and the proposed regulations that will govern the new program.

To prepare for the implementation of the new program, BAR developed a new safety inspection system (BAR-SIS) that has been integrated into BAR’s On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System, the system used to perform Smog Check inspections. When deployed, the BAR-SIS will support vehicle safety systems inspections and generate electronic certificates of compliance.

To facilitate the transition from brake and lamp inspection programs to the new Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program, the regulations, as currently drafted, propose to establish a specialized licensing process for existing stations and adjusters. To qualify, the station or adjuster must possess both brake and lamp licenses issued prior to the effective date of the new program. Qualified licensees may submit an initial application for a vehicle safety systems inspection station or technician license and have the application fee waived. In addition, qualified brake and lamp adjusters will not be required to complete the initial licensing examination and will not need to possess newly required Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications in A-4 (Suspension and Steering), A-5 (Brakes), and A-6 (Electrical/Electronic Systems) until the license comes up for renewal. Stations and adjusters that qualify and are issued a new vehicle safety systems license may keep their brake and lamp licenses until those licenses either expire or the brake and lamp inspection programs sunset.

Stations and adjusters that do not hold both a brake and lamp license will not be eligible for the specialized licensing process. Individuals who want to qualify for the specialized license process may do so by obtaining both the brake and lamp station and/or adjuster licenses prior to the effective date of the new program. Visit the Inspector and Technician or Business licensure webpages for application requirements.

On the effective date of the new program, applications and exams for licensure under the Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program will be available. Consequently, applications and exams for brake and lamp adjuster licenses will no longer be available.

Note: The brake and lamp inspection programs will sunset six months after the effective date of the new program. Once brake and lamp programs sunset, brake and lamp certificates will no longer be valid and DMV will no longer accept them. The effective date of the regulations will be determined upon their adoption. BAR will notify stakeholders when adoption occurs.

For complete information on pending and approved regulatory actions, or to learn more about future opportunities for public participation, visit BAR’s Regulatory Actions webpage.

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