What to Expect During a Station Inspection

Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) program representatives routinely visit automotive repair and Smog Check facilities for various reasons, but many of the visits involve performing an initial or periodic inspection.

Initial inspections are required for new brake, lamp, and Smog Check stations or if a currently licensed station changes location. The program representative will verify the facility has the required equipment, tools, signs, manuals, and approved work area. The program representative will also verify that a licensed technician(s) is employed for the type of license for which the facility is applying. Once the facility passes the initial inspection, BAR’s Licensing Program will be notified so that the application review process can be completed, and the license activated upon application approval.

Periodic inspections provide a great opportunity for BAR to communicate with facilities and ensure that automotive repair dealers (ARDs) and brake, lamp, and Smog Check stations are performing licensed activities in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. These inspections are also an opportunity to ask the program representative any questions you may have regarding procedures or how laws and regulations apply to the licensed activities you perform.

During a periodic inspection, the owner or Responsible Managing Employee (RME) may be required to provide estimates, invoices, brake and lamp certificate books, or other documents for duplication or review. The program representative will often have you confirm the calibration of test equipment and will verify that required tools, manuals, signs, and BAR publications are present. The program representative will also verify that all station and technician licenses are current and properly displayed. If any deficiencies are noted during the inspection, you will be asked to correct them. A follow-up visit may occur, or you may be asked to submit proof of correction in the form of a receipt for equipment service or the purchase of required tools/signs.

The program representative will document the initial or periodic inspection, including any deficiencies, on a Station Inspection Report (SIR). Using DocuSign (see related DocuSign in Gas Audit Inspections article), the facility will have the option of signing and receiving a copy of the SIR electronically.

Visits to facilities are one of BAR’s most effective tools to meet our statutory mandates and achieve our mission. If any questions or concerns about a BAR inspection are not resolved by the program representative, you may contact the supervisor at the local field office for assistance. Your cooperation allows us to perform an inspection with minimal disruption to your business and supports our common goals to improve air quality and ensure a fair and competitive automotive repair marketplace for California consumers.

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