Legislation and Regulations Update
A number of interesting legislative proposals have been introduced this year that could affect the automotive repair industry, including various proposals to help address the growing problem of catalytic converter thefts. The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) recommends contacting your trade association or visiting www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov for further information regarding current proposals.
Consumer Assistance Program Updates
Regulations, initially adopted by emergency on August 31, 2020, were approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and filed with the Secretary of State on January 20, 2022. The regulations authorize higher repair contributions based on vehicle model year, reduce pre-repair diagnostic fees for income-eligible vehicle owners, and eliminate unnecessary eligibility restrictions pertaining to vehicle registration.
Disciplinary Guidelines Amendments
This regulatory package was approved by OAL and filed with the Secretary of State on February 24, 2022. The new regulations, which took effect on April 1, 2022, amend BAR Disciplinary Guidelines to establish laws and regulations training as a rehabilitative option for respondents. Administrative law judges and BAR would have the option to require, as a condition of probation or re-licensure, training in compliance with the Automotive Repair Act and associated regulations.
Smog Check Equipment Security and Fraud Prevention
This regulatory proposal would require Smog Check inspectors to use biometric and web camera devices when performing a Smog Check and to allow BAR staff remote access to the inspection process via the internet when prompted by the BAR-OIS software. It also would require that Smog Check stations allow BAR access whenever inspections are being performed, even if the inspections occur outside normal business hours. (For more details, refer to the “Upcoming Smog Check Equipment Security Enhancements” article in this issue of the newsletter.)
Status: The Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action was published in the Notice Register on September 13, 2021, initiating the public comment period. A public hearing was held on November 12, 2021. Adoption is expected in summer 2022.
STAR Program Updates
This regulatory proposal would amend STAR eligibility criteria, establish a STAR certification suspension—rather than invalidation—process, and delete outdated Gold Shield Program provisions.
Status: The Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action was published on June 14, 2021, initiating a public comment period. Adoption is expected in summer 2022.