The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), part of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), serves Californians through effective regulation of the automotive repair and Smog Check industry. In support of this mission, BAR provides a wide range of consumer protection services, including:
- Registering and regulating approximately 36,000 California automotive repair dealers.
- Licensing Smog Check stations, repair technicians, and inspectors.
- Licensing brake and lamp stations and adjusters.
- Mediating automotive repair complaints, saving California consumers millions of dollars each year in the form of direct refunds, rework, and bill adjustments.
- Investigating and taking disciplinary action against licensees who violate the law.
- Administering and enforcing the Smog Check Program.
- Helping to keep California’s air clean by reducing air pollution produced by motor vehicles.
Who We License
- Automotive Repair Dealer (ARD) – a business registered by BAR who, for compensation, repairs and/or diagnoses malfunctions of motor vehicles.
- Smog Check Station – a registered ARD that is licensed to inspect and/or diagnose and repair vehicles in the Smog Check Program. There are three Smog Check station license types.
- A test-and-repair station is licensed to inspect, diagnose, and repair vehicles.
- A test-only station is licensed to inspect vehicles.
- A repair-only station is licensed to diagnose and repair vehicles.
- Brake Station – a registered ARD that is licensed to test, inspect, adjust, and repair all brakes and brakes systems on vehicles.
- Lamp Station – a registered ARD that is licensed to test, inspect, adjust, and repair all lamps and related electrical systems on vehicles.
- STAR Station Certification – a certification issued by BAR to a licensed Smog Check test-and-repair station or test-only station that meets established performance standards for the inspection of directed vehicles.
- Smog Check Inspector – an individual licensed by BAR to inspect and certify the emissions control systems on vehicles subject to the Smog Check Program.
- Smog Check Repair Technician – an individual licensed by BAR to diagnose and repair the emissions control systems on vehicles subject to the Smog Check Program.
- Brake Adjuster – an individual licensed by BAR to test, inspect, adjust, and repair the brake and brake systems on vehicles.
- Lamp Adjuster – an individual licensed by BAR to test, inspect, adjust, and repair the lamps and related electrical systems on vehicles.
- Auto Body Inspection Program – offers no-cost inspections to consumers to verify that collision repairs were performed correctly.
- Cars for Schools Program – provides retired vehicles to public high schools, community colleges, and regional occupation programs throughout the state to provide hands-on training opportunities for students.
- Complaint Program – mediates disputes between consumers and auto shops.
- Consumer Assistance Program – offers eligible consumers repair assistance and retirement options to help improve California's air quality.
- Referee Program – assists consumers with Smog Check inspection disputes, inspections of unusual vehicles, and locating hard-to-find emissions parts.
- Roadside Inspection Program – conducts roadside inspections to gather California vehicle emissions data.
- Smog Check Program – reduces air pollution by identifying vehicles with excess emissions so they can be properly repaired or retired.
- STAR Program – certifies Smog Check stations meeting performance standards for the inspection of directed vehicles.
Patrick Dorais, Chief
Patrick Dorais was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. effective November 8, 2013. As Chief of BAR, he oversees all operational matters, including licensing and enforcement activities and the administration of the Smog Check Program. Dorais served as BAR Deputy Chief of Smog Check Operations, Engineering, Research Administration and Consumer Assistance Division from 2007 to 2013. He served as Deputy Chief at the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board in 2007 and at the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education from 2004 to 2007. Dorais also served in multiple positions at the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Automotive Repair from 1995 to 2004, including Bureau Chief and Deputy Chief. He was special assistant to the secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency from 1991 to 1995, special assistant to the director of the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research in 1991, and a legislative correspondent in the U.S. Senate from 1987 to 1990.
Assistant Chief (Vacant)
Oversees BAR’s Smog Check Engineering and Information Services Division and Audits and Inspections Branch.
Shelley Whitaker, Deputy Chief
Licensing, Administration, and Consumer Assistance Division
Shelley Whitaker was appointed on May 1, 2018. As Deputy Chief, she oversees BAR’s Licensing and Program Support Branch, Administration Branch, and Consumer Assistance Program. Whitaker has worked for the Department of Consumer Affairs for more than 23 years, giving her a broad knowledge of the department and its programs. During her tenure at BAR, she has played a significant role in several cross-divisional and BAR-wide team projects. Prior to her appointment, Whitaker managed BAR’s Licensing and Program Support Branch.
Deputy Chief (Vacant)
Field Operations and Enforcement Division
Oversees BAR’s Northern California Field Operations and Enforcement Branch, Southern California Field Operations and Enforcement Branch, Enforcement Operations Branch, and Forensic Documentation Program.
Deputy Chief (Vacant)
Smog Check Engineering and Information Services Division
Oversees BAR’s Engineering and Research Branch and Technology Services Branch.