How to Request Public Records

Californians have a right under the state Public Records Act (PRA) and the California Constitution to access public information maintained by all state agencies, including the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). The following are guidelines for accessing public records.

BAR's Public Records Coordinator is responsible for facilitating responses to all public records requests. If you direct your request to the Public Records Coordinator, it makes it easier for us to track and process your request resulting in a prompt response. Contact the Public Records Coordinator by mail, telephone or facsimile at:

Bureau of Automotive Repair
Subpoena - PRA Unit
10949 North Mather Boulevard
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Phone: 855-735-0465
Facsimile: 855-641-9980

Written Requests Encouraged

BAR encourages, but does not require, requests for records to be made in writing unless the request involves records maintained by BAR for the purpose of immediate public inspection. Examples of these types of records include documents maintained inside the repair facility's Master File. Denials of any written requests will always be provided in writing. When requests are made orally, BAR may confirm the request in writing to ensure we have correctly understood your request and to expedite your request.

Identifying Records

"Records" include any writing owned, used or maintained by BAR in the conduct of its official business. Writings include information recorded or stored on paper, computers or e-mail.

In order for BAR to provide records promptly, requestors should provide specific information about the records they seek including names of facilities and addresses. When a record cannot be identified by name, the requestor should attempt to be as specific as possible in describing the record based on its content. When a request is not sufficiently specific, BAR staff will help the requestor to identify the information, describe how the records are maintained and their physical location, and provide suggestions on how to overcome any practical barriers to disclosure.

Inspection of Public Records

Public records maintained by BAR are available for inspection during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays. Members of the public are not required to give notice in order to inspect public records at BAR offices during normal working hours. However, if the request requires the retrieval, review or redaction of records, a mutually agreeable time should be established for inspection of the records. In order to prevent records from being lost, damaged or destroyed during an inspection, BAR employees may determine the location of, and may monitor, the inspection. Requests for Automotive Repair Dealer registration numbers, owners of repair facilities, business locations, and expiration of licenses usually can be provided quickly. Requests for other records may take more time because the records must be located and reviewed for any possible trade secret or personal information. Please also note that numerous BAR databases, fact sheets, FAQs, lists of Auto Repair Dealers and Smog Stations statewide are now available at our website.

Processing Requests for Copies of Records

When a copy of a record is requested, and the record cannot be produced immediately, BAR will determine within 10 days after the receipt of the request, whether to comply with the request, and shall promptly inform the requestor of its decision, and the reasons for the decision. The initial 10–day period may be extended for up to an additional 14 days if BAR needs to:

  • Communicate with field offices
  • Inspect voluminous records
  • Consult with other units or programs
  • Construct a computer report to extract data

Whenever possible, BAR will provide records at the time the determination is made to disclose them. If immediate disclosure is not possible, BAR will provide an estimated date when the records will be available, and will provide the records within a reasonable period of time.

Copying Fees

BAR may charge the direct cost of duplication when it provides copies of records to the public ($.10 per page). The direct cost of duplication includes the pro rata expense of the duplicating equipment and the staff (salary/benefits) required to make a copy of the record. Direct cost of duplication does not include BAR staff time in researching, retrieving, redacting and mailing the record. When BAR must compile electronic data, extract data from an electronic record, or undertake computer programming to satisfy a request, BAR may require the requestor to bear the full costs, not just the direct cost of duplication.