Legislation and Regulations Update
Recently chaptered legislation related to the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and/or its licensees is listed below. For further information regarding legislative proposals, BAR recommends contacting one of the several trade associations that represent the automotive repair industry or visiting www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.
AB 1740 (Muratsuchi, Chapter 513, Statutes of 2022) was signed by the governor on September 25. The bill prohibits a core recycler from entering into a transaction to purchase or receive a catalytic converter from any person that is not a commercial enterprise, which includes an automotive repair dealer, or verifiable owner of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed.
AB 2496 (Petrie-Norris, Chapter 595, Statutes of 2022) was signed by the governor on September 27. The bill requires a court to notify DMV to place a hold on a vehicle found to have a noncompliant modified muffler installed with a whistle tip until the court has been presented with a certificate of compliance from a Referee authorized to test the decibel levels of a vehicle. This bill becomes operative in 2027.
SB 1087 (Gonzalez, Chapter 514, Statutes of 2022) was signed by the governor on September 25. The bill prohibits any person or core recycler from purchasing a catalytic converter from anybody other than certain specified sellers, including automobile dismantlers; core recyclers; motor vehicle manufacturers, dealers, or retailers; automotive repair dealers; or an individual possessing documentation that they are the lawful owner of the catalytic converter.
SB 1495 (Chapter 511, Statutes of 2022) was signed by the governor on September 23. This is a bill by the Senate Business Professions and Economic Development Committee. Among other provisions, the bill repeals the requirement certificate of compliance forms contain the name of the owner of the vehicle.
STAR Program Updates
This regulatory proposal was approved by Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and filed with the Secretary of State on May 5, 2022. The new regulations, which took effect on July 1, 2022, amend STAR eligibility criteria, establish a STAR certification suspension—rather than invalidation—process, and delete outdated Gold Shield Program provisions.
(See the STAR Program Update Regulations Adopted article for additional details.)
Smog Check Equipment Security and Fraud Prevention
This regulatory proposal was approved by OAL and filed with the Secretary of State on August 15, 2022. The new regulations, which took effect on October 1, 2022, 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 On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System (BAR-OIS) software. It also requires that Smog Check stations allow BAR access whenever inspections are being performed, even if the inspections occur outside normal business hours.
(See the Biometric Palm Scans to Replace Passwords for BAR-OIS Inspections article for additional details.)
Citation and Remedial Training Programs for Automotive Repair Dealers
Pursuant to AB 471 (Low, Chapter 372, Statutes of 2021), this proposed regulatory action establishes a citation program for automotive repair dealers. The program will include an informal appeal process for automotive repair dealer citations and a three-member panel (composed of one representative each from BAR, the public, and the automotive repair industry) to review informal appeals. In addition, the program will create a remedial training option allowing a cited automotive repair dealer to, once every 18 months, prevent the disclosure of a citation if the violation is deemed minor in nature.
Status: The Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action was published in the Notice Register on October 7, 2022, initiating the public comment period from October 7 thru November 21, 2022.