#AskDCA: Answering Your Questions About The California Department Of Consumer Affairs

For National Consumer Protection Week, we asked you to submit your questions about the Department Of Consumer Affairs, or the boards and bureaus we support. We’ve taken a sampling of the questions and answered them here.

You still have time to submit questions here and we’ll answer additional questions in future blog posts.

Please note: We are not able to answer questions regarding the status of a license application, complaint, or investigation. Some questions have been edited for clarity or brevity.


How many people are covered by the DCA?

Currently, DCA licenses 3.5 million of California’s licensed professionals in more than 250 license types, including permits, certificates, and registrations. These include doctors, dentists, nurses, cosmetologists, smog check technicians, contractors, veterinarians, accountants, and many others. DCA has over 3,000 employees working to educate consumers by giving them the information they need to avoid unscrupulous or unqualified people.


Why are gyms, health clubs, and personal trainers not regulated by DCA?

DCA’s regulatory authority is established by legislation, and gyms, health clubs, and personal trainers are not under DCA’s jurisdiction. However, California’s Civil Code outlines the laws that apply to health studio services contracts. But the status quo doesn’t have to remain the status quo! If you feel that there is a need for additional regulation of any industry, contact your state legislators.


Why doesn’t the Division of Investigation hold public meetings?

The Division of Investigation is the law enforcement arm of DCA. All of our investigators have completed a law enforcement academy certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) as well as numerous advanced officer courses and specialized training and certification. Information about investigations and complaints is confidential and not subject to public disclosure, so meetings are not held publicly. However, consumers can look up disciplinary actions against licenses on DCA’s website using the license search tab once the disciplinary action is finalized and has become public.


How can I find out if there are complaints against a licensed psychologist?

Complaints and investigations are confidential, however, disciplinary actions taken against a licensee by one of DCA’s regulatory entities and/or accusations filed against a licensee by the state attorney general are posted online. Actions and accusations, if any, will appear when you check the status of a psychologist’s license by using the license search tab on DCA’s website.


Online Banker:
Is it valid for remittance companies to ask for a customer’s bank details including customer’s online banking userid and password?

Although wire transfer corporations don’t fall under the authority of DCA, it is best to keep in mind that legitimate financial institutions will never ask you for your login credentials, and if you think you have become the victim of a scam, you should contact your bank immediately. You may also file a complaint with the California Department of Business Oversight, which oversees financial service providers and products.


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