Program offers eligible Californians up to $1,200 in repair assistance and $1,000 or $1,500 for vehicle retirement
Great for the consumer and great for the environment, California’s Smog Check Program is an important part of the state’s efforts to improve the air we breathe while helping Californians.
Smog Checks are designed to identify vehicles with excess emissions so they can be properly repaired or retired. The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP), administered by DCA’s Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), is designed to help improve California’s air quality by offering eligible consumers whose vehicles fail a Smog Check two options—repair assistance and vehicle retirement. And recently, the program got a boost when BAR adopted emergency regulations increasing assistance contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulations bump the state’s contribution toward emissions-related repairs to $1,200 for eligible consumers from a previous maximum of $500.
The effects of COVID-19 have created additional challenges for some consumers who may now find it harder to pay for emissions-related repairs required to pass a Smog Check and complete the Department of Motor Vehicles’ registration renewal process. BAR implemented the emergency regulatory action last fall to improve access to required repairs and ensure critical workers and individuals re-entering the workforce have reliable and safe transportation.
For consumers to receive repair assistance, they must meet eligibility requirements. The repairs must be performed at one of over 2,000 participating STAR test-and-repair stations statewide.
Another option for eligible consumers is to apply for a financial incentive to retire a vehicle from operation rather than repair it. Income-eligible consumers who meet program requirements may receive $1,500 in exchange for their high-polluting vehicle. All other eligible consumers may receive $1,000. The vehicle must be retired at a BAR-contracted auto dismantler.
To learn more about the CAP program, eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit BAR’s Consumer Assistance Program webpage or call 1-800-952-5210.