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Smog License Requirements

To obtain or renew your CA smog check technician license, you must meet the requirements set out by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs. The information you need to know is here. If you have questions about any of this please information please contact the BAR's Licensing Division directly at: (916) 255-3145. For the Skyline College (San Bruno, CA) list of automotive classes please click here. You may also contact Rick Escalambre at Skyline College at: skysmog@aol.com

To read Skyline College's simplified version of what is needed, please click here to go to their website. (updated March 2011)

The following information is quoted directly from the BAR Smog Check Technician Licensing page:

| License Classes and Descriptions | How to Apply | How to Prepare | Schools |

License Classes and Descriptions

A Smog Check technician, first and foremost, is a professional, working as a partner with government and the public in cleaning up California's air. Revised regulations established three classes of Smog Check Technician license. Detailed descriptions and requirements are contained in the accompanying charts: Intern, Basic, Advanced

Technicians employed to perform inspections, repairs, and certifications at stations in the Enhanced program areas must obtain an Advanced Emission Technician License.

Intern Technician License Requirements

(This License Does Not Require An Examination)

Use/Expiration The license is valid for all areas of the state. The license is valid for two years, and is nonrenewable.
Duties This license allows an individual, under the direction of a supervising Licensed Smog Check technician, to perform repairs or adjustments (no inspections) to the emission control systems on vehicles subject to the Smog Check Program.

Education/Experience

To qualify for the Intern Technician License, the applicant must provide proof of successful completion of BAR's Basic Clean Air Car Course. To qualify for the Basic Clean Air Car Course, the applicant must have one year of automotive experience and/or education in the engine performance area.

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Basic Area Technician License Requirements

(This License Requires An Examination)

Use The license is valid in the Basic or Change of Ownership program areas of the state.
Duties This license allows an individual to inspect, diagnose, adjust, repair and certify the emissions control systems on vehicles subject to the Basic Area Smog Check Program in attainment areas.
Required Training The applicant must provide proof of one of the following:
1) Completion of training course(s) approved by BAR in the following areas: Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, and Advanced Engine Performance; or
2) Certification or a passing score from the National institute for Automotive Service Excellence in the certification categories of Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6) and Engine Performance (A8) and Advanced Engine Performance Specialist (L1).

Education/Experience

To qualify to take the examination, the applicant must provide proof of one of the following requirements:


1. Successful completion within the last 24 months of the Basic Clean Air Car Course. To qualify for the Basic Clean Air Car Course, the applicant must have one year of automotive experience and/or education in the engine performance area; or

2. Possession of a valid and unexpired Intern Technician License and one year of verifiable experience in the vehicle engine performance area after obtaining the Intern Technician License; or

3. Possession of either an Associate of Arts (AA) degree, Associate of Science (AS) degree, or a certificate in Automotive Technology from a state accredited or recognized college, public school, or trade school with a minimum of 360 hours of coursework in the engine performance area, and successful completion of BAR's Basic Clean Air Car Course within the last 24 months; or

4. Possession of a valid and unexpired Smog Check technician's license other than an Intern Technician License.

Update Training

An initial or renewal applicant must provide proof of successful completion of a BAR-certified update training course (if required).

Locating Providers of Alternative & Update Training

Information regarding alternative and update training courses will be available through BAR's toll free number, which is (800) 952-5210 or on the list of BAR-certified training institutions on this web site.

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Advanced Emission Specialist Technician License Requirements

(This License Requires An Examination)

Use The license is valid for all areas within the state.
Duties The license allows an individual to inspect, diagnose, adjust, repair and certify the emissions control systems on vehicles subject to all Smog Check program areas.
Required Training The applicant must provide proof of one of the following:
1) Completion of training course(s) approved by BAR in the following areas: Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, and Advanced Engine Performance; or
2) Certification or a passing score from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence in their certification categories of Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6), Engine Performance (A8), and Advanced Engine Performance Specialist (L1).

Education/Experience

To qualify to take the examination, the applicant must provide proof of one of the following requirements:


1. Successful completion within the last 24 months of the Basic and Advanced Clean Air Car Course. To qualify for the Basic Clean Air Car Course, you must have one year of automotive experience and/or education in the engine performance area; or

2. Successful completion of BAR's Advanced Clean Air Car Course within the last 24 months, possession of a current and unexpired Intern Technician License and one year of verifiable experience in the vehicle engine performance area completed after obtaining the Intern Technician License; or

3. Successful completion of BAR's Basic and Advanced Clean Air Car Course within within the last 24 months, and possession of either an Associate of Arts (AA) degree, Associate of Science (AS) degree, or a certificate in Automotive Technology from a state accredited or recognized college, public school, or trade school with a minimum of 360 hours of coursework in the engine performance area; or

4. Possession of a valid and unexpired Basic Area (EB) Smog Check Technician's License and completion of the Advanced Clean Air Car Course within the last 24 months; or

5. Possession of a valid and unexpired Advanced Emission Specialist (EA) Smog Check Technician's License.

Update Training

An initial or renewal applicant must provide proof of successful completion of a BAR-certified update training course (if required).

Locate Providers of Alternative & Update Training

Information regarding alternative and update training courses will be available through BAR's toll free number, which is (800) 952-5210 or on the list of BAR-certified training institutions on this web site.

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How to Apply

Prospective Smog Check technicians, as well as technicians whose license will soon expire, may apply for a new or renewed license by completing the following official DCA/BAR application:

  • Smog Check Technician License * (T-6 Rev. 10/99) Form T-6 is four pages long. Be sure to print the entire document! If you fail to submit the entire application, then you forfeit the filing fee and DCA/BAR rejects your application!
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How to Prepare

Aspiring Smog Check technicians may wish to view:

which outlines the training and knowledge necessary to become a licensed Smog Check technician. BAR also publishes the Smog Check Advisory newsletter, which is packed with information useful to Smog Check technicians and those who wish to become a licensed technician.

If you wish to order printed study materials, please use the order form *.

(Editors Note: an additional study guide is available on this website, Smogsite.com. The Smog Refresher Course was written by an instructor (Steven McAfee) who assisted in developing training materials for the Bureau of Automotive Repair.)

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Schools

In order to become a licensed Smog Check Technician, you will need professional training, which is available throughout the state. The following lists will help you find the school nearest you which offers the required classes.

BAR certified classes may only be given by BAR-certified schools and BAR-certified instructors. Not all schools give all classes all of the time; class schedules are based on demand. Use these lists to check with the schools nearest you to determine class scheduling and pricing.

Search our database of BAR-certified training institutions

Description of BAR-certified training courses

The BAR also has flow charts for the following:

 

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