Consumer Assistance Program

Most of the Consumers are not aware of CAP program and below frequently asked questions provides details around this program.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:-

1. What is the Consumer Assistance Program?

The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and is designed to help improve California’s air quality. Through CAP, a consumer may retire a qualified vehicle and receive $1,000 or $1,500 if the consumer meets low-income eligibility guidelines. In addition, CAP provides qualified consumers who own a vehicle that fails its biennial (every other year) SmogCheck inspection up to $500 in financial assistance towards certain emissions-related repairs.

2. How can I qualify to receive financial assistance to repair my vehicle?

If your vehicle fails its biennial (every other year) Smog Check inspection and you meet income eligibility requirements, you may receive up to $500 towards certain emissions-related repairs. Participation requires that as a co-payment, you must pay the total costs associated with the testing and diagnosis of the emissions-related failures for your vehicle. Eligibility requirements are available on BAR’s website www.bar.ca.gov.

3. How do I know if I qualify for CAP as an income eligible vehicle owner?

Regulations state that in order to qualify for Repair Assistance or Vehicle Retirement based on income level, an applicant must have a household income that is less than or equal to two hundred twenty-five percent (225%) of the federal poverty level, as published in the Federal Register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Income eligibility for CAP is based on the household income information you provide on your application. Upon request, you may be required to provide documentation verifying your household income.

4. How do I apply for CAP?

You must first complete and submit an application to retire or repair your vehicle. To obtain a CAP application, visit BAR’s Website at http://www.bar.ca.gov, or contact the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Consumer Information Center at 800.952.5210.

5. When will I be notified?

In general, applications are processed within 30 days from the date of receipt.

6. If approved, what can I expect?

If approved, you will receive a Letter of Eligibility, which will provide specific instructions on how to retire or repair your vehicle.

7. Can I retire or repair my vehicle at any dismantler or repair shop?

No, you must retire or repair your vehicle at a BAR contracted dismantler, or a STAR Test-and-Repair station under agreement with BAR. Do not retire or have any repairs performed on your vehicle prior to being approved for participation and receiving a Letter of Eligibility from CAP. You must first apply for approval, and receive a Letter of Eligibility from CAP before you can retire or have any repairs performed on your vehicle. Once you are notified that your application has been approved, and you receive your Letter of Eligibility, you can use CAP services.

8. Where can I find a dismantler?

Dismantler sites are located throughout California. A list of authorized dismantlers approved to retire your vehicle through CAP is available online at the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) link located in the “Quick Hits” section at http://www.bar.ca.gov or by calling the Consumer Information Center at 800.952.5210

9. Where can I find a STAR Test-and-Repair Station?

STAR Test-and-Repair stations are located throughout California. A list of authorized STAR Test- and-Repair stations approved to repair your vehicle through CAP is available online at the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) link located in the “Quick Hits” section at http://www.bar.ca.gov, or by calling the Consumer Information Center at 800.952.5210.

10. What is a STAR Test-and-Repair station?

STAR Test-and-Repair stations are licensed Smog Check stations. Unlike a Smog Check Test-and- Repair station, STAR Test-and-Repair stations can repair vehicles that have been approved to receive financial assistance toward emissions-related repairs through CAP. In addition, unlike a Test- Only station, they can also inspect and repair directed vehicles.

11. Are the prices charged by STAR Test-and-Repair stations regulated by BAR?

STAR Test-and-Repair stations are independently owned and operated. The prices they charge consumers are not regulated by BAR. Consequently, consumers should shop around and compare prices before selecting a STAR Test-and-Repair station to perform repairs on their vehicles.

12. Who do I contact for additional information?

To obtain additional information visit BAR’s Website at http://www.bar.ca.gov or contact the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Consumer Information Center (CIC) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. at 800.952.5210.

Please Note: State offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and most state holidays. Do inquire about Smog Check Star Station and also how to get Test Only Smog Check Coupons.

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