California's Smog Certificate program emphasizes repairs for vehicles that fail their emissions inspections. Identifying and repairing the worst-polluting vehicles will significantly improve California's air quality. But for those motorists who cannot afford to make all necessary emissions-related repairs, there is some temporary financial relief—the Repair Cost Waiver and the Economic Hardship Extension. The Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair (DCA/BAR) also has a Repair Assistance Program to help low-income motorists pay for emissions-related repairs, and a Vehicle Retirement Program which offers $1000.00 cash to owners of qualified high-polluting vehicles.
Repair Cost Waiver
The Repair Cost Waiver allows a vehicle to be registered without passing its Smog Check inspection, as long as the vehicle owner first makes at least $450 in emissions-related repairs to the vehicle at a licensed test and repair station.
After emissions-related repairs have been performed, the motorist must take the vehicle and any repair invoices to a Consumer Assistance and Referee Center, where the vehicle may be inspected. Once the Referee determines that the vehicle meets the criteria, the Referee will issue a waiver. The vehicle can then be registered, and the owner has up to two years to make additional repairs to bring the vehicle into compliance with emissions standards.
The Repair Cost Waiver may only be used once by an owner during his or her ownership of a vehicle.
Economic Hardship Extension
An Economic Hardship Extension is available to qualified low-income vehicle owners who cannot afford emissions-related repairs. Like the Repair Cost Waiver, it allows a vehicle to be registered immediately without passing its Smog Check inspection and gives a vehicle owner up to two years to complete the repairs needed to bring the vehicle into compliance with emissions standards.
To qualify, a motorist must complete an application, which can be obtained by calling DCA/BAR's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-952-5210. Household income must be at or below 185% of the federal poverty level (about $31,543.00 a year for a family of four). In addition, a motorist must spend at least $250 on emissions-related repairs at a licensed Smog Check station or have an estimate indicating a single repair would cost more than $250. The motorist then takes the vehicle, the application, and repair bills or estimates to a Consumer Assistance and Referee Center. The motorist's application will be reviewed. If approved, the Referee will issue an Economic Hardship Extension.
The Economic Hardship Extension may only be used once by an owner during his or her ownership of a vehicle.
Repair Assistance Program
The Bureau of Automotive Repair's Repair Assistance Program for low-income motorists is up and running. Up to $450 may be offered by DCA/BAR to help low-income motorists make emissions-related repairs to their vehicles. To qualify, the motorist will be required to make a $75 co-payment and have all repairs performed at selected Gold Shield Gross Polluter Certification stations.
Sponsored by: CORRICK ENVIRO SERVICES
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