Program Background

The mission of the Smog Check Referee Program is to assist qualified California motorists through the smog check process and ultimately improve air quality throughout the state. 

A collaborative effort between the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC), the Smog Check Referee Program provides Californians with an array of smog check services not available through industry. Referee stations have the equipment and training necessary to inspect and test vehicles industry stations are not authorized to test, and operate by standards set by the state of California. FCCC has contracted with BAR to manage the Smog Check Referee Program since 2004.  


Goals of the Smog Check Referee program include:

  • Helping qualified California motorists through the Smog Check program.

  • Enhancing California’s air quality through reducing smog-forming emissions.

  • Testing vehicles industry stations are not authorized to test.

  • Helping consumers locate hard-to-find parts needed for smog repairs.

  • Training automotive students interested in careers as Smog Check Technicians.


The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official foundation of the California Community Colleges' Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office and is a unique 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides effective services and innovative solutions for the largest higher education system in the nation.

The Student Technician Training Program provides training for qualified automotive students. This on-the-job training experience gives students the skills needed to become successful smog check technicians.

The Bureau of Automotive Repair  (BAR), part of the Dept. of Consumer Affairs (DCA), serves Californians though effective regulation of the automotive repair and Smog Check industry. BAR is completely separate from the Department of Motor Vehicles.