Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most qualified of all?
We have touched on the some of the qualifications of technicians who work on your BMW. But, what about the shop where that technician is employed? And why is that important to you, the Consumer. Well the short answer is that Licensing does play and should play an important role in your getting what you pay for, when it comes to Auto Repair, (or your BMW/MINI repair).
The Bureau of Automotive Repair is the entity that requires all auto repair dealers, (shops), to be licensed by the State. Who is considered an Auto Repair Dealer in our state? That is anyone who is repairing autos in our State. Yes, by law, all are required to have a valid license. So, even a single person shop who is charging you for repairs, must have a B.A.R. license. (The Bureau of Automotive Repair is a Division of the California Department of Consumer Affairs). Even if a shop has multiple locations, each location is required to have a separate B.A.R. license.
In addition, a city or town Business license/permit, the State Board of Equalization permit for Sales Tax Collection, and a Department of Health Permit, are just a few more licenses required. If you are wondering about the “health permit”, remember that we are dealing with items such as batteries, antifreeze and oil. These items must be handled safely, properly and recycled. The local Fire Departments also conduct annual, (sometimes more often), inspections of B.A.R. Licensed facilities. They inspect premises and practices, to insure all flammables are being handled in the correct manner as well as those other hazardous materials. (Obviously, this is important to avoid fires or other dangerous situations at a shop where your beautiful BMW may be spending the night).
Yes, it is important that you are always going to a Licensed Repair shop or as the State calls us, Auto Repair Dealers. Remember this is your group, the B.A.R., Department of Consumer Affairs, that is regulating all Auto Repair in our State. We really are all in this together! The B.A.R. License is required to be posted publicly as is the Environmental Health Permit.
The above information is only a partial list of licenses or permits that may or may not, be required annually to operate lawfully in our State or County, and is for consumer information only. Since the Smog Check program is implemented and regulated by the B.A.R., a different License is required. We’ll blog on that topic, another day!