In general, the BAR Referee provides services to accommodate unusual Smog Check circumstances not common to ordinary vehicles or stations. Referee inspection services can apply in the following circumstances: 

Here is a good example: a vehicle comes into your shop its model year 2002 but the engine was changed to a 1993 how should you complete this inspection. Remember the key word is it's an engine change. 

 The motorist feels that his or her vehicle was tested and / or repaired improperly, which resulted in a Smog Check failure;

 The motorist may be eligible for a repair cost waiver (Section 1.8.1);

 A motorist is unable to locate a required emission control part and may qualify for a limited parts exemption.

 The vehicle cannot be inspected by a licensed station due to OEM operating characteristics or design of the vehicle;

 The vehicle’s engine has been changed with a non-replacement engine and is not equipped with a BAR Referee Label;

 The vehicle is a kit car (SPCNS) and is not equipped with a BAR Referee Label;

 The vehicle appears not to have been originally manufactured to California or USEPA requirements. These vehicles are considered grey market or direct import vehicles and include some Canadian and most Mexican market vehicles;

 Verification of a vehicle converted to operate on electricity only. Additional information regarding electric vehicles is located in Appendix F;

 Verification that an alternative fuel conversion system has been properly installed on a vehicle. Additional information regarding alternative fueled vehicles is located in Appendix F;

 Clearance of a law enforcement citation for excessive exhaust noise;

 Clearance of law enforcement citation for modified emission controls;

 The vehicle is exempt, but received a “Smog Certificate Required” statement on the DMV registration renewal notice. The Referee can provide exempt vehicle verification to resolve situation with DMV. 


Engine Change Guidelines:   Smog-Referee-Station

An automotive repair dealer shall not make any motor vehicle engine change that degrades the effectiveness of a vehicle’s emission control system.

Nor shall said dealer, in the process of rebuilding the original engine or while installing a replacement engine, effect changes that would degrade the effectiveness of the original emission control system and/or components thereof”.

In summary, these laws prohibit any engine change that degrades the effectiveness of the vehicle's original emission control system. 


Engine changes can present problems and challenges to vehicle owners, inspectors, and technicians. Our recommendation is to rebuild and reinstall the original engine, transmission, and emission control system configuration, use a California certified engine, or use a CARB exempted engine package. Exempted emissions compliant engine packages are restricted to specific applications and must not be installed in vehicle applications that are not included in the exemption.

Check the Executive Order for details, which can be viewed at, by choosing Select Device Type: Engine Modification / Engine Change.

It is important to remember that the guidelines in this document are for performing engine changes, and are not exemption procedures.

All vehicles with engine changes must pass an inspection by a BAR Referee, and must have a BAR Referee label affixed to the vehicle inside the engine compartment.

After the initial referee inspection, the vehicle will remain subject to ALL the same recipient vehicle requirements for future Smog Check inspections.

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Smog Inspection Safety


Emission Control 1:

B.A.R. Smog Check

Inspector Level 1

(Inspector "Smog" License):

Engine Fundamentals  

8am - 12:15 pm 

Summer Class

7/5/2022 -8/5/2022

Class # 799065

Emission Control 2:

B.A.R. Smog Check

Inspector Level 2

(Inspector "Smog" License):

Rules and Regulations

8am - 12:15 pm

Summer Classes

7/5/2022 - 8/5/2022

Class # 799067

Engine Performance 1:

 8am - 12: 15 pm

Date: TBD

Class # 799069

Engine Performance 2:

B.A.R. Specified Diagnostic

and Repair Training

(Repair "Smog" License)

Time: TBD 

Date: TBD 

Class # 799071

Emission Control 1

(Inspector "Smog" License):

5:00pm - 8:45 pm

Date: TBD

Class # 799065

Emission Control 2: 

(Inspector "Smog" License):

5:00pm - 8:45 pm

Date: TBD

Class # 799065

Exhaust Emissions (Update Class):

5:30 pm - 8:45 pm 

Tuesday nights: 

Dates: coming soon 

Class # 796070