Health and Safety Code Section 44014

44014.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the testing and repair portion of the program shall be conducted by smog check stations licensed by the department, and by smog check technicians who have qualified pursuant to this chapter.

(b) A smog check station may be licensed by the department as a smog check test-only station and, when so licensed, need not comply with the requirement for onsite availability of current service and adjustment procedures specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 44030. A smog check technician employed by a smog check test-only station shall be qualified in accordance with this section.

(c) (1) The department shall supply a network of referees. A referee shall have no ownership interest in, or business or economic interest with, a smog check station. Referees may issue repair cost waivers, certificates of compliance or noncompliance, and hardship extensions, in accordance with regulations adopted by the department, and promote automotive training through community colleges and other training institutions certified by the department pursuant to Section 44030.5. Referees shall provide inspection services for specially constructed vehicles pursuant to Section 44017.4 and Section 9565 of the Vehicle Code and issue exhaust system certificates of compliance in accordance with Section 27150.2 of the Vehicle Code.

(2) The department may adopt regulations to establish qualification standards and any special administrative, operational, and licensure standards that the department determines to be necessary for the provision of referee services.

(3) The department may adopt, by regulation, a process by which vehicles that present prohibitive or unusual inspection circumstances are inspected by referees, including, but not limited to, the inspection of vehicles in which the manufacturer's physical or operational design presents inspection incompatibilities, vehicles equipped with emission control configurations that do not match United States Environmental Protection Agency or state board certified configurations, including direct import vehicles and vehicles with engine changes, and vehicles equipped with retrofit alternative fuel conversion kits.

(4) (A) A referee may charge a fee sufficient to cover the costs of providing referee services for inspections of specially constructed vehicles pursuant to Section 44017.4 and Section 9565 of the Vehicle Code, inspections pursuant to Section 27150.2 of the Vehicle Code, and other appropriate categories of referee services as determined by the department. Requirements applicable to the fee, including its amount, shall be established by the department by regulation and the amount may be adjusted to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index, as published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fee may be collected by either a contracted referee or by the department, if the department is providing the referee service.

(B) If the fee is imposed and collected by a contracted referee, the contracted referee shall deposit the fees collected from the vehicle owner into a separate trust account that the referee shall account for and manage in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

(C) If the fee is imposed and collected by the department, the fees shall be deposited into the Vehicle Inspection and Repair Fund.

(d) A smog check station may also be licensed as a repair only station, and if so licensed, may perform repairs to reduce excessive emissions on vehicles which have failed the smog check test. Repair procedures and equipment requirements shall be established by the department. Technicians employed by a smog check repair-only station shall be qualified in accordance with this section.

(e) Smog check technicians are qualified to test and repair only those classes and categories of vehicles for which they have passed a qualification test administered by the department. The department shall provide for smog check technicians to be qualified for different categories of motor vehicle inspection based on vehicle classification and modelyear.

(f) The consumer protection-oriented quality assurance portion of the program, including the provision of referee services, may be conducted by one or more private entities pursuant to contracts with the department.

(Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 258, Stats. 2010. Effective January 1, 2011.)