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Consumer Assistance Program Questions & Answers

Question: I was wondering if I could qualify for the Consumer Assistance Program if I have made more than $16,391 for the year but now I am in a commission only job where I make nothing currently. Do they base the qualification on how much you made for the year or how much you make per month? Thanks for your help.
Answer: This question can best be answered by someone at the CAP department. Call (800) 952-5210. They
will be able to tell you exactly if you qualify. Consider this also... If your vehicle was required to get smog
tested at a Test Only Center, you automatically qualify.
Question: If I apply under the economic hardship and request a two year no-smog registration and my repairs
cost more than $250, what happens if I am still not able to bring the car up to smog standards after the two
years.   How much do I have to spend each year to try.
Answer: Economic Hardship Extension: a vehicle owner may be eligible for if they have spent at least $450.00
at a Certified Smog Repair station and their vehicle is still failing OR if the vehicle requires emissions related
repairs over $250.00 and the vehicle owner is low-income and can not afford the repair/s. Eligible consumers
will receive a two-year extension to complete necessary emissions-related repairs. The State of California will
allow Income Eligible applicants the opportunity to register their vehicles through the DMV and receive
registration tags/stickers for two consecutive years, WITHOUT passing the smog inspection. This program
is designed to allow Income Eligible applicants ample time to repair their failing vehicles.
Question: If my 94 Astro Van will not pass and the cost is estimated at 750.00 to repair, I can’t afford that
much. Is there a cap on the repair cost?
Answer: Unfortunately there is no limit on bringing a car to passing emissions. However, California can help
you repair your vehicle. You may receive up to $500.00 dollars in FREE smog diagnosis and repairs through
the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP Repair Assistance program is designed to help consumers bring their vehicles into compliance with California emission standards. Through the CAP program the State
will pay the CAP repair shop you choose up to $500.00 dollars for repair work performed on your vehicle. You
may contact the BAR at (800) 952-5210 for an application.
Question: My car failed it's smog test at a test only facility.  I took my car to a test and repair facility, and
after $300. worth of work they told me that the car still would not pass the smog test and that I needed a
new catalytic converter.  I was told that I have to take the car to a muffler shop to have this done.  Is the cost
of having the catalytic converter replaced at a muffler shop reimbursable under the CAP program???   Where
else in Long Beach, CA would I go to have this repair performed?
Answer: CAP only reimburses only when repairs are made through the CAP process. Meaning, an applicant
must first file a CAP application and wait for approval before getting any work done. At this point if you haven't
filed yet, we recommend you do. Download an application
If and once your approved, you will have a list of CAP approved smog repair centers you can choose from.
Your vehicle will have to be re-inspected by this station and once determined that in fact a CAT is required
to get the vehicle to pass, they will conduct the repair and the state of California will pay the CAP station
directly(the state will not pay the vehicle owner under any circumstance).
Question: I applied for CAP assistance because my vehicle was sent to a Test-Only facility and failed the
smog check and it will be 3-4 weeks before I get a response back regarding the application.  In the meantime,
my renewal is due the end of the month; should I wait until the repair before sending in my renewal or can I go ahead and get my tags?
Answer: Here's what you can do. Go ahead and pay the registration fees and get your "half way papers" (Not
valid registration, but an attempt to show responsibility plus not be charged late fees). You may then explain to
the DMV agent your vehicle's repair situation and ask for at least a 30 day Temporary Registration Tag (Not
actual Sticker Tags). You can post this on your vehicle's rear window, and drive your vehicle legally for 30 days
or more, depending on the Temporary Tags you are given.
Question: I've taken my car to a repair tech. He found the codes, he went through and "erased" them. I drove
the car for 15 mins., the "check engine" light came back on. He went on to say that the "PO 305, #5 cylinder
was misfiring." I don't understand what this all means but should I get this repaired before running the smog
(test only required) or afterwards. He stated that once the smog tech runs a check, that will send the alert as
to the actual misfires. Would you recommend this to be done first solely for the purpose of qualifying for the
"State repair assistance program? Pls advise.
Answer: In order to qualify for the CAP repair assistance program, yes, you must first FAIL the smog test. Regardless of the misfires, the fact that the Check Engine light is on, your vehicle will fail the smog check.
You may then apply for CAP. Also the smog test will give the smog technician emissions results in the form
of HC,CO and NOx data. This information will help in determining if in fact there is a misfire. Although it will
NOT guide the technician directly to the cylinder responsible for the misfire, it will give a good overall engine performance report.