Records Request Guidelines

Californians have the right under the state Public Records Act (PRA) and the California Constitution to access public information maintained by all state agencies. Public information maintained by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) such as disciplinary action documents and licensing and enforcement data is available on the BAR website and/or through the Department of Consumer Affairs’ online license search tool and open data portal.

Public records that are not available on BAR’s website and are not exempt from disclosure are available by PRA request. Other BAR records needed for small claims court may be ordered through the subpoena process.

The following are guidelines for requesting records maintained by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).

PRA Request

Copies of Public Records

A PRA request for copies of public records may be submitted by mail, telephone, or email to:

Bureau of Automotive Repair
Subpoena - PRA Unit
10949 North Mather Boulevard
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Phone: 855-735-0465
Email: BAR.PRA@dca.ca.gov

The PRA request should include the following information:

  1. The requestor’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and/or email address.
  2. The name and/or detailed description of the records being requested. If requesting records specific to a BAR licensee, please include the licensee’s name(s) and address.

BAR will respond to the PRA request within 10 days of receipt. If immediate disclosure is not possible, BAR will provide an estimated date when the records will be available and will provide the records within a reasonable period of time.

Inspection of Public Records

Public records maintained by BAR are available for inspection during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays. Members of the public are not required to give notice in order to inspect public records at BAR offices during normal working hours. However, if the request requires the retrieval, review, or redaction of records, a mutually agreeable time should be established for inspection of the records.

Costs

BAR may charge the requestor the direct cost of duplication ($.10 per page). When BAR must compile electronic data, extract data from an electronic record, or undertake computer programming to satisfy a request, BAR may also charge the requestor the cost of the BAR staff time in researching, retrieving, redacting, and mailing the records.

For more information on PRA requests, please see the Department of Consumer Affairs Public Records Act Guidelines.


Small Claims Court Subpoena

BAR has developed the following information to assist stakeholders on how to subpoena BAR records for small claims court.

If your case is outside of the small claims court system, you may wish to contact an attorney to assist you. Referrals to attorneys in your area may be obtained from your local Bar Association or from the State Bar of California at (866) 442-2529.

  1. Subpoenas are a tool that can be used to obtain records after you have filed a lawsuit with the court.

    ATTENTION! Only you can decide when to file a lawsuit with the court. BAR cannot assist you with this decision. There are strict deadlines for filing lawsuits and once such deadlines have passed you may not be able to file. If you have questions about when those deadlines are, you should contact an attorney or the small claims advisor at the court in your area.

  2. If you file your case in small claims court, you may obtain the appropriate subpoena from the court clerk or from www.courts.ca.gov. The subpoena must include the court seal before you serve it on BAR.
  3. BAR will only accept service for small claims subpoenas by mail or personal service. Address the subpoena to:

    Custodian of Records
    Bureau of Automotive Repair
    10949 North Mather Boulevard
    Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

  4. You must submit a fee of $15 for subpoenaed records. (This fee is authorized by California Evidence Code section 1563.) Please make your check/money order payable to the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  5. You must give BAR at least 15 days to process your subpoena.
  6. Subpoenaed records will only be sent directly to the court listed on the subpoena. BAR will not send copies of the records to you or your attorney under any circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable that you ensure that the address provided is the address of the court where BAR should send the records.
  7. Once the records are sent to the court, BAR will send you a copy of the declaration that it sends to the court with the records. When you receive the declaration, you will know that BAR has completed processing your subpoena, and that the records should now be in your case file with the court. You can contact the court to confirm.
  8. Small claims subpoenas for a BAR investigator to appear as a witness in the court case must be served in person to the investigator or the investigator’s supervisor along with a $275.00 witness fee. (This fee is authorized by California Government Code section 68097.2.)

For more information about the small claims process, you may wish to contact either an attorney and/or the small claims advisor at the court in your area or review The Small Claims Court: A Guide to Its Practical Use.

To check the status of a subpoena submitted to BAR, you may contact the Subpoena Unit at (855) 735-0465.