Consumer Assistance
Winter Driving Tips



Consumer Assistance Program   

The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) offers two options to help California consumers whose
vehicles fail their biennial (every other year) Smog Check. If you intend to apply to the Consumer Assistance Program, do not have any repairs performed on your vehicle.
CAP programs are limited to available funds.

Qualified motorists can receive up to $500 in emissions-related repairs through CAP’s Repair Assistance
Program. Eligible consumers must take their vehicles to Gold Shield repair stations which are authorized
to perform repair assistance services. Motorists may qualify for Repair Assistance in one of two ways:


Income Eligible – Motorists whose household incomes are at or below 185% of the federal
poverty guidelines qualify for repair assistance. For example, a family of four whose income
does not exceed $2,983 per month, or $35,798 per year, would qualify for up to $500 in repair
assistance. Qualified consumers must pay the first $20 towards diagnosis and/or emissions-
related repairs.
Test-Only Eligible – Certain vehicles are required to have their Smog Checks done at stations
that perform only tests, and no repairs. If your vehicle’s DMV registration renewal notice
requires a Test-Only inspection, your vehicle may qualify for up to $500 in repair assistance.
Qualified consumers must pay the first $100 towards diagnosis and/or emissions-related repairs.

The Vehicle Retirement Program is available to motorists who want to voluntarily retire their vehicle rather than repair it. Eligible consumers can receive $1,000 in exchange for their vehicle. Approved vehicles must be driven to one of the state’s authorized dismantlers where they are crushed.

You must first submit an application and have it approved, making you and your car eligible for the program. You will then receive a list of participating stations or dismantlers where you can take your car to have it repaired or retired.
Click here to obtain a CAP application. For more information on the Bureau of Automotive Repair, visit  www.smogcheck.ca.gov, and remember to “Drive Smart California.”



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