CULVER CITY, CA --- Investigators with California's Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) conducted a sweep of 253 auto repair facilities in Los Angeles County last Wednesday and Thursday, looking for shops that were unlicensed or delinquent. They found 67 shops that were not compliant with California law.

"Unlicensed activity hurts all Californians," said DCA Director Carrie Lopez. "It is a part of a multi-billion dollar-a-year underground economy which robs our communities of resources, threatens the safety of consumers and puts reputable, licensed trade and health-care providers at an economic disadvantage."

According to Lopez, the unlicensed activity is by no means confined to auto repair.

"Doing business with an unlicensed operator, whether an unregistered auto repair shop, an unlicensed contractor or any unlicensed business is dangerous," said Lopez. "Consumers need to know that highly skilled, trade-educated and properly licensed Californians are their best defense against unlicensed practice."

A California license assures the consumer has the ability to take unresolved questions, issues or complaints to the Department of Consumer Affairs. When a consumer takes his or her car into an unregistered shop, they lose these guaranteed protections.

The value of doing business with a licensed professional -- and the value of the California license itself -- is something the Department of Consumer Affairs will be highlighting at its Professionals Achieving Consumer Trust, or PACT Summit, at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Nov. 18-21.

The summit will include meetings of almost all of DCA's boards and bureaus.

In addition, another issue of pressing concern will be examined: the coming shortage of licensed professionals.

As aging Baby Boomers retire, the number of contractors, nurses, doctors, auto repair technicians, etc. is expected to decline, but demand will actually increase. The PACT Summit will address that trend and, more importantly, how to deal with it and ensure California has an adequate number of licensed professionals.

More information about the PACT Summit can be found at