I am aware of the CA law not erasing the code, but I was not aware of not even reading the code.
Some stores here in CO will only read the code and not erase it.
May be try a different store and ask them to read it. Almost all the auto parts store will read the code for free.
You have a OBDII car(same year and model as mine) so any generic scanner can read the code. You do not need a BMW specific scanner. It definitely helps to narrow down a problem but is definitely not a necessity.
OP, your problem is not the scanner, but the code. Get it read at the auto parts store or from someone who has an OBD2 scanner. The SES light can be caused by some small as a loose gas cap to something major.
You can decide on which scanner to get later, but the first thing to do is to know what caused the SES light.
Are you speaking for the whole community, advising against BMW scanner? It looks like only the people receiving broken items are posting on the threads, whoever receives a working item, they dont post. Only issue is, the one coming from overseas will take more time and more delay if you have to send one back. I believe xcar360 who are the ones coming with this product for cheap is a sponsor on this site now. So, one can directly deal with them.
No offense, but dont bash on a product because someone else couldnt get it to work or got a bad product. Or, did you get a bad one too? They are replicas of the BMW scanner 1.4 from PAsoft, which cost $650. You cant expect to have same level of quality and customer support from the cheaper(super cheap) version.
I am not asking OP to reset the code at auto zone, at least read the code to see what caused it.
I was giving OP a choice since everyone else seemed to give their choices. I bought BMW scanner 1.4 from a US seller paying more than $32($48 to be exact) because I needed it immediately to code my retrofitted xenons. However, the chance of people receiving the broken item from China or Taiwan is same as getting one from US seller. It is the same product with higher mark up price because it is being sold from a seller in the US. I have compared the one from US seller(mine) and the one ordered recently through xcar360(another forum member here). Both are same, even the sticker is attached in the same position(covering the indicator lights).
DIS, INPA, carsoft, etc available over ebay are also cheaper pirated versions. They use vag-com cables modified to work with the stated programs.The Vag-com cables you see for $10 are also the replicas from China, and you have the same chance of getting a bad one.
Plus you can do a lot of damage to the car if you dont know how to use them. I have all those softwares and prefer BMW scanner to read and code simple things on my car. If I have to do something that BMW scanner can't do, then only I resort to INPA.
That is the reason I advised OP on getting a BMW scanner.