What Is a STAR Station Smog Check?

star-station-smog-check Credit: José González Spaudo/CC-BY-2.0

A STAR station smog check is smog check done at a station that is closely monitored by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs. The BAR has a higher standard for vehicle smog checks than other stations.

The STAR program was instituted in California in 2013. When certain drivers receive their vehicle registration renewal notice from the DMV, they may also see a note instructing them to get certification at a STAR station.

Vehicles that previously failed a smog check, have a high chance of failing or are one of a random sample of vehicles are chosen to have a smog check by a STAR station. Inspections performed at a STAR station cost more than a regular smog inspection.

There are two types of STAR stations: STAR Test Only Centers only inspect the vehicle, while STAR Test and Repair stations test and repair any problems that are found.