What Is a STAR Smog Check Station?


Quick Answer

A STAR smog check station is a facility that is approved and recommended for mandatory vehicle smog testing by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. STAR-certified smog check stations are recognized by California as the highest performing in terms of reliability and customer service.

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What Is a STAR Smog Check Station?
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Full Answer

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. Vehicle types designated by the Bureau of Automotive Repair as being likely to fail the smog test and vehicles that have failed previous smog tests receive these notices. A certain number of other registered vehicles are also selected at random for these inspections. Inspections are conducted at STAR stations, which are privately owned and charge a fee for the inspection.

Vehicle emissions testing is not always required to be done at a STAR-certified location. Test results from other stations are sometimes allowed. However, a non-STAR certified location may not have the specific equipment to test every make, model and year of vehicle. Smog check stations that are STAR-certified can be located by zip code at CASTARStation.com.

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