STAR vs Smog Station
You look at the envelope and tear it open. Inside is a Department of Motor Vehicles notice requiring you to obtain a Smog Certification at a STAR Station. A STAR Smog TEST station is certified by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs (B.A.R.). STAR stations are monitored closely and subsequently provided with a higher rating for testing and repairs.
There are two types of STAR Smog Stations. There are stations that are designated TEST ONLY, and there are stations that can “Test and Repair”. Both types of facilities can perform regular and STAR smog checks. STAR Test Only centers are certified to perform smog inspections. These testing sites are not authorized to perform repairs that are required to bring vehicles into emissions compliance. STAR Test and Repair Stations are authorized to test and provide repairs if needed to bring a vehicle into compliance.
Upon receiving notification for a STAR smog certification, you may take your care to either type of facility.
STAR Station Responsibilities
STAR TEST ONLY
The State of California authorizes this station to perform Regular and STAR test inspections. This TEST Only facilities duty is to perform an impartial and true smog inspection. They are certified to test all DMV-specified vehicles. They do not have the authority to perform any repairs to a vehicle based on test results.
STAR TEST and REPAIR (CAP)
The B.A.R. has certified that these facilities can perform regular smog checks, STAR Testing, and any repairs needed to bring the tested automobile into emission compliance. These stations are members of the State Consumer Assistance Program. Every STAR Test and Repair garage is subject to monthly inspection by the State of California. For more information check out the Consumer Assistance Program (link)
Why was my Car chosen for a STAR Smog Check?
There are three factors used when the State determines that a STAR Test or STAR Test and Repair Station are required.
- Gross Polluters – Vehicles that have failed to pass a smog inspection with a specific emission or higher.
- High Emitter Vehicles – Based on type of vehicle and its proclivity for having a greater chance of failing a smog inspection.
- Random Sample – Yes it is just your lucky day.
Should I be worried?
If you receive a notice along with your registration that specifies that you go to a STAR station, there is no need to worry. You can find a STAR Testing and Repair Station, just by searching the web. If you are in Apple Valley, or Hesperia you can come to A-Action Automotive a STAR Test and Repair facility.