What is Star Station?
Beginning January 1st 2013 the state of California Bureau of Automotive Repair is starting a new program for emissions testing called the Star Program. The STAR Program aims to restrict smog check centers with low smog check performance scores from inspecting Star directed vehicles. Existing smog check stations can join the Star Program only if they meet strict performance score criteria.
Some STAR stations are only authorized to perform smog inspections. These stations are known as STAR Test Only stations. Other STAR certified smog centers can perform smog inspections as well as smog check repairs. These smog stations are known as STAR Test and Repair stations.These stations must be participants of the State’s Consumer Assistance Program also know as CAP and are inspected by the State of California monthly. Both STAR stations are allowed to perform regular and STAR smog checks. If the DMV is asking for “Smog Certificate Required at a STAR station” you can visit either of these smog test center types.
How are vehicles selected for STAR smog check?
The State of California uses the following three strategies to determine whether a vehicle is STAR station designated or not:
Gross polluters (vehicles which have failed a previous smog inspection with very high emission readings)
High Emitter Profile vehicles. These are vehicle types designated by the Bureau of Automotive Repair as having high chances of failing the smog test.
A random sample of all automobiles registered in California and being driven on public roadways.
How much does a STAR smog check cost?
STAR smog stations, as with all smog stations, are independently owned and operated entities. The owners of these smog test centers or test and repair stations have to right to choose the amount they will charge consumers for their services. Except for an $8.25 State Certificate fee, STAR Test Only centers and STAR Test & Repair stations will have different prices, typically between $39.95 and $59.95 plus state certificate fee.