What is the difference with a regular smog station and a STAR smog station?
You received your DMV renewal notice and discovered it's asking for a smog inspection at a STAR station. No need to panic. All this means is that the DMV has chosen your car to be inspected at a smog station which is monitored closely by the BAR and must conform to high standards established by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs.
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 & Repair stations. Both STAR stations are allowed to perform regular and STAR smog checks.
- STAR Test Only Centers are only authorized to perform smog inspections and are not allowed to perform smog check repairs.
- STAR Test & Repair Stations are authorized to perform STAR smog inspections, as well as repair and certify all vehicles.
If the DMV is asking for "Smog Certificate Required at a STAR station" you can visit either of these smog test center types.
STAR certified smog station duties and responsibilities
STAR Test Only Center - Smog test only centers are authorized by the State of California to perform both Regular and Test Only smog inspections. They are not allowed to perform any smog repairs. A Test Only center's main obligation is to perform a non-bias and accurate smog inspection. They are certified to inspect all DMV required vehicles.
STAR Test & Repair (CAP) - STAR Test & Repair stations are authorized by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs to perform, along with smog check repairs, regular smog inspections and test only smog checks. A STAR Test & Repair station is the only type of smog check center which can inspect, repair and certify any and all vehicles. These stations are participants of the State's Consumer Assistance Program and are inspected by the State of California monthly.
STAR Test & Repair stations may also perform smog repairs on vehicles participating in the Consumer Assistance Program.