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Directed Vehicles

What is a directed vehicle?

A directed vehicle is required by the state to have its Smog Check performed at a station meeting certain performance standards. These standards are established under the STAR Program. Stations meeting these standards are certified by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).

Why are vehicles directed?

State law requires the state to establish a program for testing a percentage of the vehicle fleet at STAR-certified stations. The requirement is limited to urban areas of the state where ozone pollution levels pose a significant threat to public health.

What is a STAR station?

Some vehicles require a Smog Check at a STAR station. STAR stations must meet specified performance standards established by BAR. Some STAR stations are licensed to perform only tests, while others are licensed to perform both tests and repairs. The station is required to post a sign on the services it performs. The STAR sign is bright red and can usually be found hanging directly under or near the station's Smog Check sign.

How can I find a STAR station in my area?

To find a STAR station near you, click here or call (800) 952-5210.

What types of vehicles are directed?

Model-year 1999 and older vehicles must have their inspections performed at a STAR station. These vehicles still require a tailpipe inspection of emissions. STAR stations are required to have this equipment.

In addition, model-year 2000 and newer vehicles with the greatest likelihood of failing their next inspection are directed to STAR stations. Smog Check history of vehicle groups (e.g., model-year, make, model, body style, engine displacement, and transmission type) is a major factor in this directed vehicle selection process. The first six model-years do not require biennial inspection, and therefore are not included in the Directed Vehicle Selection Methodology. For more information, click here.

How are motorists notified?

The Department of Motor Vehicles renewal notice will indicate if a vehicle requires inspection at a STAR station. Instructions are provided on the back of the renewal notice to assist consumers with the STAR Program.

For more information about the STAR Program, click here.