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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?
Based on Smog Check history and other data, vehicles with the greatest likelihood of failing their next inspection must have their inspections performed at a STAR station. For more information about the Directed Vehicle Selection Methodology, click here.

In addition, state law requires that two percent of the vehicle fleet be randomly selected to have their next required Smog Check performed at a STAR station. This process is used to evaluate the overall performance and effectiveness of the Smog Check Program.

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.