STAR Program Update Regulations Adopted
On May 5, 2022, the Office of Administrative Law approved and filed with the Secretary of State the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) regulatory action to update STAR program regulations. The STAR program offers a voluntary certification of Smog Check stations that uphold high inspection-based standards. Implemented in 2013,the program aims to improve the overall quality of Smog Check inspections and help the state meet emissions reduction goals for motor vehicles.
Effective July 1, 2022, the regulations amend STAR program eligibility requirements, establish a STAR certification suspension—rather than invalidation—processs, and delete outdated Gold Shield Program provisions.
Changes to Eligibility Requirements
A station applying for STAR certification must have performed enough inspections in the most recently completed calendar quarter to allow for calculation of the STAR performance measures. Stations may check their results on the STAR Report Card.
The minimum required Similar Vehicle Failure Rate for STAR certification has been lowered from 75% to 50%.
A station with no Follow-up Pass Rate (FPR) score is no longer eligible for STAR certification if a Smog Check inspector with no FPR score is listed in its Inspector Information Table. Accordingly, a station with no FPR score is not eligible to apply for STAR certification until it adds a Smog Check inspector with an FPR score of 0.40 or higher to its Inspector Information Table and removes Smog Check inspectors with no FPR scores from the Inspector Information Table.
If a station was denied STAR certification for failure to meet eligibility requirements, it must wait until the next calendar quarter to reapply.
If a station withdraws its STAR certification, it must wait six months before it may reapply.
Changes to Performance Measures
Short-Term Performance Measures - A new Incorrect Equipment Platform test deviation criterion has been added. The new criterion supports proper selection of the appropriate equipment platform.
FPR Score Criteria - The option for a STAR station with no FPR score to add a Smog Check inspector with no FPR score in its Inspector Information Table has been eliminated.
Suspension of STAR Certification
The regulations replace the former invalidation process with a new suspension process. The often-burdensome invalidation process required a station that had its certification invalidated reapply to resume operation as a STAR station. Reapplication was permitted no sooner than six months following the invalidation. The new suspension process provides the station with terms of suspension, including a specified timeframe for the suspension, and allows the station to resume operation as a STAR station without having to reapply when the term of suspension ends.
In addition, the regulations add cause to suspend certification if, in the most recently completed FPR reporting period, a station did not receive an FPR score, and it adds a Smog Check inspector who also did not receive an FPR score to its Inspector Information Table.