-These are just a few of the most common questions and answers to help inform you. We will be happy to answer any other questions or concerns you may have.
What is the smog check program ?
The Smog Check Program is a vehicle emissions inspection program that is an important part of the State’s efforts to improve the quality of air we breathe.
Smog Check inspections are designed to identify and either repair or retire high-polluting vehicles. Approximately 10 million vehicles are inspected each year under the program. The Smog Check Program has greatly reduced air pollution created by millions of cars in California. According to the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the program removes about 400 tons of smog-forming pollutants from California’s air every day.
STAR stations are Smog Check stations that meet higher 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.
Why am I being sent to a STAR station?
State law requires that a percentage of vehicles have their Smog Check inspections performed at a STAR station. One reason may be that your vehicle was identified as being more likely than others to emit unhealthy levels of harmful pollutants. This may be true even though your vehicle may never have failed a Smog Check. Another possibility is that your vehicle was chosen as part of a random selection for Smog Check Program evaluation purposes.
How can I help my vehicle pass the smog check?
Performing regular and proper vehicle maintenance according to your owner’s manual and not tampering with the emissions control equipment are keys to passing Smog Check. If the “Check Engine” light comes on, take your vehicle to a licensed repair station as soon as you can to have the problem diagnosed. Consult your owner’s manual for repairs that may be covered under your emissions warranty
In order to complete your registration, you will need to obtain the repairs necessary for the vehicle to pass a Smog Check retest. Before beginning repairs, you may want to find out if you are eligible for the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP).
What if DMV has not received my certificate of compliance when I try to renew?
If you are going to register your vehicle in person at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) field office, be sure to bring your Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) and any notices sent by DMV with you. The VIR indicates whether your car passed or failed the Smog Check inspection and includes an identification number to help DMV track your electronic certificate, if necessary
What do I do if I receive a notice of incomplete renewal from DMV?
DMV sends motorists this notice when it cannot locate a Smog Check certificate for a vehicle. If you receive one of these notices, you may do one of two things: (1) If you have not yet completed a Smog Check inspection, do so. Once DMV receives an electronic certificate of compliance, the DMV database will be updated and your registration and license plate sticker will be issued. No further action is required on your part. (2) If you have already successfully completed a Smog Check, please allow 30 days to receive your registration and sticker. If, after 30 days, you still have not received your registration and license plate sticker, contact DMV for further assistance.