STAR stations are smog check stations that meet higher performance standards established by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair. 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. State law requires that a percentage of vehicles have their smog check inspection performed at a STAR station. To find a smog check station near you, please visit www.smogcheck.ca.gov OR call 1-800-952-5210.
If the front of the DMV renewal notice reads "smog certification required", you may take your vehicle to any smog check station. If the front of the DMV renewal notices reads "smog certification required at a STAR station" your vehicle MUST be inspected at one of these stations. Some STAR stations are only authorized to perform inspections, while others perform both inspections and repair. Effective January 1, 2013 the STAR program replaced the Gold Shield program.