Facing a STAR Program Action by the Bureau of Automotive Repair?

As a smog technician or smog repair shop your STAR Program rating is your bread and butter. People from Los Angeles to San Francisco, San Diego to Eureka here in California, have to get their cars smogged, but if you are threatened with a Bureau of Automotive Repair invalidation, your business probably won’t survive. For most STAR rated shops that is 60% to 70% of their business gone, virtually overnight.Invalidation of a STAR rating is big trouble.

There are four types of stations that are allowed to inspect vehicles and these are Test-Only that can inspect and certify all vehicles and Test-And-Repair which can certify vehicles and repair them.

Then there are STAR Test-Only which can inspect and certify all vehicles, including gross-polluting vehicles, but not repair them, and STAR Test-And-Repair which can certify directed vehicles and gross-polluting vehicles, repair them, and must provide repair assistance services under BAR’s Consumer Assistance Program. Individual inspectors cannot be certified under the STAR system: only testing stations can. However, an inspector’s long-term performance is one of the factors in assessing a station for STAR eligibility.

If you receive a STAR invalidation, you must act quickly! You absolutely must appeal it before the deadline stated in the letter. However, the grounds for appeal will vary from one station to the next because every invalidation is different. As far as we are concerned at Automotive Defense Specialists, the grounds for appeal don’t matter. Just call us and we will sort it out. Your appeal will be received by the BAR because we fax confirmation and email with a Proof of Service. We obviously can’t give legal advice in this post or in any of the posts on our blog – your best step is to reach out to a defense attorney who focuses on fighting for your rights against the Bureau of Automotive repair here in California.

You Do What You Do Best And We’ll Do What We Do Best

Once you have handed the case over to us you can go back to whatever it is that you do: inspecting vehicles or inspecting and repairing them. You do what you do best, and we do what we do best, which is fight your case.

What you must look out for is any letter regarding a Bureau of Automotive Repair invalidation. We have had cases where a client has received three or four invalidation notices in a quarter – all of them different. The main thing to look out for is the invalidation number: if it is different from the last one it is a different invalidation and you have to appeal it.

Another thing to note is that simply removing the technician won’t remove the invalidation. It is a common misconception, but a Bureau of Automotive Repair invalidation will not be dropped just because you no longer have the technician working for you. It is your station that has the STAR Certification, not the technician.

What you must do is to watch out for every notice from the BAR and let us have it so that we can deal with it for you. The BAR regulations are a minefield, so you have to know your way around them like we do.


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