The STAR Program
Assembly Bill AB2289 became law on September 24, 2010. Final regulations regarding the program were adopted on November 1, 2011. Live data on website started in December 2011.
Types of Stations
For STAR Certification, there are four possible types of stations.
- Test-Only: can only test vehicles, but cannot test directed vehicles or gross-polluting vehicles;
- Test-and-Repair: can test and repair vehicles, but cannot test directed vehicles or gross-polluting vehicles;
- STAR Test-Only: can only test vehicles, including directed vehicles and gross-polluting vehicles; and
- STAR Test-and-Repair: can test and repair vehicles, including directed vehicles and gross-polluting vehicles. Also must provide repair assistance services under BAR’s CAP Program. However, they cannot force you to provide CAP repairs. You just must be signed up and authorized to do so.
Stations do not have to be STAR certified but only STAR certified stations may inspect directed vehicles and gross-polluting vehicles.
Anyone licensed to perform Smog Check Inspections and/or repairs will have a STAR score…this includes stations and individual technicians. Even though one has a STAR score this does not mean they are STAR Program certified. This score is to assist a station in self evaluation as well as assist a station in hiring technicians.
STAR certification is non-transferable.
A station may apply once it has at least one quarter of data to review during the application process.
The station must not have been engaged in conduct that would be cause for discipline of the station’s ARD registration or Smog Check station license. A station must be in compliance to all requirements related to: license posting, signage, invoicing, record keeping, manual keeping, required tools and equipment.
A station must not have been issued any Smog Check citation within the preceding one-year period prior to the application. This includes employing any technicians with the same. Additionally, a station, or its technicians, must not have been the subject of any disciplinary order within the preceding three-year period before the application. Lastly, no convictions of crimes related to the associated duties.
Performance Measures: If have an FPR score it is above .4; SVFR must meet or exceed 75% in preceding calendar quarter; less than 2% of Gear Shifting Incidents in preceding calendar quarter; and must not have an Excessive Test Deviation Rate of more than one in preceding calendar quarter.
Differences from the Gold Shield Program
A Test-Only station may be STAR certified since there are no repair-based performance measures in the STAR Program. Qualifying for the STAR Program is not automatic and Gold Shield stations must still apply for the STAR program. It is possible that an application from a station with a Gold Shield could be denied due to the Performance Measures.
A change of address will not affect STAR Program certification as it did with the Gold Shield.
First and foremost, a station, and the public, can view STAR Program scores on the web at www.smogcheck.ca.gov under the Industry, then STAR, then Report Card Tabs. All STAR performance scores are calculated using data collected by the BAR-97 Emissions Inspection System that is transmitted to the Vehicle Inspection Database (“VID”).
Repair effectiveness is no longer a performance measure.
- Short-Term Measures: Test Deviations, Similar Vehicle Failure Rate (“SVFR”), and Improper Gear Selection during the ASM test.-Replacing a fuel cap during the inspection will not hurt a station’s Similar Vehicle Failure Rate.)
- Long-Term Measure: The Follow-up Pass Rate (“FPR”)-If a station certifies vehicles with unset readiness monitors will tend to fail their initial inspection at a higher rate in the next inspection cycle. This will tend to drive down a station’s FPR score.-A station’s FPR score is based on the lowest FPR score of any technician currently found in the station’s EIS Technician Information Table.-A station with low amounts of FPR data or a new station will not have a FPR score. Lack of a FPR score, in most cases, will not impede a station’s application for STAR certification. However, STAR certified stations with low FPR scores (
A mistake that leads to a citation or an administrative action is grounds for and can lead to the invalidation of a station’s STAR certification.
A station may have its certification invalidated if it employs a technician with an unacceptable FPR score.
The invalidation process will include a notification to the station and an opportunity to appeal the proposed decision. The BAR may consider the quick removal of a problem technician from a station as a mitigating circumstance.
Once a station’s STAR certification is invalidated they must wait at least six months to reapply. Also, that station, or any of its technicians, cannot have had a citation within the prior year or any disciplinary action from the BAR within three years.
To retain its certification, STAR certified station cannot employ a technician who has received a citation within the last year or is the subject of a BAR administrative action within the last three years. This is still true even if the technician was employed at another facility for those circumstances.