(858) 668-3013
(858) 668-3013




The Consumer Assistance Program




Hours of Operation:

Call (858) 668-3013 for an Appointment 

Monday - Friday:

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Your Source for Smog Testing

Rick's Poway Test Only
13865 Poway Rd

POWAY, CA 92064

Call (858) 668-3013 to Schedule your Appointment Today

Frequently Asked Questions

We try to anticipate questions you might have about our SERVICE and provide the answers here. If you need additional information call us at 858-668-3013.


Beginning January 1, 2013

Bureau of Automotive Repair

Department of Consumer Affairs


The State Program called STAR has customers confused. They have no idea what it is, or how it affects their smog test. The actual test is the exact same.


Renewal notices from the Department of Motor Vehicles used to direct drivers to go to "Gold Shield" or ‘Test Only” stations. The new program directs drivers to STAR stations.


“STAR” smog tests can only be done by “Test Only” (unbiased) or “Test and Repair” (biased), provided they are STAR Certified Stations. The difference is these Smog Stations are now required to meet the State of California’s STAR grading system. There are several ways Smog Stations are graded; the primary grade is a minimum failure rate.

In order to meet the States average failure rate and a standard failure rate more vehicles must fail. Unfortunately, for the customer, most of these failures have been visual.


The State is not clear about distinguishing these failure rates by geographic location or as a State wide minimum.


Why are cars 1995 and older $5.00 more expensive and why do I need to fill the tank?

Most vehicles from 1976-1995 require an EVAP (Evaporative) Test in addition to the Emissions Test.  The vehicle's gas tank is filled with Nitrogen to checks for leaks between the gas tank and the engine's charcoal canister.


A near empty gas tank takes longer to pressurize which may cause the equipment to abort the test and fail the vehicle.

Do I have to get a Smog Test before I can pay my car registration?

No. On the back of your Renewal Notice, at the top (see below) it says "Avoid Paying Penalty Fees"

Even without a Smog Certificate you can pay the renewal fees.  Your registration will be complete within an hour after the smog test is completed.

For more information see "Did You Know" Tab or click here


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