How do you know that you need a smog check?

Smog Check Service

Get a Smog Check in San Jose

We wish we could give you a cut and dried answer, but since smog checks are based on government regulations, there is a lot of fine print to sort through. We will help you figure out the fine print by writing a clear and concise guide on whether you need to get a smog check. We will also give you a tip on the best place to go for a smog check near San Jose.

Smog Checks Are Required If . . .

We know that getting a smog check is not your favorite way to spend your time, but here are the types of vehicles that require a smog check.

You need to get a smog check when you register a new vehicle in San Jose.

The fine print: The state government regulations say that if your “new” car is less than four model years old, you can either choose to get a smog check or pay a smog abatement fee. It’s not clear which choice is cheaper, as the fee depends upon the type of car that you are registering. You can continue this practice for the first eight years that your car is registered. This means that you may not need to get a smog check if your vehicle is newer than 12 years old.

To find out how much the smog abatement fee is for your particular vehicle, fill in the details on this website.

You need a smog inspection when you renew your vehicle registration in California.

The fine print: Before you search for the closest smog station near you, check the list of counties that require smog checks. We hate to get your hopes up, but if you live in the lovely Santa Clara County, the state requires that you get a smog check.

You need to get a smog check before selling your car to a private owner.

The fine print: Unless your car is four years old or newer, you need to provide the new owner of the car a valid smog certificate when you transfer ownership of the vehicle. If the vehicle is newer than four years old, the new owner will be required to pay the smog transfer fee.

Smog Checks are Not Required If . . .

We tried to make the previous rules as clear as possible, but the fine print gets in the way. Here are some vehicles that do not need a smog check.

You do not need a smog check if you drive an electric vehicle.

You do not need a smog check if your car weighs more than 14,000 pounds and is powered by natural gas.

You do not need a smog check if you drive a diesel-powered vehicle that is older than 1997.

You do not need a smog check if you drive an older vehicle (1975 or older.)

Where do I get a smog check?

If you live in Santa Clara County, go to Green Star Smog Check. Green Star is a STAR-certified facility, which means they are a check-only station that has been certified by the state. They receive excellent customer reviews, are conveniently located, and will have you in and out in minutes.

Green Star Smog Check provides friendly, quality service. We hope to see you soon!

California Smog Check Consumer Assitance Program

Smog check San Jose

Consumer Assitance Program

Unless you are living under a rock, you are aware that the recent COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the economy. The people of our nation are suffering from rampant unemployment, and the stay at home orders have caused some of our industries to suffer. Now, more than ever before, Californians find themselves turning to government resources to assist them through these difficult times. 

Even though new programs have been enacted, some old assistance programs may be particularly helpful right now. We would like to share some details about the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) as offered by the State of California.

The state realizes that requiring a vehicle to pass a smog test before registering it places a particular burden on low-income families. These families typically drive older cars that need more repairs and requiring that these cars pass an emissions test may be particularly stressful. 

Since many jobs require that the employee has access to a working vehicle, and some individuals can’t afford to have such a car, this leads to an unfortunate and endless cycle.

Fortunately, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, state leadership started the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP).

This program assists low-income people living in California in getting a working vehicle. It does it in one of two ways.


Low-income individuals may qualify to receive $500 to spend on diagnosing and repairing their cars. The repairs must be emissions-related and completed to help the car pass the smog test. Vehicles eight years and older must pass this test to be registered in the state. The testing must be completed at a STAR station, similar to Green Star Smog Check.

While $500 may cover most of the emission repair bills, there may be other problems with the vehicle that cause it to be undrivable. That’s why the state also enacted the Vehicle Retirement program. 

If you can’t afford to make the additional repairs on your car, the state may choose to purchase it from you for $1,000 or $1,500. This would not only get the polluter off the road, but it would help low-income individuals put funds toward a more efficient vehicle that would pass the smog test with ease.


Since this is a government-sponsored program, there is a lot of fine print. As this is an income-based program, you may be required to show proof that you qualify for the assistance. Also, the Vehicle Retirement program may or may not be fully funded, so even if you are eligible based on your income, the funds may or may not be there to pay for your car.

We know you have options when choosing a smog check location in San Jose. We would like you to consider going to Green Start Smog Check. We are a STAR certified station, and we offer a free 30-day retest on cars from the year 2000 or newer. Our facility not only provides a cheap smog check, but we also offer fast and friendly service.  Google us or check us out on your favorite review sites. We are proud of what our customers have to say.

This article was originally posted GreenStar Smog Check.

Steps for Helping Your Car Pass a Smog Test

Smog check san jose

How Your Car can Pass Smog Test

As a Californian, you know the importance of having your vehicle pass the biennial smog test. After all, if your car fails to pass the test performed at your San Jose smog check station, you won’t be able to register it through the Department of Motor Vehicles. If your car’s registration expires, you cannot operate it legally. While you might be tempted to drive it illegally, this may cause you to suffer additional expenses and consequences.

Prudent Californians know how important this test is and check a vehicle’s smog test history before purchasing a used car.

How can you make sure that your car passes a smog test? Here are some tips that will help you keep your vehicle on the freeway.

1. Know when you are due for a smog test.

Gas-powered vehicles and hybrid vehicles that are model year 1976 and newer require a smog, with the following exceptions:
Eight model-years and newer do not need a biennial inspection.
Four model-years and newer do not need a change-of-ownership inspection.

This means that if you drive a vehicle that is seven years old, you will be required to have a smog test one year from now. The DMV will notify you when they send the registration renewal through the mail.

Pay attention to the age of your vehicle, so you know whether you will have to pass a smog check the next time you register your car or not. This will allow you to be prepared and possibly spread out the cost of repairs that you may need over several months.

2. Follow a car maintenance program.

One of the best ways to make sure your car is ready for a smog inspection is to complete routine maintenance on the vehicle. This regular maintenance includes changing the oil, but it is more complicated than that. You also may need to change filters and replace hoses and belts periodically.

Become educated about your car’s maintenance schedule. In fact, you may want to add dates to your calendar to remind you to go in for regular repairs. Knowing the recommended schedule will also keep you from being taken advantage of by a less-than-reputable mechanic.

3. Don’t ignore the check engine light.

Before you search for a “smog check near me,” take care of the problems that caused your car’s engine light to be illuminated. The check engine light may be illuminated because you have a problem with your car’s exhaust system. If you have your smog check completed before the necessary repairs are done, you may be wasting your time and money. (Please note that Green Star Smog Check offers free retests on vehicles 2000 and newer.)

Once you are ready to have a smog test completed on your car, bring it to Green Star Smog Check. They are conveniently located at 88 Keyes Street in San Jose. You’ll be impressed by our friendly, speedy service. We can’t wait to serve you!

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cheap smog check

Smog Check Price

Why You Should Choose Green Star Smog Check

Quality Smog Check San Jose

Choose Greenstar’s Affordable Service

We know that there are plenty of other smog check facilities in San Jose. In fact, when you Google “smog check near me,” dozens of businesses may appear on your search, all claiming to offer a cheap smog check in San Jose.

How do you choose a smog check station when there are so many available?

Before you make your choice, check the paperwork from the California DMV. You may be required to take your vehicle to a STAR testing station for your smog check. If this is the case, please note that Green Star Smog Check is a STAR-certified station.

Next, before you make a choice, you may want to consider the price or any other special offers. Right now, Green Star Smog Test in San Jose offers free retesting for vehicles 2000 and newer.

Finally, besides making sure the facility offers convenient hours, you may also want to take a look at the business’ online reviews. We at Greem Star Smog Check are proud of what our customers have to say about the services we provide. In fact, we would like to share some of those reviews written by a few of our real-life customers.


Our latest review says it all:

“Even though I’m not happy to have to snog my vehicle, I actually look forward to going to Green Star on Keyes Ave San Jose! They always make it easy and always help out with a coupon! See them soon again with my other car.”

Another reviewer advised on how to find our facility, and then went on to say:
“if you want an easy star-certified smog “experience” (whatever you call it), I’d suggest checking out this place.”

One of our customers was pleasantly surprised:
“I arrived at 5:30pm on a weeknight (30 minutes before closing) and they were so accommodating! But what really surprised.”

We especially like hearing from returning customers.
“Wonderful service super quick and a great price. Super willing to work with you with a smile on his face! Been coming here for years and will continue to come here and recommend it to family and friends!”

Finally, one more review from a happy customer:
“Great service and fast work! I was very impressed! I will definitely be coming back the next time I need a Smog or any tire work.”


What did you learn from these reviews of Green Star Smog Check?

Green Star is speedy quick. No one wants to hang out at a smog check facility. We know you have places to go and people to see, so we work hard to get you in and out quickly.
The staff at Green Star Smog Check is friendly. It’s almost as if they want you to return . . .
The customers of Green Star are happy to recommend our business to their friends and family.

While we can’t promise that your car will pass the smog test, we will guarantee that you will have a friendly, quick service. Visit Green Star Smog Check today.





Green Star Smog Check Answers Your FAQs

FAQ Smog Check

FAQ Answers Green Star Smog

What questions do you have regarding getting a smog check in San Jose? Let Green Star Smog Check in San Jose answer those questions.

Since we have been serving the San Jose community for years, we have heard hundreds of questions regarding our service. Here are the answers to some of those FAQs.

If we don’t answer your specific question in this blog, please reach out to the staff at Green Star. You don’t need an appointment, so you can have your questions answered in person. You may also call our office at (408) 423-0000. The staff of Green Star Smog Check can’t wait to serve you.

What do I need to bring when I go to Green Star Smog Check?

Of course, the most important thing you need to bring is your vehicle. We suggest that you drive your car at least 15 minutes before arriving to make sure your emission-related components are ready to be checked.

Besides bringing your car, you may also bring the renewal notice that you received from the DMV. Look for the document with the barcode across it. Don’t fret if you can’t find your notice. It’s not vital that you have it.

Finally, if you are money conscious (and who isn’t?), you may want to visit our website and print out our smog check coupon.

How do I learn a vehicle’s smog check history?

Are you considering buying a used car? Is the owner or dealer not able to provide proof that the vehicle recently passed a smog test, you should be wary of handing over the money. Fortunately, if you know the vehicle’s VIN or license plate number, you can visit the California Bureau of Automotive Repair website. From there, you can enter either of those numbers to see the report on that particular car.

The report will state the make, model, and year of the vehicle, so you can make sure that it matches the car you were considering to buy. The report will also give you the date of the last inspection, and it will tell you whether or not the vehicle passed.

Where can I find the cheapest smog check price?

You’ll receive not only the best service but also the lowest price at Green Star Smog Check. We are located at 88 Keyes Street in San Jose.

What happens if your car doesn’t pass the necessary smog test?

If your car doesn’t pass the smog test, you cannot legally drive your vehicle. The DMV simply won’t register it.

Green Star Smog Check will give you a report that explains the repairs that you need to make on your car. Green Star Smog Check is a check-only station. This means we can’t make the necessary repairs. Green Star offers a 30-day retest for vehicles that are model year 2000 and newer.

Do I need to visit a STAR check station?

You may have noticed that your documentation from the DMV says that you need to have your smog check performed at a STAR station.

The state of California says that vehicles older than model-year 1999 must have an inspection at a STAR station. Cars of this age require a tailpipe inspection, and STAR stations must have the appropriate equipment for this test.

Visit the Green Star Star Smog check location to receive the answers to any other questions.

Types of Smog Tests Performed by Green Star

smog check center

Green Star Performed Different Smog Tests 

We get a lot of questions about the different types of smog tests that we perform at Green Star Smog Check. That’s why we would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the different types of smog tests that are available at our facility. Here are some of the checks that you can receive at your favorite smog check in San Jose, California.

STAR Station Smog Check

Green Star Smog Check has been designated a STAR station by the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs. This means that we have met the higher standards that the state requires for a smog check station. As you search Google for a  “smog check near me,” make sure you choose a STAR smog check facility. 

Smog Check Only

Green Star Smog Check is a test-only facility. Many of our customers feel more comfortable having a check done at a test-only facility because they know that we won’t financially benefit by failing your vehicle. Since we only do the testing, we won’t charge you for the sometimes costly repairs that may be required to have your vehicle pass. 

Again, we have nothing to gain from failing your vehicle. In fact, we offer a 30-day retest for 2000 and newer cars. 

Smog Check Gross Polluter 

Green Star Smog Check will also test your vehicle that has been designated as a “gross polluters.” Our state defines gross polluters as vehicles that, when tested, exceed at least one of the gross polluter standards. This means that the car tested at twice the maximum emissions limits.

Vehicles also receive the gross polluter designation if they fall under the High Emitter Profile database. These vehicles have a higher probability of failing an inspection. 

If you own a gross polluter, you must have your initial inspection at a STAR check only station. 

Smog Check – Out of State

If you purchase a new vehicle outside of Calfornia, you need to have a smog test completed to have it registered in our state. This is because not all new cars are made to pass Calfornia’s stringent emission standards. There are some exemptions to this rule, especially for active members of the military.  For more information, check the state’s DMV website. And more!

Green Star Smog Check will perform other tests as well, such as the Change of Ownership Smog Checks, Truck and RV Smog Tests, and regular smog checks on sedans, all types of diesel vehicles, SUVs, minivans, pick-ups, RVs, and heavy-duty trucks. If you can drive it, we can test it.  

Why you should choose Green Star Smog Check

Check out Green Star Smog Check’s customer reviews. They depict a friendly staff and clean and comfortable waiting rooms. They also offer free WIFI and coffee. Don’t forget to print out the  Green Star smog check coupons off the website before you arrive.

No need to make an appointment —  just drop by Green Star Smog Check. We are open seven days a week. Find us at 88 Keyes Street in San Jose.


Smog Testing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Completing Smog Check

Completing Smog Test During Pandemic

The State of California considers smog-check locations as “essential businesses.” Still, officials say you may want to call the “smog check station near me” before you go to learn about new safety protocols that may be in effect. After all, we are all in this COVID-19 fight together, and care needs to be taken by every person to limit the spread of the virus.

Some of you may be concerned about the process of having a smog check. Perhaps you don’t want to get out in the community because you are worried about catching the virus. Maybe you are concerned about the smog check price because you have lost your job as a result of the pandemic.

While your concern is understandable, you need to know that the State of California is not waving the smog check requirements during the COVID-19 epidemic.
With that being said, we thought it would be important to share with you the news we have heard from the state.

You may be wondering what to do if your vehicle registration is set to expire within the next few weeks. While the California Department of Motor Vehicles will be closed for a time, you may be able to take care of your basic renewal from the safety and comfort of your home. Visit California’s “virtual DMV” to take care of your basic transactions.

If you choose to wait to have your smog test complete until after the coronavirus subsides, that is your decision. You won’t have to pay any late fees for not having the testing completed on time (if you pay your registration fees online). However, you will not receive your new registration sticker until the smog test is complete. This means that the sticker on your license plate will still be expired.

According to a news report, officials from the DMV are asking police officers to avoid giving tickets for expired registration until life returns to normal. Of course, the DMV does not have this official authority so that the request could be granted or ignored.

Just in case, you may want to pay for your car registration online, and then keep a proof of payment with your car. Explaining the situation to an understanding officer may prevent you from getting a ticket.

If you choose to get your testing done, and are looking for a smog check in San Jose, we humbly ask that you visit Green Star Smog Check. Green Star is a STAR certified, test-only location, and we can quickly complete your smog so that the police can’t use an expired registration as a reason to stop you.

Green Star Smog Check is located at 88 Keyes Street in San Jose. Look for a smog check coupon on our website or check out our current special.

Green Star Smog Check will smog sedans, SUVs, vans, pick-ups, RVs, and heavy-duty trucks. Do you drive a diesel? Bring it in, and we can smog check it.

We know this is a stressful time. Let Green Star Smog Check make your smog check renewal service as painless as possible.

GreenStar Smog Check

Does Smog Check Service Cost More?

smog test service

Cost For A Smog Check Service

You know that sometimes you get what you pay for. You have probably learned this truth the hard way at some point during your life. Maybe you bought a cheap laptop that was continually crashing. Perhaps you purchased cheap sheets that were scratchy and uncomfortable. Or did you buy a bargain TV that gave a green tint to all of the actors on your favorite show?

When it comes to completing your biannual smog test, you may wonder if you can search “cheap smog test near me” on your smartphone and go to the first facility on the list. Or do you need to spend a lot of money to find the best smog test place in the business?

Why not do both? Here are some tips on how to choose the best smog test facility that also offers the lowest price.

1. Find a test only smog check station.

Choose a test-only smog check station. Other businesses will do the smog test and will then fix whatever is wrong with your vehicle that kept you from passing. When you visit a test-only facility, you can be assured that you will receive accurate results.

Of course, we are not accusing other business owners of shady practices. All we are saying is that there is that when you go to a test-only smog check facility, the business owner receives no benefit to find something wrong with your car.

Greenstar Smog Check is a test-only facility. The staff will give you an honest assessment of your vehicle and will send you to another location if repairs are required. Greenstar will also offer a 30-day retest on 2000 model cars or newer.

2. Look at reviews.

ou look at reviews before you pick a taco stand in an unfamiliar city. Why wouldn’t you consult your favorite review site before having your biannual smog test? See what other customers have to say about the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness of the facility, and the quickness of the test.

Greenstar Smog Test in San Jose has excellent reviews. They smog all types of vehicles, from SUVs to sedans. They also smog diesel vehicles, RVs, and heavy-duty trucks. They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They are also open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also make an appointment on their website.

3. Find a smog check facility that offers a discount.

Do you want to save money on your smog check? Find one that has periodic sales or coupons. Currently, Greenstar Smog Check has a deal on smog checks for sedans and coupes. See their website for details.

4. Finally, look for a smog check station that is located in a convenient location.

Greenstar Smog Check is located at 88 Keyes Street in San Jose. Are you looking for a cheap smog check station in San Jose that offers quality service? Greenstar Smog Check does both.

GreenStar Smog Check

How To Find A STAR Smog Check Station

Star smog checkFinding Star Smog Check Station

How can you tell the difference between a STAR smog check station and a regular smog check station? How do you know which type of test you need? Keep reading this article, and we will tell you the difference between the two types of business and tell you where to find the best STAR check station in San Jose.

Check your notice from the DMV to see whether or not you are required to have your smog check completed at a STAR station or not. Not every California vehicle is required to be tested at one of these specialized stations.

STAR stations are smog check centers that meet higher performance standards. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair established these standards. Some STAR stations are test-only stations, and some can do tests and repairs. State law requires that a percentage of vehicles have their smog checks performed at STAR stations.

How do you know which vehicles are required to be inspected at a designated STAR station? There are three determining factors. Two have to do with the type of car you drive, but the last factor is determined by random chance.

1. Vehicles that gross polluters or vehicles that have failed a previous smog inspection must go to a STAR station.

2. HIgh emitter profile vehicles, which the Bureau of Automotive Repair has determined to have a high chance of failing the review, must be tested at STAR station.

3. Finally, a random sample of vehicles is required to go through a STAR check.

If you received a notice to obtain a smog check at a STAR station, it could be because of the type of vehicle you own, or you may just be one of the lucky ones chosen for this type of testing.

There’s no need to fret If your vehicle has been selected to go through a STAR smog check. Simply Google “STAR smog check near me” or visit Green Star Smog Check.

Green Star Smog Check is a test-only STAR station. Most of the time, smog checks at Green Star Smog Check take only 15 or 20 minutes. You can schedule an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome.

There are other STAR-certified stations in the area, but Green Star Smog Check has received great reviews. Previous customers say that they have professional and friendly staff, but they also offer a clean waiting area.

Green Star Smog Check is open every day of the week. They also have a 30-day free retest policy for cars from the year 2000 or newer. This means that if you don’t pass the smog check the first time around, you can return to Green Star Smog Check after your repairs are complete to get your certificate.

Green Star Smog Check is a test-only station in San Jose. This means that their technicians won’t try to sell you any expensive repairs to pass your smog test.

Visit the Green Star Smog Check website to find a valuable coupon so you can save money on your next test.

What Happens During a Smog Check?

Smog test service

Experience San Jose Smog Check

If you are like most people, here is the range of emotions you probably experience every time you receive a smog check notice.


When you first see the notice, you probably think — “didn’t I just get a smog check on my car?” Some believe that they MUST have received the notice in error.

The reality is that two years go quickly. If your car is older than eight years, you need to have a smog check completed bi-annually or once every two years.


You know how important it is that all Californians work together to improve the air quality in San Jose, but you are annoyed to add another item to your already too-full to-do list. You have to work, help your kid with homework, take your grandma to her appointments, and find time to watch the Warrior games on TV. You don’t have time to get a smog check.

The reality is that a smog check only takes 20 or 30 minutes. The time will pass quickly as you scroll through Tik Tok.


After the denial and annoyance come acceptance. You know that having a smog check every two years is required for your vehicle. Instead of throwing a fit, you might as well, Google “smog check near me” or “smog check coupon.”

Do you go through this same range of emotions every other year? Perhaps you have dutifully completed your smog check, but you have no idea what goes on as you chill in the waiting room of Green Star Smog Check. Here’s what happens as you watch Netflix on your phone.

Green Star’s staff visually inspect the emission control components of your vehicle. They also look over all the car’s systems. Keep in mind that Green Star Smog Check is a test-only station. That means that they are unable to repair anything that is broken. This means that they do not receive a financial benefit if they find something wrong with your car.
Next, our technicians complete a functional inspection of your car’s check engine light, ignition timing, exhaust gas recirculation system, fuel evaporative system, and the gas cap. Don’t wait for your smog check to find out why your check engine light appears. And if the check engine light blinks, make sure you consult a licensed mechanic immediately.
After the car’s central systems are checked, our technician completes a check using the car’s On-Board Diagnostic System. This means that the technician plugs a device into your car’s computer system to determine if there’s anything wrong with it.

Finally, our staff inspects the tailpipe emissions. The amount and type of each pollutant are analyzed.

You may know nothing about cars, and the above steps may sound like a bunch of gobbledygook. If this is you — no worries. The only thing you should understand is the California smog check history requires that you complete this process to protect Californians from being harmed by pollutants caused by engine exhaust.

Besides understanding that completing a smog check is your responsibility as a car owner, you also need to understand that not every smog check business in San Jose is the same.

You need to bring your car to Green Star Smog Check. We are a highly-rated STAR station, and we will have you in and out in less than 30 minutes. No appointments are necessary. Simply drive to our location at 88 Keyes Street, San Jose.

Greenstar Smog Check