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Motor repairers guidelines 

Reforms to motor industry laws

From 1 December 2014 the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 will replace the Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980. The new Act contains simplified, consistent legislation providing greater consumer protection and a fair go for motor vehicle repairers. For more information, go to the Major changes to motor industry laws page.

These guidelines have been developed to assist those working in the motor vehicle repair industry. They are a guide only and not a substitute for legal advice. If you are unsure of your obligations you should refer to the Motor Vehicle Repairers Act 1980 and Gas Supply Act 1996, or seek legal advice.

Do I need a licence? 

You need a licence if you run a motor vehicle repair business in New South Wales. This includes part-time, mobile work and subcontractors and includes working in a partnership or a company.

Commercial vehicle owners who only repair their own motor vehicles do not require a licence.

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How do I get a licence? 

An application must be lodged with Fair Trading. To be granted a licence you must meet the following criteria:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a fit and proper person
  • employ tradespeople who hold tradesperson certificates and/or be certified yourself
  • have sufficient financial resources to carry on the business.

You can obtain an application form and further information from the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website or by calling Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

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Do I need to display my licence? 

Yes, you must display your licence (or a copy) in a prominent place at each place of business and inside each vehicle (if offering a mobile service) related to the licence.

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What else do I have to display? 

All licensed repairers must display a Licensed Vehicle Repairer sign in their place or places of business to which the licence applies. The sign must:

  • contain the words ‘licensed vehicle repairer’
  • specify the class(es) of repair work being performed
  • contain the words ‘licence number’ followed by the number.

The sign should be in figures that are no less than 65mm in height and be clear, prominent and noticeable to the public.

If repair work is performed through a mobile service, a similar sign must be displayed in a prominent position on the vehicle.

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Do I need a tradesperson’s certificate? 

You need a tradesperson’s certificate if you do repair work in a motor vehicle repair business. This also includes employees performing repairs for a commercial vehicle owner.

If you are the owner of a motor vehicle repair business and you complete repair work, you must also be certified. You must hold a certificate for the class or classes of repair work you perform.

Holding a tradesperson's certificate does not entitle you to advertise or run a motor vehicle repair business, you will need to hold a repairers licence.

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How do I get my tradesperson’s certificate? 

An application must be lodged with Fair Trading. To be granted a licence you must be a fit and proper person and meet all the required qualifications.

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What if I don’t meet all the qualifications? 

If you do not have the required qualifications and are viewed to be capable of gaining the skills to meet your requirements, a provisional tradesperson’s certificate may be granted.This certificate is subject to you gaining the qualifications to be granted a trade certificate within a specified time.

A restricted tradesperson’s certificate may also be granted to a person working in a limited range of work.

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What are the classes of repair work? 

Certificates and licenses are granted for the following classes of repair work that are performed:

  • Automotive electrician
  • Body maker
  • Brake mechanic
  • Exhaust repairer
  • Front end specialist
  • Liquefied petroleum gas mechanic
  • Motor cycle mechanic
  • Motor mechanic
  • Natural gas mechanic
  • Panelbeater
  • Radiator repairer
  • Transmission specialist
  • Vehicle painter.

For more information go to the Classes of repair work page on the Fair Trading website.

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What if I’m an apprentice or trainee? 

Apprentices and trainees do not need to be certified, but can only do repair work as part of their training and under the supervision of a certified tradesperson.

If you wish to work as a repair industry tradesperson you should apply to Fair Trading for a tradesperson’s certificate on completion of your apprenticeship or traineeship. A copy of your Certificate of Proficiency or Craft Certificate confirming completion of the apprenticeship together with a copy of the Technical College Certificate should be submitted with your application.

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What are my obligations when completing repairs? 

Under the Motor Vehicle Repairs Act all repairs conducted by a repairer or tradesperson must be to a trade standard. Any new part used in a repair will carry a manufacturers warranty or if the part is reconditioned or second hand it will generally be provided with a limited warranty from the supplier. These warranties should be honoured and passed on by the repairer.

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What records do I need to keep? 

All licenced repairers must keep a record of the acquisition and disposal of traceable parts. Traceable parts are major body components, major mechanical components and major car accessories. Records must identify the acquisition and disposal of all traceable parts including the person and vehicle where the part was acquired and disposed. Copies of receipts must accompany records where traceable parts are purchased. Records must be kept for six years.

LPG and natural gas mechanics are required to keep copies of the certificate of compliance, for installations that have been certified. Records must be kept for five years.

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I have an autogas licence from another state, can I work in NSW? 

Autogas licences granted in other states and territories are recognised in NSW. A person who is registered to carry out autogas installation, service or repair in one state or territory is entitled to practice an equivalent occupation in another state or territory, after notifying the local licensing authority. In NSW, Fair Trading is the licensing authority for autogas installations.

Note: A person would be required to apply for a NSW tradesperson's certificate and a NSW licence if operating a business.

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I am an autogas mechanic, are there any regulations I need to be aware of? 

Yes, the Gas Supply (Consumer safety) Regulation 2012 provides the regulatory framework for autogas as well as gas appliances connected to networks and non-networks, gas installations, licensed gas fitters and the testing of gas meters.

Under this regulation autogas mechanics are required to complete and provide to Fair Trading copies of Certificates of Inspection or Certificates of Compliance following any autogas work. For further information and to download the form please visit the Gasfitters page on the Fair Trading website.

The Regulation also requires a compliance plate to be attached to a gas installation after any gasfitting work has been carried out. The compliance plate must meet the requirements in the Regulation, and the approved form is below.

The plate must be attached in a conspicuous position adjacent to the control valve or other point by which the installation is designed to be connected to a gas cylinder or gas container.

Approved form for the autogas compliance plate

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Industry code of conduct 

The code of conduct is intended to promote cooperative relationships between smash repairers and insurance companies. Compliance with the Code is mandatory in NSW for all repairers and insurers. It applies to all motor vehicles repaired in NSW. For more information on the Code, visit our website.

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