Motor vehicle repairers

You’ll need a motor vehicle repairer’s licence if your business does motor vehicle repair work. This includes part-time and mobile work, sub-contractors, and working in a partnership or a company.

A motor vehicle repairer’s licence authorises you to carry on the business of a motor vehicle repairer , it doesn’t allow the holder to do the repair work. To do the repair work, you need a valid motor vehicle tradesperson’s certificate.

A motor vehicle repairer’s licence is not required for:

  • vehicles not acquired for the transport of goods or passengers on public roads (e.g. agricultural equipment)
  • vehicles that are not capable of being registered in NSW (e.g. quad bikes, segways, motorised wheelchairs and battery powered bikes).

Written-off light vehicles

You're required to hold a motor vehicle repairer’s licence for written-off light vehicles on the NSW register or interstate written-off light vehicle.

Trailers and towable recreation vehicles

All businesses that specialise in underbody repairs on towable recreation vehicles (e.g. caravans) and trailers need to have a motor vehicle repairer’s licence. However, the people doing the repair work do not need to have a tradesperson’s certificate so long as the work is being done at the notified premises of the licensed repairer and the work is only done on trailers or towable recreation vehicles.

A repairer licence is not required to work on the living area of a caravan (e.g. electrical wiring work), but this work is still regulated under other relevant laws.

Minor work and repairs exemption

Clause 35 of the Regulation outlines that minor works or repairs that do not affect the mechanical operation or structure of a vehicle or any vehicle safety features  (such as impact sensors and airbags) aren't repair work.

Any work that meets these requirements doesn't need a tradesperson’s certificate and a person who only does this type of work does not need to have a motor vehicle repairers’ licence.

Refer to clause 35 and the accessories and minor repairs guidelines page for more information and a non-exhaustive list of the kinds of work that is not repair work.

Getting a licence

You can lodge your application online or in person with Service NSW if you meet the following criteria:

  • be over the age of 18
  • be a fit and proper person to hold a licence
  • not be a controlled member of a declared organisation
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • have approval from the relevant local council
  • not, as an adult, have been found guilty, in the past 10 years, of a motor vehicle stealing or dishonesty offence
  • have sufficient financial resources to carry on the business.

For applications received on or after 1 July 2020 you can apply for a 1, 3 or 5 year licence.

A licence takes effect on the date it is granted or a later date if specified and remains in force for that specified period.

To check the status of your tradesperson’s certificate, you can search the public register.

Do I need to renew my licence?

Yes. You need to renew your licence before your licence expires.

Renewing a licence helps ensure the register is up to date and the integrity of the industry and its businesses is maintained.

If the licence isn't renewed by the due date, the licence will expire.

Once expired you're no longer authorised to carry out the work specified on your licence.

What happens if my licence has expired?

If your licence has expired within the past three months (92 days) you can restore it at a Service NSW centre or online.

You can use the details on your renewal form to apply to restore your licence.

If the licence is expired for a period exceeding 3 months, restoration may not be an option and you may need to reapply.

There is a uniform period of 3 months in which you can apply to have your expired licence restored.

Visit Licence Restoration Fees for more information.

What can I do if my application is refused?

If your application is refused you'll be advised in writing of the reasons and your options for internal review.

See reviews of Fair Trading decisions for more information about your review rights.

What are the implications of having my licence restored?

If your licence is restored, you'll retain your existing licence number.

A licence restored at any time is considered restored from the day the licence expired.

Obligations

Signage

You must display your name as it appears on the licence, and the words ‘licence number’, ‘Lic. No.’ (or a similar abbreviation) followed by your licence number, on a sign at each notified premises.

If the business name appears on the licence, it can be included on the sign, but not in place of the licensee’s name.

The sign must be visible to everyone approaching the business including vehicles if mobile business.

The Australian Consumer Law

Under the Act, all repairs conducted by a repairer or tradesperson must be completed in accordance with the consumer guarantees provided under the Australian Consumer Law.

This includes repairs be done with due care and skill, fit for purpose and completed within a reasonable timeframe.

Marking of prescribed parts

You must mark all prescribed parts or accessories with the appropriate entry number in the register relating to that part.

The mark must be permanent.

A durable label or tag can also be used.

Record keeping

You must keep a register of prescribed used parts acquired or disposed of as part of the business (Form 2).

The register ensures an audit trail of goods.

Details of each part acquired must be recorded including the date you acquired the part, how you got it, who it came from (and/or from which vehicle).

Each part must get its own entry number. The disposal details for each prescribed part entered in the register must also be recorded.

A register can be kept in writing or through a data processing equipment. A register kept in writing must be kept in a book, or series of books, that meet the following requirements:

  • each book must consist of pages permanently bound together
  • each book have a number corresponding to its number in the series (such as, Book 1, Book 2 etc) on the front cover
  • each book must be used for the purposes of one kind of register and no other purpose
  • information must be entered within one business day of the transaction.

Each record must be on white standard A4 sized paper and clearly readable.

Anything in the register can be altered or deleted, but the deleted bits must still be readable, with the preferred method being a line drawn through them.

Data processing equipment records must ensure information in the register:

  • can be displayed and printed, on demand, at each place of business
  • when displayed or printed, each page in the register is in the form prescribed
  • includes the date on which each record was made
  • must be entered within one business day of the transaction.

It must also ensure a record is kept every time information in the register is amended or deleted including:

  • the form it was in before the amendment or deletion
  • the date the information was amended or deleted.

You should also include information about the following parts:

  • chassis
  • major body section
  • bonnet
  • right side door (front)
  • left side door (front)
  • right side door (back)
  • left side door (back)
  • hatchback door
  • boot lid
  • right front quad
  • left front quad
  • front bumper bar
  • back bumper bar
  • engine/engine block
  • gearbox/transmission/transaxle (front wheel drive vehicles)
  • instrument cluster/odometer/hour gauge
  • car radio/tape/compact disc (CD equipment)
  • electronic navigation equipment
  • multimedia equipment
  • airbags and air curtains (side impact airbags)
  • alloy wheels
  • seats
  • final drive (differential for rear wheel drive vehicles)
  • headlights

If you sell vehicle engines you must issue the buyer with a receipt (containing duplicate copies of consecutively numbered receipt forms) with the:

  1. date of disposal
  2. description of the engine
  3. number marked on the engine
  4. the person’s name and address.

The Form 2 register and receipt book must be kept for a period of 6 years.

Go to the motor industry forms page for more information on the register.

Motor vehicle insurance and repair 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.

Offences

Unlicensed motor vehicle repairers

Unlicensed motor repairers in NSW is an offence and can result in the issue of a penalty notice of $5,500 or prosecution with a maximum penalty of $110,000.

If you commit a second or subsequent offence the maximum penalty is $110,000, imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

Odometer tampering

It’s also an offence in NSW to interfere with an odometer reading by either altering the reading, removing or replacing the odometer or rendering the odometer inoperative or inactive by any means.

You can be issued a penalty notice of $1,100 or prosecution with a maximum penalty of $22,000.

You may also be liable to pay the purchaser's losses.

Suspicious goods

If you suspect goods have been stolen or illegally obtained, you must inform the Commissioner for Fair Trading.

Failure to do so is an offence.

If an authorised officer believes a motor vehicle, part or accessory in the possession of a licensee has been stolen or illegally obtained, the officer can issue a non-disposal notice.

This notice prohibits the licensee from altering, selling or otherwise disposing of it in any way or parting with possession of it for a period of 14 days.

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