Motor vehicle tradespeople

If you work in the motor vehicle repair industry, you should have a clear understanding of your obligations.

Do I need a tradesperson's certificate?

If you’re a tradesperson doing repair work on a motor vehicle, you need a tradesperson’s certificate.

Tradesperson’s certificates are granted for different classes of repair work.

You must be certified and qualified for all classes of repair work that you do.

A tradesperson’s certificate doesn't authorise the holder to carry on a business of a motor vehicle repairer.

To carry on a repair business, you must also hold a motor vehicle repair licence.

List of classes and qualifications

Certificate III repair work

If you apply for a tradesperson's certificate, in one of the repair classes in the table below, you must have the prescribed Certificate III qualification or relevant higher education qualification such as a diploma, degree or post-graduate qualification for the relevant repair class.

Certificate Level III qualifications are based on units of competency from nationally accredited training packages.

These are endorsed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and delivered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

These qualifications are required as they set the standard for completing repair work with the necessary level of skill and knowledge.

Certificate III repair class

Description and qualification

Automotive electrician

Installs or repairs electrical equipment, systems or circuits in motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Body maker

Makes motor vehicle bodies (other than in the course of manufacturing new motor vehicles) or repairs motor vehicle bodies.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Manufacturing Technical Operations – Bus, Truck and Trailer, being part of the Automotive Manufacturing Training Package.

Compressed natural gas mechanic

Installs or repairs compressed natural gas equipment in motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology, including the CNG specialist elective units from the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Liquefied natural gas mechanic

Installs or repairs liquefied natural gas equipment in motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology, including the LNG specialist elective units from the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Liquefied petroleum gas mechanic

Installs or repairs liquefied petroleum gas equipment in motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology, including LPG specialist elective units from the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Motorcycle mechanic

Repairs the engines or transmissions or the fuel, induction, exhaust, electrical, steering, suspension, cooling or braking systems, or remove or replace wheels or tyres of motorcycles only.

Qualification: Certificate III in Motorcycle Mechanical Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Motor mechanic

Repairs the engines or transmissions or the fuel, induction, exhaust, electrical, steering, suspension, cooling or braking systems of motor vehicles.

Qualification, either:

Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package, or

Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology, being part of the Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Panel beater

Repairs the structural components, frames or panels of motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Body Repair Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Trailer and caravan mechanic

Repairs the underbody of a trailer or towable recreation vehicle.

Qualification: A Certificate III qualification is not required, so long as the work is being done at a licensed repair premises and the work is only done on trailers or towable recreational vehicles.

Transmission specialist

Repairs the gears, clutches, drive shafts and differentials of motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Drivetrain Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Underbody work

Repairs underbody systems of motor vehicles, including brake equipment or systems, exhaust systems or steering or suspension systems, but does not include mechanical systems or electrical equipment, systems or circuits.

Qualification, either:

Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package, or

Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package

Vehicle painter

Paints motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Specialised repair work from 1 September 2020

From 1 September 2020, a certificate can be granted in the following specialised classes of repair work.

See the table below.

These repair classes require a Certificate II qualification.

You don’t need to apply for one of these specialised repair classes if you already hold a tradesperson's certificate in a relevant repair class that authorises you to do the work.

For example:

  • If you hold a tradesperson’s certificate in underbody work, you're not required to apply for the specialised classes in exhaust repair work and steering, suspension and wheel alignment work. If you hold a certificate in underbody work you can only perform work authorised by the certificate. You’ll need to obtain the Certificate II qualification and apply for the specialised class in exhaust repair work or steering, suspension and wheel realignment work if you're not authorised to do that repair work under your certificate.
  • If you hold a tradesperson’s certificate in motor mechanic, you're not required to apply for the specialised classes of radiator repair work, exhaust repair work and steering, suspension and wheel alignment work.

Specialised repair class

Description and qualification

Exhaust repair work

Fabricates, modifies, services or repairs the exhaust systems of motor vehicles, but does not include work on the chassis of a motor vehicle.

Qualification:

Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package

or

Certificate II in Automotive Exhaust System Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Radiator repair work

Repairs the radiator, heating equipment, thermostats or fuel tanks of motor vehicles but does not include work carried out on hybrid or electrically powered motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate II in Automotive Cooling System Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Steering suspension and wheel alignment work

Services or repairs the steering or suspension of motor vehicles or aligns the wheels of motor vehicles but doesn't include work carried out on hybrid or electrically powered motor vehicles.

Qualification: Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Specialised repair work from 1 November 2021

From 1 November 2021, a tradesperson’s certificate can be granted in the glazing and electrical accessory fitting repair work classes.

These specialised repair classes require at least a Certificate II qualification.

You don’t need to apply for one of these repair classes if you already hold a tradesperson’s certificate in a relevant repair class that authorises you to do the work.

For example:

  • If you hold a tradesperson’s certificate in panel beater work, you aren't required to apply for the specialised class in glazing work.
  • If you hold a tradesperson’s certificate in automotive electrician work, you aren't required to apply for the specialised class in electrical accessory fitting work.

If you don’t hold a relevant tradesperson’s certificate but wish to undertake glazing work or electrical accessory fitting work, you'll need to complete the required qualification and obtain a tradesperson’s certificate by 1 November 2021.

Specialised repair class

Description and qualification

Electrical accessory fitting work

Installs or removes electrical accessories in or from motor vehicles but doesn't include work on hybrid or electrically powered motor vehicles or work that involves cutting, splicing or altering wiring harnesses.

Qualification: Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology, being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

Glazing work

Installs, repairs or removes windscreens or other glass in or from the bodies of motor vehicles.

Qualification:

Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology, including the Automotive Glazing specialist elective units from the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package

or

Certificate III in Automotive Glazing Technology being part of the Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

How do I apply for my first certificate or add a repair class to my current certificate?

You can apply for a tradesperson’s certificate online.

To add a repair class to your current certificate, applicants must complete an Add a class of repair work amendment application and lodge the form at your nearest Service NSW centre.

Duration of Tradesperson’s Certificates

For applications received on or after 1 July 2020 you have the option of applying for a 1, 3 or 5 year certificate.

A certificate takes effect on the date it's granted or a later date if specified and remains in force for the specified period.

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

Do I need to renew my certificate?

Yes. You need to renew your tradesperson’s certificate before your certificate expires.

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

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

Once expired, you're no longer authorised to carry out repair work on your certificate.

What happens if my Tradesperson's Certificate has expired?

If your certificate 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 certificate.

If the certificate 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 certificate 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 of 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 to have been restored from the day the licence expired.

More information

Apprenticeships and traineeships

If you're an apprentice or trainee, you can't be granted a tradesperson’s certificate.

However, you can do repair work  if you're doing the work in the course of an apprenticeship or traineeship under the supervision of a tradesperson with a tradesperson’s certificate for a class of repair work that includes that work.

Licensing requirements for repair work on heavy vehicles

A valid tradesperson’s certificate is required to do repair work on motor vehicles with a mass over 4.5 tonnes (i.e. those covered by the Heavy Vehicle National Law).

Licensing requirements for repair work on transport service vehicles

The owner of a transport service vehicle must ensure that repair work on the vehicle is only performed by a licenced repairer and certified tradesperson.

A transport service vehicle is a vehicle used to transport either goods or people in connection with a business. This includes vehicles that are used for transporting freight or ride sharing.

Licensing requirements for repair work on caravans and trailers

All businesses that specialise in underbody repairs on trailers or towable recreation vehicles are required to be licensed as a motor vehicle repairer.

However, the people doing the repair work don’t need to have a tradesperson’s certificate so long as the work is being done at the place of business of the licensed repairer and the work is only done on trailers or towable recreation vehicles.

This is because there is no single nationally accredited qualification for repair work on both trailers and towable recreation vehicles that could form the basis of a tradesperson certificate.

Most of the repairs done on trailers and towable recreation vehicles could fit within many classes of repair work.

This would be costly for the repairer to have to get a tradesperson certificate in multiple repair classes to undertake the repairs.

Licensees must also make sure repair work is done with due care and skill under the consumer guarantees of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

While a motor repairer licence isn't required to work on the living area of a caravan, this work is regulated under other existing laws (e.g. electrical wiring work).

Minor works or repairs exemption

Clause 35 of the Regulation outlines that minor works or repairs that don’t 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.

Other vehicle repairs exempt from the Act

A tradesperson’s certificate isn't required for repair work on:

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

However, a tradesperson’s certificate is required for repair work on written-off light vehicles on the NSW register or interstate written-off light vehicles.

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