Motor repairers

If you work in the motor vehicle repair industry, you should have a clear understanding of your obligations. The information below should provide you with answers.

Do I need a tradesperson's certificate?

You need a tradesperson’s certificate if you do repair work on motor vehicles, even if you hold a Motor Vehicle Repairer’s License. You must be certified and qualified for all classes of repair work you do. You can apply for a tradesperson’s certificate online.

Do I have to renew my certificate?

You’re required to renew your tradesperson’s certificate every three years. The date for the first renewal is determined by the day and calendar year when you got your first certificate. From 2014, a tradesperson certificate need to be renewed every three years. An application for restoration can be made only within three months of the expiry date. If you do not renew a certificate on time there are special rules, see the next question. Go to the business licensing page to renew or restore your tradesperson's certificate.

What happens if I don’t renew my tradesperson’s certificate on time?

If you fail to renew your certificate by the renewal date, you have three months to apply for the restoration of the certificate. If you fail to restore the certificate within this period, you have to make a new application for a tradesperson’s certificate. Go to the fees and charges page for the cost of restoring or renewing a tradesperson’s certificate. If you have an expired unrestricted tradesperson’s certificate, Fair Trading will accept this as satisfying the qualification requirements for a tradesperson’s certificate in the same or equivalent class of repair work. Former restricted, conditional, provisional and radiator repairer certificates will not be accepted for new applications for a tradesperson’s certificate.

Existing certificate holders

If you have a tradesperson’s certificate issued under the former Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980 you’ll get a tradesperson’s certificate when you renew on the same or equivalent terms as the existing certificate. This arrangement applies to all existing tradesperson certificate holders, with a few exceptions.

If you have a restricted or conditional tradesperson’s certificate or a radiator repairer tradesperson’s certificate you’ll keep your existing certificate but will be required to renew it every three years. NSW Fair Trading will not approve applications for new tradesperson’s certificates in these restricted classes. This allows people with these certificates to continue to work, while making sure that restricted or conditional tradesperson’s certificates are gradually phased out. Provisional certificates are no longer being issued. This also means that existing provisional certificates are not renewable.

Repair classes

There are 12 classes of repair work for tradespeople:

  • automotive electrician
  • body maker
  • compressed natural gas mechanic
  • liquefied natural gas mechanic
  • liquefied petroleum gas mechanic
  • motorcycle mechanic
  • motor mechanic
  • panel beater
  • trailer and caravan mechanic
  • transmission specialist
  • underbody work
  • vehicle painter

Minimum qualification requirements

If you’re a new applicant for a tradesperson’s certificate, you must have a prescribed Certificate Level III qualification or relevant Higher Education Qualification for the relevant class of repair work. The Certificate Level III qualifications are based on units of competency from the 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 it sets the standard to complete repair work with the necessary level of skill and knowledge.

Minor works or repairs exemption

Clause 35 of the Regulation now 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) are not repair work. Any work that meets these requirements does not need to be done by a licensed worker. Go to the accessories and minor repairs guidelines page for a list of non repair work.

Licensing requirements for repair work on heavy vehicles

Repairers of motor vehicles with a mass over 4.5 tonnes (i.e. those covered by the Heavy Vehicle National Law) are regulated under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 and Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014. This means that a valid tradesperson’s certificate is required to do any repair work on these motor vehicles.

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