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 working in one of the motor vehicle classes listed below, you need a tradesperson’s certificate, even if you hold a motor vehicle repairer’s license. You must be certified and qualified for all classes of repair work you do.

List of classes - Certificate III

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

The Motor Dealers and Repairers Amendment (Tradesperson’s Certificates) Regulation 2020 will commence on 1 September 2020. Under this change to the laws, you'll also be able to apply for the following classes requiring a Certificate II qualification.

  • Electrical accessory fitting
  • Exhaust repair
  • Glazing
  • Radiator repair
  • Steering suspension and wheel alignment

Qualifications

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.

From 1 September 2020, this will include specified classes for licences that require a Certificate II nominated qualification.

These qualifications are required to obtain a tradesperson’s certificate in New South Wales and are indicative of the level of skill and knowledge required to complete motor vehicle repair work.

How do I apply for my first certificate?

You can apply for a tradesperson’s certificate online.

Duration of Tradesperson’s Certificates

From 1 July 2020, you will have the option of applying for a 1, 3 or 5 year certificate. A certificate takes effect on the date it is granted or a later date if specified and remains in force for that specified period. The 1, 3 and 5 year certificate options are only available for fresh applications received on or after 1 July 2020. Any applications received before this date can only choose the existing options.

It does not matter that your application may not be fully determined until some time after 1 July 2020.

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

What happens if my Tradesperson's Certificate has expired?


If your certificate has expired by more than three months (92 days) you can apply to have it restored online.

After the 92 days, you won't be able to restore online. You'll need to apply using the approved form. These applications will be considered on a case by case basis according to internal guidelines.

You'll need to provide reasons why you failed to renew your licence before it expired. Your explanation will need to show your failure to renew was either:

a)due to inadvertence or
b) it would otherwise be just or equitable to restore your licence.

What can I do if my application is declined?

You can accept the decision and reapply for a new licence, or apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a review of the decision to decline your application.

What are the implications of having my licence restored?

If your licence is restored it means you will retain your existing licence number. More importantly, a licence restored at any time is considered to have been restored from the day the licence expired.

Do I need to renew my certificate?

Yes, you need to renew your tradesperson’s certificate every three years.

In 2014, reforms to the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 were introduced meaning tradespeople now need to renew their certificate every 3 years.

This three-yearly renewal period helps to ensure the register is kept up to date and the integrity of the industry and its businesses is maintained.

More information

Minor works or 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) are not repair work. Any work that meets these requirements does not need to be done by a licensed worker. Refer to clause 35 and also 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.

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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