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Standard fact sheet.

Motor repairer tradesperson certificates 

New laws commenced on 1 December 2014

The Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 replaced the former Motor Dealers Act 1974 and the Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980.

Three year renewal 

Tradesperson certificate holders are required to renew their tradesperson certificate every 3 years. The renewal date for the first renewal will be determined by the day and calendar year in which the holder was granted their certificate:

  • tradesperson's certificates granted in 1980 up to and including 1987 will be due for renewal in 2015. For example, if a person was granted a trade certificate on 23 August 1985 , their certificate will be due for renewal on 22 August 2015
  • tradesperson’s certificates granted in 1988 up to and including 2008 will be due for renewal in 2016. For example, if a person was granted a trade certificate on 17 April 1990, their certificate will be due to renewal on 16 April 2016
  • tradesperson’s certificates granted in 2009 up to and including 2014 will be due for renewal in 2017. For example, if a person was granted a tradesperson’s certificate on 30 June 2010, then their certificate will be due to renewal on 29 June 2017.

An application for restoration can be made only within three months of the expiry date. The cost of renewal will be $47 over 3 years, which covers Fair Trading’s processing costs.

To renew or restore your Tradesperson's Certificate view or download the Application for Renewal / Restoration of a Tradersperson's Certificate or go to the Business licensing page on the Fair Trading website. 

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

Tradespeople who fail to renew their certificate by the renewal date have 3 months to apply for the restoration of the certificate. If a tradesperson fails to restore their certificate within this period, they have to make a new application for a tradesperson certificate.

The cost of restoring or renewing a tradesperson certificate is $47. The application for a new tradesperson certificate is $68.

If you have an expired unrestricted tradesperson certificate, NSW Fair Trading will accept this as satisfying the qualification requirements for a tradesperson certificate in the same or equivalent class of repair work.

Former restricted, conditional, provisional and radiator repairer trades certificates will not be accepted for new applications for a tradesperson certificate.

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Existing certificate holders 

Holders of tradesperson certificates issued under the former Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980 will get a tradesperson certificate when they renew on the same or equivalent terms as their existing certificates. This arrangement will apply to all existing tradesperson certificate holders, with a few exceptions. Tradespeople with a restricted or conditional tradesperson certificate or a radiator repairer tradesperson certificate will keep their existing certificate but will be required to renew every 3 years. NSW Fair Trading will not approve applications for new tradesperson certificates in these restricted classes. This allows for existing holders of these certificates to continue to work, while ensuring that restricted or conditional tradesperson certificates are gradually phased out. Furthermore, provisional certificates are no longer being issued. This also means that existing provisional certificates are not renewable.

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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
  • motor cycle mechanic
  • motor mechanic
  • panelbeater
  • trailer and caravan mechanic
  • transmission specialist
  • underbody work
  • vehicle painter.

Key aspects of the changes to repair classes include:

  • one certificate allows the holder to operate from a vehicle or a fixed workshop
  • the former gas mechanic repair class has been expanded into 3, reflecting the highly specialised skills required to repair and install the different types of gas equipment
  • the underbody work repair class is made up of the former brake mechanic, exhaust repairer and front end specialist repair classes. Existing certificate holders in these former repair classes will move over to the new underbody work repair class but will be only allowed to do the work that their existing certificate allows them to do (e.g. exhaust repairs).

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Minimum qualification requirements 

New applicants for a tradesperson certificate must have a prescribed Certificate Level III qualification for the relevant class of repair work. These qualifications are linked to units of competency from the nationally accredited training packages endorsed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority and delivered by Registered Training Organisations. These qualifications are being prescribed as they represent what is recognised nationally as the standard which is required to complete repair work with the necessary level of skill and knowledge.

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Current course providers 

Some training courses that are not part of nationally accredited training packages were recognised for the issue of a tradesperson certificate under the former Motor Vehicle Repairs Act. However, under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act such courses will cease to offer a pathway to a tradesperson certificate.

Such courses only allowed a person to be granted a restricted or conditional tradesperson certificate. For example a certificate limited to paintless dent repair rather than a certificate for a panel beater.

Restricted and conditional tradesperson certificates are no longer issued, and while such courses can still be delivered, they are not a pathway to obtaining a tradesperson certificate.

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What if I have qualifications under the old Act? 

If you qualified for an unrestricted tradesperson certificate under the Motor Vehicle Repairs Act, but did not apply for a certificate before 1 December, your qualification will be recognised under the new legislation, as long as you enrolled in the course before 1 September 2015 and there is a corresponding class of repair.

There is no corresponding class of repair work for existing restricted, conditional, provisional or radiator repairs.

For those who commenced, but not yet completed a course before 1 September 2015, you will be eligible for a tradesperson certificate once you have completed your qualification.

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Work exempt from the Act 

Work involving the installation or replacement of certain accessory fittings is not licensed under the Act, however it is covered by consumer guarantees provided under the Australian Consumer Law. Tasks involving the following accessory fittings fall within this definition:

  • skirts
  • ute linings
  • spoilers
  • wiper blades
  • vehicle detailing
  • weather shields
  • side steps, rails and step boards
  • head light protectors
  • bonnet protectors
  • luggage and roof racks
  • protective awnings, car top tents, enclosures, canopies
  • spare wheel racks and carriers
  • water carriers
  • jerry can carriers
  • light globes
  • tow bars (bolted)
  • sound systems and radios
  • wheels.

Emergency breakdown repairs provided by a membership organisation to their members is exempt repair work (e.g. NRMA).

Underbody work on caravans and trailers or trailers does not require a tradesperson certificate, but must be done at a licensed repair business. Work on the non-motor vehicle parts of caravans, trailers and recreational motor vehicles (such as living spaces) is exempt from the Act.

A tradesperson certificate is not required for certain types of vehicles. This includes:

  • 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).

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Licensing requirements for repair work on heavy vehicles 

From 27 February 2015, repairers of motor vehicles with a mass over 4.5 tonnes (i.e. those covered by the Heavy Vehicle National Law) will be regulated under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 and Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014. This means that a valid tradesperson certificate is required to perform repair work on these motor vehicles.

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