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/Factsheet_print/Tradespeople/Motor_repairers_and_insurers/_Motor_repairers_licensing.pdf
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Standard fact sheet.
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Large print fact sheet.

Motor repairers licensing 

This information is prepared to assist those working in the motor vehicle repair industry. It is a guide only and not a substitute for legal advice. If you are unsure of your obligations you should refer to the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013, the Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014, Gas Supply Act 1996, or seek legal advice.

Do I need a licence? 

You need a motor vehicle repairer’s licence if you run a motor vehicle repair business in NSW. This includes part-time, mobile work and subcontractors and includes working in a partnership or a company.

A motor vehicle repairer’s licence allows the holder to only contract to do repair work. It does not allow the holder to do the repair work. The people who do the repair work require a valid tradesperson certificate in an applicable class of repair.

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 repairer businesses that contract to do heavy vehicle repairs will require a motor vehicle repairer’s licence and tradespeople who perform the repair work will require a valid tradesperson certificate.

A motor vehicle repairer’s licence is not required for repairs on certain types of vehicles. These include:

  • 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).

Transport service owners (also known as commercial vehicle owners) do not require a motor vehicle repairer’s licence. However, they must not allow any employee to do repair work on heavy vehicles that they own unless the employee holds a valid tradesperson certificate. A transport service owner is a person or company who, as part of their business, operates a motor vehicle for the carriage of people or goods. This includes NSW Government agencies.

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Repairers of trailers and recreational vehicles 

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

Licensed repair work on caravans and trailers involves repairs to the underbody of a trailer or caravan and includes such things as the brakes, suspension, axle, wheels, tyres and chassis.

A repairer licence will not be required to work on the living area of a caravan (e.g. electrical wiring work), but such work will continue to be regulated under other existing laws.

Why are repairers of caravans and trailers not required to get a tradesperson certificate?

Caravan repairers were not required under the former Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980 to hold a tradesperson certificate. Under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013, there are minimum qualification requirements to be able to get a tradesperson certificate. These are based on nationally accredited qualifications regulated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority. There is no single nationally accredited qualification for repair work on both trailers and caravans that could form the basis of a tradesperson certificate.

Most of the repairs done on trailers and caravans could fit within many classes of repair work, which would be very costly for the repairer to have to obtain a tradesperson certificate in multiple repair classes to undertake repairs on a caravan.

Businesses that contract to do work on caravans and trailers will be required to be licenced and consumers will be able to seek remedies against licensees about the manner in which any repair work has been done. Licensees will be obliged to ensure that repair work is done with due care and skill, fit for purpose, and completed within a reasonable timeframe in accordance with the consumer guarantees provided under the Australian Consumer Law.

Transitional period for new requirements

Existing caravan repairer businesses will have until 1 September 2015 to obtain a motor vehicle repairer’s licence from NSW Fair Trading.

Outlined below is information on the record keeping and signage display requirements for Motor Vehicle Repairer licence holders. If you are an existing Motor Vehicle Repairer licence holder as at 1 December 2014, you will have until 1 September 2015 to comply with the new requirements around displaying licences in advertising and signage and record keeping. This includes keeping details of traceable motor vehicle parts in a set format. In the meantime, these licence holders can keep following the requirements under the former Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980.

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How do I get a licence? 

An application must be lodged with Service NSW or Fair Trading. To be granted a licence you must meet the following criteria:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a fit and proper person
  • not be a disqualified from holding a licence
  • not be bankrupt
  • have approval from the relevant local council
  • not been found guilty within the past 10 years of stealing a motor vehicle
  • have sufficient financial resources to carry on the business.

Businesses will have the choice of a 1 or 3 year licence. Businesses who choose a 3 year licence will save on processing fees.

You can obtain an application form and further information from the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website or by calling Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

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Advertising requirements 

Licensed motor vehicle repairers will be required to publish their licence name, and the words licence number (or similar abbreviation) followed by their licence number in some promotional material so that consumers know who they are dealing with. The requirement covers any advertising that promotes a specific place or places of business for which the licence is granted.

For example, if a licensee advertises on TV and mentions their places of business, they would be required to display their licence details in the advertisement. This requirement does not apply where only products are advertised, such as when a franchisor advertises its brand or products on behalf of all franchisees.

Transitional period for new requirements

If you are an existing motor vehicle repairer licence holder as at 1 December 2014, you will have until 1 September 2015 to comply with the new requirements around displaying licences in advertising.

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Signage requirements 

Licensed motor vehicle repairers will be required to include their licence name, and the words licence number (or similar abbreviation) followed by their licence number, on a sign at each place of business for which the licence is granted. If the licensee carries on business from a motor vehicle, they will be required to display the same details on the outside of the vehicle. Licence holders are free to choose signage so long as it includes the required particulars and is readily visible to anyone who approaches the place of business.

Transitional period for new requirements

If you are an existing motor vehicle repairer licence holder as at 1 December 2014, you will have until 1 September 2015 to comply with the new requirements around displaying licences in signage.

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What records do I need to keep? 

Motor vehicle repairers must keep a register of prescribed used parts that are acquired or disposed of when carrying on business as a licensed repairer. The register ensures that there is an audit trail of goods. This aims to help reduce the trade in stolen parts. Records of prescribed parts must be kept in the Form 2 – Motor Vehicle Repairers’ Register.

The details of each prescribed part acquired, including the date the part was acquired, how it was acquired and from whom (and/or from which vehicle), must be recorded. Each prescribed part must get its own entry number. The disposal details for each prescribed part entered in the register must also be recorded.

Prescribed parts

The prescribed parts to be recorded in the register are:

  • 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 guard
  • Left front guard
  • Front bumper bar
  • Rear 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
  • Finaldrive (differential for rear wheel drive vehicles)
  • Headlights

Note: each entry in the register must include the name and address of the persons from whom the part was acquired/disposed to or the identity of the vehicles from which the part was removed/fitted.

The register may be kept in writing or electronic form, and must kept or be accessible at each place of which business for which a licence is held. Registers must be kept for at least 6 years after the date on which the last entry was made in it. LPG and natural gas mechanics are required to keep copies of the certificate of compliance, for installations that have been certified. Records must be kept for 5 years.

Inspection records

At the request of an authorised officer, licensees must make their records available for inspection. Authorised officers may take temporary possession of a licensee’s records for the purpose of taking notes or making copies or extracts from those records. Licensees must be able to display and print records kept electronically.

Authorised officers include:

  • An investigator appointed under section 18 of the Fair Trading Act 1987.
  • Any person authorised in writing by the Commissioner for Fair Trading.
  • A person authorised in writing by the Chief Executive Officer of Roads and Maritime Services.
  • Any member of the police force.

Marking of prescribed parts

Motor vehicle repairers must mark all prescribed parts with the appropriate entry number from the register relating to that part.

The entry number must be recorded on the part itself using a permanent marker. Chalk or other substances that may smudge or wash off must not be used. Tags can be used if it is impracticable to mark the part with a permanent marker. It is good practice to mark the parts whilst they are still attached to the vehicle as this reduces the opportunity for error is if unmarked parts are removed for sale or storage. Any parts found at the premises that are not marked will be of concern to NSW Fair Trading and the police.

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What are my obligations when completing repairs? 

Under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013, 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 that repairs be done with due care and skill, fit for purpose and be completed within a reasonable timeframe.

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Suspicious goods 

It is an offence under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 for a licensee or an employee to fail to inform an authorised officer of any suspicious goods that may have been stolen or unlawfully obtained. These goods may have been taken into stock or offered for sale by a person. If an authorised officer suspects that there are stolen or unlawfully obtained goods on the premises, the officer may serve a notice on the licensee prohibiting the disposal, selling, parting of possession or alteration of the goods for a period of 14 days after the notice is served.

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When do I need a tradesperson’s certificate?  

You need a tradesperson’s certificate if you do repair work on a motor vehicle.

If you are  a motor vehicle repairer licence holder and you complete repair work, you must also be certified.

Please refer to the web page on tradesperson certificates for further information.

Holding a tradesperson's certificate does not entitle you to advertise or run a motor vehicle repair business you will need to hold a motor vehicle repairers licence.

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How do I get my tradesperson’s certificate?  

An application must be lodged with Service NSW or NSW Fair Trading. To be granted a tradesperson certificate you must be a fit and proper person and have the required qualifications.

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What if I’m an apprentice or trainee?  

Apprentices and trainees are ineligible for a tradesperson certificate and can only do repair work as part of their training and under the supervision of a certified tradesperson.

On completion of your apprenticeship or traineeship and achieving your qualification, you will need to apply for a tradesperson certificate.

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I have an autogas licence from another state, can I work in NSW? 

Autogas licences granted in other states and territories are recognised in NSW. A person who is registered to carry out autogas installation, service or repair in one state or territory is entitled to practice an equivalent occupation in another state or territory, after notifying the local licensing authority. In NSW, Fair Trading is the licensing authority for autogas installations.

Note: A person would be required to apply for a NSW tradesperson's certificate and a NSW licence if operating a business.

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I am an autogas mechanic, are there any regulations I need to be aware of? 

Yes, the Gas Supply (Consumer safety) Regulation 2012 provides the regulatory framework for autogas as well as gas appliances connected to networks and non-networks, gas installations, licensed gas fitters and the testing of gas meters, see Autogas installers page.

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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. For more information see Code of Conduct page.

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Offences  

Unlicensed motor vehicle repairing 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. In the case of a second or subsequent offence, the maximum penalty is $110,000 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both. A court may also order a person convicted of unlicensed motor vehicle repairing to forfeit any proceeds made from any vehicles sold.

It is 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. Odometer interference can result in prosecution with a maximum penalty of $22,000 and you may also be liable to pay the losses of a purchaser through civil action.

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