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How do I apply for my mechanic's test?
Mechanic testing process (Choose tab)
Mechanic test process
Mechanic study guides
Registering for a test
Test result letter
Test result letter scenarios
Public Act 300 of 1974, also known as the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MVSRA), tasks the Secretary of State with oversight of mechanic testing used to indicate competency to perform motor vehicle repairs.
Mechanic tests are available at all Secretary of State offices throughout the state. Automotive schools also provide mechanic testing for their students and more information is available under the “Automotive schools mechanic testing” section on this page. You must pass a mechanic test for all of the categories in which you plan to perform repairs before you can apply for your mechanic certification. Each test is $6.
Mechanic Tests are only offered in English. Non-English speaking testers may utilize a translator. Testing accommodations are available by request for those with disabilities. See the “Testing Accommodations” tab for more information.
All testers must utilize the e-Services online system to make an appointment to test. Michigan residents must also use the e-Services online system to pre-register for each test. Non-residents cannot pre-register for tests online and must do so in person at their scheduled appointment time. There is a $6 fee for each test and tests will not be issued within one hour of closing.
Tests are offered electronically utilizing a touch screen computer kiosk. Be sure to bring your state issued driver's license or state ID. It may be helpful to bring your receipt or confirmation number if you pre-registered online.
The test screen displays how many questions you have answered correctly as you are actively testing. You will be notified of your pass/fail status on the kiosk screen when you complete the test. The tests are “quick pass” so once you obtain the minimum passing score, the test will end without requiring you to finish all the questions.
A detailed test result letter will be mailed to you the next business day after completing your test.
There are currently 20 tests offered in the categories of Automotive/Light Truck (AUTO), Heavy Duty Truck (HDT), Motorcycle, and Miscellaneous:
Automobile and light truck repair categories for vehicles under 14,000 pounds GVW include:
- Engine repair
- Front end, suspension, and steering systems
- Brakes and braking systems
- Automatic transmission
- Manual transmission, front- and rear-drive axles
- Electrical systems
- Heating and air conditioning
- Pre-1973 vehicles
Heavy-duty truck repair categories for vehicles over 14,000 pounds GVW include:
- Engine repair – gasoline
- Engine repair – diesel
- Drive train
- Brakes and braking systems
- Suspension and steering systems
- Electrical systems
Miscellaneous categories include:
- Collision-related mechanical repair
- Unitized body structural repair
- Recreational trailer
- Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). Additional certificate through the Office of Hearings & Administrative Oversight is required to install BAIID devices. Contact your BAIID manufacturer with additional questions.
The Mechanic Study Guides list each category of repair, the sub categories within that category, and also list the competencies within each sub category. The test questions are based on the competencies. You may use this information to study before taking a test, or use the guides in conjunction with a test result letter to determine what areas you should study before testing again.
To pre-register for your mechanic test online, select Online Services and then "Mechanic Services" in the "Additional Services" section. Select the Mechanic e-Services link and follow the prompts to sign up. Only Michigan residents can pre-register online. You will need your:
- Michigan driver’s license or Michigan ID number
- Email address
- Phone number
- Credit or debit card (additional fees apply) or e-check/bank account number as payment for the $6 registration fee
Take your mechanic test within 180 days after pre-registering. If you don’t take your test within that time, your eligibility will expire, and you will have to pre-register and pay the test fee again to continue.
Go to Online Services
To take the mechanic test at a Secretary of State office, you will need:
- Your driver's license or ID
- A printed copy of your mechanic payment receipt with your test ID number (if you pre-registered online)
- A credit or debit card (additional fees apply), cash, or check or money order payable to the State of Michigan for payment
We strongly recommended that you pre-register through Online Services before you visit an office and that you plan ahead by scheduling an office visit.
All mechanic testing may be completed at any Secretary of State office using an electronic testing station.
Special needs testing
The Office of Investigative Services offers special needs testing for those individuals who have reading or language barriers. Those individuals who do not read or comprehend well, and those having a limited understanding of the English language may have a translator read the test to them. Mechanic translator testing is offered by appointment only after the request has been reviewed and approved.
To request a translator for a mechanic test, email the completed Mechanic Test Translator Form to: Licensing@Michigan.gov.The mechanic test applicant will be notified that the mechanic translator has been approved or denied.
A mechanic translator must be a person who has never been involved in the field of automotive repair or related occupations.
- Mechanic translators may be a family member, friend, or professional foreign language interpreter. The person requesting the translator is responsible for any payment due.
- Individuals who require a sign language interpreter may be eligible for assistance through the Michigan Department of State under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More information is available on the form to Request Sign Language Interpreter.
- A prospective mechanic translator must sign a "Mechanic Test Translator Agreement" certifying that their assistance will be limited to reading or translating the test items only. No explanations of the test items may be provided.
After the application has been approved, the mechanic test applicant will be notified and instructed to make an appointment with any Secretary of State office for testing. Appointments are available 180 days out and can be made online, in person at a Secretary of State office, or by calling 888-767-6424.
Further mechanic test issues should be directed to:
Michigan Department of State
Business Licensing Section
Lansing, MI 48918
Once you complete a mechanic test, a test result letter will be generated overnight and mailed to your address on record. The test result letter will show the Test ID number, the test date, the test category, the passing score for the test, your actual score for the test, and the result of the test.
If you pass a test, the most common scenarios and next steps are listed on the letter for you to follow. There are other possible scenarios. More information is available under the tab "Test result letter scenarios."
If you fail a test, there will be a chart on the back of the letter that shows a breakdown of your performance on the test. For each test taken and not passed, sub categories within the test will be displayed, showing the total number of questions in each sub category along with the number of questions in each category you answered incorrectly and correctly.
- If you have never been a Michigan certified mechanic and have passed a Michigan mechanic test: Complete and return the certification application (mailed separately from your test result letter) with the $25 fee, or quickly apply online at Michigan.gov/SOS. Select “Online Services” then in the “Additional Services” section, select “Mechanic Services” and “Apply to be a Mechanic.”
- If you are currently a Michigan certified mechanic: You will receive an updated mechanic certificate in the mail that will include the new repair category for which you have passed a test.
- If your mechanic certification is expired and you have recently passed a test: Do not submit a new application, you will need to gain access to your mechanic account online to renew your mechanic certificate. The newly passed test will automatically be added to your mechanic certification once you renew.
- If your certification has been expired for more than one year and you have not been working as a mechanic in the previous year: Do not submit a new application, you will need to reinstate your existing mechanic certification by gaining access to your mechanic account online.
- If your certification has been expired and you have been working as a mechanic: Do not submit a new application, you will need to renew your existing mechanic certification by gaining access to your mechanic account online.
- If you are a mechanic trainee: If you have passed one or more tests, you may be eligible for certification. Refer to the first topic “If you have never been a Michigan certified mechanic."
- If you have passed the BAIID test and wish to become an installer: You must be approved for a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) Installer Certification to perform BAIID installations. To be approved, you must be affiliated with an approved BAIID manufacturer and only that manufacturer can apply for you to become an installer. Please contact a manufacturer or visit Michigan.gov/SOS and search for "BAIID Installer Information" to get more details.
BAIID Installer Certification Application
If you have additional questions, contact the Business Licensing Section at Licensing@Michigan.gov.
Automotive schools mechanic testing (Choose tab)
Tools and resources
The testing system is comprised of two web-based programs that work together; the State of Michigan CARS program, which you will access through the customer-facing, e-Services dashboard of the proctor computer, and the Know 2 Drive (K2D) program which runs in the background of the testing computers.
e-Services will only be accessed on the proctor computer by authorized staff, and will be used to register students, assign tests, start tests, review history and billing status, etc. Instructors are not allowed to proctor their own tests, but they may register the students and assign the exams in e-Services to stage them for a proctor to issue at a later time. Each staff member that accesses e-Services should have their own username and password.
The students can be registered for tests by the instructor or other school staff, or a link can be generated which will allow the students to self-register for their tests. There is a $6 charge for each test that is created that goes into the school account. Any account showing a balance will be invoiced monthly.
The proctor will launch each test from the e-Service dashboard on the main proctor computer, and it will appear on a designated tester computer for completion. The tester machines are configured and individually registered with the K2D program. Each tester station, once registered, will have an icon on the dashboard that can be used to launch the K2D program. Once launched, the test station will be visible to the proctor in e-Services and allow any available tests to be sent to the station for completion by the tester. K2D will remain open on the test station until it is terminated by using the key stroke combination of ALT-F4. It can be launched again from the desktop icon as needed.
Prior to installation of the testing system, a contract must be executed between the Michigan Department of State and the school or facility requesting the testing system. This contract will outline policies and procedures and well as the billing process. Administrator approval and school contact information must be obtained and will be used for creating the Mechanic Testing School Account in e-Services. Upon approval, the e-Services account will be created, and the desired number of test stations will be allocated to the school for configuration purposes. The configuration documents found in the "System Installation" tab will provide system requirements, provide configuration instructions for your IT staff, provide the installation credentials, and list the Help Desk phone number should assistance be necessary.
Billing and contract documents:
- Intel Celeron or AMD Athlon based processor or higher: 1.6GHz+
- 30GB+ Data Storage for cached media content: Utilized automatically via browser caching
- 4GB+ RAM (PC Memory)
- Sound Card: Required for Audio or A/V Content Delivery)
- Touch Screen Monitors (Optional): ELO or ELO SAW are recommended technologies
- Display Resolution: 1920x1080 (recommended); 1024x768, 1366x768, 1440x900 (Supported)
- Windows 10 Professional (Recommended)/ Windows 11
- 64-bit OS (recommended), 32-bit OS (Supported)
- Internet Connectivity: testing stations used the internet to reach out to the server link.
Note: Once approved, you will receive specific instructions for the installation process. System setup and configuration can only occur after all contractual paperwork has been processed and the school has been created in the CARS e-Services system. Do not commence installation until you are specifically given approval and provided with a 3-digit location code.
All users must create MiLogin credentials to access the system. Select the MiLogin link for more information on how to create a MiLogin profile.
A series of visual walk-through instructions are available to demonstrate system functionality. Follow the visual walkthrough links for specific information on how to use the system in the classroom.
For other questions or issues, contact the Business Licensing Section via email at Licensing@Michigan.gov, or by calling 517-241-0137. Identify yourself as a Mechanic Testing School and ask to speak with the Mechanic analyst or manager.
Tools and resources:
- MiLogin for Mechanic Schools
- General Access Overview
- Creating a link for student self-registration
- Registering a student for a mechanic test visual walk-through
- Starting a test on a computer testing station
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What training do I need to become a certified mechanic?
To practice as a mechanic in Michigan, you must either have a valid mechanic trainee permit or have been certified in each repair category in which you wish to work.
There are two ways to obtain the skills needed to become a certified mechanic:
- Attend a school that offers automotive training. This usually includes hands-on learning along with classroom instruction.
- Work at a repair shop with a certified, experienced mechanic who can teach proper repair methods and see that your work is done correctly.
I'm registered to take a mechanic test. What should I expect?
Mechanic tests are offered on electronic, touchscreen testing stations at Secretary of State offices. You can start a mechanic test any time up to one hour before offices close. There is a $6 fee for each test attempt.
The tests contain multiple choice questions, ranging from 55 to 100 questions depending on the topic, and are intended to measure the minimum competencies necessary to work in that specialty. You are prohibited from using reference materials or electronic devices while taking your test.
Your pass/fail status will display on the screen when you complete your test. A detailed test result letter will be mailed within seven days after testing.
If you sign up for more than one test but don’t have time to complete all of them in the same visit, you may arrange to take the tests you haven't started at a later date, as long as you don’t exceed the 180-day limit.
What happens if I fail a mechanic test?
You may retake any mechanic tests you didn't pass, but you must pay the test registration fee for each test you retake. You may only take one test per repair category per day.