Skip to main content

Mechanic testing

Mechanic Testing

Online

Pre-register to take the mechanic test or apply for your mechanic certification or mechanic trainee permit

Go to Online Services

By mail

Submit the mechanic trainee or mechanic certification application

Mechanic Certification Application

Unavailable for this transaction

Unavailable button

Office visit

Take your mechanic test at any Secretary of State office

Schedule an office visit

What do I need to register for my mechanic test? (Choose tab below)

To pre-register for your mechanic test online, visit Online Services, select "Mechanic Services" in the "Additional Services" section, and follow the prompts to sign up. You will need your:

  • Driver’s license 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

 

This transaction isn't available by mail.

This service isn't available at self-service stations.

To take the mechanic test at a Secretary of State office, you will need:

  • Your 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.

Schedule an office visit

 

What do I need to apply to for a mechanic trainee permit? (Choose tab below)

To apply for a mechanic trainee permit online, visit Online Services, select "Mechanic Services" in the "Additional Services" section, and follow the prompts to apply. You will need your:

  • Driver's license number
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Verified address
  • Credit or debit card (additional fees apply) or e-check/bank account number as payment for the $20 application fee

Go to Online Services

 

To apply for a mechanic trainee permit by mail, you will need your:

  • Completed and signed Application for a Motor Vehicle Mechanic Trainee Permit
  • Check or money order payable to the State of Michigan for the $20 application fee

Mail your application and payment to: 

Michigan Department of State
Business Licensing Section
Lansing, MI 48918

Application for Mechanic Trainee Permit

 

This transaction isn’t available at self-service stations. 

This transaction isn’t provided at Secretary of State offices. 

What do I need to apply for my mechanic certification? (Choose tab below)

To apply for your mechanic certification online, visit Online Services, select "Mechanic Services" in the "Additional Services" section, and follow the prompts to apply. You will need your:

  • Record of passing National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or Michigan Mechanic Exams
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security number 
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number 
  • Verified address
  • Credit or debit card (additional fees apply) or e-check/bank account number as payment for the $25 application fee

Note: Allow 30 days for processing of your application. If you are a registered mechanic, or have been registered in the past, you will need to create an online Secretary of State account to renew or reinstate your certificate.

Go to Online Services

 

To apply for your mechanic certification by mail, you will need your:

  • Completed and signed Application for a Motor Vehicle Specialty or Master Mechanic Certification
  • Check or money order payable to the State of Michigan for the $20 application fee

Mail your application and payment to:

Michigan Department of State
Business Licensing Section
Lansing, MI 48918

If you are certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), you must also provide proof of certification through your myASE account. 

Application for Specialty or Master Mechanic Certification

Go to ASE.com 

 

This transaction isn’t available at self-service stations.

This transaction isn’t provided at Secretary of State offices.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • You must be certified as a mechanic in Michigan if you repair motor vehicles for compensation, including the reconditioning, replacement, diagnosis, adjustment or alteration of the operating condition of the vehicle, or any component or sub-assembly in any category of major repair.

    If you perform major repairs and aren't certified, you must get a mechanic trainee permit for those repair categories in which you work.

    • Mechanic test: $6 per repair category. An amended certificate will be mailed to you at no cost if you pass additional tests after receiving your certification.
    • Mechanic trainee permit: $20
    • Mechanic certification: $25
  • 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.

     

  • To become a certified mechanic, you must pass a test for each repair category in which you want certification.

    Until you have passed at least one certification test or have received National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) professional level certification in at least one approved category, you cannot apply for your mechanic certification. A certification application will be included with your test results letter mailed about a week after you successfully pass your first test.

  • A mechanic trainee permit makes it possible for a non-certified mechanic to work at a repair facility. A mechanic trainee may perform repairs only in the categories listed on the permit under the supervision of a mechanic who is currently certified by the State of Michigan in those repair categories.

    A mechanic trainee permit is valid for a period of two years from the date of issue in the major repair categories listed on the permit. A permit may not be renewed. Upon expiration of the trainee permit, a mechanic trainee must either become certified or stop performing repairs in the categories listed on the permit.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ASE certification alone doesn’t qualify you as a state certified mechanic in Michigan. However, you may be eligible to apply for state certification and transfer certain ASE categories to the application in lieu of taking the corresponding state certification tests. 

    Sign into your myASE account or contact the Business Licensing Section at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) for further information.

    Information for mechanics

    Go to ASE.com

  • Automobile and light truck repair categories for vehicles under 14,000 GVW include:

    • Engine repair
    • Engine tune-up/performance
    • 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
    • Motorcycle
    • 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.
  • Specialty Mechanic: Certified in one or more but not all of the repair categories for the automobile/light truck repair or heavy-duty truck repair classifications.

    Master Automobile Mechanic: Certified in the first eight categories under automobile/light truck repair classification.

    Master Heavy-duty Truck Mechanic: Certified in all six categories under heavy-duty truck repair classification.

    Master Motorcycle Mechanic: Certified in the motorcycle repair classification.

  • You have two options for renewing your mechanic certificate:

    • Online (This is the fastest option as most mechanic renewals will auto-process overnight) - Your certificate can be renewed 60 days prior to expiration. The certificate’s expiration date is found in Box 4 of your mechanic certificate renewal.

      • Log into your account by visiting Online Services. Under the "Additional Services" section, select "Mechanic Services" and then “Mechanic Login.”
      • Pay with a credit or debit card (additional fees apply) or e-check/bank account number.

        Go to Online Services

    • By mail (Allow 30 days for processing) - Renewal applications are mailed 60 days before your certificate expires. If you haven’t received your renewal materials within that time, call the Business Licensing Section at 888-SOS-MICH (888-767-6424).

      • Fill out the preprinted renewal application you received in the mail. Update any information as necessary. Some updates may require additional documentation. Failure to fill out the form correctly or completely may delay or prevent your certificate renewal.
      • Mail your completed application (including any attachments) and a check or money order payable to the State of Michigan to: 

    Michigan Department of State
    Business Licensing Section
    Lansing, MI 48918

    Your new certificate should arrive in the mail within three weeks after your application has been processed. When you receive your new mechanic certificate, post it prominently where customers can see it.


Still have questions?

More FAQs