Who must be a certified mechanic?
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 are not certified, you must get a mechanic trainee permit for those repair categories in which you work.
How do I become a certified mechanic?
You must first pass a test for each repair category in which you want certification. Until you have passed the appropriate tests, you cannot apply for certification. A certification application will be included with the results letter if you successfully pass your test. Complete the application and return it with the $25 application fee to the Michigan Department of State, Business Licensing Section, Lansing, Michigan 48918.
Where can I obtain more information on becoming a certified mechanic in Michigan?
Information for mechanics
I took the state mechanic test but lost, or did not receive, my test results. How do I find out if I passed the test?
If you have not received your test results or have lost them, contact the Customer Support Section at
1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424). Secretary of State Branch offices do not have specific information concerning your test results.
Are the state tests offered in written or electronic format?
State mechanic tests are offered electronically at a kiosk with a touch screen. PRE-REGISTRATION FOR ALL MECHANICS TESTS IS REQUIRED!
How will I be notified of my test results?
You will be notified of your pass/fail status on the kiosk screen when you complete the test. A detailed test result letter will be mailed within seven days of completing your test.
In what format are the test questions delivered and how many test questions are there?
The mechanic tests contain multiple-choice questions and are intended to measure the minimum competencies necessary to work in a particular area of study. Your ability to pass a test depends on the amount of knowledge you have covering a specific area, and how you interpret the test items. No reference materials or electronic devices may be used during testing.
Most tests have 55 questions. A few of the tests range between 65 and 100 questions.
Once I have registered for a test, is there a time limit for taking the test?
Yes. You have 60 days from the receipt date to complete your test. After 60 days, the test will expire and refunds will not be provided. Re-registration will be required at an additional fee of $6 per test.
What information is needed to register for mechanic tests?
To register you will first need to create your account which includes: your name, address, birth date and Social Security number. You will also be required to create a user ID and password.
What is a mechanic trainee permit?
The mechanic trainee permit makes it possible for the non-certified mechanic to work at a repair facility. A mechanic trainee employed by a repair facility must work under the direct supervision of a certified specialty or master mechanic.
What is the minimum score needed to pass a test?
Depending on the test taken, 65 percent or higher.
What unique features have been included in the new testing format?
- Immediate same day pass/fail results.
- Testing now available at all Secretary of State offices with registration.
- Secure 24/7 online registration in the privacy of your own home for faster service.
- Update your home address (for mechanic records only).
Where can I take the mechanic tests?
Motor vehicle mechanic tests are available at Secretary of State offices throughout the state. You can obtain branch office location information by scheduling an office visit. You will be required to pre-register prior to taking a test. There is a $6 fee for each test. Tests are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tests are not available within one hour of closing.
Will I need to bring anything with me to the testing location once I have registered?
Yes. You will need to bring a printed copy of your mechanic payment receipt containing your test ID number and a driver's license or state identification card containing your photograph to the mechanic testing location. No other form of ID will be accepted.
Will I need to pre-register to take a mechanic test?
Yes. You must pre-register before taking any mechanics tests in Michigan. There are no exceptions; whether you are a mechanic or a trainee, are currently licensed, have previously tested or have an expired certificate. Register for your test by creating an account if you are new, or accessing your existing account online through the Mechanic Test Registration System. The online system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How do I apply for a mechanic trainee permit?
You must complete an Application for Motor Vehicle Mechanic Trainee Permit. Application are available at the Department of State Web site at: Mechanic Trainee Permit or by contacting the Customer Support Section at 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424). The completed application must be returned with the $20.00 application fee. No fee is required if you are a state-certified mechanic with an unexpired certificate.
What are the repair categories for a mechanic trainee?
The mechanic trainee categories are the same as those for mechanic certification. You may obtain a trainee permit in any number of categories of repair, but cannot remain a mechanic trainee in any single repair category for more than two years. Once expired, trainee permits may not be reissued.
How do I renew my mechanic certification license?
There are two options for renewing your mechanic license: online or by mail.
To renew online, you will need:
- Your preprinted mechanic renewal application
- The PIN printed in the upper-right corner of the application
- The last five digits of your Social Security number
- A valid Discover, MasterCard, Visa or electronic check
To renew by mail, return your completed renewal application form and check or money order to:
Michigan Department of State
Business Licensing Section
Lansing, Michigan 48918
Please note: You cannot renew online if more than 60 days has passed since your mechanic license expired (the license expiration date is found in Box 4 of your mechanic license renewal application).
What does it cost to become a certified mechanic?
The fee to become a certified mechanic is $25. An amended certificate will be mailed to you at no cost if you pass additional tests after receiving your certification.
Can a person who has a disability or difficulty with the English language take the mechanic tests?
Yes. If you would have difficulty taking a written test because of special needs, you should contact the Business Licensing Section at 888-SOS-MICH (888-767-6424). You may be eligible for audio and interpreter assisted tests.
I took the state mechanic test and did not pass. Can I take the test again and will I have to pay the test fees again?
Yes. You may retake any mechanic tests you did not pass; a person may only take one test per repair category per day. You must pay the $6 test registration fee for each test you retake. However, you are encouraged to study more or enroll in a training program before retaking a test.
I have worked as a motor vehicle mechanic for many years. Do I have to take the mechanic tests?
Yes, you must pass a test for each repair category in which you want to be certified. The law does not provide a "grandfather clause." The only way to qualify for state certification is to pass the state test or if you have passed tests administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), you may be eligible to apply for state certification in certain automobile and heavy duty truck categories without further testing. ASE certification alone does NOT qualify you as a state certified mechanic. Contact the Business Licensing Section at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) for further information.
What is the difference between a master mechanic and a specialty mechanic?
An individual certified in all of the first eight categories of Automobile and Light Truck Repair is a Master Automobile Mechanic. Similarly, a mechanic certified in all six categories of Heavy-Duty Truck Repair is a Master Heavy-duty Truck Mechanic. Individuals with a certification in Motorcycle are also given a master status. A mechanic certified in seven or fewer of the first eight categories under the automobile and light truck heading, or five or fewer of the six categories under the heavy-duty truck repair heading or in the ‘other' category is considered a Specialty Mechanic.
What are the motor vehicle repair categories which require state certification?
The automobile and light truck repair categories for vehicles under 10,000 pounds GVW are:
- Engine Repair
- Engine Tune-up/Performance
- Front End, Suspension & Steering Systems
- Brakes & Braking Systems
- Automatic Transmission
- Manual Transmission, Front & Rear Drive Axles
- Electrical Systems
- Heating & Air Conditioning
- Pre-1973 Vehicles
The heavy-duty truck repair categories for vehicles over 10,000 pounds GVW are:
- Engine Repair - Gasoline
- Engine Repair - Diesel
- Drive Train
- Brakes & Braking Systems
- Suspension & Steering Systems
- Electrical Systems
Repair categories for other on-road vehicles are:
- Collision-Related Mechanical Repair
- Unitized Body Structural Repair
- Recreational Trailer
Can anyone apply for a BAIID Installer Certificate?
No. There are prerequisites that must be met. The applicant must have a mechanic certificate with a BAIID specialty, be at least 18 years of age, be properly trained by the BAIID manufacturer, have not been convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense or any offense classified as a felony for the previous 5 years, and possess a valid driver license.
Does a technician who only does "bench work," such as rebuilding automotive parts or components, have to be certified?
Yes. When bench work (the rebuilding, reconditioning, machining, or assembling of parts or components from a motor vehicle) is performed by a technician at a registered repair facility, the technician must be certified as a mechanic in the proper repair category. This work involves a diagnostic process that is directly related to the shop's regulated activities. The only time a bench mechanic need not be certified is when the employer is not required to be a registered motor vehicle repair facility. For example, in a parts store that does not operate a motor vehicle repair facility (does not diagnose vehicles and does not remove or install parts), the technician turning brake rotors or rebuilding engines need not be certified.
Does the state provide study materials or textbooks for my use?
Michigan does not provide or recommend any single textbook or published materials for your review when preparing for the mechanics tests. However, it is recommended that individuals who prefer home study acquire textbooks similar to those found in technical skill centers, and two- or four- year colleges. Typically, these types of textbooks are not found at your local library but are available through educational book stores and various online automotive publishers.
It is suggested that you prepare by reviewing the Mechanic Study Guides. These study guides provide a list of the categories and subcategories that will be on each test. Each category is given a percentage indicating how many of the test questions will be drawn from that category. This allows you to plan your study time and concentrate on those areas that are given the most emphasis on the test.
Information for mechanics
Do I have to pay a fee for an original, renewal, or duplicate BAIID Installer Certificate?
There is no additional fee for a BAIID Installer Certificate.
How do I renew my BAIID Installer Certificate?
You renew your BAIID Installer Certificate by mailing another BAIID Installer application to the Administrative Hearings Section to the address listed on the form. The same prerequisites for the original certificate exist for the renewal of the certificate. Apply 30 days before the expiration of the certificate to ensure timely processing.
How long is the BAIID Installer Certificate good for?
One year from the date of issuance.
I have been told that I am exempt from having to become a certified or licensed mechanic in Michigan if I am currently certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in one or more categories. Is this true?
No. ASE certification alone does NOT 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 state certification tests. Refer to the ASE Information webpage or contact the Business Licensing Section at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) for further information.
Is the BAIID category necessary for Master Mechanic status?
No. The BAIID category is not necessary to obtain Master Mechanic status.
What if I lose my BAIID Installer Certificate?
What is mechanic recertification?
If you are an automotive and light truck mechanic certified in Engine Tune-up/Performance, Electrical Systems or Brakes and Braking Systems, you must comply with one of the following requirements for continuing certification. Certificates in the three categories noted are good for five years and must be renewed before their expiration date. All other repair categories are valid for life once issued.
- Pass the latest state mechanic certification test, or
- Show proof of current and appropriate National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification; please refer to the the ASE Information webpage for further details, or
- Successfully complete a state-approved training program.
Mechanics certified in these categories must comply with the recertification requirement before their certification expiration date, according to the schedule below:
Mechanic Category Recertification Year Ongoing Recertification Renewal Engine Tune-up/ Performance 2018 2023, 2028, 2032 Electrical Systems 2019 2024, 2029, 2034 Brakes & Braking Systems 2020 2025, 2030, 2035
For example, John Brown's mechanic certificate expires each year on July 16. John last recertified his Engine Tune-up/Performance certificate on July 16, 2018, making his next recertification date July 16, 2023. He last recertified in Electrical Systems July 16, 2014, so he'll have to recertify again in July 16, 2019. He'll have until July 16, 2020 to recertify in Brakes & Braking Systems after meeting the requirements on July 16, 2025.
Will my BAIID Installer Certificate expire the same day as my mechanic certificate?
It is possible but unlikely unless your BAIID Installer Certificate and your Mechanic Certificate were issued on the same day. Each certificate expires annually on the anniversary of issuance.
Will my BAIID Installer Certificate have the same number as my mechanic certificate?
Yes. The Installer Certificate will be maintained in the mechanic record and the same number will be used.
Will registering for a test require me to select a specific test location?
No. You may test at any Secretary of State office in the state.