Motor Vehicle Repairs

The Board of Motor Vehicle Repair Dealers licenses motor vehicle repair dealers (shops) and the individual mechanics who diagnose problems and work on the repairs.

In the State of Hawaii, both the repair shop and the mechanic must be licensed.  There are three types of mechanic licenses – automotive, motorcycle, and truck .   Mechanics may be “certified” which means, in addition to meeting other license requirements, the mechanic has taken and passed an ASE exam.  (“ASE” is short for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a national organization that independently tests and certifies automotive professionals.   ASE certification is not the same as a mechanics license issued by the State.)

A repair shop can also employ unlicensed apprentices and helpers.  These unlicensed individuals must be assigned to a licensed mechanic and are the responsibility of the licensed mechanic.   A licensed mechanic can only supervise five unlicensed apprentices or helpers at a time.

Got estimate? Hawaii law requires licensed repair dealers and mechanics provide a written estimate before starting any work.  If, after starting work, the estimated price increases by more than $100 or 10%, the customer should be contacted before work starts.  A consumer can waive the right to be notified, but that waiver should be in writing. Written estimates protect both consumers and the licensees they deal with, making it clear the work to be performed and the parts to be used.

RICO relies on information from consumers to monitor conduct in the industry and to watch for unlicensed activity. For information about filing a complaint, click on the link below or call the RICO Consumer Resource Center to speak with an intake investigator about your complaint.