I have a business license from the province of Ontario and an HST number so that I can file my taxes. I have an accountant who handles all of my taxes, so I don't think I will have any issues there.

I'm wondering if there exists any legislation against repairing vehicles for profit without having a mechanic's license. If my customers are made aware that I am repairing their vehicle while unlicensed, am I allowed to proceed?



According to the College of Trades website, a compulsory trade is

a trade in which registration as an apprentice, journeyperson candidate or certification as a journeyperson is mandatory.

Under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, people working in these trade roles must meet the standards, gain certification, and be members of the College.

Among others, the list of compulsory trades includes

  • Alignment and Brakes Technician

  • Auto Body (and Collision Damage) Repairer

  • Automotive Service Technician

  • Fuel and Electrical Systems Technician

  • Motorcycle Technician

Of special note is the Automotive Services Technician, which describes the work and duties one typically associates with a mechanic.

Thus, you would be in violation of the law no matter whether you informed consumers or not, and regardless of whether you're paid if you work in this or any other compulsory trade without being certified and a member of the College.

Offences of this type are subject to fines on conviction, of up to $5000 on the first offence and up to $10000 on subsequent offences.

  • Note that there are things that are specifically excluded from the scope of technicians, meaning that you do not need to be licenced to do them, like changing fluids and light bulbs. These are listed in section 2 (2) of O. Reg. 277/11: SCOPE OF PRACTICE - TRADES IN THE MOTIVE POWER SECTOR (just take note of the definition of "motor vehicles" - there are things it does not include) Nov 20 '19 at 17:33

O.c.o.t in a college capacity is a governing body. Just like with teachers, physicians etc. My family has owned a shop for decades and we do get a couple audits a year from an o.c.o.t officer. This topic came up 2 weeks ago and the enforcement officer made it clear that it IS a criminal offence and if they see or find a backyard mechanic/unlicensed person doing brakes or work that requires a license they WILL lay criminal charges. They also repeatedly remind licenced facilities to call in if they spot someone doing so. Its a public safety issue. Any trade infraction found guilty permanently remains on their website


There are specific duties you can perform and specific duties you can & should not perform while unlicensed. For example, oil changes. You can do! Transmission repairs-you can not do, should not do. Research more! There are tasks that you can do while unlicensed!


First) the ontario college of trade is not a college. You can not go to this college. It is simply a way to make people think it is. Second) if you are a registered business, yes you need a trade license in Ontario. Not a business, Yes, You can work on anybodys vehicle without fear of being punished. Because the law in ontario states that you can have whoever you want to fix your vehicle. If it was an inforced law. Then everybody who works on their vehicle or a friends or neighbors or even a stranger. Then there would be alot of innocent people in getting fines. The auto industry wants people to think you dont have a choice so they can rob you. British Columbia, Manitoba, northwest territory, Nunavut, Newfoundland/Labrador- No license required.What Are the Certification Requirements? How to Become a MechanicEach province and territory sets its own certification requirements. In British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, certification for automotive service technicians is available, but is not legally required. You can still go through the steps above to complete an apprenticeship and receive a Certificate of Qualification (or similar credential), but it isn't mandatory that you do so.

In the other provinces, learning how to become a mechanic without school is impossible. That's because in those areas, the automotive trade is a compulsory trade. That means you do need a licence to be a mechanic. Here are the training requirements for the provinces that strictly regulate auto mechanics:

Ontario Alberta Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island

  • 1
    The OCT is a college according to the longest existing and most consistently used definition: a group of persons adhering to common standards. The law states that people in those roles must be certified and must be members. It cares not whether such a person works for a business or does it independently. Working on vehicles for money is illegal unless certified and enrolled. And not only have you copy-pasted content without reference, it even contradicts completely what you have said: "Here are the training requirements for the provinces that strictly regulate auto mechanics: Ontario"
    – Nij
    Jan 18 '19 at 4:20

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