According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), consumers used to have no way of figuring which mechanics were capable. In 1972, ASE–an independent and nonprofit establishment–was implemented. If a mechanic is ASE-certified, it generally means he has passed the necessary examinations required by the ASE. There are ways a consumer or an employer looking to hire a technician can know if he is ASE-certified.

Look for the ASE signs. If the repair shop has a minimum of one ASE technician it is allowed to display the ASE symbol. The technician may wear an ASE shoulder patch on his uniform. If the technician is not wearing the shoulder insignia, the consumer can ask him for his certificate. The certificate is specific to the mechanic’s credentials, which includes his certification area. Most employers display their technicians’ ASE certificates on the wall of the facility waiting room or in their office.

Look for the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence. Repair shops, support businesses and parts businesses can qualify for inclusion in the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program if at least 75 percent of their technicians are ASE-certified and if an ASE-certified worker covers each service area in the shop.

The Blue Seal sets the business apart from others because it means that the staff is ASE-certified and that it has earned a favorable reputation from its clients. Members receive a customized wall plaque with the business’s name, participation date and ASE logo, which is displayed in the facility.

Call ASE directly to find out if the technician is ASE-certified. Tell them you need to verify ASE-certification on a particular technician. They will be willing to give you the information because their goal is to help ensure consumers receive competent service.