The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was established in 1972 as a way for consumers to distinguish competent mechanics from incompetent ones.
Certification applicants can test for certification in 40 different areas of certification. Certifications range from repairing cars and trucks to commercial vehicles. Additonal certifications are available in alternative fuels and collision damage estimates.
A person can become ASE certified by taking one of the certification exams, and proving two years of related work experience. The certification is good for five years. After that time, the person must become re-certified to retain the certification.
ASE certification tests are given at 700 different testing centers twice a year. The tests are administered by ACT, whom also administers the ACT exam for high school students.
Certified technicians usually wear a patch on their shirt with the ASE logo embroidered on it and carry their credentials stating their areas of certification. ASE certified garages also may display the ASE logo and use it in their advertising. Some may also list their certified technicians and their areas of certification for their customers.