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Mechanic Legal Question Iowa


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I know some of you on here are mechanics and know the licensing/cert laws so I'm hoping you can help me out. 

 

So now that I have been making and selling parts I have been very frequent at the local post office and have become friendly with the people who work there.  We are a small town so it's the same faces every day.  Today I finally got the question of what I was selling and when I said Jeep parts their eyes got wide and the questions started flying. 

 

Since we are a small town they mostly drive XJs for the rural routes and their problem is that none of them are super mechanically inclined or have the tools and they don't like having to drive so far to a city with a repair shop and pay so much for fairly simple repairs.  The question becomes, can I either assist them with repairs or outright fix their Jeeps legally?  I know unlicensed/uninsured mechanics exist but I can't really find if they are legal or not.  I'm not really worried about being sued or anything, I'd be more concerned about the government after me for not meeting the requirements.

 

I'm to the point now that I can/have fixed pretty much everything on an XJ multiple times so I'm confident in doing the work and am likely more qualified on the XJ specifically than a general mechanic that works on modern crap all day is.

 

The question is, can I lend them a hand or is it a bad idea all around?

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9 minutes ago, Dzimm said:

to a city with a repair shop and pay so much for fairly simple repairs.

If they're reimbursed for the repairs, I'd stay away.

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My biggest concern would be liability coverage.  If you fix someone's Jeep and something goes wrong, you can be sued.  A mechanic working out of a shop will have business insurance to cover any potential liability.  Their professional training (i.e. ASE certification) will help them qualify for lower cost insurance.

 

Other than that, there's nothing legally stopping you from doing the work and getting paid to do it.  Uncle Sam will want you to fill out your self employment tax forms and give him his tribute of course.

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9 minutes ago, derf said:

My biggest concern would be liability coverage.  If you fix someone's Jeep and something goes wrong, you can be sued.  A mechanic working out of a shop will have business insurance to cover any potential liability.  Their professional training (i.e. ASE certification) will help them qualify for lower cost insurance.

 

Other than that, there's nothing legally stopping you from doing the work and getting paid to do it.  Uncle Sam will want you to fill out your self employment tax forms and give him his tribute of course.

Yeah the insurance would be nice and all but it would be way prohibitively expensive since I wouldn't really be looking to make a big business out if it.  More so to help out the local mail carriers while making a little on the side.  

 

That's the sucky part, everyone is sue happy these days and rightfully so given most people won't stand behind their work anymore.

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5 minutes ago, 89 MJ said:

Have you talked to your wife about this? What are her thoughts on it, on the time aspect. I would assume this would be a nights and weekends gig, yes?

Not really sure what it would be honestly, but I'm guessing it would be a right now it's broken kind of thing since they need them on the daily.  She likely wouldn't care but yeah it would be a discussion. 

 

Honestly I probably don't have time to do it anyway, I have a tendency to take on too many projects and my less time sensitive ones never seem to get done because they are always on the back burner.  

 

It's just one of those scenarios that I have the skills to help them out and I would like to help them out, it's just not the most practical in time and legality/liability.  Same thing happened with a kitchen remodel I did for a friend, everyone and their mother wanted me to come do theirs afterwards but that's not a can of worms I wanted to open.

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Just a few thoughts. I work with quite a few rural mail carriers. Their vehicle is quite literally their money maker. Fix it right, fix it quick, and they are your most loyal customers. 

 

However, that being said, they need their car fixed ASAP most times. 

 

As far as liability, maybe do it for a "suggested cash donation". Most of the rural carriers I work with aren't compensated repair order by repair order, but given a yearly stipend. 

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I fix other people's cars all the time. I'm a USCG Licensed Engineer but that don't mean crap on vehicles. Simply a friend helping somebody out. If your gonna run a business thats a different story. Best body work I ever had done was a retired guy in his backyard falling down shop making some extra cash. If not fulltime a wouldn't worry about it. Be up front and you're lending a hand. If you don't do good work they won't come back and it's over.

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