1. A licensed shop should have that certification on display, as well as licenses for the mechanics working at that garage. You should be able to see the paperwork posted in the shop.
  2. You can go to the website of the Secretary of State's Office to make sure a business is licensed.
  3. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the facility has had previous complaints and how they were handled.
  4. For repairs that cost more than $20, you are always entitled to a written estimate that will spell out the cost of parts and estimate the time of repair and cost of labor.
  5. Once given a target time for completion, you should check on the status of your car before that time arrives. Most reputable garages will call you, but you should check the progress, and the repairs can take unexpected turns and you may need to authorize further expenses.
  6. When in doubt, ask around and visit a garage that has glowing references from more than one person.
  7. You are entitled to see parts that are removed and replaced on your car.