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Paramedic Licensure and Testing FAQs

General:

1) How do I check the status of my Paramedic License?

2) How do I submit an address change?

3) How do I submit a name change?

4) How can I get a receipt?

5) How can I contact EMSA?

How do I become a Paramedic? (Initial Licensure):

1) How long will it take to get my license?

2) Where can I find a training program?

3) I have a complaint about my training program, whom can I talk to?

4) I have passed my NREMT exams, now what?

5) What does it mean by a notarized copy of my birth certificate?

6) What is course completion?

7) Where can I find the application to apply for paramedic licensure?

8) I got my fingerprints done for another department, can you use them?

9) I have a license or trained outside of California, how do I get a California license?

10) What is the proof of 40 ALS contacts requirements?

11) What can I use as proof of passing the NREMT? Does it have to be current?

12) What is the difference between fingerprint cards and a Live Scan?

13) I am from outside of the US, how do I get a California license?

14) I am an RN, MD, PA or MICN, can I work as a paramedic?

NREMT:

1) What is the NREMT?

2) How do I sign up for testing?

3) I have a lapsed license and need to retake the NREMT test. How do I do that?

4) What is the difference between the NREMT certification test and the assessment exam?

5) Do I have to maintain my NREMT registration?

6) How long are my exam results good for?

7) What happens if I don't pass the licensing exam? How many times may I retake it?

Renewals:

1) How long will it take to get my license renewed?

2) Where can I find an approved Continuing Education (CE) course?

3) How do I list "out of state" CEs?

4) Can I use college courses?

5) How do I renew my license?

6) When can I send my renewal in?

7) Can I count CE hours for teaching a course or acting as a preceptor?

8) What is Instructor Based CEs

9) How old can my CEs be and still count?

Audits Renewals:

1) I've been selected for audit, what does this mean?

2) What do I need to provide for the audit?

3) How long does an audit take?

4) I turned in my application, why isn't it complete? Do audits take longer?

5) Where can I find an approved Continuing Education (CE) course?

6) Can I count CE hours for teaching a course or acting as a preceptor?

7) What is Instructor Based CEs?

8) How old can my CEs be and still count?

Reinstating a Lapsed License:

1) What are the requirements for a lapsed license?

2) Where can I find approved CE courses?

3) Can I count CE hours for teaching a course or acting as a preceptor?

4) What is Instructor Based CEs?

5) How old can my CEs be and still count?

EMT:

1) Where can I find information about becoming an EMT?

2) What is required to become an EMT?

3) Where can I find an approved training program?

 

If you have any other questions please send us an e-mail.

General:

  1. How do I check the status of my Paramedic License?

Information on the status of a paramedic licenses can be found at www.centralregistry.ca.gov.

 

  1. How do I submit an address change?

You need to download the Change of Address form and submit it via mail, fax (916-324-2875), or email at paramedic@emsa.ca.gov.

 

  1. How do I submit a name change?

You need to submit a proof of a legally authorized change of name. Commonly accepted documents are copies of court documents, a marriage certificate, or a copy of your old and new DMV license.

 

  1. How can I get a receipt?

You may request a receipt by either sending an email request to paramedic@emsa.ca.gov or by mail to the EMS Authority.  The request must include your name and license number.  Once the request has been received, a receipt will be sent to you.

 

  1. How can I contact EMSA?

You can contact the Paramedic Licensure Unit by sending an email to: paramedic@emsa.ca.gov or  by calling

(916) 323-9875.

 

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How do I become a Paramedic? (Initial Licensure):

  1. How long will it take to get my license?

The Licensure Staff has 30 business days from the receipt of a complete application, with fees paid, to process an application.  A complete application must include, but is not limited to, the following: the applicant's original signature and date, the submission of all required supportive documents, fees paid, and the receipt of the state and federal criminal background reports (CORI's) from the California Department of Justice (DOJ).

If you have a criminal history on your DOJ/FBI reports, the Licensure Staff will submit your application to the Enforcement Unit for review. This review is not held to the 30-day timeline and your application will not be completed until enforcement has completed the investigation.

 

  1. Where can I find approved paramedic training programs?

The EMS Authority maintains a list of California approved training programs that can be viewed by selecting the following link, list of California approved training programs.  

 

  1. I have a complaint about my training program, who can I talk to?

Training programs are approved and monitored by the Local Emergency Medical Services Agencies (LEMSAs). Program complaints should be submitted to the LEMSA in the jurisdiction of the program. A list of the LEMSAs and their contact information can be found by selecting the following link, LEMSA Information.

 

  1. I have passed my NREMT exams, what is my next step to becoming licensed?

Congratulations! If your paramedic training was completed in the State of California, your next step is to submit a complete and signed Initial In- State Paramedic application packet and the required application fee payment to the Paramedic Licensure Unit.  If your paramedic training was completed outside the State of California, your next step is to submit a complete and signed Initial Out-of-State Paramedic application packet and the requred application fee payment to the Paramedic Licensure Unit.

These Initial Paramedic application packets must include the following:

  • Initial In-State, or Out-of-State Paramedic application;
  • IS-O1 Form, with either an original (birth certificate, passport, etc) supporting your current citizenship and/or immigration status or a copy of the legal document  supporting your current citizenship and/or immigration status that is accompanied by a notarized letter from a legal notary verifying the copy is a "true and correct copy of the original document".  The notarized letter must include a notarized stamp by the licensed notary;
  • live Scan, or fingerprint card, as applicable by type of applicant;
  • poof of passing the NREMTparamedic exams within the past two (2) years or current NREMT paramedic certification; and,
  • if your training was received from a paramedic training program outside the State of California, you will also need to include proof of completing 40 ALS patient contacts in an EMS field care setting from either your employment experience or other training,  Acceptable documents showing your 40 ALS patient contacts may be in the form of a letter from your employer or training program provider on their official letterhead or on formal training program certification documents. 

 

  1. What does "notarized statement" mean when submitting a copy of my birth certificate, passport, etc. to meet the Citizenship, Alienage, Immigration IS-01 form requirements?

If you elect to send a copy of your original birth certificate, passport, or other allowable IS-01 support documents, you must include a notarized letter stating the copy being submitted is verified as a ‘true and correct copy of the original document’”.   The notarized letter must include a notarized stamp by a licensed notary.

 

  1. What is a course completion?

Your course completion is the certificate given to you by your training program after you have completed your training in its entirety. Certificates of passing the didactic portion of the program cannot be substituted for the course completion certificate, as they do not show the completion of the field internship.

 

  1. Where can I find the application to apply for a paramedic license?

The applications can be found on the EMS Authority’s Web site on theForms and Applications page

 

  1. I got my fingerprints done for another department, can you use them?

No. The Department of Justice does not allow departments to share background information. You can find a form for a Paramedic Live Scan or instructions on doing a Fingerprint card on our Forms and Applications page.

 

  1. I have a license or trained outside of California, how do I get a California license?

For paramedics who have trained outside of California or hold a license in another state, you will need to complete and sign the Initial Out-of-State Application with payment of the application fee and other required documents identified on the form. These documents include the following:

  • IS-O1 Form, Birth Certificate or Passport (original or a copy of document accompanied by a notorized letter stating it is a copy made the orignial document);
  • proof of paramedic course Completion;
  • Live Scan/Fingerprint card completion;
  • proof of passing the NREMTparamedic exams within the past two (2) years or current NREMT paramedic certification; and,
  • proof of 40 ALS paitent contacts in a field care setting from an employer or other paramedic training. The proof of completion  must be provided either on a letter with official letterhead from an employer or his/her representative or an official document from a paramedic training program.

 

  1. What is the proof of 40 ALS patient contacts requirement?

The proof of 40 ALS patient contacts can be in the form of a letter from your employer or an approved training program provider on their official letterhead or training program certificate.  The doucment must include your name, the number of successful ALS patient contacts you completed, the name of the employer or training program, and a signature from an employer or program representative.  

 

  1. What can I use as proof of passing the NREMT? Does it have to be current?

Proof of passing the NREMT can come in many forms. It may be the letter of congratulations for passing the exam(s), a copy of the NREMT card, or a print out from the NREMT web site showing your certification information.  In all cases, the document must include your name and the date of your successful completion of the exam(s).    Yes, if providing a copy of your NREMT certification card, it must be current and if providing copies of your exam results, the document(s) must state you passed the exams within the last two years.

 

  1. What is the difference between Live Scan and fingerprint cards?

Live Scan is an internal state specific process for taking an individuals fingerprints electronically.  There are several Live Scan stations across California for those either working or residing in California.  Live Scan results are electronically forwarded directly to the California DOJ and cannot be communicated across state lines.  For more information, select the following link,Instructions for Live Scans.

A fingerprint card is a physical card (Form #FD258 FPC) that can be obtained at local law enforcement offices, or the EMS Authority, can mail you one. Once your fingerprints are placed on the card, it can be mailed to the California DOJ along with the fee of $49 for processing. For more information, select the following link, Instructions for fingerprint cards.

 

  1. I am from outside the US, how do I get a California license?

In order to become a paramedic in California, you must prove that you meet the National Educational Standards for paramedics as well as those found within the State regulationsYou will need to send all your training transcripts along with the Out of State Application documents and fee to the EMS Authority. If your documents are in any language other than English, you will also need to provide translations done by a certified translator.

The EMS Authority’s staff will review these documents and see if you meet the criteria to take the National Registry exams. If you do, a letter of support will be sent to the NREMT for you to take the NREMT assessment exams. The assessment exams allow the EMS Authority to gauge your level of competency; however, you will not get a NREMT registration by taking the assessment exams. If you wish to have a NREMT registration, you will need to contact the NREMT for instructions on getting registered.

Once you have passed the assessment exams, send the exam results to the EMS Authority.

 

  1.  I am a RN, MD, PA or MICN, can my education and experience contribute to becoming a licensed paramedic?

Yes.  In order to become a licensed paramedic using your education and experience, you will need to meet the challenge application eligibility requirements. Your education and experience may be used to meet the didactic and clinical portions of a paramedic training programs required course curriculum; however, you must still attend the entire 480 hours of field internship, including 40 ALS patient contacts, of an approved paramedic training program.  You will also have to take the NREMT paramedic exams.

 If you have one of the above licenses issued from the State of California, you must submit the following to the EMS Authority:

  • Challenge application and fee
  • Copy of your current medical license(s)
  • Proof of completing 40 ALS contacts during an approved paramedic field internship
  • IS-01 form and required documents as identified on the form
  • Submit your fingerprints via Live Scan or Fingerprint card to the DOJ
  • Proof of either NREMT paramedic registration (copy of the card, for example) or proof of passing the NREMT Assessment and Pyschomotor exams within the past two (2) years from the date of submitting your application.  You will most likely need to submit this item to the EMS Authority at a later date in the application process.  As a Challenge applicant, you must contact the NREMT directly to determine your eligibility to take the NREMT exams.  NREMT may require a letter of support from the EMS Authority; which can only be consider upon receiving your completed application and other required documents. 

If you have been issued your above license from outside the State of California, you will need to submit the above bulletted items and also provide official transcripts or other educational documents from your medical training program(s) that reflect courses equivalent to the 2009 National EMS Education Standards.

Once the completed and signed Challenge application, fee payment, and other required document have been received, the licenser will review your packet for eligibility to recieve a paramedic license.  If additional information or documentation is needed, the licenser will notify you.  

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NREMT:

  1. What is the NREMT?

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serves as the national EMS certification organization by providing a valid, uniform process to assess the knowledge and skills required for competent practice required by EMS professionals throughout their careers. The California EMS Authority adopted the NREMT testing as its proof of skills competency. Proof of passing both the NREMT written and practical exams is required prior to licensure.

 

  1. How do I sign up for NREMT testing?

Instructions on applying for the NREMT examinations can be found at: https://www.nremt.org/nremt/about/reg_para_history.asp

 

  1. I have a lapsed license and need to retake the NREMT test.  How do I do that?

You will need to submit a complete and signed reinstatement application packet with payment of the application fee to the EMS Authority. You must also contact the NREMT directly to discuss your eligibility to take their exams.  NREMT may require a letter of support from the EMS Authority. Upon receiving your completed application packet and fee paid, the EMS Authority will review your submitted information for letter of support consideration.  

 

  1. What is the difference between the NREMT certification test and the assessment exam?

The NREMT certification test allows the tester to receive a certification of competency that is accepted in most states. The NREMT provides an assessment examination for use by state EMS offices seeking cognitive evaluation of a potential licensee. The results of the assessment exams are only made available to the state that you are testing for.

 

  1. Do I have to maintain my NREMT registration?

No, the California EMS Authority does not require you to maintain the NREMT registration for continued licensure. However, if in the future your license is lapsed for over one year, you will be required to show proof of a current NREMT registration or proof of passing the exams within the two years prior to your reinstatement.

 

  1. How long are my exam results valid for?

A paramedic applicant must have passed the NREMT exams within the last two years in order for them to be considered valid.

 

  1. What happens if I don’t pass the licensing exam?  How many times may I retake it?

The NREMT has retest policies for each exam.

Written exam policies: https://www.nremt.org/nremt/about/policyCognitiveExamRetest.asp.

Practical Exam: https://www.nremt.org/nremt/about/policyPracticalExamRetest.asp

 

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Renewals:

  1. How long will it take to get my license renewed?

Staff has 30 business days from the day a completed renewal application is received in the office to complete processing renewals. If the application is deficient you will be required to fix the problem and possibly pay a late fee.

 

  1. Where can I find an approved Continuing Education (CE) course?

Approved CEs can come from a number of providers. These include approved California CE Providers, CAPCE (formerly CECBEMS) approved providers, University or College Units and approved CEs from other states.

 

If you are using CEs from another state, you must submit proof that the program is approved by that state to offer paramedic CE.

 

  1. How do I list “out of state” CEs?

If you are using CEs that are approved by another state, you will list them with their CE Provider name on the CE list and provide proof that the provider is approved to offer paramedic CE. This can be a CE certificate with that state’s approval listed on it, a print out from the state’s web site showing the approved program or other such verification.

 

  1. Can I use college courses?

Yes. College units in the fields of physical, behavioral and social sciences can be used toward paramedic CE. These courses must be taken within your licensure cycle. The number of hours assigned per college unit depends on whether or not the college uses a quarter or semester system. Quarter units are worth 10 CE hours per unit and semester units are worth 15 hours per unit.

 

  1. How do I renew my license?

You will need to download the Renewal Application from the EMS Authority’s web site. The form is fillable online, but once you have completed it, you MUST print it out, sign the application and mail it to the EMS Authority. Please read all the instructions on the form carefully and fill out the form completely, including the yes or no questions and the CE requirements. You must submit a minimum of 48 hours of CE from an approved CE Provider.

You may send your application in five months in advance. Sending your application in early does not change your expiration date; but it will ensure your application can be processed and your new card received well in advance of your license expiring.

 

  1. When can I send my renewal in?

Renewals can be sent in as early as five months prior to the expiration of your current license.

 

  1. Can I count CEs hours for teaching a course or acting as a preceptor?

Yes. Preceptor hours are counted hour for hour and must be issued by the training program you are precepting for.You may only claim one class for teaching hours per cycle. Also, keep in mind that any CE hours that you have taught or precepted are considered non-Instructor based hours. You must submit a minimum of 24 instructor based hours for renewal.

 

  1. What is Instructor Based CEs

Instructor based CE’s are courses in which you are the student or online courses, where there is an instructor available to answer your questions within 24 hours.

 

  1. How old can my CEs be and still count?

In order to count toward your renewal, CEs have to be taken during your two-year licensure period or during the last month of your previous renewal cycle. For example if your license expires on June 30, 2015, you may use certificates as old as June 1, 2013 for your license renewal.

 

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Audits Renewals:

  1. I’ve been selected for audit, what does this mean?

The licensure software randomly selects 10% of each months candidates for renewal for audit. An audit consists of the licensure staff verifying all the CEs you are sending in for your renewal.

 

  1. What do I need to provide for the audit?

You need to provide CE certificates for all the CEs you are submitting for this renewal cycle. Cards DO NOT take the place of CE certificates, they do not contain the information needed to verify the certificate. If you are using college courses, you must send in official transcripts, colleges will not verify attendance due to student confidentiality.

 

  1. How long does an audit take?

An audit can take the EMS Authority up to 3-4 weeks to complete. We recommend sending in your application as soon as possible to ensure we have plenty of time (3-4 weeks) to get your audit completed before your expiration date.

 

  1. I turned in my application, why isn’t it complete? Do Audits take longer?

Once the licensure staff receives your application they need to verify your course attendance. This is done by contacting the CE Providers and requesting they check the courses rosters for your signatures. This process can take time. Once all the CE courses have been verified, your audit will be completed and your license renewed.

 

  1. Where can I find an approved Continuing Education (CE) course?

Approved CEs can come from a number of providers. These include approved California CE Providers, CAPCE (formerly CECBEMS) approved providers, University or College Units and approved CEs from other states.

If you are using CEs from another state, you must submit proof that the program is approved by that state to offer paramedic CE.

 

  1. Can I count CEs hours for teaching a course or acting as a preceptor?

Yes. Preceptor hours are counted hour for hour and must be issued by the training program you are precepting for.You may only claim one class for teaching hours per cycle. Also, keep in mind that any CE hours that you have taught or precepted are considered non-Instructor based hours. You must submit a minimum of 24 instructor based hours for renewal.

 

  1. What is Instructor Based CEs

Instructor based CE’s are courses in which you are the student or online courses, where there is an instructor available to answer your questions within 24 hours.

 

  1. How old can my CEs be and still count?

In order to count toward your renewal, CEs have to be taken during your two-year licensure period or during the last month of your previous renewal cycle. For example if your license expires on June 30, 2015, you may use certificates as old as June 1, 2013 for your license renewal.

 

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Reinstating a Lapsed License:

  1. What are the requirements for a lapsed license?

The requirements for a lapsed license depend on how long your license has been lapsed. The longer a license has been lapsed the more requirements you will need to meet in order to get your license back. Below are the requirement for the various time periods.

 

Licenses Lapsed 0-6 Months, use the Lapsed Reinstatement Less Than One Year Application:

  1. The Reinstatement under 1 year application and fee of $250
  2. 48 hours of continuing education and the CE certificates for these hours

Licenses Lapsed 7-12 Months, use the Lapsed Reinstatement Less Than One Year Application:

  1. The Reinstatement under 1 year application and fee of $250
  2. 60 hours of continuing education and the CE certificates for these hours

License Lapsed 1 year-23 months:

  1. The Reinstatement 1 year or more application and fee of $250
  2. 72 hours of continuing education and the CE certificates for these hours
  3. New Live Scan for paramedic
  4. Proof of current NREMT registration or passing the exams within the last 2 years

Licenses Lapsed 2 years and longer:

  1. The Reinstatement 1 year or more application and fee of $250
  2. 72 hours of continuing education and the CE certificates for these hours
  3. ACLS Course (can be included in the 72 hours if you have a CE Certificate)
  4. PALS Course (can be included in the 72 hours if you have a CE Certificate)
  5. ITLS Course (can be included in the 72 hours if you have a CE Certificate)
  6. CPR Course (can be included in the 72 hours if you have a CE Certificate)
  7. New Live Scan for paramedic
  8. Proof of current NREMT registration or passing the exams within the last 2 years

 

  1. Where can I find approved CE courses?

Approved CEs can come from a number of sources. These include approved California CE Providers, CECBEMS approved providers, University or College Units and approved CEs from other states.

 

If you are using CEs from another state, you must submit proof that the program is approved by that state to offer paramedic CE.

 

  1. Can I count CEs hours for teaching a course or acting as a preceptor?

Yes. Preceptor hours are counted hour for hour and must be issued by the training program you are precepting for.You may only claim one class for teaching hours per cycle. Also, keep in mind that any CE hours that you have taught or precepted are considered Non-Instructor based hours. You must submit a minimum of 24 instructor based hours for renewal.

 

  1. What is Instructor Based CEs

Instructor based CE’s are courses in which you are the student or online courses, where there is an instructor available to answer your questions within 24 hours.

 

  1. How old can my CEs be and still count?

CEs can be no older than two years from your mail in date. For example if you mail your reinstatement application on 3/15/2015, the oldest CE you are allowed to count would be from 3/15/2013.

 

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 EMT:

  1. Where can I find information about becoming a EMT?

EMT certifications are processed through the Local EMS Agencies.While limited information can be found on the EMS Authorities Web site, your best source of information would be the Local EMS Agency you are planning on certifying with.

 

  1. What is required to become an EMT?

EMT certifications are processed through the Local EMS Agencies.While limited information can be found on the EMS Authorities Web site, your best source of information would be the Local EMS Agency you are planning on certifying with.

 

  1. Where can I find an approved training program?

California approved training programs can be found on the EMS Authority’s training program database.


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