Paramedic Licensure and Testing FAQs

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 required 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;
  • Proof of passing the NREMT paramedic 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

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

The applications can be found on the EMS Authority’s Paramedic web page.

8. 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 EMS Authority’s Paramedic web page.

9. 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 NREMT paramedic 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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 regulations. You 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.

14. 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 a field internship that includes 40 ALS patient contacts, from an approved paramedic training program.  You must also take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (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 (a copy of your NREMT card or certificate) 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 considered 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 bulleted 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 licensor will review your packet for eligibility to receive a paramedic license. If additional information or documentation is needed, the licensor will notify you.

15. If I am a current or former member of the military with medical training, can I become a licensed paramedic in California?

Yes. In order to become a licensed paramedic using your military medical experience, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements that can be found on the Military Veteran Pathways to EMS Certification and Licensure web page.

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.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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

Renewals

1. How do I renew my license online?

The online licensing system link and user guides are available HERE. You may use the online licensing system to update your residential and mailing information (P.O. box addresses are only accepted for mailing information), employment information, and you may make the payment for your renewal.

A course log is not required. Instead, you will answer a questionnaire confirming your completion of 48 hours of continuing education during your licensure cycle.

You MUST sign and upload the Signature Attestation form, which is available on our Forms page.

Online application review occurs within five-to-seven business days of online application submission.

 

2. How do I renew my license using the paper application?

Paper applications with payment may be mailed or hand-delivered directly to EMSA. To submit your paper application, download the fillable Renewal Application from the EMS Authority’s web site. Once complete, you MUST print and sign the application, then mail it to the EMS Authority. Please read all the instructions on the form carefully and fill it out completely, including answering the yes or no questions and signing the application.

A course log is not required. Instead, you must initial next to a statement confirming your completion of 48 hours of continuing education during your licensure cycle.

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

Paper application review occurs within two-to-three weeks of paper application submission.

 

3. What is the fee for renewing my license?

If your renewal application is submitted online, post-marked, or hand-delivered to our office at least thirty (30) days before your expiration date, the renewal fee is $200.00.

If your renewal application is submitted less than thirty days before your license expiration date, a late fee in the amount of $50.00 is assessed, and the total fee for license renewal is $250.00.

Fee payment does not guarantee license renewal. Your application must be complete, including all required fields and questions, and signing the paper application OR uploading the Signature Attestation form when submitting online.

 

4. When can I submit my renewal application?

Renewal applications are accepted up to five months before the expiration of your current license.

 

5. When is my renewal application due?

Your renewal due date is best on your expiration date. To avoid the assessment of a late fee, your application must be submitted online, post-marked, or hand-delivered by the date listed in the column on the right, corresponding with your license expiration date.

                                             

                                                     Renewal Deadline Table

 
LICENSE EXPIRATION DATE: POSTMARKED or HAND DELIVERED ON or BEFORE:
January 31 January 2
February 28/February 29 January 30/ January 31
March 31 March 2
April 30 April 1
May 31 May 2
June 30 June 1
July 31 July 2
August 31 August 2
September 30 September 1
October 31 October 2
November 30 November 1
December 31 December 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


6.
 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-office, regardless of paper or online submission, to complete the processing of a license renewal. If the application is deficient, you are required to amend the deficiency before your application is considered complete. If your application remains incomplete within less than thirty (30) days of your expiration date, you are required to pay a late fee in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00).

Online application review occurs within five to seven business days of online application submission.

Paper application review occurs within two to three weeks of paper application submission.

 

7. What is an application deficiency?

An application deficiency is a required answer, signature, or payment that is missing from your application renewal. Examples include:

  • Declined or incomplete payment with a paper application
  • Failing to answer required questionnaires on the paper or online application
  • Failing to initial for completion of 48 hours of continuing education on the paper application
  • Failure to sign a paper application
  • Failure to upload a signed Signature Attestation form for an online application

8. Why do I have to pay a late fee?

A late fee in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) is assessed under any of these conditions:

  1. The application is submitted online or mailed less than thirty (30) days before your license expiration date.
  2. The application is reviewed and found incomplete less than thirty (30) days before your license expiration date.
  3. A deficiency response is submitted less than thirty (30) days before your expiration date.

Late fees are not waived unless you can show proof of submitting a completed application, (including paper application signature/online application signed Signature Attestation form), by providing a receipt or online confirmation dated prior to the thirty-day, late fee deadline.

 

9. What is Instructor Based Continuing Education?

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

CE certificates for EMS-approved courses taken in California are required to list whether a course is instructor or non-instructor based.

 

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

Approved CEs can come from several providers, including approved California EMS CE Providers, CAPCE (formerly CECBEMS) approved providers, University or College Units (you must submit unofficial transcripts if you receive a request from EMSA), and approved CEs from other states.

If you are using CEs from another state, you may be asked to submit proof that the program is approved by that state to offer EMS CEs.

Board of Registered Nursing, Physician Assistant Board, American Medical Association, and other NON-EMS courses cannot be used for continuing education credit.

 

11. Can I count out-of-state CEs?

If you are using CEs that are approved by another state, you must obtain CE certificates or a letter confirming they are approved in that state, to provide in the event your application is marked for Audit. This can be a CE certificate listing the state’s approval information, or this can be other verification such as an EMS Office or EMS Authority print out from the state’s web site showing the approved program.

 

12. Can I use college courses?

Yes. College course units can be used toward your continuing education hours if they are in the fields of physical, behavioral and social sciences, or if they are from a college nursing program. These courses must start and end within your licensure cycle.

Units taken in a semester system are worth 15 hours each, and units taken in a quarter system are worth 10 hours each.

 

13. Can I count CEs hours for teaching/instructing a course or acting as a preceptor?

Yes. Any CE hours that you have instructed or precepted through an approved CE provider are considered non-Instructor based hours and are accepted towards your renewal. You must submit a minimum of 24 instructor-based hours for renewal.

Preceptor hours are counted hour-for-hour and must be issued by the Approved Prehospital training program where precepting occurs.

Course instructors may claim up to twenty-four hours of instruction, but each course title may only be claimed once. If you instruct a BLS course three times for six hours each, you may only claim six hours for that course. If you teach a BLS course for six hours and an ACLS course for eight hours, you may claim a total of fourteen hours.

 

14. How old can my CEs be and still count toward the 48 hour continuing education requirement?

CEs must be taken during your two-year licensure cycle, or during the last month of your previous renewal cycle. For example, if your license expires on June 30, 2019, you may use certificates as old as June 1, 2017 for your license renewal.

Check your paramedic license card to confirm the dates of your license cycle. Courses used for continuing education must be taken during the timeframe listed on your paramedic license.

ALL INFORMATION IS ALSO LOCATED IN YOUR REGULATIONS, TITLE 22, CHAPTERS 4 & 11.

Audits Renewals

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

The licensure software randomly selects 10% of each month’s renewal candidates for audit. An audit consists of the licensure staff verifying all the continuing education (CE) hours you are submitting for your license renewal.

 

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

You must provide CE certificates for all CE hours submitted for this renewal cycle.

If you are using EMS-approved courses taken in another state, you must provide CE certificates with information confirming they are approved in that state. The CE certificate or letter must list the state’s approval information. If CE certificates are unavailable be other verification such as an EMS Office or EMS Authority print out from the state’s web site showing the approved program.

If you are using college courses, you must send in official transcripts. Colleges will not verify attendance due to student confidentiality.

Rosters, Cards and CE logs are not acceptable proof of continuing education unless they meet the certificate of completion requirements listed in your paramedic regulations (Title 22, Division 9, Chapter 11).

 

3. How do I submit my renewal application with CE certificates online?

The online licensing system link and user guides are available at HERE. You may use the online licensing system to update your residential and mailing information (P.O. box addresses are only accepted for mailing information), employment information, and you may make the payment for your renewal.

A course log is not required. Instead, you will answer a questionnaire confirming your completion of 48 hours of continuing education during your licensure cycle.

You MUST sign and upload the Signature Attestation form, which is available on our Forms page.

You MUST upload your CE certificates for all 48 hours of CE taken within your licensure cycle.

Rosters, Cards and CE logs are not acceptable proof of continuing education unless they meet the certificate of completion requirements listed in your paramedic regulations (Title 22, Division 9, Chapter 11).

 

4. How long does an audit take?

EMSA may take up to 30 days to complete the audit of your CE certificates, which includes verifying your attendance and completion of every course submitted with your renewal. Submit your application as early as possible to provide enough time for audit completion before your license expires.

 

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

Approved CEs can come from several providers, including approved California EMS CE Providers, CAPCE (formerly CECBEMS) approved providers, University or College Units (you must submit unofficial transcripts if you receive a request from EMSA), and approved CEs from other states.

If you are using CEs from another state, you may be asked to submit proof that the program is approved by that state to offer EMS CEs.

Board of Registered Nursing, Physician Assistant Board, American Medical Association, and other NON-EMS courses cannot be used for continuing education credit.

 

6. Can I count out-of-state CEs?

If you are using CEs that are approved by another state, you must obtain CE certificates or a letter confirming they are approved in that state, to provide in the event your application is marked for Audit. This can be a CE certificate listing the state’s approval information, or this can be other verification such as an EMS Office or EMS Authority print out from the state’s web site showing the approved program.

 

7. Can I use college courses?

Yes. College course units can be used toward your continuing education hours if they are in the fields of physical, behavioral and social sciences, or if they are from a college nursing program. These courses must start and end within your licensure cycle.

Units taken in a semester system are worth 15 hours each, and units taken in a quarter system are worth 10 hours each.

 

8. Can I count CEs hours for teaching/instructing a course or acting as a preceptor?

Yes. Any CE hours that you have instructed or precepted through an approved CE provider are considered non-Instructor based hours and are accepted towards your renewal. You must submit a minimum of 24 instructor-based hours for renewal.

Preceptor hours are counted hour-for-hour and must be issued by the Approved Prehospital training program where precepting occurs.

Course instructors may claim up to twenty-four hours of instruction, but each course title may only be claimed once. If you instruct a BLS course three times for six hours each, you may only claim six hours for that course. If you teach a BLS course for six hours and an ACLS course for eight hours, you may claim a total of fourteen hours.

 

9. What is Instructor Based Continuing Education?

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

CE certificates for EMS-approved courses taken in California are required to list whether a course is instructor or non-instructor based.

 

10. How old can my CEs be and still count toward the 48-hour continuing education requirement?

CEs must be taken during your two-year licensure cycle, or during the last month of your previous renewal cycle. For example, if your license expires on June 30, 2019, you may use certificates as old as June 1, 2017 for your license renewal.

ALL INFORMATION IS ALSO LOCATED IN YOUR REGULATIONS, TITLE 22, CHAPTERS 4 & 11.

 

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:

• The Reinstatement under 1 year application and fee of $250
• 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:

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

License Lapsed 1 year – 23 Months, use the Lapsed Reinstatement One Year or More (Less than 24 Months):

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

Licenses Lapsed 2 years and longer, use the Lapsed Reinstatement One Year or More (More than 24 Months):

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

2. 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.3

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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.

2. 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.

3. Where can I find an approved training program?

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