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EMT Certification & Recertification Process



Initial Cert.
Maintaining Cert.
Lapsed Cert.
  • Initial Certification

    The following requirements apply to all applicants who have never been certified through Contra Costa County as an EMT in California, or whose prior EMT certification has been expired for more than 24 months:

    1. Be eighteen (18) years of age or older.
    2. Provide a current government-issued photo ID (e.g., state drivers license, state ID card, military ID card, passport).
    3. Complete a Department of Justice Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check. Print three (3) copies of the form and take them with you to your LiveScan appointment.
      1. LiveScan locations
      2. LiveScan Form instructions
    4. Meet one of the following criteria:
      1. Pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) written and skills examinations AND have either:
        1. A valid EMT course completion record from a California-approved initial EMT course within the past two (2) years, or
        2. Documentation of successful completion of an approved out-of-state initial EMT training course, within the last two (2) years , that meets the requirements for a California EMT training program, or
        3. A current and valid out-of-state EMT certificate.
      2. Possess a current and valid National Registry EMT registration certificate
      3. Possess a current and valid out-of-state or National Registry Advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate) or Paramedic certificate.
      4. Possess a current and valid California Advanced EMT or EMT-II certification or a current and valid California Paramedic license.
    5. Pay appropriate fee.

    Once these requirements are met, complete complete the EMT – Initial Certification online application.

    In order to complete the application, copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded into the system:

    • Current government-issued photo ID
    • Documentation showing compliance with #4 above
    • If applicable, court records and/or police reports as requested during the application process

    Online applications will not be accepted until all the required documentation has been uploaded.

    Once the online application has been submitted and the EMS Agency has confirmed that the applicant meets all the criteria specified in Title 22, Division 9, Chapter 2, Article 4 of the California Health and Safety Code, an individual shall be certified as an Emergency Medical Technician and a certification card will be mailed to the applicant. This process may take up to thirty (30) days.

    This certification is valid throughout the State of California.

  • Maintaining EMT-I Certification

    To maintain certification, all candidates must:

    1. Possess a valid and current California EMT certificate.
    2. Complete a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours of approved prehospital continuing education within the two (2) year certification period.
      1. Continuing Education hours must be from one of the following:
        1. an approved California Prehospital Continuing Education Provider
        2. an approved Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS) provider
        3. college courses in physical, social or behavioral sciences (e.g., anatomy, physiology, sociology, psychology) – copy of official transcript required
    3. Complete a skills competency verification using State form EMSA-SCV 8/10.
    4. Pay appropriate fee.

    Once these requirements are met:


    In order to complete the application, copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded into the system:

    • Current government-issued photo ID (e.g., state drivers license, state ID card, military ID card, passport)
    • Completed skills competency form EMSA-SCV 8/10
    • If applicable, court records and/or police reports as requested during the application process (these records must be attached to each application submitted, whether the EMS Agency has received them previously or not)

    Online applications will not be accepted until all the required documentation has been uploaded.

    Once the online application has been submitted and the EMS Agency has confirmed that the applicant meets all the criteria specified in Title 22, Division 9, Chapter 2, Article 5 of the California Health and Safety Code, an individual shall be recertified as an Emergency Medical Technician. This certification is valid throughout the State of California.

    If the recertification requirements were met within six (6) months prior to the expiration date, the effective date of the certification shall be the expiration date of the current certification.

    Certification cards will be mailed to applicants following verification of documentation submitted with application.

  • Recertification After Lapse In Certification

    Requirements for recertification of a lapsed EMT certificate depends on the period of time the certificate has been lapsed. Select the appropriate option below, based on the amount of time that the certification has been lapsed:

    For a lapse of less than six (6) months:

    Follow the instructions on the “Maintaining Cert.” tab

    For a lapse of six (6) months or more, but less than twelve (12) months:
    1. Possess a California EMT certificate that is expired for more than six (6) months, but less than twelve (12) months.
    2. Complete of a minimum of thirty six (36) hours of approved prehospital continuing education within the prior two (2) year period.
    3. Submit a completed skills competency verification form, (EMSA-SCV 8/10).

    Once these requirements are met:


    In order to complete the online application, copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded into the system:

    • Current government-issued photo ID (e.g., state drivers license, state ID card, military ID card, passport)
    • Completed skills competency form EMSA-SCV 8/10
    • If applicable, court records and/or police reports as requested during the application process (these records must be attached to each application submitted, whether the EMS Agency has received them previously or not)

    Upon completion of the appropriate requirements listed above, and confirmation that the applicant meets all the criteria specified in Title 22, Division 9, Chapter 2, Article 5 of the California Health and Safety Code, an individual shall be recertified as an Emergency Medical Technician. This certification is valid throughout the State of California.

    Certification cards will be mailed to applicants following verification of documentation submitted with application.

    For a lapse of twelve (12) months or more, but less than twenty four (24) months:
    1. Possess a California EMT certificate that is expired for more than twelve (12) months, but less than twenty four (24) months.
    2. Complete of a minimum of forty eight (48) hours of approved prehospital continuing education within the prior two (2) year period.
    3. Successfully complete of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) written and skills exam within the past two (2) years.
    4. Complete a skills competency verification form, (EMSA-SCV 8/10).
    5. Complete a Department of Justice Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check. Print three (3) copies of the form and take them with you to your LiveScan appointment. LiveScan Form instructions

    Once these requirements are met, complete the EMT – Recertification (Expired over 12 months) online application.

    In order to complete the application, copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded into the system:

    • Current government-issued photo ID (e.g., state drivers license, state ID card, military ID card, passport)
    • Completed skills competency form EMSA-SCV 8/10
    • If applicable, court records and/or police reports as requested during the application process (these records must be attached to each application submitted, whether the EMS Agency has received them previously or not)

    Upon completion of the appropriate requirements listed above, and confirmation that the applicant meets all the criteria specified in Title 22, Division 9, Chapter 2, Article 5 of the California Health and Safety Code, an individual shall be recertified as an Emergency Medical Technician. This certification is valid throughout the State of California.

    Certification cards will be mailed to applicants following verification of documentation submitted with application.

    For a lapse of twenty four (24) months or more:

    Applicants whose California EMT certification has been expired for twenty four (24) months or more must complete an entire EMT training course.