EMT Blue

EMT Initial Certification


EMT Initial Certification
These requirements are for applicants who have never been certified through County of San Diego as an Emergency Medical Technician (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 driver’s license, state ID card, military ID card, passport).
  3. Submit to a CA Department of Justice Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check (separate from any agency requirement). 
  4. Meet  one of the following criteria:
    a. Pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
        (NREMT) written and skills examinations  AND have either:
        ● A valid EMT course completion record from a California- approved initial
           EMT course within the past two (2) years* OR
        ● 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
        ● A current and valid out-of-state EMT certificate.
    b. Possess a current and valid National Registry EMT registration certificate
    c. Possess a current and valid out-of-state or National Registry
        Advanced EMT (EMT-Intermediate) or Paramedic certificate.
    d. Possess a current and valid California Advanced EMT or EMT-II certification or a current and valid
        California Paramedic license.

    5.  Possess a current CPR Card (Health Care Provider/Professional Rescuer or equivalent).
    6.  Pay appropriate fee.

*If you never certified as an EMT and have a National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) Card and course completion record over two years old, you may be granted EMT Certification with an expiration date of two years.

EMT Initial Certification
If you meet the above requirements, you may complete the EMT–Initial Certification online application.

Copies of the following documents will be needed to upload into the system:

  • Current government-issued photo ID (PDF) (Driver’s License or State of CA ID) #2 above
  • Optional Photo – professionally appropriate headshot only (JPG)
  • Documentation showing compliance with the criteria listed in #4 above (PDF)
  • Current CPR Card #5 above (PDF)
  • If applicable, written explanations, court records and/or police reports as requested during the application process. (PDF)

PLEASE NOTE:  JPG format preferred for photos. PDF format preferred for all other uploaded documentation.

Online applications will not be processed until all the required documentation has been uploaded and the appropriate fee is received by the County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services.

EMS Certification staff will contact applicants to schedule appointments after completion of all online certification requirements are met including payment.

Once the online application has been submitted and the criteria specified in Title 22, Division 9, Chapter 2, Article 4 of the California Code of Regulations has been verified, an individual shall be certified as an Emergency Medical Technician.

  • The application process may take up to forty-five (45) days from the date a complete application is received.
  • Certification can be confirmed on the Central Registry as soon as it is processed.
  • This certification is valid throughout the State of California and Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) will print and mail a State of CA Certification card to the approved applicant. Allow five (5) to six (6) weeks to receive your card from EMSA.

* Current and correct mailing address is required to receive EMT Certification Card.

Certification Services inquiries can be made by email to EMSCertifications.HHSA@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Calendar in progress

PLAN EARLY! It is the responsibility of each credentialed individual to start the application process at least 60 days prior to certification expiration date.