I hold an EMS credential in another state

The Virginia Office of EMS will accept and consider application from providers with current EMS certifications from ANY state or U.S. territory for certification in Virginia at the EMT level only through Legal Recognition. Once granted, certification through Legal Recognition will be valid for a maximum of one calendar year OR the time left on the present certification, whichever is shortest.

No initial test is required for Legal Recognition. In order to recertify, providers must complete the required Virginia EMS continuing education criteria prior to their certification expiration date and successfully pass the Virginia practical and National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians cognitive examination.

The Examination Process

Once you have gained eligibility, you will need to complete the following items:

  1. Register for and complete Virginia’s Psychomotor Competency VerificationClick this link for specific instructions regarding the testing requirements.
  2. Register to take the National Registry EMT’s cognitive examination at a Pearson VUE Testing Center. National Registry will offer you up to six (6) opportunities to pass the cognitive examination however, after three unsuccessful attempts you would be required to do 20 hours of remedial education.

Retaining Virginia Certification

Individuals seeking legal recognition should familiarize themselves with how to retain their Virginia certification.  Please click here to see how to retain your Virginia certification.

Legal Recognition Application Process

Candidates for Legal Recognition must complete an online application and submit digital copies of EMS credentials to the Division of Accreditation, Certification & Education of the Office of EMS.   You will be required to have the following documentation in a digital format in order to make your application for legal recognition. A current:

  • State certification card
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) card
  • Driver’s license or U.S. Passport

Please do not begin the online application process until you have gathered all the necessary documentation in order to prevent your application from timing out.  A Quick Guide for How to Apply can be found by clicking here

For questions about reciprocity email Ms. Toni Twyman (toni.twyman@vdh.virginia.gov).

An FBI fingerprint background check is REQUIRED in order for your application to be processed.  Please click on the “FBI Background” button below for steps on how to complete this requirement.