Personnel Licensure

By definition, to license is to authorize by a legal permit or to give formal permission from a constituted authority. Licensure is a governmental activity taken on behalf of the public to protect that public from potential harm. Licensure of personnel is often contrasted with certification, which is a private sector activity. A major difference involves the consequences of engaging in practice without each credential. If a license is required to practice a profession in a state, it is unlawful to engage in the work without one and the consequences of doing so are very serious. Not being certified may make it more difficult to get a job, but it is not unlawful to work without it.

There are currently 11 states with laboratory personnel licensure (California, Hawaii, Florida, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Nevada, West Virginia, Montana, Georgia). Puerto Rico also has licensure. The components of the law vary state-to-state, but usually includes an annual licensing fee (some are bi-annual), a provision for continuing education, a minimum education and professional competency requirements.

If a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) or Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) plans to locate in a state with licensure, that state should be contacted for specific information relative to that state's laboratory practice act. This contact should be made as early as possible after the location decision has been made. Most states (except California) require documentation of certification from an acceptable certification agency. Other things to expect are fingerprinting (Louisiana, possibly other states), documentation of certification, and documentation of education, training, and competency. Some states require documentation of a defined number of contact hours prior to issuing a license. California does not recognize any certification or any other state license. Check with other states regarding reciprocity; most give reciprocity for another state license as stringent or more stringent than that state.

Check with the state regarding trainee licenses or other requirements for new graduates without a valid license in that state.

The following is a list of the states with laboratory personnel licensure and contact information:


California Department of Health Services
Laboratory Field Services Personnel Licensing Section
850 Marina Bay Pkwy Bldg P, 1stfloor
Richmond, CA 94804
Phone: 510-620-3834
Fax: 510-620-3697

Must pass state examination; recognizes some national certification exams. However Certification does not equal licensure in California. In addition to passing the approved certification exam and the online quiz regarding California state law, the applicant must meet California education and training standards in order to be eligible for a California state license. The educational and training standards are described in the following link in sections1261 and 1263.

12 contact hours continuing education annually Fee: $97 CLS, limited CLS, $97 renewals including $10 continuing education fee


Department of Health Division of Medical Quality Assurance Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel 4052 Bald Cypress Way

Tallahassee, FL 32399-3257
Phone: 850/488-0595
Fax: 850-922-8876

National exams recognized

24 contact hours bi-annually

Fee: Initial-CLS/CLT/Supervisor $100 (application fee and non-refundable) plus initial license Fee-$105 ($205 total); bi-annual renewal CLS/CLT $136, Supervisor $160

Includes Cytotechnologists (fees same as CLS/CLT)


Georgia Department of Human Resources
Office of Regulatory Services
Diagnostic Services Unit
2 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 33.250
Atlanta, GA 30303-3142
Phone: 404/657-5450
Fax: 404/657-8934

Facility Licensure Only-does require CLS/CLT national certification Education and experience requirements; does not cover POLs or state or federal government labs


Hawaii Department of Health State Laboratory Division
2725 Waimano Home Road
Pearl City, HI 96825
Phone: 808/453-6653
Fax: 808/453-6662

NCA and ASCP BOR certification exams recognized No continuing education required Fee: $10 initial, $3 renewal Includes Cytotechnologists

Louisiana Clinical Laboratory Personnel Committee

Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
PO Box 30250
New Orleans, LA 70190-0250
504-524.6763 ext 261

National certification exams recognized; $65 fee for CLS, CLT; $40 for phlebotomist 12 contact hours continuing education required annually Includes Cytotechnologists


Montana Department of Commerce Board of Clinical Laboratory Science Practitioners
301 South Park Ave. 4thfloor
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
Fax: 406-841-2305

Board Office Contact: Linda Grief, Administrative Services
Phone: (406) 841-2395
E-Mail: Mary Hainlin, License Permit Technician
Telephone: (406) 841-2369

For information on complaints contact: Cristina Medina, Compliance Specialist
Telephone: (406) 841-2319

National certification recognized Fee: $100 (initial application); $45 (renewal) 14 contact hours continuing education annually


Nevada Bureau of Licensure and Certification
1551 College Parkway #158
Carson City, NV 89710
Phone: 702/687-4475
Fax: 702/687-6588

National certification recognized 10 contact hours continuing education annually Fee: $50 initial; $25 renewal

New York

Kathleen M Doyle, PHD State Boards for the Professions
89 Washington Ave 2ndfloor East Wing
Albany, New York 12234

Fee: CLS, Cytotechnologist initial License fee ($175) plus ($170) registration fee

CLT, initial License fee ($125) plus ($120) registration fee Licensure fee and 1stregistration fee due at the same time. License issued for life—licensure fee paid only once and registration fee paid every 3 years.

North Dakota

North Dakota Board of Clinical Laboratory Practice
PO Box 4103
2900 E. Broadway Ave., Ste. 3
Bismarck, ND 58502-4103
Ph. 701-530-0199 Fax 701-224-9824
Email: Web:
Fees: MT/CLS= $90 initial, $80 renewal; MLT/CLT= $70 initial, $60 renewal.
20 contact hours of continuing education required every two years.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Medical Technology Board of Medical Examiners Call Box 10200 Santurce, PR 00908
Phone: 809/792-6400
Fax: 787/792-6627;
National certification recognized 36 contact hours continuing education every 3 years Fee: $50 every 3 years Must be a member of the Puerto Rico College of Medical Technologies


Lynda England, MT (ASCP) Administrator Tennessee Medical Laboratory Board Personnel
1st Floor Cordell Hull Building 425 5th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37247-1010
Office Phone: 615-532-5128
Fax: 615/532-5369 888-310-4650

National Certification recognized. No continuing education requirements. Fee: $125 CLS, CLT; $35 for Cytotechnologists

West Virginia

Contact: Marilyn Richards WV Office of Laboratory Science Dept. of HHS
167 Eleventh Ave.
South Charleston, WV 25303
304-558-3530 Fax: 304-558-2006

National certification recognized. 10 Contact hours annually. Fee: $25 initial fee; $25 renewal fee annually