EMS Provider Certification and Identification

Bureau of EMS Policy Statement
Policy Statement # 12-05
Date June 5, 2012
Subject EMS Provider Certification and Identification
Supercedes/Updates 96-02, 88-15 & 03-08


This policy statement is intended to provide clear direction to EMS providers, EMS agencies and the emergency service community regarding the requirements for the possession and production of NYS Department of Health issued EMS certification. This policy statement also addresses the certification period, security and alteration of DOH issued certificates.

Certification Period:

EMS certificates issued by the Department are valid for 37 months from the date of issue and expire at 11:59 p.m. on the date indicated on the document. The following are the only exceptions to this certification period:

  1. The provider is a participant in an approved pilot re-certification program that allows for certification for a period different than three years and such provider has received a certification from the Department with an expiration date more than 37 months in the future.
  2. The provider has been approved for extended certification as allowed for by Public Health Law.

Certification Expiring After State Exams:

The New York State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA), Article 4, (401.2) allows EMS provider's certifications to remain valid after it has expired under certain circumstances.

If a certified provider's expiration date occurs after he/she has completed a recertification course, has taken the NYS Written Certification Examination, but has not yet received their examination results, their certification will remain valid until such time as he/she receives their official examination results. Official examination results are considered to mean an official failure letter from BEMS, certification renewal certificate from BEMS, or on-site scoring results.

If a certified provider's expiration date occurs prior to taking the NYS Written Certification Examination, their certification is not eligible to remain valid under SAPA.

In order to comply with SAPA the provider must provide proof that he/she completed the NYS Written Certification Examination. This proof will usually be in the form of the signed examination ticket received at BEMS within 1 week of completing the NYS Written Examination. If written documentation of current certification is required under SAPA, the individual must call BEMS and make a formal request. BEMS will not provide additional documentation under SAPA until such time as we receive the signed examination ticket.

Certification Documents:

Pursuant to provisions of 10 NYCRR Part 800 the Department issues an original certificate to persons whom:

  • Successfully complete the requirements set forth for obtaining an original certification as a Certified First Responder (CFR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT).
  • Successfully completes the requirements set forth for obtaining re-certification as a CFR, EMT or AEMT.
  • Obtains certification as an EMT or AEMT through the reciprocity process by having such certification issued by another state or approved military program.
  • Have no legal barrier to the issuance of such certificates.

Alteration or Forgery of DOH Issued EMS Certificates:

Department certificates are printed in a unique font on security paper that will show the word "VOID" when the card is photocopied.

Upon receipt of the certificate from the Department the holder should sign and immediately laminate the card for its protection.

Any adulteration of a certificate issued by the Department or any production of a document that is offered to be a certificate issued by the Department shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows and may bar the individual from any future certification by the Department.

Service Requirements:

EMS services are required by 10 NYCRR Part 800.21(k)(1) to maintain personnel files for all members/employees. The file must include a copy of the member's/employee's state issued EMS certificate.

The certified provider should be required to provide the original certification to the agency for the agency to inspect and copy. If there are any questions regarding the validity of the certification, notify the Bureau of EMS immediately.

An agency shall be held responsible for the outcomes and actions of any provider whom they allow to practice without positive proof that the certification offered by that individual is valid.

Providers Identification:

Agencies/systems are encouraged to have a policy that governs the proper identification of members/employees while providing care or while responding. Such identification is particularly useful when members of an agency respond beyond their local area when participating in mutual aid responses.

While there is no statutory or regulatory requirement to do so, all EMS agencies or systems should consider the issuance of identification to members/employees. Such identification may include, but not be limited to:

  • Agency name
  • Provider name
  • Provider photograph
  • Provider level of certification
  • DOH certification number
  • Level of care authorized by agency and/or REMAC
  • Agency and/or REMAC identification number
  • Date of Birth
  • Blood Type
  • Expiration date of identification card.

Certified providers are discouraged from using their laminated, Department issued certification card as a displayed form of identification.

Although it is not a requirement of 10 NYCRR Part 800 that Department issued certificates be carried by individuals while providing care, it is strongly encouraged.

Lost or Destroyed Certificates:

Should the certificate issued by the Department be lost, destroyed or if it becomes unreadable you may request a replacement certificate. Requests must be submitted using the form DOH - 4453, which can be found on our web site. The EMT must sign the request. No verbal requests will be processed.

Verification of Certification

Any individual or entity, who is seeking to verify current or past BEMS certification for an individual, may do so by completing the official request form found on our web site under the Verification Information section.

Insignia & Patches:

The NYS Department of Health does not issue any type of patch, shield or other worn insignia. In accordance with PHL §3003(4) a Regional Emergency Medical Services Council (REMSCO) may issue, "uniform emergency medical technician insignia and certificates".

A person who chooses to wear a patch, shield or other insignia may only indicate the level of care at which the Department certifies them. To do otherwise would be indicating certification not held by the provider. This may constitute a criminal offense.