Laboratory Field Services Personnel Licensing and Certification
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FAQ - Phlebotomy

Q: Is there a deadline to submit my application for Phlebotomy Licensure?
A: No - LFS accepts phlebotomy applications on a continuous basis. The applications are evaluated in the order received.
Q: What is the Phlebotomy application fee?
A: There is a non-refundable fee of $100.
Q: What is the status of phlebotomy certification in California?
A: Effective April 9, 2003, all persons performing phlebotomy who are not doctors, nurses or clinical lab scientists, must be certified as a phlebotomist before they can draw blood.
Q: What is the difference between the old certification and new certification?
A: Persons who were certified prior to April 9, 2003 ("old certification") and who were employed as phlebotomists as of that date can continue to work until January 1, 2007 without the new certification as long as application for certification has been received on or before July 1, 2006. Sometimes this is called "grandfathering". All other persons must have the new certification in order to work as phlebotomists.
Q: What kinds of new phlebotomy certification are there?
A: There are three kinds:
  • Limited Phlebotomy Technician: Authorized to do skin puncture blood collection only.
  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician I: Authorized to do venipuncture and skin punctures.
  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician II: Authorized to do venipuncture, arterial puncture and skin punctures.
Q: How do I apply for phlebotomy certification?
A: You can submit an application online by clicking here.

 All required documentation such as official transcripts, verification of training and experience, certificate of completion of training course, two passport size photos, and state approved examination must be sent directly to Laboratory Field Services at the address below.
  • Attn: Phlebotomy Program
    CDPH - Laboratory Field Services
    850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P, 1st Floor
    Richmond, CA 94804-6403
Q: What do I have to do to get a phlebotomy certification?
A: To become a CPT I;
  A person without any phlebotomy experience must meet the following;
  • Have a minimum of a high school graduate equivalent or GED.
  • Complete 40 hours phlebotomy class training from an approved school.
  • Complete 40 hours phlebotomy practice that includes at least 50 venipunctures and 10 skin punctures.
  • Pass an approved phlebotomy certification exam.
  • Apply for certification, pay application fee.

A person with less than 1040 hours phlebotomy experience (half a year) must meet the following;
  • Have a minimum of a high school graduate equivalent or GED.
  • Complete 40 hours phlebotomy class training from an approved school.
  • Document completion of at least 50 venipunctures and 10 skin punctures, on the job.
  • Pass an approved phlebotomy certification exam.
  • Apply for certification, pay application fee.

A person with more than 1040 hours phlebotomy experience (more than half a year) must meet the following;
  • Have a minimum of a high school graduate equivalent or GED.
  • Complete 20 hours phlebotomy class training from an approved school.
  • Document completion of at least 50 venipunctures and 10 skin punctures, on the job.
  • Pass an approved phlebotomy certification exam.
  • Apply for certification, pay application fee.
Q: How do I document on-the-job phlebotomy experience?
A: The laboratory or medical director must complete a form that lists your dates of employment and approximate number of phlebotomy procedures performed. You may download a copy of the suggested Experience form by clicking here.
Q: How do I show that I am a high school graduate?
A: Contact your high school to have your official transcripts sent to the address below or provide LFS with an official copy of your transcript in a sealed envelope. You may substitute transcripts of any college or university courses you have taken.
  • Attn: Phlebotomy Program
    CDPH - Laboratory Field Services
    850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P, 1st Floor
    Richmond, CA 94804-6403
Q: What if I am not a high school graduate or attended school outside the USA?
A: You will have to complete a GED or have your foreign degree evaluated by AACRAO. You can contact AACRAO at http://www.aacrao.org. You may submit an official translation of the foreign transcript performed by a translation service approved for legal documents.
Q: What do I do if my high school transcripts are unavailable?
A: Contact LFS in writing to explain your situation. Solutions will be based on an individual basis.
Q: Where do I find a school where I can take phlebotomy classes?
A: Laboratory Field Services maintains a list of approved training programs by county. Check the LFS Phlebotomy website at http://www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/ls/LFSB/html/phlebotomy.htm and click on the "Approved Phlebotomy Training Schools" link. Contact the programs directly to enroll.
Q: What exams can I take for phlebotomy?
A: There currently are six certifying organizations approved to give phlebotomy exams for CA certification purposes. Check the website above to get all the information. The exams are given by ACA (574) 277-4538; AMT, (800) 275-1268; ASCP (312) 738-1336; NCCT/MMCI (800) 875-4404; NCA (913) 438-5110; and NHA (800) 499-9092. You may contact them directly about taking their exam.
Q: Will experienced or employed phlebotomists be automatically given state certification?
A: No, persons who were certified prior to April 9, 2003 ("old certification") and who were employed as phlebotomists as of that date can continue to work until January 1, 2007 without the new certification as long as application for certification has been received on or before July 1, 2006. All other persons must have the new certification in order to work as phlebotomists.
Q: I already have a national certificate in phlebotomy. Do I need to take the exam again?
A: Yes, California law requires the certifying exam to be approved on or after April 2003, the effective date of the law change. If you took the exam prior to that, you may have to take it again.
Q: How long is the certification good for?
A: Two years.
Q: What do I have to do to renew the certificate after two years?
A: Renewal papers will be sent to you. You will need to have completed 6 hours of continuing education over the course of two years to renew your certificate and pay a fee. A new certificate will be sent to you.
Q: Where do I get the continuing education classes?
A: You can take continuing education classes at any location approved by Laboratory Field Services. This includes most classes put on for clinical lab scientists at hospitals and laboratories.
Q: Do I need to pay to maintain my national certification?
A: No, this is up to you and not required by the state.
Q: Do I need to get continuing education from my certifying organization?
A: This is not required by the state.
Q: How long will it take to get a state certificate in phlebotomy?
A: Once a complete application is received by Laboratory Field Services, the processing should take about 90 days.
Q: Can I work as a phlebotomist when I get all my application documents in?
A: No, you cannot work until you are certified as a phlebotomist by the state.
Q: Will I get a letter when all my application documents are in?
A: No, your credit card receipt or cashed check are proof of the receipt of your application. LFS will send you a deficiency letter or approval letter accordingly.
Q: My application check was cashed. Does that mean I've been approved?
A: No, it just means your application has been received.
Q: How do I do a change of address?
A: If you have created an online account, log into your account by clicking here and click on "Update my Profile" in the left menu. If you do not have an online account and have applied using a paper application, please email clsinfo@cpshr.us.
Q: Do the new requirements apply to Medical Assistants, Emergency Medical Technicians or Blood Donor Phlebotomists?
A: These requirements do not apply to anybody who is an MA, EMT or BDP, or to other licensed persons who can draw blood within their scope of practice at certain locations. These new rules are for persons drawing blood as phlebotomists for diagnostic purposes, as for a hospital or clinical laboratory.
Q: Can a Certified Phlebotomy Technician draw blood for police agencies or for insurance companies?
A: Yes, in specific situations a CPT can draw blood for police agencies or insurance applicants.
Q: There's a mistake on my certificate. How do I get it corrected?
A: Send a copy of the certificate with the mistake indicated and show what correction is needed. Send a copy of your driver's license or some other photo identification for verification. You will be issued a corrected certificate, but you must return the original certificate containing the error.
Q: How do I get a duplicate certificate?
A: Put the request in writing and include $17 for the duplicate copy. Send the request to LFS at the following address;
  • Attn: Phlebotomy Program
    CDPH - Laboratory Field Services
    850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P, 1st Floor
    Richmond, CA 94804-6403

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