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CNA Certification In California

The demand for nursing assistants holding a certification is high in CA. CNA Certification in California brings you great job and career advancement opportunities, recognition in the workplace, lucrative salary package, etc. Nurse aide license also assures patients that you possess specialization in a specific field and are qualified and competent enough to take proper care of them. The California Department of Public Health monitors the CNA Certification in the state.

Requirements to Obtain Nursing Assistant Certification in CA

The requirements to obtain CNA certification by reciprocity or equivalency is as follows:

  • ReciprocityIf you presently hold a CNA license in another state, which is active and in good standing, you are required to submit the following documents:
    • Copy of the certificate issued by the respective state.
    • Completed ‘Verification of Current Nurse Assistant Certification’ form. You can download this form using the below link: all the essential details of the form and send it to your state where you presently hold your license. Request your endorsing state agency to send it back directly to the ATCS (Aide and Technician Certification Section).
    • Copy of completed ‘Request for Live Scan Service’ form. You can download the form using the below link: are required to be fingerprinted in the State of California, in order to clear the criminal record.
    • The candidate must have an evidence of work experience in the nursing sector in the past 2 years. This requirement is not needed for individuals who received their initial certificates from any other state in the last 2 years.
    • Completed initial application.
  • Equivalency – Trained Nurse Assistant If you have already completed or presently enrolled in a Licensed Vocational Nurse, Registered Nurse, or Licensed Psychiatric Technician program, or if you have done medical program in military services; or else, you have received the above license(s) from any U.S. state or foreign country, you are not required to take any further program and directly qualify to take the competency evaluation exam.You need to provide the same documents as mentioned above in the reciprocity section. Other than these, you must submit the following to the ATCS:
    • Official and sealed program transcript (applicants can replace the transcript with a sealed letter provided on an official school letterhead including the completion date(s) of program). If the student is discharged from the military, s/he can also provide a copy of the DD-214 as a substitute for the original transcript.

Procedure to Obtain CNA Certification

Follow the below-given steps to complete the application process:

Step 1 – Download the initial application from the following link:

Step 2 – After filling all the desired information, send the completed application to:

California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
Licensing and Certification Program (L&C)
Aide and Technician Certification Section (ATCS)
MS 3301
P.O. Box 997416
Sacramento, California  95899-7416

Renewal of California License

CNAs in CA must renew their license after every 2 years, in order to continue their practice.

Renewal Requirements

  • Successfully completed 48 hours of CEUs / In-Service Program in his/her recent certification period. Out of these 48 hours, 24 hours of instructions must be obtained through an online computer program program approved by the CDPH.
  • Provided nursing or services related to nursing under the supervision of a licensed health professional in a facility to residents for compensation, at least for 1 day.
  • Must have no criminal record.

Method to Renew

Download the renewal application via the following link:

Reactivation of the CNA License in CA

In case, you don’t meet all the renewal requirements and your license has not been expired for more than 2 years, you may reactivate your CNA certificate by submitting the renewal application. You must put a tick on the “yes” box for question number 6 mentioned in the “Reactivation” section.

Upon approval of your application, you will receive a Competency Evaluation approval letter with all the information required to schedule the exam. You need to qualify this exam within 2 years from the expiry date of your certificate. After passing the exam, the results will be received from the testing vendor and a current CNA certificate will be issued by the California Department of Public Health.

Verification of Nursing Assistant Certificate

Use the following link to verify your CNA license:

Name / Address Change and / or Duplicate CNA Certificate

Download the form using the following link:

Along with this application, provide a copy of legal documentation for name change, which must demonstrate your current and previous name. You may provide your divorce decree, marriage certificate, or court documents.

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Question 1 – Presently, I am working as a CNA in Colorado and planning to move to California. Can anyone help me know the required procedure?

Answer – Certified nursing assistants employed in other states can transfer their license to California through reciprocity. You are required to fulfill all the essential requirements to transfer your license.

Question 2 – I will be completing my CNA Program in a couple of months in CA and will move to Virginia. Can anyone tell me how can I transfer my certificate from CA to Virginia?

Answer – Initially, you will be required to work as a CNA in California. Then, you can transfer your certificate by reciprocity. You can contact the California Department of Public Health for any queries related to Licensing & Certification program using any of the following information:

  • General Questions: (916) 552-8700
  • Toll Free: (800) 236-9747
  • California Department of Public Health
    Licensing and Certification
    P.O. Box 997377, MS 3000
    Sacramento, California 95899-7377

Question 3 – Do I need any out-of-state certificate even after meeting all the reciprocity requirements?

Answer – Yes, you are required to submit a copy of your out-of-state certificate as a proof of holding an active CNA certificate in the state you are transferring from.