Information about the Medical Laboratory Technician License
Thank you for your interest in the California Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) license.
Laboratory Field Services (LFS) requires applicants to submit documentation of academic coursework and clinical training or work experience to qualify for licensure.
Work experience in California as an unlicensed laboratory staff person will not be accepted as qualification toward any clinical laboratory license.
Please note that biotech/pharmaceutical, forensic, academic, veterinary, research, and student laboratory experience cannot count as work experience or training for any clinical license.
Scope of practice
- This license allows you to perform clinical laboratory tests or examinations classified as waived or of moderate complexity under CLIA, report the test results and perform phlebotomy.
- This license does not allow you to perform microscopic analysis or immunohematology procedures.
- Associate degree or 60 semester or equivalent quarter units in chemical, physical, biological, or clinical laboratory science with specific course requirements:
- 36 semester or equivalent quarter units in physical or biological sciences.
- 6 semester or equivalent quarter units in chemistry.
- 6 semester or equivalent quarter units in biology.
- If you served in the U.S. Air Force, the college work will be posted on a Community College of the Air Force transcript. If you served in other branches of the U.S. armed forces, the college work will be posted on a transcript from an approved military college.
All non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by "Current Members" of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and "Endorsed Members" of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE). This allows LFS to determine if your education is equivalent to a U.S. college or university education. The evaluation service will send an evaluation of your educational institution and academic courses directly to LFS.
- Minimum 6-month clinical training program approved by LFS.
Training program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
Minimum 3 years of on-the-job-experience within the previous 5 years in a clinical laboratory as an MLT or CLS outside California, California physician office laboratory (POL), or laboratory owned by the United States of America (military and federal laboratories).
On-the-job-experience must include at least 480 hours in each of these specialties: hematology, chemistry, microbiology, and immunology.
Verification must be signed by the training coordinator or laboratory director and sent directly to LFS by the clinical laboratory or training program.
Request to have your verification mailed to:
Laboratory Field Services - MLT Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P 1st Floor
Richmond, CA 94804
Military applicants with military medical laboratory technician training
- Written verification of work experience must be sent from the military training coordinator or laboratory director directly to LFS at the above address.
- For Army and Navy, this will be the Joint Service Transcript from Sailor/Marine American Council for your Basic and Advanced Military Training.
- For Air Force, this will be the Phase I and Phase II Military MLT Training from the Department of the Air Force, Air Force Education and Training Command.
- In addition to your training certificate and verification of experience, the Department requires a copy of your DD-214 military discharge document.
The following certifying organizations are approved by the Department for the phlebotomist certification examination:
Applicants who are certified before the above dates must re-take the certifying examination.
Online California quiz
on state laboratory laws and regulations. You will receive a notification with instructions for taking the quiz once you are qualified.
Once you receive your license you will need to renew it every two years. To renew, you must pay a fee and submit documentation of continuing education. For information about the renewal process, including renewal fees, continuing education requirements, approved continuing education accrediting agencies, and the renewal form LAB 177, please visit the LFS renewal webpage.
- Helpful links
- Statutes and regulations