Ambulance Driver Certificate

What do I need to drive an ambulance?

If you wish to drive an ambulance used commercially in emergency service (Vehicle Code Section 2512), you may apply at any DMV office for an Ambulance Driver Certificate. You may also purchase an “Ambulance Driver Handbook” for $5.

The following requirements must be met to apply for an Ambulance Driver Certificate:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Hold a valid California Driver License that is not on departmental probation.
  • Pay an application fee
    • $25 for an original certificate.
    • $12 for a renewal, duplicate, or name change.
  • Pass an Ambulance Driver written examination.
  • Submit a completed request for Live Scan Service form (DMV 8016 [BCII 8016]). See Live Scan Fingerprints below for more information.
  • Submit either a: (not required if you have a valid medical report already on file with DMV).
    • Medical Examination Report (DL 51), or
    • Acceptable Federal Aviation Administration or Department of Transportation medical form.
      Effective October 1, 2004, DMV will accept only a Medical Examination Report (DL 51) with a revision date of 2/2004 or later, or a current medical form (containing the new blood pressure guidelines) approved by the Federal Highway Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration
    • Additional Requirements
    • When renewing your Ambulance Driver certificate you must possess a valid Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate.

    • The EMT certificate is not required if you are a California licensed physician, registered nurse, emergency care physician assistant, or a paramedic certified by a County Health Officer.

  • Live Scan Fingerprints

    Live Scan fingerprints are required for an Ambulance Driver certificate. A list of Live Scan sites is available from the California Department of Justice/Office of the Attorney General website at

  • Action(s) Against An Ambulance Driver Certificate

    DMV may refuse, revoke, or suspend the Ambulance Driver certificate of any person
    who gives any cause, before or after issuance of the certificate, for discretionary refusal of certification (Vehicle Code Section 13372). If there is an immediate risk to safety due to a physical or mental condition, an action under Vehicle Code Section 13953 may be taken.

    The department may refuse, revoke, or suspend an Ambulance Driver certificate under the following conditions:

    Felony Conviction: The driver has been convicted during the preceding seven years of any offense punishable as a felony or has been convicted during that period of any theft (Vehicle Code Section 13372[b][1]).

    Moral Turpitude: The driver has committed any act involving moral turpitude, including fraud or intentional dishonesty for personal gain, within the preceding seven years (Vehicle Code Section 13372[b][2]).

    Use of Alcohol: The driver habitually and excessively uses intoxicating beverages (Vehicle Code Section 13372[b][3]).

    Drugs: The driver has been convicted within the preceding seven years of any offense relative to the use, sale, possession, or transportation of narcotics or addictive or dangerous drugs, or of any misdemeanor involving force, violence, threat, or intimidation (Vehicle Code Section 13372[b][4]).

    On Probation: The driver is on probation to the department for a cause involving the unsafe operation of a motor vehicle (Vehicle Code Section 13372[b][5]).

    Sanction for Unsafe Driving: Within the three years immediately preceding the application, the driver has had his/her driver’s license suspended or revoked by the department for a cause involving the unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, or, within the same period, has been convicted of any of the following: (Vehicle Code Section 13372 [b][6]).

    Failing to stop and render aid in an accident involving injury or death.Driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, or under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and any drug.Reckless driving, or reckless driving involving bodily injury.Fraudulent Application: The driver has knowingly falsified or failed to disclose a material fact in his/her application. An applicant refused certification under this provision shall not be issued an Ambulance Driver certificate within 12 months of the refusal

    (Vehicle Code Section 13372 [b][7]).

    Accident(s): The driver has been involved as a driver in any motor vehicle accident causing death or bodily injury or in three or more motor vehicle accidents during the preceding one year period (Vehicle Code Section 13372 [b] [8]).

    Medical: The certificate may be refused, suspended or revoked if the driver does not meet the minimum medical standards established by the department in Article 2.1, Sections 28.18 and 28.19, of Title 13, ‘California Code of Regulations’ (Vehicle Code Section 13372 [b][9]).

    Irrational Behavior: The driver has demonstrated irrational behavior or incurred a physical disability to the extent that a reasonable and prudent person would have reasonable cause to believe that the ability to perform the duties normally expected of an ambulance driver may be impaired (Vehicle Code Section 13372 [b][10]).

    Code Violation: The driver has violated any provision of the Vehicle Code or any regulation adopted by the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol relating to the operation of emergency ambulances during the preceding one-year period (Vehicle Code Section 13372 [b][11]).

    Employment Dismissal: The driver has committed any act that warrants dismissal, as provided in Vehicle Code Section 13373 (Vehicle Code Section 13372 [b][12]).


Under Vehicle Code Section 13372(b), reapplication depends on the time period indicated by each of the above subdivisions. Some time periods are indefinite.

Example: Reapplication under Vehicle Code Section 13372(b)(9) or 13372(b)(10) depends on the applicant meeting the medical standards or removal of the cause for irrational behavior or physical disability.