I find the multitude of titles for our profession to be confusing. Why would a single profession with an already limited visibility have three different titles? It’s an irony as as confounding as putting one hand in your pocket while the other gives a peace sign.

To clear things up for those of you unfamiliar with the terms, medical technician is different from medical technologist. However, medical technologist (MT)clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) and medical laboratory scientist (MLS) are indeed the same. The final iteration, MLS, is the most up to date title.

Now it’s time to get licensed. I urge you to call the various agencies (ASCP, State) to be certain your documents are sent and received. This may be a lengthy process of several months, unfortunately.


95 Responses to LICENSING

  1. Melissa says:

    Hi. How long does it take for the license be received from mail after you pass the NY State licensure exam? Thanks 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    Oh my! 2 mos is too long. My employer doesn’t want to give me a raise until I showed them my license! Tsk.

    • wordsology says:

      hah, well for me it was during thanksgiving, christmas and new years. It might be faster at this time of year…I hope

      • Sue S says:

        It took two months for me, also, for my MLT license, from mid Oct to end of December, in 2014. I finally had to send two letters, the 1st one basic and asking what was holdup, the 2nd one very terse, reminding “them” I couldn’t apply for MLT jobs without that license. It was then sent the next day. There should be no reason for that.

      • wordsology says:

        I had a coworker of east Asian descent who contacted his local assemblyman and told him how difficult it was to get a reply on the phone. Shockingly, he complained that as his English is poor, it felt like they were just making fun of him. His assemblyman contacted them and made them aware of the situation and the difficulty of landing a job without the license. He received his 2 days later. Unfortunately, this is how government works (or doesn’t) oftentimes.

      • Sue S says:

        The trouble with such a lag time between MLS ASCP certification & NYS licensure is that, it seems to me, I cannot apply for MLS positions without that licensure. For someone who’s been unemployed for the 4 yrs in school, this waiting leads to many days without salary, not even counting the time it can take to actually land the job as entry level MLS. Doesn’t seem right, as ASCP is quick to certify me, and NYS takes a long time for $371 for licensure. I passed my MLS exam Oct 14, 2016 and already got my ASCP number

      • wordsology says:

        It’s unfortunate. I agree. It’s ridiculous and I recall calling them and it sounded like they were just sitting on their hands.

  3. par says:

    I am wondering do you know any website for CSMLS exam preparation in Canada?

  4. rami says:

    hi im alrady take IMT but idont know what ihave to do next steeps

  5. francis says:

    Just pass my ascpi today. Now how can I have my state license? Should I send my transcript to the state licensing office then what?

  6. cs says:

    Does New York State Licensure also only require the passing score of 400 on the ASCP exam? I’m confused on the Examination Requirements for NYS Licensure: “a converted score of at least 75 as determined by the State Board for Clinical Laboratory Technology.”

    • wordsology says:

      yes, if you pass the ASCP exam, you’ve acquired NY state licensure and licensure in nearly every state given that you have the other requirements in place (bachelors, etc)

  7. rea says:

    does the official transcripts should be sent by my university (outside US) or can I send it myself… and also what about the getting the IERF verifying the documents and giving the equivalency of the credentials?

  8. rea says:

    How long does it take for your application to be processed by CDPH after your credentials from your school was sent and the attestation letter was signed? Did it take 90 days like the website said?

  9. Aaron says:

    I am so glad that I live in a state that doesn’t require liscensure…

  10. Janine Bassi, MLS (ASCP), NYS LICENSED says:

    Our degrees are hard earned, mine personally was heavily weighted in science. More so than many of our auxiliary health counterparts, i.e. RN BS or BA. Yet our salaries are significantly lower, I believe in part because our duties, contributions…necessity are not recognized in the medical community. I have made a commitment to enlighten those around us and vow to drive for increased wages. I know many MLSs that work 1.5 jobs to bring home a decent income, considering the education and training that goes into building a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the very least we should be compensated at the very minimum the same wages as Nurses.

    • wordsology says:

      This is a very interesting topic, to be sure. The ASCP licensure is important because it gives you a slight bit of value and far greater bargaining power as you can go ahead and search out the best compensation in any state in the US, if necessary – plus you know a lot just starting out! On the other hand, we also need to recognize that more and more work is being automated, even in the blood bank. The chemistry lab at my hospital has about a dozen machines and a few people maintaining those machines and validating test results. Blood bank is less automated but most people appear to be working 2 or 3 jobs! I think supply vs demand still tends to favor supply as a result of this.

      • flygrrrrl says:

        Though this may be true about automation, those Chemistry machines don’t run themselves… and a nurse would tear their hair out trying to figure it out. Were there a ton of lab techs around before automation?

  11. ACK says:

    When you fail, how do you go about re applying again if you paid for national exam. Do you have to just pay the BOR part, or everything all over again? Please advise.

    • Mirna says:

      Since no one replied back to you or me, and it’s probably too late haha but yes after you fail, you need to reapply and pay. It’s actually easy to reapply, just go to the website for ASCP and log in to your account, there should be a option to reapply under your results, where you just pay the nonrefundable fee and just follow the steps after that to register for the exam and choose a date.

  12. Mirna says:

    Isn’t there a process to get licensed?
    1- Applying for the CA CLS license $240 nonrefundable fee
    2 – Transcripts sent to LFS (in my case AACRAO sent it)
    3- Proof of training/ experience sent directly from the lab or accredited program
    I applied after I passed my ASCP MLS in 07/2015 and I still didn’t receive anything :/

    • Mirna says:

      BTW I still didn’t receive my license, they lag soooo much!! I got the attestation form the same day I applied and I know that they received my documents since I can track it, and I also have emails that show they received my other documents (ASCP results along with my AACRAO accreditation)
      I have 2 job offers waiting for me just to receive my license, which is why I’m frustrated. And yes I did email them, since they never answer calls, and all I got back was that they have a long process for distributing mail around their department! LOL
      What a disgrace!

      • Ped+Cat says:

        really? that long? well, I applied to CDPH and they lost my papers. They abandoned my files without notifying me. I kept on asking for updates but no one answering me. After 1 year they said, they lost my file. and i have to redo basically everything except for the payment!

  13. Mirna Khzam says:

    So I have an important question, LFS just got back to me about my application stating that I need to take a hematology course, 3 semester or 4.5 quarter hours in physics (light and electricity). Where can I complete that ASAP online? Has anyone done it before?

  14. Mirna Khzam says:

    Where you get your CA CLS License

  15. ien says:

    Hi!! Just wondering.. What does New York require for licensure? I am an MLS(ASCPi), a foreign graduate currently living in California. What else do I need to be eligible for a NYS license? Thank you!

  16. ien says:

    oh and how long does your training/internship experience have to be for you to be eligible for a NYS license? I know California requires 1 year. How about New York?

  17. bisdak says:

    just recently passed the exam about an hour ago..and i really wwant to thank this site for the the tips on passing and for the high yields notes, im working full time and its really hard to focus but just believe and internalize everything, i did the labce, harr, danny donor. ciulla, and polansky thank you really for the tips on passing..To God be thr Glory..

  18. Mirna Khzam says:

    Really? It’s too late now, I already took the course at the University of Phoenix online and finished it last week! But I paid $1400

  19. Mirna Khzam says:

    It’s such a hassle to get your CLS license in CA! I’ve been going back and forth with CDPH (California department of Public Health) since September! And I had to reapply in January because of a system error!!!!!!! I still didn’t receive anything. I called and emailed them today. Did this happen with anyone else?

  20. Michael Rey says:

    What is the next step after passing the ascp exam? I just passed my ascp MLS today! Thank God. no recalls appeared! I guess exposure to many questions and rationale will help a lot in preparing for ASCP MLS exam.

  21. Rolly says:

    I need help apply for my state license in Nevada. There are no instruction regarding who to send your transcripts to. I tried registering at the and it always gives me an error saying the information received is not in our system which makes me believe I need to send my ASCP verification to them first before I can register.

  22. Mia says:

    I have a question after you take your test will the employer be able to view the number of times you have taken the test in case you had to take it twice is that information viewable for employers?? Also are they able to see your actual score or just pass or fail status like at the end of the test

  23. joharah says:

    Okay, question…. So i got my license which is valid for three years and I do understand that to maintain that I get credential as I work from my employer. We need 36 credits in the whole three year period. So my question is, for the time being, i happen to be working as an elementary school teacher but i still want to maintain my ASCP status. Does the ASCP provide CE credits I can complete online? Do i have to be working to remain certified?

    • wordsology says:

      I do not believe that you need to work in order to maintain your license. I renewed my ASCP license recently and I did all my credits online. I only had to submit proof of having the 36 credits (which I acquired using medialab online – quick, convenient and cheap). By the way, I really admire the variety of your professional choices!

  24. joharah says:

    question- does ASCP provide CE credits online to maintain liscence for example say if im not working as an MT for a while?

    • wordsology says:

      You can sign up for Medialab’s continuing education course (about $95) for a year. You can complete all your CE credits online. They’re actually very good, very thorough online modules followed by questions and explanations.

      • Sue S says:

        I am doing MediaLab’s continuing ed course for the $95 and find all of the tutorials to be surprisingly good. Their explanations are far clearer and more practical than any I’ve seen in school power points and textbooks. Fairly good variety of courses

      • wordsology says:

        It definitely beats school powerpoints – that’s for SURE. It’s a great way to learn entire topics.

  25. Jaselle says:

    Hi I’m from Philippines and I would like to know the process of taking the exam.I’m currently working and I really have no idea how to process everything. I really want to be certified. Thank you.Godbless

  26. Scott says:

    It’s been 4 years after I graduated and want to take this test do you know how long you have after graduation that you are eligible for the exam?

  27. Paully says:

    Do you know how it works in California? I hear that its different cause they require you to take another state certification exam…

  28. Hema Roopchan says:

    Hi, Do you know if the state license exam in New York is scored differently from the ASCP certification exam ?

  29. Sukhi says:

    I just passed my ASCP today 🙂 I was thinking to get ASCPi (international) license as I might have to stay out of country for a bit. Does anybody know the process? Do I need to submit a separate application or can I simply take the exam as my CLS licensing application (for ASCP US) is still active? Any help is much appreciated!

  30. Britt says:

    Thank you so much for this site! I passed my exam on Sept 28th first try. So glad to be done since my husband and I had to relocate and get through everything with an infant (now a toddler!) Almost the ENTIRE thing was coagulation and blood bank discrepancies. Im in a licensing rut though. I forgot to apply to LFS in the last month of school, so I applied for my license a week after I passed my exam. Is is REALLY going to take like months for them to process or post my license? Do you suggest w=I not apply to jobs in the meantime? I am in CA and almost EVERY job with an online application asks if you are certified by CA. I think if you put no the system may filter you out.

    • wordsology says:

      Congratulations! It must be both difficult and incredibly rewarding – license; relocation; baby – wow! I might wait for the license because you don’t want to end up in some large computer system as a “Ruled Out” candidate.

  31. VS says:

    is there any deadline to apply for ascp exam yearly?

  32. Ysabel says:

    Hi! I just passed the ASCP examination last november. I applied for a NY state licensure. Do I still have to take another ascp examination? How long does the Office of the profession to evaluate your application? Thank you so much.

  33. kuresu says:

    Hi! I took ASCP exam last June 22, 2016 and PASSED it.. but until now I haven’t received my license and wall certificate.. what should I do? pls help.. Thanks in advance..

  34. HgbS says:

    Do you know if the CMP maintenance program for your licenses cost money after you complete your maintenance credits?

    • wordsology says:

      There are free ways of getting credits. To maintain your ASCP license, however, you need a certain number of hours in various topics. It might take a bit of effort to track down the correct number of hours using only free resources. I believe it WELL worth it to get labce’s continuing education subscription. It is incredibly education and contains a tremendous variety of topics and questions and huge, beautiful color photographs. At a minimum – you will always be able to do your CE credits and maintain your ASCP license.

  35. Ashraf Roufail says:

    Hi ,
    My lab CE adaptive test results is fixed at 49 % for about 15 tests . What do you think ? Do I have a chance with CLS ASCP test !

  36. Starrydust says:

    HI I took my ASCP exam a second time on june 10th and passed.
    your website was very helpful. Thank you to everyone who provided recalls, I saw at least 5-6 of them on my exam

    I have a question about NY State Licensure

    So i should Form 1 and pay the amount right? $230
    What about form 2? Do i need to fill that? one of my advisors said I need to fill out form 2 but never mentioned form 1.Then she told me I don’t need to fill out form 2. but she didn’t tell me what I need to do either. I am so confused.

    Anyways Thanks in advance for the help

    • mary says:

      Did you have to resubmit all your transcripts and work experience letters like the 1st time you applied when you retook the exam?

  37. Lee says:

    I finished the ASCP MLS exam today and saw PASS!!! This has been a long time coming! I almost couldn’t believe it said “PASS” …..I grad 2 years ago and tried the test a first time, and failed. I took it a second time, only because I had already paid and registered for it (i wasnt ready), and of course, failed. I was then granted the 1 year permit and worked for the year, then passed this third time. I used “A bottom Line Approach” book, LabCe, and the high yield notes from this site (thanks Sohail!). I took one full week off from work and studied like a maniac the whole week (8 hours a day in the library, 1 subject each day). It was worth it because I passed and SO CAN YOU! God bless you all and Good Luck!

  38. Anita says:

    Does anyone have personal information about obtaining a California State Trainee license for CLS? After applying for a trainee license and completing the training, how likely is petitioning the state for taking ASCP exam and getting approval? Anyone done this?

  39. Rachel says:

    Hi Sohail, I am from Philippines and the hospital I’m talking to is willing to sponsor my h-1B visa if I obtain a New York State License. I passed the ASCP MLS exam last December 21,2016. I was wondering if I still needed to take another exam for the New York State License. Please let me know

  40. aneres says:

    hi everyone i have recently took the mlt exam and passed ( ASCPi)..I have a question . does anyone know if i can apply for the NY state license with ascpi or would i have to retake the exam.any info would be appreciated.

  41. aneres says:

    thanks Cherice…………..but that sucks!!!

  42. Alaa says:

    Hi, quick question. What is the difference between applying for the nys licensure only and nys licensure + ascp certification on the ascp site. I just got approved by the state to take the test but wondering which route can I/ should I take.

    • wordsology says:

      If you get NYS licensure, you will be able to practice in NYS. If you get the ASCP certification, you will be eligible for licensure in nearly every state.

    • aneres says:

      hi alana how long did u wait to get a response for nys license.If i were u i would go for the ascp certification + licensure.

    • Sue S says:

      I was told by my med tech professors one SHOULD apply for both NYS & ASCP cert. ASCP evaluates your eligibility, sets you up for the exam, sends your score to NYS & gives you ASCP certification. NYS gives you the license to practice in NYS. Some work places will want both ASCP certified/NYS licensed professionals.

  43. Anyone who recently took the CSMLS?

  44. Nav says:

    Hi everyone
    i just took my ASCPi exam today and i passed!! i almost can’t believe it because i was giving up by the end of my exam! but i trusted my memory and i went for the first answer that my brain told me reviewed HARR, ciula (mainly BB) and polansky flash cards. Sohail’s notes are gold, they helped a lot!! Thank you Sohail. i had 2-3 questions from exam recall (i only browsed a few).

    btw, do i receive an email of pass/fail results? or can i check it online? or do i just wait for the certificate in mail?

    thank you!!

  45. Nini says:

    Hi everyone!
    I just passed my certificate exam and am now applying for license. Where can I find the effective date of my certification? Thank you for your time

  46. Amanda says:

    I passed my ASCP for MLT 3 years ago. In September of 2017 I began the process of applying for the NY state license. It’s been over three months at this point and I just made it into the last review stage. This has been the most frustrating process I’ve ever gone through. Nothing happens with my application until I call. It just sits there waiting. Half the calls I’ve made have resulted in being told their computer systems are down and to call back tomorrow. I’ve been out of work this whole time, with a job waiting for me in NY, and I’m so over this. I’m terrified they’re going to reject me after all this time and I’m just going to be screwed.

    • wordsology says:

      I felt EXACTLY this way. It took 3 months for me as well. Unfortunately, I suppose that’s how large government bureaucracies work. Each time you call, your application may get moved to the next desk. I suppose if you never called, it could end up on the correct desk or in the shredder. Hang in there and keep following up.

      • Amanda says:

        So now I’ve received a letter from them saying I either need to take the ASCP exam or have ASCP submit my score to them. Someone said you just have to have passed so why do they need the score? I made a 672 and am afraid they won’t give me the license. I desperately do not want to take this damn exam again. I doubt I could do any better.

  47. Nav says:

    Hi guys
    Do you know how and when I can get my CA application ID (LFS-#####). ASCP asks for it to be able to forward scores to LFS. Your help is kindly appreciated
    Thank you!

  48. lyod says:

    just passed the ASCpi and abt to apply for the new York license, Will I be required to take the newyork exams ? cus don’t feel like doing that much studying again after the stress I went thru to get the ascpi

    • aneres says:

      hi lyod congrats which country are u from…..i did ascpi too and have applied to nyc for the license but its taking long and they are asking for alot of paper work from my university.

  49. Shafia says:

    Hello aoa mr ahmad can you tell me briefly that about ascp mls exam? I am in Newyork and state liscence is necessary for job. So I contacted state department they tell me to send my transcripts to them by my school and then they evaluate my degree. But I already evaluated my degree in US. Can i take ascp mls with that evaluation.

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