How to Transfer Firefighter Certification to Another State: What You Need to Know

Transferring your firefighter certification to another state can be a complex process, as certification guidelines vary across states.

In this article, we will guide you through the steps you need to take to ensure a smooth transition. Whether you are planning a move or simply exploring your options, understanding which certifications can transfer and how to navigate the process will be essential.

Research State Requirements

Before embarking on your transfer journey, it is crucial to research the requirements of the state you intend to move to.

Each state has its own set of regulations regarding firefighter certifications, and it’s important to determine if any additional training or certifications are needed in the new state. This preliminary research will save you time and help you prepare accordingly.

National Registry Certificate and Transferring EMT or Paramedic Certifications

If you possess a National Registry Certificate, transferring your EMT or Paramedic Certifications becomes relatively straightforward. To ensure a seamless transfer, reach out to your state EMS agency or the agency you are applying to in order to verify if your certifications are transferable. Their guidance will assist you in understanding the specific steps and requirements involved.

Firefighter I Certification Challenges

While your formal education, such as a college degree, will remain valid no matter where you choose to relocate within the United States, the transferability of your Firefighter I Certification will vary from state to state. For example, California does not accept Firefighter I Certificates from other states, and many others have similar policies in place. This means that if you are hired in a state that does not recognize your current certification, you may need to undergo training again, starting from scratch.

To ascertain which elements of your certification can transfer, it is advisable to directly contact the fire department you plan on applying to. Have an open conversation with them, discussing your completed training and certifications. They will provide you with valuable insights into what can be transferred and offer guidance on the next steps. Additionally, you can also reach out to your state fire marshal’s office for assistance if you have not yet selected a specific department.

Advantages of Previous Experience

While it is likely that your firefighter certificate won’t fully transfer to the new state, your previous experience and certifications can still work in your favor. The fact that you have already completed firefighter training and possess relevant certifications can make you a more competitive candidate compared to applicants starting from scratch.

Highlighting your experience and qualifications during the application process can increase your chances of being considered for firefighting positions.


Transferring your firefighter certification to another state requires thorough research and communication with the relevant authorities. While some aspects of your certification may not transfer, your previous training and experience can give you an advantage over other applicants.

By understanding the state requirements, proactively reaching out to the fire department, and highlighting your qualifications, you can navigate the transfer process with confidence. Remember, every state has its own unique regulations, so being well-informed is key to a successful transition.

Share the knowledge