California CNA Registry Guide

A comprehensive guide to the California CNA Registry: From application to renewal

Welcome to the gateway for becoming a CNA in California! The California CNA Registry serves as the authoritative hub, ensuring the qualification, competence, and adherence to standards for all CNAs in the state. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get on the California CNA Registry and essential details for maintaining an active status.

Requirements to get on the California CNA Registry


The application process is free of charge.

Minimum Age

You must be at least 16 years old to be eligible for registration.

Minimum Education

Training school may require to have a high school diploma or a GED.

Training Requirements

To qualify you must complete a training program approved by the California Department of Public Health. A list of approved training programs can be found here.

Competency Test

To be certified on the California Nurse Aide Registry, you must successfully complete the Clinical Skills examination and the Written or Oral examination within two years after finishing your training.

Background Check

To be certified as a Nursing Assistant in California you must obtain a criminal record clearance.

Applying to appear on the California CNA Registry

Where to apply

Upon enrollment in your training program you need to fill out the CNA initial application. Together with your initial application, you need to fill out the Request for Live Scan Service. You can submit this initial CNA application via mail or through the new online submission. After completing your training program, you will need to register for the competency examination with one of the CNA testing vendors in California.

Required Documentation

You will need to upload your personal information as well as other documentation during the application process, including information about your training program.


If you have any findings against you, these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and you must provide all information required by the Registry.

Processing Time

After passing the competency examination, it should not take longer than 30 days for the California Department of Public Health to receive your examination results from the testing vendor. Immediately afterwards you will be put on the CNA registry.

How to keep your license on the California CNA Registry

Stay Active

The certification period is for 2 birthdays and the CNA certification will always expire on your birthday. After your first registration, any additional time until your first birthday will be counted towards the first year of the certification period. You must renew your CNA certificate every 2 years by providing verification to show that you have completed 48 hours of Training/Continuing Education Units (CEUs) during your two-year certification period. At least 12 hours must be completed in each year of the certification period. A maximum of 24 hours can be obtained through a CDPH-approved online computer training program.


To renew your application, you must submit the completed renewal application and the accompanying documentation. You can fill out the renewal application and send it in by mail or upload it here online. Submission by fax is not accepted anymore.

Reactivate your expired license

If you cannot meet the renewal requirements and your certificate has not been expired for more than 2 years, you can reactivate your certificate by taking the Competency Evaluation. To do this, please complete the renewal application and choose CNA Reactivation. Make sure to answer “yes” to question six in the “Reactivation” section. Send in your application by mail or upload it here online.

If you fail to do this and your certificate has been expired for more than 2 years, you will need to retrain.

California CNA reciprocity

For those seeking reciprocity, additional information can be found on our California CNA Reciprocity page.

California Registry and contact details

Link to Registry:

Link to license lookup:

Contact information:
Phone: (916) 327-2445​
Healthcare Professional Certification​ and Training Section (HPCTS)
P.O. Box 997416, MS 3301
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416​