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Laboratory Field Services

Medical Laboratory Technician Scope of Practice (B&PC § 1260.3)

Effective January 1, 2019, the authorized work scope of licensed medical laboratory technicians (MLT) as specified in subsection 1260.3(b) of the California Business and Professions Code is amended to allow licensed MLTs to perform clinical laboratory tests classified under CLIA as waived or moderate complexity, including:

  • Microscopic urinalysis of moderate complexity.
  • Blood typing of moderate complexity, such as automated ABO/Rh testing and antibody screen testing.
  • Blood smear reviews of moderate complexity, other than manual leukocyte differentials. 


MLTs may NOT perform:

  • Any other microscopic analysis or immunohematology procedures.
  • Any manual leukocyte differentials.
  • Blood typing performed to determine donor/recipient compatibility (for example, recipient & donor ABO group/D (Rho) type/antigen typing, direct antiglobulin test, tests for unexpected antibody detection & identification, and crossmatch procedures, when these have been ordered and are being performed for the purpose of donor/recipient compatibility).
  • Any high complexity tests, including high complexity immunohematology procedures.


The text of subsection 1260.3(b) of the Business and Professions Code as amended by AB 2281 (Chapter 235, Statutes of 2018) reads as follows:

Section 1260.3

(b) A licensed medical laboratory technician may perform clinical laboratory tests or examinations classified as waived or of moderate complexity under CLIA, but not high complexity, and may report the test results. However, a licensed medical laboratory technician shall not perform microscopic analysis or immunohematology procedures, except for blood smear reviews other than manual leukocyte differentials, microscopic urinalysis, and blood typing of moderate complexity such as automated ABO/Rh testing and antibody screen testing. The medical laboratory technician shall work under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon or a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral level person licensed pursuant to this chapter. The supervision shall be required during the entire time a medical laboratory technician performs clinical laboratory tests or examinations.

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