License Requirements

General Requirements | Fees | Partial Refunds | Education Requirements | Experience Requirements | Examination Requirements | Applicants Licensed in Another State

General Requirements

Any use of the title "Certified Shorthand Reporter," within New York State requires licensure.

To be licensed as a certified shorthand reporter in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 21 years of age;
  • meet education and examination requirements; and
  • meet experience requirements.

You must file an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 151, Section 7504 of New York's Education Law and Part 71 of the Commissioners Regulations.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.


Fees

The fee for licensure is $173.

Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • Make your personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail your application and fee to:

    New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions
    PO Box 22063
    Albany, NY 12201

NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.


Partial Refunds

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.

  • For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Certified Shorthand Reporting Unit at opunit3@mail.nysed.gov or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 270 or by fax at 518-402-5354.
  • The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure fee and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.


Education Requirements

To meet the education and experience requirements for licensure, you must present evidence of satisfying the preprofessional and professional education requirements listed below.

Preprofessional

Graduation from high school/secondary school or its equivalent.

A certified transcript must be sent directly from the school or college to the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department.

Professional

Completion of technical study in manual or machine shorthand reporting from a postsecondary school or private instruction consisting of 1,300 hours. The study or instruction must be designed to develop:

  • shorthand skills to achieve a minimum speed of 180 words per minute on three or four voice dictation of material of average syllabic density and transcription thereof;
  • typing skills of 50 words per minute;
  • proficiency in grammar, vocabulary and punctuation; and
  • familiarity with medical and legal terminology and court or hearing procedures.

A certified transcript must be sent directly from the school to the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department.

In lieu of evidence of completion of professional education, you may present evidence of five years of the experience described below.


Experience Requirements

In addition to the professional study, you must present satisfactory evidence of at least three years of experience as a full time verbatim shorthand reporter using either manual shorthand or shorthand writing machine.

The State Education Department may accept five years of such experience acceptable to the New York State Board for Certified Shorthand Reporting in lieu of the required professional study.

You must have each employer with whom experience is claimed complete and submit Form 4, Certification of Experience, to the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department.


Examination Requirements

The Certified Shorthand Reporting examination consists of five parts:

  • Transcription test. A seven minute, 200 words per minute, four voice dictation from a court proceeding must be written in manual or machine shorthand and then transcribed. The passing score is 95.
  • Oral test. A four minute, 175 words per minute jury charge (one voice) dictation must be written in shorthand, then read back from your notes within twelve minutes. The passing score is 95.
  • Medical reporting test. A five minute, 175 words per minute, two voice dictation from a court proceeding on a medical subject must be written in shorthand and then transcribed. The passing score is 95.
  • Legal terminology and procedure test. A written test of 20 questions on legal terminology and procedures, rules of evidence and court structure. The passing score is 75.
  • English test. A written test of 40 questions about grammar, word usage, vocabulary and punctuation. The passing score is 75.

Both the transcription and oral tests must be passed at the same examination to retain credit for those tests and any others which are passed. Remaining unpassed parts may be passed separately at subsequent examinations.

You are responsible for filing all the following materials for admission to the licensing examination:

  • Licensure application (Form 1) and fee ($173)
  • Transcripts of high school (all applicants) and postsecondary (if necessary) education (Form 2 and transcripts)
  • Employer certifications (Form 4) from each employer from whom experience is claimed

Important: You must supply your own shorthand notebooks or stenotype machines and other necessary supplies, including stationery. You must also supply your own transcription equipment (computer aided transcription device, computer, word processor, printer and/or typewriter). A printed medical dictionary may be used, but no other printed or electronic dictionaries are permitted.

Application Deadline: The Certified Shorthand Reporting examination is usually held on the last Friday in June. Form 1 and the application fee must be postmarked 60 days prior to the examination date. Contact the Certified Shorthand Reporting Board Office or the Certified Shorthand Reporting Unit for the exact examination and application deadline dates for the current year.

Reasonable Testing Accommodations

If you have a disability and may require reasonable testing accommodations for the examination, you must complete and submit a Request for Reasonable Testing Accommodations form. You must submit the Request for Reasonable Testing Accommodations form with your Application for Licensure (Form 1). You may not sit for the examination until your request has been processed by the Department.


Applicants Licensed in Another State

If you are or ever have been licensed as a Certified Shorthand Reporter in any other state, you must still meet all New York licensure requirements, including passing the New York Certified Shorthand Reporting examination, to be certified in this State. In addition, you must have each state in which you were ever issued a shorthand reporting license provide a written certification of your licensure and good standing.

Last Updated: October 2, 2014