Procedure descriptions

License to run ambulance services

You need a license to run ambulance services due to the preventative protection of legally protected interests such as life and health The license obligation concerns those who run the ambulance services in their own name, assuming all responsibility and at their own expense. A license is also necessary to expand or significantly modify the business. A businessman, who runs ambulance services according to the Law on Rescue Services without a license, acts improperly.

The license is granted to the businessman personally for a maximum of four years and is intended to carry out ambulance services in a specific operational area. It is granted for the individual vehicle, whereby the license must include the license-plate number.

The license includes as obligatory collateral clause

  • the duty to operate continuously and to transport passengers,
  • the specification of opening hours,
  • the switchboard monopoly of the Integrated Control Centre/Rescue Control Centre,
  • the guarantee of proper hygienic conditions,
  • the compliance to provisions regarding the ordinance on running motor vehicle companies for the transport of passengers and also
  • the conclusion of an agreement on the financing with the cost units in the rescue services (statutory Health Insurance Funds).

The license can be granted with additional collateral clauses at the discretion of the licensing authority, which

  • on the one hand govern the cooperation of the contractors amongst each others and with the Rescue Services Area Committee and
  • on the other hand obliges the contractor to document the transport orders and their processing.

You have to ensure that your provisions for ambulance services are reported in the area plan for the rescue service area.

Responsible department



The prerequisite for the license is to guarantee the safety and effectiveness of the company, the economic circumstances of the owner are decisive for this. An adequate commercial basis has to exist to provide the business furnishings, the vehicles and the personnel.

In addition, the license may only be granted if the reliability of the applicant or the person appointed to run the business is guaranteed. The standard to be applied to the overall behaviour and the overall personality of the owner is to be assessed strictly considering the legal protected interests of life and health affected by the ambulance service.

The professional suitability requires proof of an appropriate position in a road passenger transport company or that an exam has been passed. In addition, the person running the road passenger transport company or the person appointed to run the business have to have passed the exam for an emergency medical technician or prove that they have worked for three years in a company providing emergency medical services and has taken an active part in the emergency medical services .

Note: To carry out ambulance services an ambulance has to be used, which is specially equipped and is recognised from the registration documents as such. On assignments, these vehicles have to be manned by two suitable persons, whereby at least one emergency medical technician has to look after the patient.



The license should principally be applied for in person by the applicant as owner or the person authorised to manage the business.

Depending on the urban district or rural district, the application form is available at the relevant office or is offered as a download.

You have to notify the start of your business to the responsible authority stating the operational area and also the individual vehicles each with their license-plate number.


Required documents

  • application, from which the following is apparent:
    • applicant as owner and if necessary the person appointed to manage the business (identification by means of passport or identity card)
    • operational area
    • operating and preparation times
    • nomination of the ambulance with the license-plate number or list of the ambulances with their license-plate numbers
  • proof of the safety and effectiveness of the company
    • proof of equity capital or a list of assets signed by a tax consultant, agent in tax matters, certified accountant or a credit institution
    • certificate regarding tax matters from the tax authorities
    • certificate regarding tax matters from the municipality
    • document of compliance from the social insurance agency that the contributions to health insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance for the employees have been paid correctly
    • document of compliance from the Employer's Liability Insurance Association (Berufsgenossenschaft) to prove that the contributions for the accident insurance have been paid
    • if necessary certified copy of the entry in the Commercial Register or the Cooperative Society Register at the local first-instance court (Amtsgericht)
    • if necessary the articles of association with the list of shareholders
  • proof of reliability of the applicant as a businessman or the person appointed to manage the business
    • current certificate of good conduct
    • if necessary, excerpt from the Central Traffic Register
    • if necessary, excerpt from the Central Trade Register
  • proof of professional suitability of the applicant or the person appointed to manage the business
    (This can be principally assumed by the rescue services organisation named in the Law on Rescue Services. In the case of other companies, a qualification test is only then necessary if a license is to be granted for the first time.)
    • proof of a three year managing position in a company dealing with road pas-senger transport or proof of having passed the examination required for per-sons entering road passenger transport
    • proof of an examination as emergency medical technician or at least three years working in rescue services
  • other proof
    • copy of the registration documents, from which it is apparent that the ambulances are recognised as such
    • proof of the general inspection of the ambulances
    • proof that the ambulances are properly manned with two suitable persons, whereby at least one emergency medical technician has to look after the patients (e.g. rota, certificate from the area committee)
    • proof of proper hygiene conditions (e.g. by presenting a hygiene plan drawn up in agreement with a hygienist)
    • if necessary remuneration agreement with the cost units (can be handed in later)

Note: In particular cases, other documents could be necessary (e.g. translations).


The responsible authorities will charge a fee for the license.

Note: The responsible department can reduce or dispense with the fees for funding agencies in the rescue service.


Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 25.08.2016. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.