Candidates must pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) examination and the corresponding specialty examination within five years, regardless of sequence. Candidates who do not complete both examinations within five years must retake the examination previously passed.
Note: The five-year rule does not apply to Registrants seeking additional specialties under a certification already earned. For example, if you have the RDMS certfication with AB, the five-year rule is not applicable if you want to add another RDMS specialty (OB/GYN, BR, FE, PS). There is no time limit to add additional specialties to a certification already earned, provided you maintain Active status.
However, if you earned the RDMS with the old UPI physics examination and AB (or any other RDMS specialty), and then passed the SPI examination, you would need to pass one of the RDCS or RVT specialties to meet the five-year rule requirement for the SPI examination. In this situation, adding an additional RDMS specialty after passing the SPI examination (or vice versa) would not meet the five-year rule requirement since you would be adding a specialty to a certification already earned.
The five-year rule is based on the calendar year (January 1 through December 31). The five-year period begins the day the first examination is passed, and it includes any time that remains in that year plus the next five years. For example, a candidate who passed the first ARDMS examination on June 6, 2011, is required to pass the second examination by December 31, 2016.