A GED certificate is a substitute for a high school diploma.

The General Educational Development test, usually just called GED, is a high school equivalency exam administered by GED Testing Service. However, each state establishes its own GED test requirements. You can take the test in any state, but if you begin and fail to complete the test in one state, state rules vary regarding whether or not you can complete the test in another state.

GED Classes

Some high schools and community colleges offer GED preparation classes, but these classes are independent of the GED test. If you take a class in one state, then move to another state prior to taking or completing the GED test, you don't need to retake your GED test preparation classes. If, however, the test prep course which you were enrolled in registered you for the GED test in your home state, you'll need to re-register for the test in the new state.

Taking the GED

Some states require that you be a resident of the state before you can take the GED test, so you'll need to check with your state's department of education. If you took the test before and did not pass, you'll need to re-register to take the GED test in your new state. GED Testing Service allows students to re-take only the sections that the student failed so long as the student's scores haven't expired. GED Testing Service will issue a new GED test in 2014, and all scores expire on December 31, 2013 for students who have not yet completed the test.

Incomplete GED Test

If you run out of time and don't finish your GED test, you might be able to take it in a new state. Some states have residency requirements that require students to establish residency prior to taking the GED test. In these states, you'll have to re-take the entire test. In states without residency requirements, however, you can re-take the portion you didn't complete as long as your scores have not expired.

Transfer Credit

Once you've passed the GED test, you don't have to retake it if you move to another state. Instead, you'll get a GED certificate that you can use in all 50 states. GED Testing Service allows students to order a transcript with their score and test history. You can do this at a local GED testing center in any state or go online to request a copy of your transcript.