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Teacher Certification and Licensing

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about teacher certification.

Is this the official DCPS application site for teachers, librarians, and service providers?

Yes, this is the official site for all DCPS educator positions. If you are looking for alternative routes to teaching such as Teach For America, please visit their website.

Do I need to have a license to apply to teach in DCPS?

Given the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has granted DCPS a final year of licensure flexibility for new hires for SY 21-22.

Although a license is not required to apply to teach in DCPS, consistent with governing regulations (5-A DCMR §1601.1), a valid teaching credential, issued by OSSE is required to teach in DCPS. DCPS will be monitoring to ensure that all staff members in positions requiring a license are licensed by March 1, 2022. Teachers not licensed by this date will be terminated effective the end of SY 21-22.

Explore our SY 21-22 Licensure Update[PDF].

How do I obtain a teaching license in Washington DC?

The Educator Credential Information System (ECIS) is an electronic educator licensure application portal designed in an effort to provide those seeking authorization to serve as a teacher, administrator or school service provider with a user-friendly, web-based format for submitting applications for a DC credential.

I have a teaching license from another state. Do I still need to apply for a DC license?

Yes. If you currently hold a license from another state, you will have to obtain a DC license to teach for DCPS. More information for licensure candidates who hold an active full teacher credential that is in good standing in another state is available here (see Option 3).

Can I renew an expired teacher credential?

Standard level teacher and administrative services credentials may be renewed in accordance with the renewal options listed at this website. Additionally, existing “Regular II” credential holders with credentials that are due to expire in upcoming months may apply for renewal and be issued the new “standard” level credential based upon the renewal options listed below. Initial teacher and administrative services credentials may not be renewed.

I do not have a degree in education. Can I still apply?

Yes, but you must at least have your bachelor's degree and meet the minimum eligibility criteria. Candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria can advance through the teacher application. Please note that all candidates should be working toward securing their teaching credential, as candidates will not receive an official offer letter until their credential has been issued by OSSE OR until they can provide proof of submission of a complete licensure application to OSSE.

Learn more about the required Praxis exams.

I currently have an international license. Does DCPS sponsor international teachers?

Currently, DCPS does not sponsor teachers with work visas. However, individual schools are free to sponsor H1B Visas. Candidates may inquire about this directly with School Leaders.

Do I need a license to be a substitute teacher?

As of March 2016, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will no longer issue substitute teacher licenses. In order to be considered for the position, candidates must hold a valid bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Candidates must submit official transcripts if selected for the substitute teacher position. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an accredited credential evaluation agency. For more information on the substitute teacher position, please visit or email [email protected].