Preparing to Apply
Am I in the Right Place?
This checklist is for out-of-state/out-of-country applicants applying for their first Colorado teacher license.
If you have ever held a Colorado teacher license (not substitute authorization), please review the other checklists and make the appropriate selection.
- You must hold a valid social security number (SSN), issued by the US Social Security Administration, in order to apply.
- Check to see if you meet Colorado Endorsement Requirements. Don't see your endorsement listed? Read our Out-of-State/Out-of-Country FAQ.
- You will need electronic copies of all documentation. ( Get Help with Document Scanning )
- Allow ample time to request any third-party transcripts or other documentation.
- Important notes: Colorado issues licenses/endorsements in one of two ways:
- If you have a valid teacher license (not substitute, temporary, emergency, provisional or probationary) issued by another state that carries an identical endorsement to one issue by Colorado AND three years of full-time licensed teaching experience in that state within the past seven years, Colorado will issue a professional license with the identical endorsement requested.
- If you do not meet these requirements completely, Colorado is then required to issue licenses in the endorsement area of preparation, as verified on an approved program verification form. If upon evaluation it is determined that you need to first pass a content exam in order to qualify for this endorsement, we will issue an interim authorization, which will allow you to teach while you prepare for and fulfill the exam requirement. (Upon submission of an application with a copy of the official test score report, we will then issue either an initial or a professional license, based on your years of out-of-state, licensed teaching experience).
- Applicants requesting to be evaluated for an additional endorsement must meet all requirements in order to be eligible for those endorsements
1, 3 or 5 years from date of issue depending on qualifications
- Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).( View Fingerprinting Instructions )
- Confirm you have a valid form of government-issued identification. If you are using a photo ID issued by another state or country, please carefully review the identification requirements as additional documents will be needed. ( View List of Valid IDs )
- Within the application you will be asked to list the names and addresses of the colleges/universities you've attended.
- State statute requires that you submit official transcripts from that show a minimum of a conferred bachelor's degree (or higher, if required for the endorsement/content area desired). ( View Transcript Requirements )
- Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English or include an authentic English translation and have been evaluated by a NACES member for course-by-course equivalency. Note: Unofficial transcripts are not accepted. Please do not include them in your application.
- Three or more years of full-time, licensed teaching experience within the past seven years in the state of licensure OR a completed Approved Program Verification Form. If you have three or more years' post-preparation experience as a full-time teacher of record (not as a substitute, emergency, provisional, probationary or temporary teacher), please include in the application copies of all licenses (expired or current) that cover this experience. If you do not have three years of full-time licensed teaching experience, please include a complete approved program verification form, unless your teacher preparation program was completed outside the US. ( Download the Verification Form (PDF) )
- Out-of-state applicants who completed an alternative preparation program and who have not yet accrued the three years' fully licensed experience must also include an official, signed letter from the department of education in the state in which you completed the alternative program confirming that you completed a state-approved program. It must also outline the program requirements for the alternative program you completed.
- Obtain the results for any CDE-accepted PLACE or PRAXIS exams you have passed. Do not include results for exams other than those specifically accepted by the state of Colorado. If you have not taken any of the exams listed, please do not select an exam in the pull-down menu. CDE will review your application materials to determine whether an exam is required. You can view our Credentialing Guide for Out-of-State Applicants for clarification on what to expect from the licensure evaluation process.
( View accepted PLACE content exams )
( View accepted Praxis content exams )
- Your employment history will help determine the type of Colorado license you will be issued. It is critical that you include the information below:
- Copies of all active and expired teaching licenses covering the years of experience you have had as an educator.
- All employment history, including employer/business name, dates of employment, reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names, and contact information.
- If applicable, obtain supporting documentation for the following:
- Past criminal history
- Disciplinary actions
- Any issues related to licensure or employment
Register and Apply
Have all the information mentioned above? Begin the online application by registering an account in the eLicensing system or, if you are already registered, log in. Select the TEACHER application.
For questions, email CDELicensing@cde.state.co.us or call 303-866-6628.