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Frequently Asked Questions

The Teacher Education Professional Development and Licensing (TEPDL) team receives many questions, so for your convenience our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been divided into the following eight categories:

General Licensing
Educator Licensing Online (ELO)
Professional Development Plan (PDP)
PDP Team Members
Initial Educator
Substitute Teaching
Out of State
Background Check

Please click on the category that best suits your question to see the answers to the FAQs for that category.

General Licensing

  1. How do I get a copy of my current license?
  2. Where can I find the status of my license application?
  3. How long does it take to process my license application?
  4. Which application should I use?
  5. How much does the application cost?
  6. When will I receive my new license certificate?  Will DPI mail me a copy?
  7. What is a Professional Development Plan (PDP)?
  8. How do I know if I have to do a Professional Development Plan (PDP) or six credits?
  9. What are my options if I have not completed my PDP or six credits before my license expires?
  10. How do I know if a certain class will count towards my license renewal?
  11. What tests do I need to take for my Wisconsin license application?
  12. How can I get stipulations removed from my license?
  13. How can I get my name changed on my license?
  14. I hold a life license and it shows that it is now “invalid” on License Lookup.  What should I do to make it valid again?

Educator Licensing Online (ELO)

  1. How do I get a copy of my current license?
  2. What is ELO?
  3. Will DPI accept paper applications?
  4. What is WAMS?
  5. What if I cannot login with my WAMS ID?
  6. Does it matter what browser I use?
  7. Which application should I use?
  8. How much does the application cost?
  9. What is “onboarding?”
  10. What is ECL data?
  11. Where can I find the status of my license application?
  12. How long does it take to process my license application?
  13. How do I know that PDI received everything for my application?
  14. When will I receive my new license certificate?  Will DPI mail me a copy?
  15. What if I need help using ELO?
  16. What do some of the terms in ELO mean?
  17. What if I don’t have a credit card?
  18. How do I pay for my two-step application?
  19. How do I find the agency relationship?
  20. What do I do if my transcripts are in a password protected PDF file?
  21. What if I have more than one supporting document to upload?
  22. How do I attach documents after I completed the application?

Professional Development Plan (PDP)

  1. What is a Professional Development Plan (PDP)?
  2. Who is required to do a PDP?
  3. What is the process for doing a PDP?
  4. What is the timeline for a PDP?
  5. Who are PDP team members?
  6. I am an Initial Educator. Who is on my PDP team?
  7. I am a Professional Educator. Who is on my PDP team?
  8. Does the administrator representative need to be designated by my school administrator?
  9. Can my PDP be changed by a school administrator?
  10. I am an initial educator.  Do all three team members need to approve and verify my plan?
  11. Can I still do my plan and have my goal approved on paper?
  12. Can I still submit my verification signatures on paper?
  13. How much will it cost to do the verification piece with a PDP service provider?
  14. My name has changed. Do I update my name with the PDP service provider before I apply for my license?
  15. How do I apply for my license?
  16. What is Educator Effectiveness (EE)?
  17. Do I need to do both a PDP and the EE system?
  18. I’m an initial educator and had one year of experience my first license cycle and applied for a five year re-issuance of my initial license.  I am at the end of my second license cycle and completed only two years of experience in this cycle.  Am I still eligible for a five year re-issuance of my initial license?
  19. I’m an initial educator and completed one year of experience in my first license cycle and applied for a five year re-issuance of my initial license.  I have now completed two more years of experience in my next license cycle.  If I complete a PDP, do I qualify to advance my initial license to the professional level counting my three total years of experience?
  20. I am an initial educator.  I am teaching outside of the United States.  Can I count this experience towards completing a PDP? 
  21. I hold a Professional Teacher License and completed my educator preparation program before August 30, 2004.  I’m renewing my Professional Educator Teacher License that expires this year with six credits and I want to apply at the same time for a re-issuance of my Initial Educator Administrator License that expires next year.  Can I apply for both this year for one fee?
  22. I hold a professional teacher license and completed my educator preparation program before August 30, 2004, and have the option to do a PDP or credits. I have just advanced my Initial Administrator License to the professional level and I am now going back to teach in the classroom.  Do I do a PDP or six credits to renew my licenses and what happens to my administrator license?
  23. Can I choose to do a PDP for one five year license cycle and choose to do six credits for the next license cycle?
  24. I hold a professional license and have been out of the profession for ALL five years of my license cycle.  How do I renew my license?
  25. I hold a professional license and will only be teaching one to two years in my license cycle.  How do I renew my license?  
  26. I have completed my renewal requirements in five years. I have stipulations, but did not successfully remove the identified stipulations.  Can I still renew my license?

PDP Team Members

  1. I know that the guidelines state that initial educators are to convene a PDP review team and submit their goal for approval between June 1 of their first year and January 1 of their second year. What should I do if I receive a request for goal approval after January 1?
  2. I was contacted by an initial educator to review his goal. I reviewed the PDP goal using the "PDP Goal Approval Component Review for Initial Educators" form and didn't approve the goal. I sent my component review form with comments to the initial educator and never heard from the initial educator again. What should I do? What are my responsibilities?
  3. I was approached by an initial educator to review her plan. She asked me what I charge. How do I respond? Are reviewers charging?
  4. I have been an adjunct instructor for an institution of higher education (IHE) for the past five years. I took the DPI PDP team training and would like to be an IHE representative on a review team as well as a teacher peer. Am I automatically considered an IHE reviewer? What must I do?
  5. I approved an initial educator's PDP goal and he sent me an empty/blank "PDP Goal Approval Signature Form" for me to sign. I noticed that he should sign it as well. Does he need to sign it first? What do you recommend that I do?
  6. An initial educator asked me to review her plan for goal approval. She sent me the plan as an email attachment. I reviewed the plan and approved it. What do I do with her plan? Do I keep it for future reference?
  7. Currently I hold several licenses. I am teaching full time but have a valid principal license. Is it permissible for me to serve on an initial educator's team as an administrator?

Initial Educator

  1. Who is an initial educator?
  2. How does an initial educator advance to the professional educator stage?
  3. What happens if an initial educator does not find employment during the Initial Educator License period?
  4. If an educator is hired in the “middle” of their Initial Educator License, what options does s/he have for completing a PDP?
  5. What happens if an initial educator completes a program in Wisconsin, receives an Initial Educator License, and is hired for their first job in another state?
  6. What happens if an initial educator does not have his/her goal approved by two of the three PDP team members?
  7. Can a teacher who holds an Initial Educator License and who completes an approved principal program apply for and be issued an Initial Educator License as a principal?

Substitute Teaching

  1. What is the difference between the Five-Year Substitute License and the Three-Year Short-Term Substitute Permit?
  2. How long can an individual with a three-year short-term substitute permit be in a specific assignment?
  3. What are the requirements to be a long-term substitute?
  4. I hold a substitute permit and work at my school district as an instructional aide. According to my district, I need to take some classes in the next two years. I'm thinking about taking Psychology courses. Would those courses fulfill the requirement to maintain my substitute permit?

Out of State

  1. I have an out of state educator license, how can I get a Wisconsin educator license?
  2. Will I receive the same license in Wisconsin as I hold in my state?
  3. I hold an elementary license in another state.  How will that transfer to Wisconsin?
  4. What tests do I need to take for my Wisconsin license application?
  5. I have already been an educator for several years in my state.  Do I still need to complete the testing requirements?
  6. I took the same test in my state but did not receive the passing score for Wisconsin.  Do I need to retake the test?
  7. I have taken the required test but cannot obtain a copy of my test scores.  Do I need to retake the test?
  8. Why do I need to submit employment verification forms?
  9. How do I send my application materials to the Wisconsin DPI?
  10. How do I know if I submitted the correct documentation?
  11. How can I get stipulations removed from my new Wisconsin license?

Background Check

  1. I just had a background check for my employment. Do I have to do it again for my license?
  2. If I answered “yes” to any questions on the Conduct and Competency form, does that mean I won’t get a license?
  3. How long will it take to complete my background check?
  4. Once my background check is cleared, how long will it take to get my license?
  5. Can I get a copy of my criminal background check from you?
  6. How do I get my own background check?
  7. Do I need to complete fingerprints for my background check?
  8. How do I complete my fingerprints?
  9. What is the code I need for Fieldprint?
  10. Do I need to report things that occurred in another state or just things that occurred in Wisconsin?
  11. I already told my school about an incident from my past and they were fine with it – do I also have to report it to you?
  12. Must I disclose juvenile offenses?
  13. What kind of professional discipline do I need to disclose?
  14. Must I disclose discipline if it was removed from my personnel file after a period of time?
  15. My crime had nothing to do with children. Do I need to disclose it?
  16. What is the difference between a felony, a misdemeanor and forfeiture?
  17. Where can I get copies of the documents you requested?
  18. Can I just provide you with a printout from the Wisconsin Circuit Court access site (CCAP) rather than a written explanation and all of the additional paperwork?
  19. How will I know that you have received my materials?
  20. What if I need more time to get the materials you want? Can I get an extension?