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Lifetime license update

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The 2017-2019 Wisconsin state budget, also known as Act 59, contains major changes to licensure rules.  This includes language creating a lifetime license for educators (teachers, administrators and pupil services professionals). 

Anyone, who holds a current professional or master educator license, will automatically have their license converted to a lifetime license. This will be done by the department removing the expiration date from these licenses. There will be no fee charged to the license holder for the conversion to a lifetime license. We are currently working on the programming in our system to do this.

Anyone, who holds a current initial educator license, will be issued a three year provisional license. After six semesters, an educator may apply for a lifetime license, by submitting an application to the DPI that includes a school board sign off that they have completed six semesters of successful experience. If the educator has not met the requirements, they can reapply for a provisional license with no limits to the number of reapplications.

A lifetime license will be invalidated if an educator is not actively employed by a school district for five or more consecutive years.  The lifetime license will be invalidated if the educator fails to log into the online system and submit to a background check (and pay a processing fee) once every five years. Educators are able to reapply for a provisional license at any time.

The DPI will be reviewing all changes to educator licensing and will be communicating what these changes mean for Wisconsin educators in the coming weeks. Any changes to existing licensing rules will take several weeks to implement. In the meantime, educators who meet the eligibility criteria outlined above can now be considered a lifetime licensee. 

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The four most common topics of discussion are:

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Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration: