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Frequently Asked Questions - Out of State

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

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:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 to revalidate their license. Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

The out-of-state application pathway is for educators who have completed a state-approved educator preparation program at an accredited institution of higher education headquartered outside Wisconsin. They have also completed the testing requirements of that state and are eligible for licensure in that state.  The following are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the out of state application process.

Questions

  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?

Answers

1.  I have an out of state educator license, how can I get a Wisconsin educator license?

If you have completed a state-approved educator preparation program that meets the following requirements you may apply through the Out-of-State application pathway:

  • offered through an accredited four-year college or university;
  • offered at the bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate, or master’s degree level for teaching;
  • offered at the master’s, education specialist, or doctorate level for pupil services or administrator licensure;
  • comparable to Wisconsin in its requirements for licensure based on Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 34;
  • resulting in a license that exists in Wisconsin;
  • approved by the state education department where the approved program is headquartered.

If you have completed one of the following licensing programs you may be eligible to apply through the License Based on Equivalency (LBE) Pathway:

  • completed an alternative route program outside of Wisconsin
  • received licensure directly from another state's education agency through a certificate program or equivalency process
  • received licensure through a two-year institution outside of Wisconsin
  • received licensure through another process outside of Wisconsin (e.g., passing a content examination)

Teachers and administrators who have been offered employment in a Wisconsin school may be eligible for a License Based on Reciprocity if they hold a license in good standing from another state and have at least one year of experience under that license.  For more details, please see https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/pathways/reciprocity.

 

2.  Will I receive the same license in Wisconsin as I hold in my state?

Generally yes, but not necessarily.  We review each candidate's preparation program transcripts to determine the equivalent Wisconsin license.  The license issued may have a different subject area and/or grade level when you come to Wisconsin.

 

3.  I hold an elementary license in another state.  How will that transfer to Wisconsin?

Elementary licenses in other states often include Kindergarten, but in Wisconsin, Kindergarten is part of the Early Childhood license.  Also, elementary licenses in Wisconsin do not go above 8th grade.  Please see the Out-of-State Elementary Education Candidates page for detailed information.

 

4.  What tests do I need to take for my Wisconsin license application?

The following testing requirements apply to all out-of-state applicants, including those prepared through on-line colleges or universities, as well as all non-U.S. colleges/universities:

  1. Pass all tests required for licensure in the state where the educator preparation program is headquartered and be eligible for licensure in the state where their educator preparation program is headquartered (actual licensure is not required).
  2. Pass all tests required for Wisconsin licensure before a license will be issued - see Out-of-State Testing Information and Out-of-State Elementary Education Candidates
    If the same tests are required by both states (Wisconsin and the state where the approved program is headquartered), the applicant must meet the higher of the two states’ passing scores.
  3. A content test taken for initial licensure in another state may be used in place of Wisconsin's content tests for the out-of-state application. If an applicant has not taken a content test for initial licensure in another state, in lieu of Wisconsin's content exam a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in the subject area or position of the licensure program may be substituted.
  4. Effective January 31, 2014, applicants for initial licensure in Wisconsin as an elementary teacher (grades K-5, EC, EC-MC, MC-EA), a special education teacher, a reading teacher, or reading specialist must receive a passing score on the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test (FORT). For more information see the National Evaluation Series website.
  5. All testing requirements must be met before applying for a license.

 

 

5.  I have already been an educator for several years in my state.  Do I still need to complete the testing requirements?

If you completed your preparation program after August, 31, 2004, you must complete the content test requirements.  The testing requirement cannot be waived based on years of experience in the field.

 

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?

Yes, you do need to retake the test.  If the same test is required in both states you must receive the higher of the two test scores.

 

7.  I have taken the required test but cannot obtain a copy of my test scores.  Do I need to retake the test?

Yes, if you do not have your test score reports and cannot obtain a copy of them you will need to retake the test to prove that you have passed.  Before retaking the test, check with your preparation program to see if they can confirm your scores.

 

8.  Why do I need to submit employment verification forms?

It is not likely that a state-approved educator preparation program outside of Wisconsin will have the same statutory requirements in their programs because each state has its own licensing requirements. As a result, applicants for a Wisconsin educator license who completed their program outside of Wisconsin will not usually have fulfilled all the statutory requirements for a Wisconsin educator license.  Applicants who are otherwise eligible for a Wisconsin license based on their credentials may be issued a license with statutory stipulations.  Submission of employment verification forms helps determine whether specific statutory stipulations are necessary.

 

9.  How do I send my application materials to the Wisconsin DPI?

All application materials must be submitted online through the Educator Licensing Online (ELO) system.  This means any documents that must be completed by your school district or preparation program must be returned to you so that you can scan them and attach them to your online application.

 

10.  How do I know if I submitted the correct documentation?

All out of state applications go through an initial screening process to ensure that all required documents have been submitted in a legible format.  You will be contacted before the application review occurs if any documents are missing, corrupted, illegible, or unsatisfactory in any way.

 

11.  How can I get stipulations removed from my new Wisconsin license?

Stipulations are statutory requirements that must be completed before educators renew their first five-year license.  Any identified stipulation that can be fulfilled through coursework can be completed at any approved preparation program.  Pre-approved stipulation removal classes and stipulation descriptions can be found on the Stipulations web page.