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Background Check for Licensure

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 Department of Public Instruction (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. The primary purpose of a background check is to determine if the applicant has engaged in any behavior that endangers the health, welfare, safety or education of pupils.

Because a background check is a required step in processing all license applications, when applying for a license, all applicants must:

  • Thoroughly complete a Conduct and Competency questionnaire, including all required documentation and information.
    • If an applicant meets the requirements specified on the first question of the Conduct and Competency, submit fingerprints.
  • IF there is some type of misconduct that needs to be reported, you will need to prepare and attach a written explanation of what happened, and, when applicable, gather and SCAN complete copies of any related criminal complaint, criminal judgment, police reports, disciplinary letters/findings, correspondence, etc., as applicable.  (Note: information printed from the CCAP web site is NOT sufficient)
  • All supporting documents must be available for uploads as attachment in the online application system. 

Failure to submit all necessary information in support of an application will result in significant delay in processing, and may result in denial of an application.

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