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Transcripts for License Application

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.

Transcripts used for license application(s) must:

  • be the scanned image of an original transcript
  • contain the name and address of the college or university
  • list the name of the course and the grade and number of credits earned
  • display the term when the credits were earned
  • list the educator's name
  • be in a file with no password protection (see https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/elo/password-protected-transcripts for directions on how to extract your transcript from a protected file).


Note: Make sure that the file name of the scanned transcript contains only letters and/or numbers (i.e., does not include any special characters)

If the purpose of the transcript is to verify a degree, the transcripts must include the degree issued and the conferred date.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they are attaching transcripts that do not have an expiration date. Many electronic transcripts have an expiration date, and it is the applicants responsibility to extract the file (see above) or print it out, and scan it in to create a PDF that can be saved. Attaching transcripts that have an expiration date slows down the process, as processors then need to reach out to request new transcripts that can be viewed.

Please do not have your transcripts mailed directly to DPI.  Our team has been reconfigured for electronic workflow, so sending any paper transcripts increases the chances that they may not get correctly attached to your application and/or that the processing of your application will be significantly delayed.  If you can only receive a paper copy, then have the paper copy sent to you so that you can scan it and upload it to your application.  For best results, use a multifunction copier that automatically creates a PDF file.

Please do not have your transcripts e-mailed directly to DPI. These transcripts are often password protected and have an expiration date associated with them. It is the responsibility of applicants to obtain a savable, viewable document and to attach that to their applications.

The following are not acceptable forms of transcripts:

  • an online grade report copied and pasted into a word processing or other document
  • blurry documents
  • files greater than 2MB in size
  • grade reports from an institution that is not an accredited college or university


Additional Notes:

  • Some institutions grant quarter credits rather than semester credits.  Nine (9) quarter credits equal six (6) semester credits.
    • If you are not sure whether a college or university is on a quarter credit or semester credit system, please call the university registrar’s office.  The registrar’s office will let you know what credit system the university operates on.
    • Quarter credits are equal to 2/3 of a semester credit.  For those taking quarter credits, to determine how many of the six semester credits you have completed, multiply the number of quarter credits you have taken by 2/3.  For example, if you have taken 5 quarter credits, you have taken 3 and 1/3 (3.33) semester credits ((5*2)/3).  Thus, you still need to take 2 and 2/3 semester credits or 4 quarter credits.
  • Courses taken through third party providers (e.g., Learner’s Edge) must be documented by transcripts from the accredited college or university that granted the credits; grade reports from third party providers are not acceptable.