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Administrator Licenses

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.

Under Wis. Admin. Code PI 34, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issues the following administration licenses.  The grade range for all of these licenses is PK – 12.

Licenses Grade Level
Principal PK-12
School District Administrator or Superintendent
Director of Instruction
Director of Special Education and Pupil Services
School Business Administrator
Reading Specialist
Instructional Program Coordinator, including:
  • Career and Technical Education Coordinator
  • Dean of Students
  • School to Work
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Title I
  • Children-at-risk
Non-instructional Program Coordinator, including:
  • Personnel
  • Research
  • Standards and Assessment
  • Athletics and co-curricular programs
  • School network administrator
  • Public relations
  • Other non-instructional positions as determined by local districts

Degree and Experience Requirements

Unless otherwise specified, applicants for licenses in the category of administration must have:

  1. Completion of a state-approved educator preparation program in the licensure area.
  2. A minimum of master’s degree or the equivalent. Superintendent license requires a specialist degree or equivalent; program coordinator licenses require a bachelor’s degree.
  3. A valid or eligibility to hold a Provisional Educator License in teaching or pupil services. School business administrator and program coordinator licenses are waived from this requirement.
  4. Six semesters of successful full-time classroom teaching experience, or six semesters of successful experience as pupil services professional including 540 hours of classroom teaching experience. School business administrator and program coordinator licenses are waived from this requirement.

Licenses Issued Prior to August 2018

Five-year administrator licenses that were issued under previous Wis. Admin. Code PI 34 might have been issued for a position and/or grade level that are not listed above. Upon applications, these 5-year administrator licenses will be renewed as Provisional Educator License.

Seeking an Administrator License in Wisconsin?

Go to the Seeking an Administrator License page to learn how to obtain your Wisconsin administrative license.