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License Based on Reciprocity

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 License Based on Reciprocity is a Tier I five-year renewable educator license.  The License Based on Reciprocity is available for teacher and administrator licenses, but it is not available for pupil services licenses.  For an overview of the pathway process see License Based on Reciprocity pathway.  The License Based on Reciprocity does not allow the following:

In order to do any of the above, educators should obtain a Provisional license through our Out-of-State Pathway.

Candidate Profile

  • Hold a current teaching license in good standing from another state
  • Have taught one year with the teaching license from out of state
  • Hold a current administrator license in good standing from another state
  • Have worked one year with the administrator license from out of state

How to Obtain the Five-Year License Based on Reciprocity

  1. DETERMINE your eligibility by following the steps identified here: License Based on Reciprocity
  2. PREPARE electronic copies of your valid license from another state and an employment verification form
  3. APPLY for a Wisconsin License using the ELO System.

How to Obtain the Provisional License

Those seeking a Provisional license will need to complete the following requirements:

  1. Completed an approved Educator Preparation Program for your licensure area.  To determine if your out of state license program meets Wisconsin's requirements or if you will have to complete additional requirements use the Self-Screen for Eligibility
  2. Completed all of the required tests for the licenses you are applying for.