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Life License (Pre-1983)

State Budget Licensure Changes

Important NoticeEducators who hold a Professional or Master Educator license that was supposed to expire on June 30, 2018, DO NOT NEED TO APPLY to renew their license with credits or a PDP.  The state budget has removed the expiration dates from these licenses, and we are working to have license lookup reflect that.

Please visit the Latest Licensing News blog for information on the state budget's impact on licensure. All available information has been posted to the Latest Licensing News blog. Please Note: the first post relating to the new license rules was written September 22nd.

Prior to July 1, 1983, life licenses were issued to individuals who taught for six full semesters in a Wisconsin school district while holding a three-year educator license.  Life licenses are no longer issued (effective July 1, 1983).

License Revalidation Requirements

Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 34.20 provides that a Life License remains valid if the license holder remains regularly employed in the education profession. Regular employment, including employment as long-term substitute teacher, must be at a fixed or uniform interval for the equivalent of at least one contact hour per day for one semester. A day-to-day or per diem substitute teacher does not have a fixed or uniform schedule; therefore, this employment does not count as a regular employment.

Life license becomes invalid if the license holder is not regularly employed in education for 5 or more consecutive years.

To revalidate life license that has become invalid:

  • Complete professional growth requirements (e.g., six semester credits of coursework) within the five years immediately preceding the reactivation of your license

Other options:

  • You can apply for a Substitute License, which does not have professional growth requirements.
  • If a Wisconsin school district wishes to employ you in a regular (non-substitute) position prior to completing the professional growth requirements, the school district may request a one-year non-renewable license for you.
  • If you are eligible for the retirement renewal you do not need professional development to receive a five-year license.


Upload original transcripts or grade reports verifying the coursework along when completing the application in our Educator Licensing Online (ELO) system.

Note: If you have had regular employment in a school during the past five years and believe that your Life License has been incorrectly invalidated, please contact us using the button below.