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Life License

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.