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Lifetime Educator License (Post-2017)

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The four most common topics of discussion are:

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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:

Lifetime Educator License (Post-2017)

A Lifetime Educator License is a Tier III license that may be issued to educators who successfully completed at least six semesters of experience in Wisconsin in the license area of their Provisional Educator license and have completed all statutory requirements. The six semesters of successful experience must meet the following criteria:

  • Experience completed in the license area (Teaching, Administration or Pupil Services) while holding either a Provisional, Initial Educator, Professional Educator or Master Educator license.
  • Experience completed in the five years immediately preceding the July 1 start date of the Lifetime license.
  • Experience must be providing direct services to students or providing administrative oversight in a prekindergarten through grade 12 setting in the license area of the Provisional license verified as successful experience by an educational entity in Wisconsin.

Note: Short-term substitute experience does not meet the experience requirement listed above.


Background Check Requirement

Educators who hold a valid Lifetime license will need to complete an application to have a new background check conducted at least once every five years. If the background check is not completed by June 30th of the fifth year, then the license will become invalid.  Follow the Application Directions for Background Check to Maintain Lifetime License to submit a background check.  Be aware that paying for a license application of any type will also prompt a new background check.

The year of most recent background check is available on License Lookup.


Employment Requirement

The Lifetime license becomes invalid if the educator has not been regularly employed in education for five consecutive years.

"Regularly employed in education” means employed as an educator providing services directly to students, families or fellow educators in a prekindergarten through college setting for one hour per day per semester or its equivalent.

Once an educator’s Lifetime license is invalidated due to not being regularly employed for five consecutive years, he/she is eligible to apply for a Provisional license. The Provisional license would be in the same subject and grade levels and allow the educator to work in the exact same assignments as the Lifetime license. The educator may apply for a Lifetime license again once they have completed six semesters of successful experience within the five years immediately preceding the start date of the new Lifetime license.


How to apply for the Lifetime license

Follow the Application Directions for Lifetime License to apply for a Lifetime license.