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Provisional Educator License

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.

Provisional Educator License

A Provisional license is a Tier II three-year renewable license that allows for the educator to work in the subject and grade level indicated on the license. For all purposes, this is considered a full license.


Who may obtain a Provisional Educator license?

Educators who completed an approved educator preparation program for the first time in a given license area (Teaching, Administration or Pupil Services) may apply for a Provisional license. Whether an educator has completed their program through a Wisconsin approved program or through an out-of-state program, their first full license in a given license area (Teaching, Administration or Pupil Services) will be a Provisional license.

Educators who have expired or invalid licenses at the Initial, Provisional, Professional, Life, Lifetime, or Master Educator license stage are eligible for a Provisional license.


When the Provisional license expires

Provisional licenses are valid for three (3) years. If an educator has six semesters of successful experience in a position that meets the following criteria, they may apply for Lifetime licensure:

  • 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.


Educators who do not have employment that meets the three criteria listed above may apply for a new Provisional license. There is no limit to the number of times that a Provisional license can be reissued.


How to apply for the Provisional license

Follow the Application Directions for (Re)issuance of Provisional License to apply for a Provisional license.