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License Conversion

Updates on the Professional and Master Educator License conversion to Lifetime Licenses; the Background Check application

Important Notice

We continue to work with our vendor on the conversions from “Professional Educator” to “Lifetime Educator.” Please note that educators who hold a valid “Professional" or "Master" Educator License with NO statutory stipulations are already considered to have a “Lifetime License,” even though that status is not currently reflected on our website. At this time there is NO ACTION REQUIRED by educators. Once the conversion is completed we will inform license holders and other stakeholders of the update to our system.

Additionally, Act 59 requires DPI to run a background check every five years on every educator who holds a lifetime license. At this point in time, the Lifetime License background check process has not been finalized because we need to get the Lifetime licenses issued. Once the new process is in place, we will notify those educators who need to have a DPI background check this year and provide instructions.

NOTE:  The license conversion process is currently undergoing revision, and at this time no new applications can be accepted.


Under Wis. Admin. Code PI 34, an educator who was issued a teaching license prior to July 1, 2004 may convert that license to a license in a related developmental level or subject area as defined in Wis. Admin. Code PI 34. 

License conversion is only applicable to those who hold a Wisconsin teaching license that was issued prior to July 1, 2004. The following criteria apply:

  • The license must be current (not expired).
  • This option is only available for teaching licenses (not administrators or pupil services).
  • Supplemental teaching licenses are not eligible.

License conversion is not applicable to applicants holding non-Wisconsin teaching license. 

The process for license conversion includes submitting a portfolio to the Department of Public Instruction.  The portfolio components include:

  • Complete college/university transcripts and a current resume including education, all current and previous licenses held, teaching experiences and levels.
  • Evidence of successful, relevant teaching experience in the requested content field or developmental level that includes some direct observation of skills by appropriate supervisor(s).
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional colleagues that confirm successful teaching experience at the level, or in the subject/category, to which conversion is requested.
  • Evidence of passing score on the Foundations of Reading Test is required for elementary education and special education applicants (
  • Written reflections on:
    • ​Teaching experiences that show evidence of pupil learning in the requested content field or developmental level;
    • Professional development completed after initial licensing program in the subject category and/or developmental level to which conversion is requested—e.g., course work, conferences, workshops;
    • Each of the Wisconsin teacher standards (see with reference to evidence/artifacts that demonstrate the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions in each standard; and
    • Each of the relevant content guidelines.


Related information: