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Teacher Licensure

Teacher Licensure

Teaching licenses/credentials issued by OSSE authorize the holder to serve in an instructional, school leadership or support personnel capacity in a District of Columbia public, private or public charter school. (Note: Public charter and private school teachers and administrators are not mandated by DC law to hold a state license; however, local education agencies (LEAs) may opt to require state licensure for employment). 

Please see below for license types and required qualifications.  Visit our Teacher Licensure Exams [PDF] webpage for more information on testing requirements.

  • Regular I (valid for 2 years, non-renewable)
  1. Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Verification of current enrollment in a state approved teacher preparation program
  3. Verification of current employment as a teacher in a DC local education agency
  4. Passing scores for the required basic skills (reading, writing and mathematics) licensure exam
  5. Passing score for the Praxis II Content Knowledge exam in the subject area of the approved program (not required for ELL and Special Education teachers until full licensure is being sought)
  • Regular II (valid for 4 years, renewable)
  1. Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Verification of successful completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program
  3. Passing scores for the required basic skills (reading, writing and mathematics) licensure exam
  4. Passing score for the required Content Knowledge exam in the applicable subject area
  5. Passing score for the required Pedagogy/Principles of Learning and Teaching exam for the applicable subject and/or grade level of the license(s) being sought
  • Transitional (valid for 1 year, non-renewable)
  1. May only be requested by a DC local education agency
  2. Candidate has never been previously employed as a DC public school teacher
  3. Candidate has completed a degree major in the content area of the teaching assignment (Liberal Arts for elementary education assignments may be applicable) OR candidate has verification of completion of a state-approved teacher education program in the applicable subject area
  4. Candidate holds a full valid out-of-state teaching license and has completed an applicable teacher education program and only needs to complete DC’s testing requirements
  5. Applicants not eligible for a Regular I or II license must be hired by a DC LEA/school district or school to be eligible for a Transitional license.  Please contact the school district’s personnel office for more information on obtaining a Transitional license.

Apply for a Teaching License

OSSE has recently launched the Educator Credential Information System (ECIS) for teachers, administrators, and school service providers seeking to obtain or renew a District of Columbia educator credential. The ECIS electronic application portal, allows applicants to enter their information, upload supporting documents, pay required application processing fees, and submit their complete application for a DC credential online. As of Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 all applicants seeking a DC educator credential must apply using ECIS.  For more information and to start your application please visit the following links. In particular, consult the ECIS User Guidebook for step-by-step directions on how to submit an application using ECIS and for guidance on the appropriate supporting documents to submit:

Supporting Documents

Office Hours and Contact Information

The Educator Credentials Office is open from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions or concerns about how to obtain or renew an Educator Credential in the District of Columbia, please contact the Educator Credential Office via telephone at (202) 741-5881, email at osse.asklicensure@dc.gov, or by visiting in person at the following address:

OSSE – Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Specialized Education
Educator Credentials Office
810 First St., NE - Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20002