Initial LicensesRenewal Licenses
Initial In-State LicenseTwo Year Renewal or Five Year Renewal
Initial Interim Substitute LicenseInterim Substitute License Renewal
Initial Out-of-State Reciprocal LicenseOut-of-state Reciprocal License Renewal
Alternate Access LicenseAlternate Access License Renewal
Initial Other State Educator License (OSEL)Other State Educator License Renewal
      (Available in 2 and 5 year)Probationary License
40-day Provisional LicenseRe-entry License
 30 Year Life License


Grade Configurations

Early Childhood: Birth – Grade 3 (B-3)

Kindergarten: PreKindergarten and Kindergarten (PreK-K)

Elementary Education: Grade 1- Grade 8 (1-8)

Secondary Education: Grade 5 – Grade 12 in the specific content area only (5-12)

The following content areas are PreK – Grade 12: art, foreign language, music, physical education, and computer education.


License Descriptions

Initial In-State License (Two-Year): Issued to first-time applicants who have met all of the ND requirements for licensure.

Two Year Renewal (Two-Year): Issued to applicants with less than eighteen months of successful contracted teaching in North Dakota, those who have completed all requirements of a Probationary License, or those who have met all the requirements of an Out of State Reciprocal License.

First FIve Year License (Five-Year): Issued to individuals who have met all of the requirements for a ND Educator's Professional License and have successfully taught 18 months (full-time equivalent) in the state of North Dakota.

Five Year Renewal License (Five-Year): Issued to individuals holding a 5 year license - must be under contract at least thirty days of the five-year period and complete six semester hours of re-education to renew the 5 year license.

Alternate Access License (One-Year): Issued in a documented shortage area. This license is for those who do not have a teaching degree but do have a bachelor’s degree in a content area where the vacancy exists in the school. It is expected that the applicant will work with a university to complete their education coursework over the next 3 years (if needed.) The license must be requested in writing by the local school administrator indicating the unsuccessful search for a qualified applicant and the desire for this license to be issued. Requirements include the completed online application, a bachelor’s degree in the content area to be taught (official transcripts), and a plan of study from the college of education where the applicant will complete 1/3 of the program of study each year toward the teaching degree. This license can be issued a year at a time for a maximum of 3 years.

Interim Substitute License (Two-Year): Issued to individuals with a minimum of 48 semester hours of college coursework. License is good for two years and now expires on the applicant's birthday.

Initial Alternate Pathway License - American Board (Two-Year): Issued to applicants who have completed the requirements of American Board for North Dakota licensure. 

Out-of-State Reciprocal License: Issued to individuals who graduated from an out-of-state university but do not hold a teaching license in another state. A transcript analysis is completed and a plan of study is developed for each individual indicating the coursework and testing needed. This license can be issued twice, so the educator has a total of five years to complete all requirements.

Other State Educator License (OSEL).  A two or five year license issued to those applicants who hold and submits a valid teaching license received from an approved regular teacher education program from another state. If the applicant has not tested in the sending state and has been licensed after 2002 in that state, they will have two years to complete ND tests. The regular application will be submitted including official transcripts, completed background packet, a copy of your current teaching license from another state, and/or confirmation form or test scores. If you have completed an approved program, including student teaching, hold a license in another state and have met their testing requirements, there will be no additional requirements.

Re-Entry License (Two-Years): Issued to individuals who have held a ND teaching license but it expired more than 5 years ago. A new background check is required. Eight semester hours of reeducation will be required if the applicant signs a contract during the license period.

Probationary License (Two-Years): Issued to individuals who have not completed the reeducation requirements for the five year or re-entry license. Only one probationary license is issued to an applicant.

40-Day Provisional License (40 Calendar Days): Issued to applicants who have been offered a job (either substitute or teaching) and have completed the entire application process with the exception of the background investigation. A letter from the school administrator indicating their desire to hire that person without the background investigation being complete and a letter from the applicant indicating their criminal background history is needed by the ESPB prior to issuing this license. 40-Day Provisional License Instructions (34kb pdf)

30-Year Life License: Issued to a teacher who has held a ND license for 30 years and met the requirements of their current teaching license. (If an applicant currently holds a 5-year license and would like to move into the 30-Year Life License, they must submit 6 semester hours of re-education credit as required for the 5-year license they currently hold.) Expiration: none