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Credentialing Guide for Out-of-State Applicants

Important Clarifications for Applicants Who Hold Out-of-State Credentials and Are Applying for Their First Colorado License

Educator licenses do not “transfer” to Colorado across state lines. Any holder of a teacher, special services provider, principal or administrator license issued by another state may meet or exceed Colorado’s requirements for an initial Colorado license and/or endorsement area(s) sought in one of the following ways:

1. If you hold a valid license (not substitute, temporary, emergency, alternative, provisional or probationary) issued by another state that carries an identical endorsement to one issued by Colorado AND have three years' post-preparation, full-time licensed experience in that state and in that content area within the past seven, Colorado may issue a professional license with the identical endorsement requested.

2. If you do not meet ALL of the requirements outlined above, Colorado is required to evaluate a candidate's application for the content area(s) of preparation, as verified on an approved program verification form, if we issue a comparable or equivalent endorsement.  If not, we certainly will work with you to determine the appropriate content area(s). Other endorsements may be added upon application and meeting the requirements for each. 

So what do I need to do?

Select the type of license or authorization you wish to receive from the list of application types. Follow the checklist and obtain copies of all documentation listed. This will include copies of official, degree-conferred college or university transcripts, and may include copies of licenses (current or expired) or an approved program verification form.

Will I need to take a content exam? 

The answer to this question depends on the requested license and endorsement area(s). Any test requirement(s) will be determined upon review of a completed application so that your degree, previous test information information and educator preparation program(s) may be considered.

If I qualify, what type of Colorado credential will I receive?

All applications from educators who hold credentials in other states/countries will be evaluated based on the documentation and information provided in the application. Therefore, please be sure to include all requested information and complete all requested fields within the application. Generally speaking:

 Professional License: If an applicant meets the requirements for a Colorado license and has at least three years' post-preparation, full-time, licensed experience in the past seven years in the state in which they were licensed, Colorado likely will issue a professional-level (5-year) license.

Initial License: Those who meet the requirements with less than three years of post-preparation, full-time, licensed experience likely will receive an initial-level (3-year) license.

Interim Authorization: An interim authorization is issued to a first-time applicant who holds or is eligible to hold a license in another state, but who does not have the three or more years of full-time, licensed experience (as detailed above) or who has not demonstrated content mastery via the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content exam(s) for those endorsement area(s) -- or both -- thereby allowing the candidate to work in Colorado schools while also giving him/her a year’s time to prepare for and take the required exam(s).  An interim authorization may be renewed only once. Upon successful completion of the content exam(s), an applicant may then apply for an initial license.

Please note: Interim authorizations cannot be issued to applicants applying for Special Services Provider (SSP) licenses; these educators must fully meet requirements for an initial or professional license.

Please be sure to review the following pages, too:

 Important: Incomplete applications automatically expire in 90 days. This includes incomplete fingerprint requirements. Refunds or exceptions cannot be considered. Complete all applications in full, including fingerprints, within 90 days (3 months). Once your application is submitted, check your status online regularly to ensure you have met all requirements within those 90 days.