The Licensure Section is responsible for examining credentials and issuing professional educator's licenses that qualify individuals to seek employment as teachers, administrators and other special service personnel in North Carolina public schools. All professional employees of public schools must hold a professional educator's license for the subject or grade level they teach or for the professional education assignment that they hold.
Whether you are looking forward to your first educator position or are re-entering education after an absence, your steps to obtaining a professional educator's license are easy and convenient.
Depending on the time of year, the professional educator's licensure process may be approximately six weeks. Late spring and early summer are typically when the most professional educator's license applications are submitted.
NEW ONLINE SYSTEM
Beginning August 1, 2015 new and existing professional educators will be able to apply for and update their North Carolina licenses online. Instructions and more information are available within the online licensure system.
Go to the new NCDPI Online Licensure System
Outline of changes effective July 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014
(pdf, 104kb) UPDATED 4/27/15
PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR'S LICENSE QUALIFICATIONS
- Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator's Licenses are intended for teachers with 0-2 years of teaching experience, and are valid for three years. To be issued a SP1 Professional Educator's License, an individual must have:
- completed a state approved teacher education program from a regionally accredited college or university, or
- completed another state's approved alternative route to licensure, met the federal requirements to be designated as "Highly Qualified," and earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college.
- Praxis II Testing - for middle grades (6-9), secondary (9-12), K-12 (except Exceptional Children: General Curriculum) license areas.
- Pearson Test for North Carolina: Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum (effective October 1, 2014) - for Elementary Education and Exceptional Children: General Curriculum licenses only.
- Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator's Licenses are intended for teachers with 3 or more years of teaching experience, and are valid for five years. Teachers who are fully licensed and "Highly Qualified" in another state who have three or more years of teaching experience in another state AND who meet NC State Board of Education approved licensure exam requirements OR have National Board Certification are issued the SP2 Professional Educator's license.
- Lateral Entry Teachers in North Carolina
(pdf, 28kb) UPDATED 8/25/14
HOW CAN I GET A COPY OF MY CURRENT PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR'S LICENSE OR TEST SCORES?
Access the new NCDPI Online Licensure System to print a copy of your license free of charge. Instructions and more information are available within the online licensure system.
HOW CAN I CHANGE MY NAME ON MY PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR'S LICENSE?
Access the new NCDPI Online Licensure System to change your name on your Professional Educator’s License. Instructions and more information are available within the online licensure system. You must upload into the new online system copies of official documentation to verify the change, such as the following:
- Marriage certificate
- Social Security Card
- Driver’s license
- Other court documents showing that the educator’s name has been changed officially
A $30.00 processing fee is required.
HOW CAN I CONTACT THE LICENSURE SECTION?
NC Department of Public Instruction
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-6365
Two phone numbers are available for inquiries Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm Eastern Standard Time:
1.919.807.3310 outside of North Carolina and
1.800.577.7994 within North Carolina.
Please note when emailing us to include your full name in the email, as well as the last 4 numbers of your SSN and your license or application number. Failure to provide this information may create delays in our ability to respond.
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Professional Associations and Organizations
Educational Partners International, LLC (EPI): Designated by the US Dept. of State as a J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor, EPI provides highly-qualified international teachers with the visa sponsorship and support needed to teach critical needs subjects in NC. EPI assists teachers and schools with visa processing, licensure, professional and cultural development, and more. They provide a unique cultural exchange program with emphasis on support.
Visiting International Faculty Program (VIF): Since 1989, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has worked with VIF to welcome teachers from around the world to our state. Today, hundreds of North Carolina schools host over one thousand VIF participants from 48 different countries.
International Teacher Exchange Services: Designated by the U.S. Dept of State (Exchange Visitor Program), ITES sponsors and supports highly-qualified international teachers for critical needs subjects in North Carolina. In addition to being highly effective in their professional field, ITES teachers bring the world directly into our classrooms by sharing their knowledge and cultures with our students.
North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE): NCAE's mission is to advocate for members and students, to enhance the education profession and to advance public education.
Professional Educators of NC (PENC): Their mission is to promote education reform for the benefit of all NC children while ensuring the recruitment, development and retention of qualified educators.
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) State Teacher Center: The SREB - State Teacher Center is an online resource designed to help you find information relevant to the teaching profession.
State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC): SEANC is committed to protecting and enhancing the rights and benefits of current, retired and future state employees.