Site Index | CDE Offices | Staff Directory

Credentialing Guide for Out-of-State Applicants

Important Clarifications for Applicants Who Hold Out-of-State Credentials

Educator licenses do not “transfer” to Colorado across state lines. While the term "reciprocity" is often used when discussing state licensure, any holder of an educator license issued by another state, including a professional license of any kind, must meet or exceed Colorado’s requirements for the license and/or endorsement area(s) sought.

There is no guarantee that an applicant will receive a Colorado-issued license or that an applicant will receive all of the endorsements issued by the other state. Colorado issues licenses based on the applicants’ content area(s) of initial preparation, 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. For licenses, this will include a completed approved program verification form and copies of official transcripts for all college- or university-level coursework. 

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 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 provided in the application, including educator preparation program, official transcripts, licensure history and work experience. Thus, please be sure to include all requested information and complete all requested fields within the application.

 Professional License: If an applicant meets the requirements for a Colorado license and has at least three years in seven years of full-time, licensed experience in their content area(s), Colorado may be able to issue a professional-level (5-year) license.

Initial License: Those who meet the requirements with less than three consecutive years of full-time, licensed experience may 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 three or more consecutive years of full-time, licensed experience in the content area(s) of preparation 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:


Quick Links


Contact Us

Professional Services & Educator Licensure
6000 E Evans Ave
Building #2, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80222
Contact Licensing

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

WCC Access