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Teachers from Out-of-State/Out-of-Country

Preparing to Apply

Am I in the Right Place?

This checklist is for out-of-state/out-of-country applicants applying for their first Colorado teacher license (a substitute or other authorization is not considered a teacher license in this instance). 

Not in the right place? Review the other checklists.


  • An earned bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • Completion of an approved teacher preparation program, including student teaching (which leads to licensure in the state in which it is approved); and
  • Demonstration of content competency, either by degree, 24 semester hours of specific coursework and/or content exam (dependent on endorsement requirements for the requested content area(s))

Plan Ahead

Base Application Fee:


License Expires:

1, 3 or 5 years from date of issue depending on qualifications



  • Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    • Ensure you have a current background check on file. You have 30 days from the time CDE receives your background check to apply for a license. If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse or did not submit within the 30-day window, you must submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI for licensure purposes.
  • Confirm you have a valid form of government-issued identification. 


You will need to include the following documentation in your application:

  • A copy of an official transcript for every college/university attended. [Unofficial transcripts are never accepted. Do not include them in your application.]
    • At a minimum, a copy of an official degree-conferred transcript from a regionally accredited college or university that demonstrates both a bachelor's or higher degree and completion of an approved teacher preparation program. 
    • Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English or include an authentic English translation and be accompanied by a NACES member organization course-by-course equivalency report.
  • Three or more years of full-time, fully licensed post-preparation teaching experience (not as a substitute, alternative, emergency, provisional, probationary, temporary or international teacher) within the past seven years in the content area(s) requested in the state of licensure OR an Approved Program Verification Form completed by the registrar or certification officer at the college/university at which you completed your program.
    • Out-of-state applicants who completed an alternative preparation program and who have not yet accrued the three years' fully licensed experience post-preparation must also include an official, signed letter from the department of education in the state in which you completed the alternative program confirming that the program you completed was indeed state-approved. It must also outline entry and exit requirements for the alternative program you completed.
  • Score reports for any Colorado State Board of Education-approved exams passed. (Contact PLACE, PRAXIS and NES exam administrators)
    • Do not include results for exams other than those specifically accepted by the state of Colorado.
    • If you have not taken any of the exams listed, please do not select an exam in the pull-down menu. CDE will review your application materials to determine whether an exam is required.
    • Our Credentialing Guide for Out-of-State Applicants provides clarification on what to expect from the licensure evaluation process.


You will need to include all prior work experience:

  • Your employment history will help determine the type of Colorado license you will be issued.  It is critical that you include the information below:
    • Copies of all active and expired teaching licenses covering the years of experience you have had as an educator.
    • All employment history, including employer/business name, dates of employment, reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names and contact information.


You are required to self-disclose and include documentation on any of the following:

  • Past criminal history
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Any issues related to licensure or employment



Once you have gathered all required documentation and have reviewed the rules governing the licensure process, you are ready to complete and submit a TEACHER application.

Important Reminders:

  • You have 30 days from the date CDE receives your background check to submit an application, or you will need to submit a new set of fingerprints for licensure purposes.
  • An application is deemed complete when CDE has received all required information, documentation and fees.
  • By submitting an application, you are verifying that the application is complete, that all requested documentation has been provided and that all questions within have been answered truthfully.
  • CDE will contact you within 45 days of receipt of your application should additional information be required to complete and evaluate your application. You then will have 60 days to submit the information or request consideration, or your application will be deemed withdrawn and you will need to reapply.
  • State statute prohibits the refunding of any application evaluation fee.
  • Once you have submitted an application, check your status online regularly for notifications, updates and/or to print a copy of your certificate.

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Questions? Email or call 303-866-6628.