Preparing to Apply
Am I in the Right Place?
This checklist is for applicants applying for their first Colorado teacher license. If you have ever held a Colorado teacher license (not substitute authorization), please review the other checklists and make the appropriate selection.
- You must hold a valid social security number (SSN), issued by the US Social Security Administration, in order to apply.
- Check to see if you meet Colorado Endorsement Requirements. Don't see your endorsement listed? Read our Out-of-State FAQ.
- You will need electronic copies of all documentation.
( Get Help with Document Scanning )
- Allow ample time to request any third-party transcripts or other documentation.
- Please note: Colorado issues licenses in the endorsement area of preparation, as verified on an approved program verification form. If upon evaluation it is determined that you need to first pass a content exam in order to qualify for this endorsement, we will issue you an interim authorization. Interim authorizations are issued in content areas for which a person has completed an approved program only. Applicants requesting to be evaluated for an additional endorsement must meet all requirements in order to be eligible for those endorsements
1, 3 or 5 years from date of issue depending on qualifications
- Submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- Confirm you have a valid form of government-issued identification. If you are using a photo ID issued by another state or country, please carefully review the identification requirements as additional documents will be needed.
( View List of Valid IDs )
- Within the application you will be asked to list the names and addresses of the colleges/universities you've attended.
- State statute requires that you submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including transcripts for any transfer credits that led to your degree earned. Official transcripts must show a minimum of a Bachelor's degree conferred. ( View Transcript Requirements )
- Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English or include an authentic English translation and have been evaluated by a NACES member for course-by-course equivalency.
- Complete the Approved Program Verification Form. This form is a requirement for all applicants for teacher licenses (even if you have been teaching for many years), unless your teacher preparation program was completed outside of the US (you will submit verification of your program as a NACES course-by-course transcript equivalency report).
( Download the Verification Form (PDF) )
- Out-of-state alternative applicants must also obtain an official signed letter from your State Department of Education confirming that you completed a state-approved program and the program requirements for the alternative program you completed.
- Obtain the results for any CDE-accepted PLACE or Praxis exams you have passed. You do not need to include results for exams other than those specifically accepted by the state of Colorado. If you have not taken any of the exams listed, you can still apply (but please do not select an exam in the pull-down menu). CDE will review your application materials to determine whether an exam is required. You can view our Credentialing Guide for Out-of-State Applicants for clarification on what to expect from the licensure evaluation process.
( View accepted PLACE content exams )
( View accepted Praxis content exams )
- Your employment history will help determine the type of Colorado license you will be issued. It is critical that you include the information below:
- If applicable, obtain copies of all active and expired teaching licenses covering the years of experience you have had as an educator.
- Within the application you must include employment history for at least the past 5 years, and all prior teaching experience.
- Include employer/business name, dates of employment, reason for leaving, work addresses, supervisor names, and contact information.
- If applicable, obtain supporting documentation on the following:
- Past criminal history
- Disciplinary actions
- Any issues related to licensure or employment
Register and Apply
Once you have gathered all of the information listed above, you are ready to begin the online application process! Just register for the eLicensing system or, if you are already registered, log in. Then, select the"Teacher" application to get started.
For questions, email CDELicensing@cde.state.co.us or call 303-866-6628.