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Teachers New to Tennessee

  • For Teachers Licensed in Another State
  • For Teachers with Degrees from Other Countries

If you completed educator licensure requirements in another state, you must submit an out-of-state license application packet in order to apply for a Tennessee license.

To learn which documents to include in your application packet, please take the short self-evalutation questionnaire to check your eligibility and requirements.

The following list explains the kinds of documents referred to in the questionnaire.

  1. Out of State Applicationdownload pdf file - must be completed with an original signature and mailed to our office.
  2. Original/Official Transcripts-from all college/universities with confer date(s) of degree(s).
    • will accept - original transcript from college/university, Scrip-Safe Exit TDOE website sent electronically to the education.licensing@tn.gov or official transcript issued to student.
    • will not accept - photocopies, scanned, grade reports, faxed, etc.
  3. Copy of educator credential (teacher license) from other state(s) with validity dates. (if applicable)
  4. Verification of acceptable experience in a PreK-12 school outside the state of Tennessee must be submitted on the Experience Verification Formdownload pdf file  (if applicable)
  • This form must be signed by an official from the central office of the school system(s) employed. The form(s) should be returned to you and attached to your application. 
  • Important:  Keep a copy of this form.  You will need to give a copy to the director of schools upon employment in a Tennessee school.

5. Recommendation verifying program completion is needed: (traditional route to licensure): (if applicable)

  • If educator has less than 3 years of acceptable out of state teaching experience within the last 7 school years.
  • Note: Certification Officer or Dean of Education must complete the "Institution Recommendation" portion of Out of State Application. This must be submitted to our office in original form.

6. Praxis Series II Tests— the need for testing will be determined upon the review of your application. If tests are required you will be notified by licensing specialist for the Office of Teacher Licensing.

7. Verification of license issued prior to July 1, 1984, attach a copy of your out-of-state license showing the issue date or the Verification of Teaching License prior to July 1, 1984 download pdf file  form. (if applicable)

Once you know which documents to send us, please send all information at one time. If information is submitted separately, your application processing will be delayed.

Tennessee has either an Interstate Agreement OR National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) that covers all states.

Additional Information

  • Verification of Application/License Status - You may check our Educator License Information web site to verify receipt of licensure information. We suggest using the public search option and only entering your first and last name as listed on the application. Click on the name and the license information will be revealed. You will not be assigned a license number until the license is issued.
  • Correspondence received in our office pertaining to the license will be located at the bottom of the license information page. This reflects correspondence received in our office since about July 2007.
  • Applications and correspondence are worked in the order in which it is received.
  • Once an application is received in our office, you may apply for positions in any Tennessee school system. If a school system is interested in hiring, they will contact our office on your behalf.
  • Important to provide legible email address and phone numbers on application as this is the most expedient means of communication.

Status of the license will vary based upon where it is in the evaluation process.

Definition of application/license status:

  • Pending status - application has been received, entered into database, awaiting review by licensing specialist. Application will stay in this status until reviewed and eligibility determined. 
  • Requirements not met - application has been reviewed and deficiencies determined. Educator of license deficiencies will be notified by either email or snail mail.
  • Active status - application reviewed with no deficiencies, license was issued.

If you completed your degree outside of the United States, you must submit the following documents to apply for licensure in Tennessee:

1.  Out of Country Applicationdownload pdf file- Application must be completed with original signature and mailed to our office.

2.  Degree Evaluation - An original of the degree evaluation including course by course equivalency of the  out-of-country transcripts.  This evaluation information must include the degree equivalency or the academic training and an interpretation of all credit earned in terms of United States college/university semester hours.  Tennessee recognizes the following evaluation services:

3.  Original/Official Transcripts - Transcripts from all colleges/universities in the United States

  •  will accept - original transcript from university , Scrip-Safe sent electronically to the TN Department of Education, or issued to student.
  • will not accept photocopies, scanned, grade reports, or faxed copies.

4. Verification of any teaching experience must be submitted on the Experience Verification form.download pdf file

5. Praxis Series II Tests— the need for testing will be determined upon the review of your application. Click to view information about Praxis Series II tests required in Tennessee. If tests are required, the results should be sent to 8190 (the Tennessee code with Educational Testing Services (ETS) along with your social security number.

  • Tests less than 10 years old - we will accept the 'Designated Institution Score Report' submitted directly to our office by the college/university or from ETS.
  • Tennessee does not accept the 'Examinee Score Report' unless tests are over 10 years old - enclose a copy with your application packet
  • Tennessee only accepts Praxis II and NTE through ETS. No other test results recognized.

Please submit all documentation at one time. Failure to comply could delay the processing of your application for licensure.

NOTE: Non United States citizens who are seeking licensure in the State of Tennessee are required to hold a United States social security number.  For guidelines and requirements to apply for a social security number go to the US Social Security Administration website.

Verification of Application and License Status

You may check our Educator License Information page on our website to verify receipt of licensure information. We suggest you use the public search option and enter your first and last name as listed on the application to search for your record. Click on the name, the license information will be revealed. You will not be assigned a licence number until the license is actually issued.

Correspondence received in our office pertaining to the license will be located at the bottom of the license information page. This will reflect correspondence received in our office since about July 2007. Applications are worked in the order in which they are received. Once an application is received in our office, you may apply for positions in Tennessee. If a school system is interested in hiring, they will contact our office on your behalf.

Status of the license will vary based upon where it is in the evaluation process. 

  • Pending status - application has been received, entered into database, given to licensing specialist for review. Application will stay in this status until reviewed and eligibility determined.
  • Requirements not met - applicaiton has been reviewed and deficiencies determined.  You will receive correspondence from licensing specialist defining the deficiency.
  • Active status - application reviewed with no deficiencies, license was issued.