Renew a Teacher License

A Tennessee educator license is issued for a specific time period and must be renewed. Each type of license has specific renewal requirements. If you want to renew using professional development, you must submit validated documentation. 

If you hold a Master’s degree or higher and have enough qualifying experience, you may apply online to renew these types of licenses using the Educator License Information (ELI) website.

Select the license type you want to renew for more information. To learn more about renewal requirements, see Renewal Activities and Points.

Apprentice License (Traditional)

Apprentice Teacher licenses are issued for five years. If you teach in a Tennessee public school system for three years on one of these licenses and receive a positive local evaluation, you should be advanced to the Professional License. Advancement will be initiated by your principal.  If one of these licenses is not used for three years in a Tennessee public school system, it can be renewed every five years by meeting current renewal requirements.

  • All educators holding Apprentice Teacher Licenses based on a Bachelor's degree must earn 45 renewal points. (guidelines below)
  • All educators holding Apprentice Teacher Licenses based on a Master's degree or higher who have not accrued three years of acceptable experience during the five-year validity period of the license (ex: 2008-2013) are required to earn 45 renewal points. (guidelines below)
  • All educators holding Apprentice Teacher Licenses based upon a Master's degree or higher, and have accrued three years of acceptable experience during the five-year validity period of the license (ex:2008-2013), no renewal points are required, only verification of that experience. If the experience is in a Tennessee private school or out of state school you must submit verification of that experience on the form provided by clicking on the link to the experience verification form. If all of the experience has been accrued in Tennessee public schools this form is not needed.  For information on what constitutes acceptable experience for renewal in Tennessee click on the information link.

Download an Apprentice renewal application here.

Visit Renewal Activities and Points for information on qualifying activities and how renewal points are calculated.

Transitional License (Alternative)

A Transitional License is issued at the request of the superintendent/director of a Tennessee school system to an individual who is employed while still completing specific licensure requirements. The license is issued for one school year at a time and always expires on August 31 following the academic school year for which it is issued.

Prior to first renewal of the Transitional License, the educator must have successfully completed the orientation component of the Professional Education Core Competencies as defined by the university or approved transitional organization.

Prior to second renewal of the Transitional License, the educator must have passed all required Praxis II content examinations, except the PLT, for the endorsement(s) sought.

Additional resources:

If you want to renew a previous alternative license type that is no longer issued (Type I, Type II, Alt A, Alt C, or Alt E), please contact the Office of Educator Licensing at Education.Licensing@tn.gov for specific instructions.

Out-of-State License

Out-of-State licenses are issued for five years. If you teach in a Tennessee public school system for three years on one of these licenses and receive a positive local evaluation, you should be advanced to the Professional License. Advancement will be initiated by your principal.  If one of these licenses is not used for three years in a Tennessee public school system, it can be renewed every five years by meeting current renewal requirements.

  • All educators holding Out-of-State Teacher Licenses based on a Bachelor's degree must earn 45 renewal points. (guidelines below)
  • All educators holding Out-of-State Teacher Licenses based on a Master's degree or higher who have not accrued three years of acceptable experience during the five-year validity period of the license (ex: 2008-2013) are required to earn 45 renewal points. (guidelines below)
  • All educators holding Out-of-State Teacher Licenses based upon a Master's degree or higher, and have accrued three years of acceptable experience during the five-year validity period of the license (ex:2008-2013), no renewal points are required, only verification of that experience. If the experience is in a Tennessee private school or out of state school you must submit verification of that experience on the form provided by clicking on the link to the experience verification form. If all of the experience has been accrued in Tennessee public schools this form is not needed. For information on what constitutes acceptable experience for renewal in Tennessee click on the information link.

Visit Renewal Activities and Points for information on qualifying activities and how renewal points are calculated.

Professional License

Professional Teacher Licenses must be renewed every ten years.

  • All educators that were issued a Professional License prior to July 1, 1984, and the license have not been renewed and did not teach in either a Tennessee public school or appropriately accredited private school prior to that date, their license will either be converted to an Apprentice or Out of State teacher license.  (The Out of State license will be issued upon evidence of acceptable out of state teaching experience.)
  • All educators holding a Professional License based on a Bachelor's degree must earn 90 renewal points.
  • All educators holding a Professional License based on a Master's degree or higher who have not accrued five years of acceptable experience during the ten-year validity period of the license (ex: 2003-2013) are required to earn 90 renewal points.
  • All educators holding a Professional License based on a Master's degree or higher, and has accrued five years of acceptable experience during the ten-year validity period of the license (ex: 2003-2013), no renewal points are required, only verification of that experience. If all experience has been in Tennessee public school systems no verification by the applicant is required.  Click to download an experience verification form. Click to obtain information on what constitutes acceptable experience for renewal in Tennessee.

A Professional Level License can be renewed anytime after the fifth year of validity.  Ex: A license validity of 2008 to 2018 can be renewed after March 1, 2013.  It will extend the validity until 2028.

Visit Renewal Activities and Points for information on qualifying activities and how renewal points are calculated.

Interim B License

The Interim B License is issued for one school year to an applicant who has met all licensure requirements except completion of the required Praxis Series Exams.

The Interim B License may be renewed for one additional school year if necessary. To renew this license, the superintendent/director of schools must sign an application for renewal of the Interim B License stating his/her intent to re-employ the applicant for an additional school year and submit it to the Tennessee Office of Teacher Licensing.

Download Interim B License renewal application or call (615) 532-4885 to request the form be mailed to you. The application form also includes a list of regulations and guidelines regarding renewal.

JROTC License

To renew a JROTC License, the educator must submit to the Office of Teacher Licensing the same items as for issuance. 

  1. A completed application for a Tennessee JROTC license
  2. Copy of valid JROTC training certificate
  3. Official transcripts/degrees earned in colleges/university in the United States since the original issuance of license.
  4. Verification that the applicant is currently employed in a JROTC program in a Tennessee school system. 

Click to download JROTC application or call (615) 532-4885 to request a renewal application be mailed to you.

National Board Certification

National Board Certified Teachers are highly accomplished educators who meet high and rigorous standards. Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met these rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers 25 certificates that cover a variety of subject areas and student developmental levels. For further information on National Board Certification, go to www.nbpts.org.

To add National Board Certification to your license:

  1. Complete page one of the application
  2. Provide a copy of your National Board Certification with validity dates (date issued and expiration date). If you do not have your certificate:
    1. Go to the directory of the National Board Certified Teachers
    2. Search the directory using your name as it appears on your letter from NBCT.

Please send the completed application and a copy of your National Board Certification to the Office of Educator Licensing. No other documentation is necessary.

Mailing Address:

Office of Educator Licensing

Tennessee Department of Education

12th Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower

710 James Robertson Parkway

Nashville, TN 37243-0377

Apprentice Occupational

Note: Verification of current industry certification is required for renewing all Occupational Licenses.

Apprentice Occupational Licenses are issued for a five year period. If you teach in a Tennessee public school system for three years on this license and receive a positive local evaluation and verification of meeting all advancement requirements from the local school system, you will advance to the Professional Occupational Education License.

If the Apprentice Occupational Education License is not used for three years in a Tennessee public school system, you can renew it in one of two ways:

  1. Submitting documentation verifying two years of updated occupational competency earned within the past five years.
  2. Attending sixty clock hours of professional or technical workshops in lieu of two years of experience or combination of both professional or technical workshops.

Download the Application for Renewal of Apprentice Occupational Teaching License or apply for renewal and upload required forms using the online license application. The application form also includes a list of regulations and guidelines regarding renewal.

Questions regarding this renewal process should be directed to the Occupational Education License Consultant in the Office of Career & Technical Education at (615) 532-2834.

Professional Occupational

Note: Verification of current industry certification is required for renewing all Occupational Licenses.

Professional Occupational Education Licenses must be renewed every ten years. Depending on your experience, you must fulfill one of the following requirements.

  1. If you hold a Professional Occupational Education License based on a Master's degree or higher and have accrued five years of acceptable teaching experience during the ten-year validity period of the license, you may renew the license with verification of that experience. If all experience has been in the Tennessee Public School Systems, no verification is required.
  2. If you hold a Professional Occupational Education License based on a Master's degree or higher and have not accrued five years of acceptable experience during the ten-year validity period of the license or has less than a Master's degree, you are required to verify 480 hours of non-teaching experience in the occupational area.
  3. You may submit verification of 90 clock hours (points) of participation in professional/technical workshops. Six semester hours of appropriate coursework may be substituted for the 90 clock hours (points) of professional/technical workshops.

Download the Application for Renewal of Professional Occupational Education License form or apply for license renewal and upload required forms using the online license application. The application form also includes a list of regulations and guidelines regarding renewal.

Questions regarding this renewal process should be directed to the Occupational Education License Consultant in the Office of Career and Technical Education at (615) 532-2834.

Last Update: June 5, 2014