• Out-of-State Applicant Certification

  • Applying for Delaware licensure and certification is a two-step process, in that you must hold both a License and at least one Certificate.  The License authorizes you to work in a Delaware public/charter school, and the Certificate(s) identifies the area(s) in which you are authorized to teach.

    License Overview

    Delaware defines "License" as a credential that authorizes the holder to engage in the practice for which the license is issued.  A Delaware educator holds only one license; however, the license type depends on experience as outlined below.

    • Initial License: If you are a brand new educator or have more than one year but less than four years of licensed teaching experience, you should apply for an Initial License.
    • Continuing License: If you have over four years of licensed teaching experience, you should apply for a Continuing License.
    • Advanced License: If you have received National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, you should apply for an Advanced License.

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  • Certificate Overview

    A Delaware educator can hold multiple certificates to certify their education in a specific area of expertise. The certificate types are detailed below.

    • Standard Certificate: Delaware defines "Standard Certificate" as a credential issued to certify that an educator has the prescribed knowledge, skill or education to practice in a particular area to teach a particular subject, or to teach a category of students.  Find your certification area by reviewing Delaware's list of Standard Certificates. The Professional Standards Board promulgates the regulations governing certification.
    • Emergency Certificate: Delaware defines “Emergency Certificate” as a temporary credential issued to an educator who has obtained employment or an offer of employment with an employing authority and holds a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License, but lacks the necessary skills and knowledge to immediately meet certification requirements in a specific content area.
    • Certificate of Eligibility: Delaware defines "Certificate of Eligibility" (COE) as a credential issued to an educator who is participating in a state-approved, appropriate, alternative route to licensure and certification program for teachers of students with disabilities and holds a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License.  

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  • Non-refundable Fee for First Delaware License

    Beginning January 15, 2016, a one-time non-refundable fee of $100 will be charged to educators applying for their first license in Delaware (Initial, Continuing, or Advanced). The applicant must also meet certification requirements prior to a license being issued. The fee will be retained by the State of Delaware whether or not the transaction results in the issuance of a license and certificate.  Refer to 14 Del.C. §122 (27) for details regarding the rules and regulations.

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  • DEEDS Application Process Steps

    1. Log in to your DEEDS account.
    2. Apply for the appropriate License and Certificate(s) for the content area you want to teach.
    3. Have a credit card (not a debit card) at hand. There will be a one-time $100 application fee, which is reimbursable upon employment in a Delaware public or charter school.
    4. Request to send all official documentation:
      • All official transcripts.
      • Test Scores (Praxis, ACTFL.)
      • Proof of student teaching, if not on your transcript.
    5. Upon receipt of all documentation, DDOE Staff will review the application and documentation.
    6. DDOE staff will update your application status.  You will receive an email indicating:
      • If you met certification requirements; or
      • If you did not meet certification requirements you will be notified of the documents that are still needed.
    7. You may apply for employment while your License and Certificate(s) are pending. Districts and charter schools will have access to your application information via DEEDS.


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  • Reciprocity Definition

    Delaware Department of Education considers educators who hold a full and current license/certificate in another jurisdiction (any U.S. state, including District of Colombia, Guam, or Puerto Rico) for licensure by reciprocity.

    Upon review of the documentation, DDOE will determine if:

    • The applicant meets the requirements for an Initial License or Continuing License, and
    • Delaware offers a comparable certification area to the applicant’s out-of-state credentials.


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  • Reciprocity in Special Education

    Delaware requires educators who want to have a Standard Certificate in Special Education are also required to hold a Standard Certificate for a teaching “content” area. When an educator provides out of state Special Education credentials without the educator holding an out of state teaching license/certificate in a content area, Delaware Licensure & Certification cannot consider that as being reciprocal until a content area is earned per Delaware law and regulations.

    Delaware also does not allow an educator to have an Emergency Certificate in Math, English, Science, Social Studies, or Elementary as a first issued certificate.

    Educators who provide an out of state Special Education credential, but have not provided a valid out of state teaching content area certification are considered not reciprocal until such time as qualifications for the content area are fulfilled.

    If a Delaware district or charter school would like to hire an educator in this situation, they may choose to request a Secretary of Education Review. Delaware law and regulations allow you to be issued an Initial License with an Emergency Certificate for a content area (which must be your teaching content area upon hire) until you pass the required Praxis II exam and/or coursework towards certification in the content area. However, you may not be issued an Emergency Certificate for the Special Education certificate.

    Once you pass the required Praxis II exam and/or coursework towards certification, you must send the scores electronically to DEEDS and/or provide an official transcript of any coursework that may have been required. Upon receipt of those documents, you will then be issued a Standard Certificate for both the content area and Special Education. You may not need to fulfill any requirements for Special Education, because at the point that you are able to be certified in a content area, your out of state certification in Special Education become “reciprocal.”

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  • Holders of Credentials in Another Jurisdiction (Non-Delaware Credentials)

    Educators who hold a full and current license/certificate in another jurisdiction (any U.S. state, including District of Colombia, Guam, or Puerto Rico) may receive a comparable Delaware license/certificate in accordance with 14 Del.C. §1210 (d) and 14 Del.C. §1211 (c). This is also referred to as “Reciprocity”.

    Continuing License by Reciprocity Applicant

    To be considered for a Continuing License by Reciprocity, meet the following requirements:

    • Hold a current and valid, out-of-state license/certificate.
      • Delaware does not accept the following credentials as reciprocal:
        • Certificates of Eligibility
        • Intern Certificates
        • Conditional Certification
        • Substitute Teacher License
        • Private School License
        • Endorsements
      • If your credential is valid beyond the expiration date listed on your Certificate, you must have the issuing State Department of Education submit a letter verifying your credential is still current and valid.
    • Have completed a minimum of four years of successful teaching experience, done under the current and valid out-of-state license/certificate.

    Initial License by Reciprocity Applicant

    To be considered for an Initial License by Reciprocity, meet the following requirements:

    • Hold a current and valid, out-of-state license/certificate.
      • Delaware does not accept the following credentials as reciprocal:
        • Certificates of Eligibility
        • Intern Certificates
        • Conditional Certification
        • Substitute Teacher License
        • Private School License
        • Endorsements
      • If your credential is valid beyond the expiration date listed on your Certificate, you must have the issuing State Department of Education submit a letter verifying your credential is still current and valid.
    • Have completed a minimum of one year of successful teaching experience, done under the current and valid out-of-state license/certificate.

    If the Out-of-State credential is not accepted under reciprocity, the educator will need to meet all the requirements for a new Delaware educator

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  • Out-of-State Documentation Requirements

    The following items must be sent. To ensure speedy processing, please ensure that you follow the documentation guidelines for submission.

    • Official Transcript(s).
      • Send official (unopened) transcripts for all degrees and coursework directly to the Delaware Department of Education.
      • DOE can only accept transcripts from regionally accredited colleges and universities as detailed in Higher Education.
    • Student Teaching on an official transcript.
    • Copy of current and valid out-of-state license, if applicable. Expired licenses are not reciprocal.
      • An educator with less than four years of licensed teaching experience needs to apply for an Initial License
    • Form E (Verification of Teaching Experience) - if you have held a full-time (non-substitute) K-12 teaching position in a school other than a Delaware public or charter school.
      • Form E must be completed by the school or the personnel office of the school or district where the experience was obtained and the section listing verification of successful evaluations must be completed and checked-off.
    • Test scores, if required, should be forwarded to the Delaware Department of Education electronically upon your request. (Test scores are only needed for certificate applications that do not meet Delaware reciprocity requirements, or new certificate applications.)
      • For certificates requiring Praxis II, Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers the Praxis tests. Please use Delaware Department of Education's Reporting Code of R7065.
      • For certificates requiring the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), Language Testing International administers the ACTFL tests.

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  • Documentation Guidelines for Submission

    All documents, with the exception of copies of out-of-state and/or national certificates (if applicable), must be official, meaning that they must be sent directly from the appropriate third party (e.g., the college/university, testing organization, former employer, independent credentialing agency) to the Department electronically to deeds@doe.k12.de.us, or forwarded unopened, by mail to the Department by the candidate.  Applicants submitting test scores should be sure to review the Testing Guidelines for test-specific submission procedures.

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Last Modified on July 30, 2021