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Tiers without Fear!

The MN tiered licensure system can be very intimidating for those exploring the teaching profession. Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP), in collaboration with PELSB, has created a tool to decrease the complexity of the tiered licensure system. Tiers without Fear enables you to quickly identify what you need to establish or advance your career by selecting your experience and training levels to highlight the best options for you. 

Check out Tiers without Fear! here. 

Apply for an Initial License

The Tiered Licensure Structure Infographic gives a general overview of the requirements for each tier license level. Each tiered application provides additional information about licensure requirements.

Teacher, Related Services, and Administrator License Applications

All initial license applications can be submitted through the Online Licensing System.

Please note: If you have previously applied for licensure with our office and were assigned a file folder number and/or you are adding a licensure field, you are considered an existing license holder. Existing license holders cannot apply online. You must apply using a paper application which can be found using this link.

To verify if you previously applied for licensure with our office, please utilize the license lookup tool.  

Within the applications, please note guides to identify which tier matches your qualifications and experiences. Please follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your application is complete, which is required for processing. 

Under state statute, PELSB is required to issue or deny a license within 30 days after receiving a completed application, which includes all required application materials and a completed background check.

You will need to create a Google account if you do not already have one to submit an initial license application. Do not sign into the Online Licensing System if you currently hold a Minnesota educator license, a current or expired short-call substitute license, or a limited license and want to add a licensure field. Instead, complete the appropriate tiered license application found on

Log-in problems: To clear a CEL error message, you will need to delete your browser history, cache, and cookies. After clearing your browser, please log back into your online licensing account. Please Note: You will need to log in with the email address originally associated with your online licensing account. The system will not recognize an email account unless it was the email address you originally used. 

Substitute License Applications

The lifetime substitute license is available only for individuals who are receiving a retirement annuity as a result of previous teaching experience. If you are not receiving a retirement annuity, you must apply for a three-year short call substitute teaching license. Use the Online Licensing System to apply for the Three Year Short-call Substitute. Go to Renew My License to apply for the Lifetime Short-call Substitute License.

Do not use the online licensing system if you are using any of the CTE requirements to obtain a short-call substitute license. These requirements include having an AA degree, five years of work experience, or an approved certificate in one of the CTE licensure areas. Also, do not use the online licensing system if you are enrolled in a teacher preparation program, completed student teaching and have a final grade posted on your transcripts for student teaching, but do not have the degree awarded. If you fall into these categories, please use the below paper Three Year Short-call Substitute License Application.

Apply for Licensure via Portfolio

Licensure Requirement Information

The Licensure Requirements page provides additional information about:

  • Testing Requirements
  • Fingerprint cards
  • Out-of State Applicants
  • Foreign Credentials
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