A: All Arizona educator certificates require a valid Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Identity Verified Print (“IVP”) fingerprint clearance card. You may order an IVP packet by calling (602) 223-2279. After you receive the AZDPS IVP fingerprint clearance card, submit the following:
- A completed Application for Certification (PDF File).
- A check or money order for the correct fee(s). Fees are payable by personal check, money order or cashier’s check only. Cash, credit cards and debit cards will NOT be accepted. FEES ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.
- A photocopy of your valid your plastic AZDPS IVP Fingerprint Card.
- Official transcript(s). Envelope may be opened, but transcript(s) must be on official transcript paper and bear the original seal or stamp of the Registrar. Photocopies or unofficial transcripts will NOT be accepted. The Certification Unit will only accept degrees, programs and courses from accredited institutions.
- If verification of K-12 teaching experience is required, submit the Verification of K-12 Teaching Experience (PDF File) form completed and signed by a personnel director or superintendent.
- Submit passing score report(s) for the AEPA or NES exam(s) (if required).
- Submit any other documents that may be required (e.g., CTE Work experience verification, course descriptions, etc.).
- Applying for certification does not guarantee that a certificate will be granted. If you do not meet all requirements for the certificate you apply for, you will receive an evaluation detailing the requirements you are lacking. Certification fees will NOT be refunded even if a certificate is not granted.
Requirements for Certification
A: Teachers and Administrators who hold a valid and “clear” license from another state may qualify for a comparable Reciprocal Arizona Certificate. Reciprocal Arizona Teaching and Administrative certificates are valid for one (1) year and will NOT be renewed or extended. Within the one (1) year, the out-of-state educator must satisfy the requirements for the 3-year Provisional Teaching or 6-year Administrative certificate.
Reciprocal Arizona Certification
A: Specialized areas attached to a certificate, e.g. English as a Second Language (ESL), K-12; Structured English Immersion (SEI), K-12; Reading Specialist, K-12; etc. Endorsements may be used to show a specialization or to expand the grade level a teacher may teach. All endorsements are valid for K-12 unless otherwise indicated.
Requirements for Endorsements
A: Content areas listed on certificates, e.g. English, Mathematics, Social Studies, etc. Approved areas are limited to the grade level of the certificate.
A: No. Fees are payable by personal check, money order or cashier’s check only. Cash, credit/debit cards are NOT ACCEPTED. Fees are not refundable.
A: When you apply for certification, a Certification Specialist will evaluate your official transcripts and other documents to determine if you meet State Board Certification requirements. In order for your credentials to be evaluated, you must submit an application, the correct fee, a photo copy of your Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint clearance card, official transcript(s), test results (if applicable) and any additional requirements specific to the certificate and or endorsement you want to apply for. If you do not meet Certification requirements, our office will provide you with a formal written evaluation informing you of the requirements you are lacking. We do not conduct evaluations over the counter.
If you would like to review the requirement sheets for the certificate you want to obtain please visit our website (Certification Requirements).
A: The Certification Unit requires original, official transcripts; however, we do not require that transcripts be in a sealed envelope. We suggest you open your transcript(s) to ensure your degree is posted and all grades have been posted for each class you have taken.
A: Arizona State Statute A.R.S. § 15-534 (B) requires that a certificate holder who applies for any certification service must have a valid fingerprint clearance card. In addition, effective January 1, 2008, per A.R.S. § 15-106, all teachers and persons who are required to be fingerprinted to work in the classroom are required to have an Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint clearance card. The IVP fingerprint card is a special type of card used only for people applying for the following:
- Certification through the Arizona Department of Education
- Charter School Instructor
- Tutors and Teacher Preparation Programs
Note: Valid non-IVP fingerprint clearance cards with an issue date prior to January 1, 2008, will be accepted by Certification.
The applicant must contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) by phone, fax or email (see below) to request an application packet for Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint clearance card. The required fee is $67.00, made payable to AZ DPS. DPS accepts money orders or cashier’s checks, only. DPS does NOT accept cash or personal checks.
Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) http://www.azdps.gov/Services/Fingerprint/
PO Box 18390
Phoenix, AZ 85005-8390
You may have your fingerprints rolled at a Police or Sheriff’s office in any state. The person rolling your fingerprints will collect your money order and be responsible for mailing your fingerprints and IVP application to DPS for processing. Once you have received your plastic, valid IVP card from DPS, please submit a photocopy of your fingerprint card along with your application for certification.
The applicant must contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 602-223-2279 or visit DPS online at Fingerprint Clearance Cards.
A: The processing time varies from two to twelve weeks depending on volume.
A: The Certification Unit does NOT accept out-of-state fingerprint cards. You will need to apply for an IVP fingerprint card by contacting DPS at 602-223-2279. You may have your fingerprints rolled at any Police or Sheriff’s office in any state. The person rolling your fingerprints will collect your money order and be responsible for mailing your card back to DPS for processing.
A: The Arizona Educator Exams are offered for professional knowledge and subject knowledge tests which are required for most teaching certificates. A proficiency assessment is also required for all Administrative certificates. For more information see: http://www.azed.gov/highly-qualified-professionals/aepa-to-nes-transition/
A: The Certification Unit accepts comparable teaching and administrative out-of-states exams. Please refer to the comparable out-of-state exam list for further information. In order for the Certification Unit to accept an out-of-state exam, the applicant must submit an original, official score report that documents that the applicant passed the exam (the score report should show “Pass” or “Passed”).
Arizona does not require a basic skills exam, therefore, out-of-state basic skills exams are not comparable.
A: An applicant can waive the Subject Knowledge exam if they have a Master’s degree in that subject area posted on an official transcript issued from an accredited college or university. However, applicants who have earned a Master’s in Elementary Education OR a Master’s in Early Childhood Education are NOT eligible to waive the corresponding Subject Knowledge exam
The Professional Knowledge exam requirement may be waived if the applicant has three years of full time teaching experience in the certificate area. Submit the “Verification of PreK-12 Teaching Experience” form signed by a personnel director or superintendent to document teaching experience.
A: Normally between two-six weeks for official results. See: http://www.azed.gov/highly-qualified-professionals/aepa-to-nes-transition/ for specific information or go to the site you will take your exam on.
A: See the page: http://www.azed.gov/highly-qualified-professionals/aepa-to-nes-transition/ for a listing of tests, where to register for them and general information.
A: Listing of Arizona State Board approved SEI training/coursework – http://www.azed.gov/english-language-learners/sei/endorsement-training/
A: Teaching Certificates: Elementary, Secondary, Early Childhood, Special Education, Career and Technical Education. Administrative Certificates: Principal, Superintendent, Supervisor.
** A full ESL or full Bilingual endorsement fulfills this requirement.
A: Substitute, Emergency Substitute, Guidance Counselor, Adult Education, School Psychologist, Speech-Language Technician, Speech-Language Pathologist, Athletic Coaching, JROTC.
- Complete an application for Duplicate Copy or Name Change Form (PDF file).
- Mail completed application and fee to the address on the form ($20 – check or money order, payable to ADE).
- Your copy should arrive in approximately 2-6 weeks, depending on volume.
- Complete an application for Change of Address Request (PDF file).
- Mail completed application to address on the form.
- We’ll update your address on file in approximately 1-2 weeks, depending on volume.
- Complete an application for Duplicate Copy or Name Change Form (PDF File).
- Mail completed application, supporting document, and fee to address on the form ($20 – check or money order, payable to ADE).
- A copy of your certificate with your new name should arrive in approximately 2-6 weeks, depending on volume.
A: Please contact the Highly Qualified Unit for further information (602) 364-1842 or visit them online at http://www.azed.gov/highly-qualified-professionals/
Call us at: (602) 542-4367
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online at: http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/
A: Generally, if you apply in person and all requirements are met and documents in order, we can complete the following services at our counter:
- Substitute Certificates
- Name Changes
- Address Changes
- Deficiency Renewals
- Duplicate Copy of Certificate
- One-Time Extensions of Provisional Certificates*
- Conversions of 3-year Provisional certificates to 6-year Standard certificates*
- Arizona Preparation Programs – Institutionally Recommended (IR) certificates & endorsements
- Adult Education Certificates
- Intern Certificate or extensions
* Except for Career and Technical Education (CTE) one-time extensions and conversions
A: Phoenix Location Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
State Service Holidays Observed:
New Year’s Day, January 1
Martin Luther King’s Birthday, the third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day, the third Monday in February
Memorial Day, the last Monday in May
Independence Day, July 4
Labor Day, the first Monday in September
Columbus Day, the second Monday in October
Veteran’s Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25
You may mail your application to:
ADE – Teacher Certification
PO Box 6490
Phoenix, AZ 85005-6490
A: Once a completed application packet is received it is processed by date in the order received. Complete applications usually have a prompt turnaround time. However, there are seasonal changes in processing times due to increased service requests; summer months of June-September are the busiest times. For this reason, please apply well in advance.
Please note, your certificate will be issued when your application is received; the issue date will not necessarily align with the school year.