Teacher license reciprocity allows educators who hold a teaching license in one state to earn a license in another state, subject to meeting state-specific requirements. Reciprocity agreements allow states to work through variations in licensing systems to coordinate license transfers and fill vacant teaching positions with qualified candidates. Most states have policies in place to extend reciprocity for certain teachers, but few states provide full reciprocity for all fully licensed teachers from other states.
Click on the questions below to access 50-State Comparisons for each data point, current as of June 2020. Or, choose to view a specific state’s approach by visiting the individual state profiles page.
- Eight states offer full teacher license reciprocity for all eligible, fully licensed teachers. In these states, fully licensed out-of-state teachers, regardless of experience, are immediately eligible to receive a standard teaching license and are subject to few or no additional requirements.
- Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia differentiate requirements for experienced and inexperienced teachers, limiting licensure barriers for candidates meeting established experience requirements. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia require candidates with classroom experience to provide evidence of effectiveness in past performance, oftentimes limiting barriers for candidates who can demonstrate prior success.
- Thirty-one states require some or all out-of-state teacher candidates to take additional coursework or training prior to entering a classroom or within a certain number of years of teaching. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia require that some or all out-of-state teacher candidates take additional assessments.
- Thirty-eight states offer special reciprocity for military spouses.
- State licensure websites
- Has the state signed the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement?
- Does the state have full reciprocity by statute for out-of-state teachers?
- Does the state require out-of-state teachers to take additional coursework?
- Does the state require out-of-state teachers to take additional assessments?
- Does the state have different requirements based on candidate experience or effectiveness?
- Does the state provide special reciprocity for out-of-state teachers with advanced credentials?
- Does the state provide special reciprocity (or other supports) for military spouses?
- All data points for all states
- State Information Request: Addressing Teacher Shortages Through Licensure Flexibility
- 50-State Comparison: Teacher Recruitment and Retention
- 50-State Comparison: Teacher Leadership and Licensure Advancement
- Targeted Teacher Recruitment (Policy Snapshot)
- Teacher Shortages: What We Know (Policy Brief)
PUBLISHED: June 24, 2020
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison