Teacher license reciprocity allows candidates who hold an out-of-state license to earn a license in a receiving 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 improve reciprocity for certain teachers, but few states provide full reciprocity for all fully licensed teachers.

Education Commission of the States researched teacher license reciprocity in all states to provide four comprehensive resources:

  • 50-State Comparison: Click on the questions below to access 50-state comparisons for each of 11 data points, current through August 1, 2017.
  • State Profiles: Click here to view individual state profiles detailing all 11 data elements for a single state, current through August 1, 2017.
  • NEW! Data Visualization: Click here to explore our data set through our interactive web interface.
  • 50-State Review: Click here to read an overview brief summarizing the data trends across all 50 states.

Key Takeaways

  • Six 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-five states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) established differing requirements for experienced and inexperienced teachers, limiting licensure barriers for candidates meeting established experience requirements. Fourteen states plus D.C. require candidates with classroom experience provide evidence of effectiveness in past performance, oftentimes limiting barriers for candidates who can demonstrate success.
  • Thirty-one states require that some or all out-of-state teacher candidates take additional coursework or training prior to entering a classroom, or within a certain number of years of teaching. Forty-three states plus D.C. require that some or all out-of-state teacher candidates take additional assessments.

50-State Comparisons

  1. State licensure website
  2. State information on reciprocity
  3. Has the state signed the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement?
  4. Does the state have full reciprocity by statute for out-of-state teachers?
  5. Does the state have additional coursework requirements in place for out-of-state teachers?
  6. Does the state provide a test-out or other exemption option for coursework requirements?
  7. Does the state have additional assessment requirements in place for out-of-state teachers?
  8. Does the state have different requirements in place for experienced and inexperienced out-of-state teachers?
  9. Does the state require out-of-state teachers with experience provide evidence of effectiveness?
  10. Does the state provide special reciprocity for out-of-state teachers with advanced credentials?
  11. Does the state provide special reciprocity (or other supports) for military spouses?
  12. All data points for all states

Related Resources

 PUBLISHED: September 18, 2017




 STATE(S): Nationwide

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