Licensure Pathways


    Welcome to Durham Public Schools Licensure Department!  Our #1 Goal is to develop and support highly qualified licensed educators!



    NC Instate Graduates License:

    • Completion of an approved education program through a college/university and have successfully completed all course work and appropriate testing. The university must recommend for the NC license.

    Out of State Applicants:  

    Reciprocal licensing plans allow educators from outside North Carolina to establish eligibility for licensing in this state. Reciprocity applies to the extent that out-of-state education programs from regionally accredited colleges and universities are equivalent to North Carolina’s standards for approved education programs.

    Permit to Teach License: ( PtT)

    • Must be employed by a local school district
    • Hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from a regional accredited university
    • One year non-renewable license

    Emergency License ( EL)

    • Must be employed by a local school district
    • Hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from regional accredited university
    • 18 semester hours in the subjects of Math, Science, Social Studies, English
    • One year non-renewable license

    Residency License ( RL):

    • Replaces the Lateral Entry
    • Must be employed by a local school district
    • Hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from regional accredited university
    • 24 semester hours or NCSBE licensure area exams
    • Must possess a minimum of a 2.7 GPA
    • Enrolled in Education Preparation Program ( EPP)
    • One year, with option to renew twice, within no more than a 3 year period license

    Career-Technical Education (CTE)

    • Career-Technical Education (CTE) licensure pathway is based on full-time documented work experience and high school diploma or degree depending on the licensure area.  Licensure completion may be through a NC university approved teacher education program or NCDPI may outline the specific requirements.  CTE license completion is required within 3 school years including Praxis II test for specific areas.


    Licensure Contact:


    Who should apply for the NC teaching/educator license?

    • Out of State Applicants - fully licensed teachers/educators
    • Instate Graduates (NC graduates of an approved education program with student teaching included in the program).

    Apply for your own license online with DPI.

    Provisional License, Career Technical Education License, Permit to Teach, Emergency License and Residency License require employment first and must be submitted by the district’s Licensure Analyst.

    How do I qualify for a North Carolina license?

    The standard basis for licensure is the completion of an approved education program at a regionally accredited college.  Out of State applicants qualify for a North Carolina license based on reciprocity which allows educators to be licensed  in North Carolina based on completion of education program and the other state license.

    What tests do I need to obtain a North Carolina license?

    • NC Pearson Test for Elementary Education and Exceptional Children General Curriculum areas  are Foundations of Reading and Math subtest 7803 or Praxis II Math test 7803.  In addition, for Exceptional Children Praxis II test number 5543.
    • Praxis II test  Middle Grades, Secondary and other K-12 areas  ( including Exceptional Children General Curriculum)

    Will my previous experience be credited to my North Carolina license?

    Yes.  Experience must be properly documented using the Form E (Verification of K-12 Educator Experience Form) for professional educator experience from an out-of-state school, private school, or charter schools.  All experience forms should be completed by the previous employer.

    Pay is determined by the number of years on your NC license at the time of your hire and once additional years are added, pay is retroactively adjusted back to the start date of employment during the fiscal year of approved experience.

    What is the initial fee and form of payment for a North Carolina license application?

    • Out of State and initial license fees are  $100.00
    • NC Instate graduate license fee $ 70.00
    • Additional fees required when amending the license.

    Fees are paid by Credit Card only and must be submitted online through the NCDPI online system

    How long will it take to receive the North Carolina License?

    You will receive your license up to 3–5 months after submission and payment to NCDPI.  Once license is process, a hard copy can be printed from the NCDPI online system.

    Requirement letters are also sent at the time.  Pay close attention to the requirement letter as it will detail your next steps.

    What documents are required for a North Carolina license application?

    Out of State Applicants:  (Have documents ready to submit on the NCDPI online system

    • Copy of out of state license or Form V (verification by institution)
    • All legible official degree dated transcripts
    • K-12 experience forms from out of state school, charter and or private ( Form E)
    • Post- Secondary Experience Form ( if applicable)

    Instate NC Graduates: contact the college/university licensure officer where the approved education program was completed for instructions.

    How do I renew my NC License?

    • A CPL (Continuing Professional License) license has a 5-year renewal cycle.  
    • Must meet the continuing education credits (CEUs) approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education (see renewal requirements)
    • Beginning Teachers do not have a renewal cycle until after completion of the Beginning Teacher Induction Program.
    • Please contact Lois Murphy for guidance on updating your CEU History and available workshops to fulfill the renewal requirements:
      • Lois Murphy, CEU Specialist Professional Development

    A processing fee of $35 is required for all CPL (Continuing Professional License) to renew for the next five year license.

    See Master's Level Pay Request - Eligibility Criteria


    Renewal Requirements for Continuing License Holders:

    Renewal and Reinstatement Guidelines

    **The definition of teacher includes instructional support personnel


    Credits required to Renew Continuing licenses expiring on or after June 30, 2019


    Grades K-8

    ·       3 Academic Subject Area – Aligned to NC Prof. Teaching Standard 3 and 4

    ·       3 Literacy - As defined in GS 115C-296

    ·       2 Digital Learning Competencies


    Grades 9-12

    ·       3 Academic Subject Area - Aligned to NC Prof. Teaching Standard 3 and 4

    ·       2 Digital Learning Competencies

    ·       3 General

    Teachers earning National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification or completing the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification process receive 8 renewal credits. Educators who complete the ten year national board renewal cycle may earn two credits.



    ·       3 Executive's Role - Align with the expectations of the North Carolina School Executive Standards 2, 4, and 5, focused on the school executive's role as instructional, human resources, and managerial leader

    ·       2 Digital Learning Competencies

    ·       3 General

    *Subject to change based on NC State Board of Education policy updates

    Renewal Criteria:

    • A unit of renewal credit is equivalent to one quarter hour or one in-service credit from a North Carolina public school system. A unit reflects ten contact hours.
    • One semester hour is equivalent to 1.5 units of credit.
    • For a professional educator's license to remain current, all credit must be earned by the expiration date of the existing professional educator's license.
    • To renew an expired Professional Educator's Continuing License, 8 units of renewal credit must be earned.

    Activities accepted for renewal credit:

    • College or university courses
      • Official transcripts are required as documentation; grade reports are not accepted.
    • Local in-service courses or workshops
      • The administrative unit certifies credits.
    • Classes and workshops approved by an LEA
      • Documentation of completion is provided by the agency sponsoring the activity.



    NC Pearson :

    NC Approved EPP Teacher Education Programs:

    Form E (Verification of K-12 Educator Experience)

    Form V (Verification by Institution Form)