Licensing – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I apply for a Substitute license now? Is it faster than waiting for my full license?

A: No. If you are waiting on your degree, test scores, or recommendation from BSU, do not apply for your Substitute license. PELSB discourages this as it may slow down your Tiered licensure application and you wind up paying two application fees. Initial licenses (Sub or Tier) require your 4-year degree to be posted, fingerprinting and a background check, and PELSB has 30 days to process your application either way. The only difference between a Sub license and a Tier license is the recommendation from BSU.

Q: How long does the licensure process take?

A: If you have submitted all required documentation (including testing, relevant transcripts, and plans of study) and your degree has been posted, the BSU portion takes 1-2 weeks. This varies depending on the time of year. Once you send everything to PELSB and they receive the results of your background check, PELSB has 30 days to process your application. From PELSB: “The statutorily-required 30-day processing window for a license does not begin until PELSB has received all application materials and a completed background check. PELSB is asking applicants, school districts, and charter schools to wait at least 30 days before contacting our office for an application status check. PELSB licensing staff will contact applicants with questions or updates about applications when necessary. Waiting to contact PELSB will allow our staff to process licenses in shorter time frames. PELSB appreciates your patience and cooperation as we continue to work on processing license applications as quickly as possible.”

Q: I’ve been offered a long-term subbing position. What license should I apply for?

A: If your degree has been awarded you may apply for a Tier 2 license, the school district applies jointly with you. If you’ve attempted all required tests and have official scores on file BSU may recommend you for the Tier 2 license. This will grandfather you in against future licensure changes.

Q: I’m a Special Education or FasTrack student and/or I already have a 4-year degree. What should I do?

A: If you already have a 4-year degree, you do not need to wait for BSU to ‘award your degree’ before applying for your license. However, the Certification Officer will need an approved plan of study on file, signed by your advisor or program director, confirming you’ve completed the coursework and field experience requirements. Also, if you are using courses from other institutions, make sure BSU has those transcripts on file.

Q: What are the most common delays to receiving your license?

A: Not taking your tests in a timely manner is the most frequent cause of delayed licensure. Take your tests as soon as possible.
A: Not sending your entire application packet to PELSB in ONE envelope (sending pieces at a time causes delays and risks losing pieces).
A: Not signing your application with actual pen ink.

Q: I’m getting married/just married/changing my name. What should I put on the application for PELSB? 

A: Use whatever your name will be during the processing time. If your name changes after your license has been issued, you’ll need to complete the PELSB Name Change Authorization Form. Please also make sure to complete the BSU Name Change Form.

Q: I have another question, not addressed above or on any of the licensure pages. Who can I contact?

A: Email: Teaching.License@bemidjistate.edu

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