- What is WAMS?
- Does it matter what browser I use?
- Which application should I use?
- What is "onboarding"?
- Where can I find the status of my license application?
- How long does it take to process my license application?
- How do I know that DPI received everything for my application?
- Will DPI accept paper applications?
- What are my options if I did not have my completed PDP verified or my 6 semester credits finished before my license expires?
- How do I know if I have to do a Professional Development Plan (PDP) or if I renew with 6 credits?
- When will I receive my new license certificate? Will DPI mail me a copy?
- What tests do I need to take for my Wisconsin license application?
- How can I get stipulations removed from my license?
- How can I get my name changed on my license?
- What if I need help using ELO?
- If my license expired and I have not been teaching, how do I renew my license?
- I hold a life license and it shows that it is now “invalid” on the ELO Public Search. What should I do to make it valid again?
- How much will my license cost?
- What do some of the terms in ELO mean?
- Should I apply for a permit or a license?
- What if I don't have a credit card?
- What if I have more than one supporting document to upload?
- How do I get a copy of my current license?
- What do I do if my transcripts are in a password protected PDF file?
What is WAMS?
WAMS is a state-wide ID system also used for hunting and fishing licenses. In order to use the ELO application system, you must have a WAMS account. Click for Instructions to create a WAMS ID.
Does it matter what browser I use?
ELO works best when used with Windows 7 or 8 on a desktop or laptop and one of the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 22, or Chrome 28 (or a higher version of any of these browsers). Using ELO on Macintosh OS X or on mobile devices may result in unexpected behavior.
Please review the list of applications at http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/licensing/elo to see if the application you need is available. If you are applying for a license for the first time, or an additional license category (teacher, pupil services, administrator), you will need to apply for an “initial license.” Note that there are separate applications for candidates who completed their programs in Wisconsin or out-of-state.
If you are renewing a license, you will apply for a renewal. Renewals are automatically generated in your ELO account once you successfully complete the onboarding process. If you are advancing a license from Initial Educator level to the Professional Educator level, you will apply to “advance” your license. If your license expired two or more years ago, you will need to apply to have your license reactivated. This application type is known as “Return to active.” Some educators need extensions because they have not completed their renewal requirements before their license expires. This application type is known as a one-year extension.
What is "onboarding"?
Onboarding is the critical process of connecting your current/previous licenses to your WAMS ID. You must do this successfully in order to renew or reactivate a license. Please read the Onboarding Instructions.
When you submitted the application, you should receive an email from the ELO system, confirming the submission. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam inbox. When your license is approved, you will receive a separate approval email. If we have questions about your application or if something is missing, a member of the TEPDL team will contact you. Otherwise, you can go into your ELO account and see if the license was issued.
Our online license lookup page also indicates when an educator is an "Applicant" for a new license and when a renewal/extension is pending. Please also refer to the question above on processing time.
Because we are still implementing the ELO system, we cannot provide reliable timelines for application processing at this time. Please note that additional time may be needed if not all materials were received with the application, if questions were not answered completely, or if the application must be routed for additional background check information.
Applicants receive an email confirmation that summarizes their license application. This email serves as confirmation that we received your application. If you reviewed the tip sheets and followed all the screens in the application, you generally included everything. If something is missing, we will contact you.
No, DPI cannot accept paper applications. All applications are received through ELO and paid through the ELO system.
If an educator does not complete the renewal requirements before the license is due to expire, he/she may request a one-year extension. This license is non-renewable. Therefore, if an educator has a one-year extension, he/she must have their completed PDP verified or complete their credits before the one-year extension expires. When the requirements are met, the educator may request the “upgrade of a 1-year license to a 5-year renewable” license.
Educators who completed their preparation programs before August 31, 2004, may renew their licenses by completing either a verified PDP or 6 semester credits (also known as the Self-reported professional development in the ELO screens). Educators who completed their programs after August 31, 2004, must complete a verified PDP to advance and renew their licenses.
Another way to tell is to use our online license lookup page and check your License Status. Licenses with a "PI 3 Process" may be renewed with either a PDP or credits, while licenses with a "PI 34 Process" must be renewed with a PDP.
You should be able to print your certificate as soon as you receive the email from the ELO system that your application has been approved. Please note that the license file you download is usually two pages, with your current license being the first page and your new license being the second. DPI is no longer mailing certificates. School districts can view issued licensee information on our online license lookup page.
Please review our web page on testing. In general, applicants need to pass a Basic Skills test and a Praxis II subject test for licensure. As of January 31, 2014, all applicants for early childhood, elementary/regular education, special education, reading teacher, and reading specialist must pass the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test. Registration information and testing fees are found on the appropriate testing vendor/administrator websites as you register for the tests. Out-of-state applicants must also pass the tests required by the state in which their teacher education program is located.
At the time you apply to renew or advance your license, you may request that stipulations be removed. Please attach documentation that you have completed the stipulations. In the future, ELO will have a separate application that users can use to apply to have stipulations removed in the middle of a license cycle.
Right now, users can request a name change while they are renewing their license. In the future, this option will be available so that users can request it mid-license cycle.
We strongly encourage you to review the ELO website and the related tips, videos, and technical assistance at http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/licensing/elo. If additional assistance is needed, please contact the ELO Help Desk and explain the issue you are having. We respond to inquiries and requests for assistance in the order they are received and try to do so within three business days.
If you hold an Initial Educator License and were not employed at least three of the five years of your license, you may request that we “reissue” your Initial Educator License.
Those with a Professional Educator License may request the “Return to active” option if they have completed a verified PDP or 6 semester credits* of professional development/college coursework in the five years preceding the effective date of the new license. If the required professional development has not been compelted, the educator may apply for a 5-year substitute license.
*Note: The 6 credit option is only available for PI 3 licenses unless the educator with a PI 34 license has been out of the field of education for more than 5 years.
If your life license is invalid and you have been working or teaching in a public or private school in the past five years, you can contact the TEPDL team and one of us will work with you to get your license revalidated. If you have not been working in a school in the past five years, you will need to demonstrate that you were still actively involved in the field by providing evidence of 6 semester credits of coursework/professional development in the past five years.
Please see our Licensing Fees web page.
- INITIAL = first time request for a license
- ADVANCE = move from an Initial Educator License to a Professional Educator License
- EXTEND (also called Downgrade or Extension) = add one additional year to a 5-year Initial Educator License or a 5-year Professional Educator License because the educator did not complete the required professional development
- REACTIVATE (also called Return to Active) = renewing a Professional Educator License after it has been expired for more than one year
- REISSUE = issue another 5-year Initial Educator License because the educator did not complete three years of work experience
- RENEW = issue a new 5-year Professional Educator License based on completion of required professional development
- REVALIDATE = the process of making a Life License valid again after it has been invalidated due to the educator not working in the field for five consecutive years
- UPGRADE = renew to a new 5-year Professional Educator License after having a 1 year Professional Educator License and completing the required professional development
If you are able to scan them all as one document and keep the file size under 2MB, that would be best. If not, you can attach one document, submit the application, log back into ELO, and then use the Additional Documents screen to upload the rest.
Since educators can now go online and print a copy of their licenses, we no longer mail them. You will need to create an account for our Educator Licensing Online system. Please note that license certificates are only available when the license status is either Current or Next License Cycle Approved. Steps to print the certificate:
- Access your ELO Account
- Navigate to the “Manage your license information” section of the Quick Start Menu
- Choose “Print license certificate” from the drop down menu and click “Select”
- Based on your browser’s default behavior, a file will be available for you to open or download.
Please extract your transcripts from the file and send that to us. Directions are at http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/licensing/elo-password-protected-transcripts-tips.