Emergency License and Emergency Permit

An emergency license may be issued to an applicant who holds a valid Wisconsin educator license but is being asked to teach outside of the subject and/or grade level of his/her license. An emergency license is issued for the specific assignment in a specific school year.

An emergency permit may be issued to an applicant who holds a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university but has not completed an approved educator preparation program to be eligible for a Wisconsin educator license.

The application for an emergency license/permit must be requested by the employing school district after making every effort to fill the vacancy with a licensed teacher.

The teacher who holds an emergency license/permit must work towards getting fully licensed for the subject and grade level of the assignment by enrolling in an approved educator preparation program. Other pathways may be available for the teacher to obtain full licensure. Please see the Pathways to Licensure page for more information.

An emergency license/permit is issued for a period not to exceed 1 year expiring on June 30 of the school year unless otherwise specified.  It may be renewed upon justified request from the employing school district if the educator has enrolled in an approved educator preparation program.

Note: The DPI cannot issue emergency license/permit for Speech & Language Pathology.

Justification of the Request

In order for the DPI to consider emergency applications, school districts must make every effort to fill vacancies with fully-licensed teachers. The burden of assuring that schools have qualified staff rests with employing administrators. The DPI will not accept a first-time request for emergency license/permit if a district has a fully-licensed teacher in that subject and/or grade level available, unless justification is provided as to why the fully-licensed teacher is unacceptable. The DPI also will not accept a first-time request for emergency license/permit for a teacher on staff with seniority, when a less senior but fully-licensed teacher has been laid off.

Furthermore, the DPI does not accept budget constraints as a valid reason for requesting emergency license/permit. When considering licensed candidates from outside the district, salary concerns based on years-of-service must be negotiated (commensurate with the collective bargaining agreement or employee handbook) before an emergency license/permit is requested for an unlicensed candidate. If the licensed candidate rejects the district’s offer, then candidates who are unlicensed in that subject and/or grade level may be considered.

Highly Qualified Status

A teacher on emergency license/permit for a teaching assignment in a core subject area is considered highly qualified only if:

  1. The educator has demonstrated content knowledge in the core subject(s) that s/he will be teaching,
  2. The educator is enrolled in an approved educator preparation program that will be completed in three years, and
  3. The district provides high quality professional development before and while teaching and intensive supervision or mentoring while teaching.

The information about highly qualified status must be included in the application (page 2B) for teachers who are assigned to teach core subject area under emergency license/permit.

License Application Requirements

To apply for an emergency license:

  • Applicant must hold a Wisconsin educator license.
  • The application must be completed by both the applicant and the employing school/school district. The school/school district must complete the PI-1602-EL Page 2B form, including justification of the request and a statement that a search was conducted for a fully licensed teacher without success.

To apply for an emergency permit:

  • Applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Submit original transcript(s) with the application.
  • The application must be completed by both the applicant and the employing school/school district. The school/school district must complete the PI-1602-EL Page 2B form, including justification of the request and a statement that a search was conducted for a fully licensed teacher without success.

License Renewal Requirements

To renew an emergency license:

  • The renewal application must be must be completed by both the applicant and the employing school/school district. The school/school district must complete the PI-1602-EL Page 2B form, including justification for the renewal of the emergency license.
  • The applicant must have completed at least 6 semester credits or the equivalent coursework toward completion of an approved program in the area of the emergency license.
  • A certifying officer from the educator preparation program where the applicant is enrolled must provide Institutional Verification on the PI-1602-EL Page 2B form.

To renew an emergency permit:

  • The renewal application must be must be completed by both the applicant and the employing school/school district. The school/school district must complete the PI-1602-EL Page 2B of the application including justification for the renewal of the emergency permit and a statement that a search was once-again conducted for a fully licensed teacher without success.
  • The applicant must have completed at least 6 semester credits or the equivalent of coursework toward completion of an approved program in the area of the emergency permit.
  • A certifying officer from the educator preparation program where the applicant is enrolled must provide Institutional Verification on the PI-1602-EL Page 2B form.

Application Process 

To apply and renew an emergency license: ELO System.

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