Applying for/Checking the Status of a License
Applying for a license
The quickest and easiest way to apply for Massachusetts licensure is via our Educator Licensure And Renewal (ELAR) portal. Please note: first-time users of the ELAR portal will need to create a profile prior to submitting an electronic application via ELAR.
Applicants who experience difficulties applying or submitting a payment for a license/endorsement in ELAR, have the option to download, print, and mail in (do not upload a licensure application into your ELAR account) a hard-copy of the form to the Office of Educator Licensure via standard mail methods. Please note that this submission method can involve a substantially longer processing time.
There is a $100 application fee for the first license. The fee for each additional application is $25.
Licensure applications undergo an initial evaluation once the following items have been received by the Office of Educator Licensure:
- Completed application
- Licensure fee
- Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL
- Official transcript (with verification of Bachelor's degree)
If a license is not approved after a first evaluation is conducted by our evaluator team, you will receive a detailed evaluation letter. This letter can be accessed via your ELAR account. To view the letter, log into ELAR, click on the Check license status and history, make a payment link on your ELAR Welcome page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the correspondence history button. There you should see your previous and most recent correspondence, notifying you of outstanding requirements and how you may satisfy those requirements.
Once you have applied for a license you can log into your ELAR account at any time to check the status of a license application, upload additional documents, and even view submitted documentation and correspondence.
Providing supporting documentation
Once you have applied for a license, you will need to upload (fastest method), mail, or fax all required supporting documentation to our office.
How to Upload documents in ELAR: A Step by Step Guide
Applicants seeking a Provisional, Initial, or Professional license, who have not already done so, should upload or send in:
Official copies of all college transcripts (*Official copies do not need to be in a sealed envelope. An official transcript/copy of official transcript must show the registrar's signature, degree conferred, and date degree is conferred (if applicable).
Please note: when uploading official copies of transcripts;
- Transcripts sent directly to the applicant from eSCRIP SAFE, (or any other provider of electronic transcripts) that lack a Registrar's signature, are not considered official for the purpose of licensure.
- Please make sure you upload both the front and back sides of each page, the Registrar's signature should be legible as well as the degree conferred and conferral date (if applicable).
- If your transcript is under a different name (first or last) then that in your ELAR account; please also upload proof of name change (marriage certificate/divorce certificate, etc.)
Applicants who have worked under a MA Initial license for three or more years and are now seeking a MA Professional license; as well as any other applicant who needs to verify employment under a license, should send in:
School-Based Employment Verification
For Out of State Applicants seeking a Temporary license please send in the following:
- Copy of teaching license/certificate from another state
- Completed copy of the School-based Employment Verification form (see above) verifying three years of employment under your valid out of state license
For Out of State Applicants seeking an Initial license through reciprocity (NASDTEC Interstate Agreement) please send in one the following:
Out-of-State Approved Program Verification Form (original copy should be mailed and not uploaded) or
- Copy of teaching license/certificate from another state and
- Completed copy of the School-based Employment Verification form (see above) verifying three years of employment (of the past seven years) under a comparable valid out of state license
If you are seeking licensure on the basis of foreign (non-U.S.) coursework and/or diploma(s), you will be required to provide the Office of Educator Licensure with a detailed equivalency report of all college-level coursework completed. Please note that independent evaluations must be conducted by a nationally recognized agency.
Supporting documentation should be:
- Directly uploaded: To upload documents into your ELAR account: Log into ELAR and select the 'Check license status and history, make a payment' link on your Welcome to ELAR homepage. Scroll to the bottom of the Inquiry - Activity Summary page to find the Upload Documents button.
- Mailed to:
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office of Educator Licensure
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
- Faxed to: (781) 338-3391
You will receive a confirmation email upon our receipt of your supporting documentation. However, if you would like to verify that we have received all requested documentation, please log into your ELAR account and select the Check license status and history, make payment link on your Welcome to ELAR homepage. Scroll to the bottom of the Inquiry - Activity Summary page to find the View Documents button in order to view your submitted documentation.
Sending in Required Documents FAQs
Checking the status of your application
You can log-in to your ELAR account to check the status of your licensure application at any time. The most common licensure statuses that you will see there include:
- Ready for Review: The application is waiting in queue to be evaluated.
- Pending: The application has been evaluated, and the Office of Educator Licensure is waiting for additional documentation and/or for you to pass all required MTEL tests.
- Not Ready: The application is waiting for one or more of the following: fee payment, passing score(s) on required MTEL, and/or submission of an official transcript.
- Inactive/Invalid or Invalid: The license has not been renewed by its expiration date. Certain situations permit the holder to accept a new position and work under an inactive license. If an educator fails to renew a license after the five years in which the license was inactive, the license becomes Invalid, and the educator is no longer eligible for any type of employment under that license, unless the school district obtains a waiver on that educator's behalf.
- Idle: An application that is not being actively pursued (applies only to applications placed on Idle status either by the applicant or by ESE). You must submit a Request to Reactivate Application Form to remove the Idle status from the application.
Request to Reactivate Application Form