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Emergency License Available for Educators

The Department is pleased to announce that Governor Baker has signed special legislation, Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2020, creating an emergency license. This license will help aspiring educators looking to join the profession, people who hold a license in one category (teacher, administrator, specialist teacher, or professional support personnel) who have been prevented by COVID-19 from qualifying for a license in another category, and school districts looking to bring on new hires.

The emergency license will be valid for employment in the 2020-21 school year and will expire on June 30, 2021. The license is designed to assist candidates who are impacted by the COVID-19 state of emergency and the inability to satisfy certain aspects of the licensure requirements, such as a passing score on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) or Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL).

The requirements for obtaining an emergency license will depend on the specific license(s) an applicant pursues. For example, most "academic" teacher licenses will require a bachelor's degree, while an administrator license will typically require a bachelor's degree and at least three years of experience in executive management/leadership or in a supervisory, teaching, or administrative role in a school. A vocational teacher, currently, will also need a bachelor's degree and, where necessary, a professional trade license for that field. An emergency license will also be available to those seeking their first vocational administrator license.

The cost for an emergency license will follow the typical fee structure, which is $100.00 for the first application and $25.00 for each additional application. Please note that the emergency license is not available for endorsements. The Licensure Office will accept applications up to 180 days following the end of the state of emergency, but not beyond June 30, 2021.

The emergency license is now available to apply for in ELAR (Educator Licensure and Renewal), and additional information has been posted as a headline at Office of Educator Licensure.

An overview of the requirements for each emergency license can be found at:

Last Updated: August 25, 2020

Contact Us

Parents and guardians questions can be directed to

District and school staff's questions can be directed to:

MTEL questions can be directed to

Questions related to educator licensure in Massachusetts, please call the Licensure Call Center: 781-338-6600, Hours: Monday-Friday 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.