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The Department has moved to 135 Santilli Highway in Everett. The Department's office and Licensure Welcome Center are open. The new location has free parking and is a short walk from the Wellington station on the MBTA's Orange Line.
Office of Educator Licensure

Process to Request a Waiver for Educator Licensure

Persons employed under hardship waivers must demonstrate that they are making continuous progress toward meeting the requirements for licensure in the field in which they are employed in order for additional waivers to be granted. How Continuous Progress is Defined

The Directory Administrator (DA) for your District, Collaborative or Approved Special Education Agency must follow these steps to obtain access to request a waiver on-line:

If you are the Directory Administrator and wish to set up the process for yourself or another user:

  1. Go to MassEdu Gateway/Security Portal
  2. Login and click "Applications List" and then choose "Directory Administration"
  3. Click on "Organizations"
  4. Click on your District, Collaborative or Agency name
  5. Click on "Members" and then select the individual you will be assigning the roles to
  6. Click on "Edit" next to "Assigned Security roles" and then check off the following two roles:
    • Educator Licensure (ELAR) – Inquiry
    • Educator Licensure (ELAR) – Waiver Request
  7. Click the "Save" button to apply your changes

Please note: Waivers can only be requested at the administrative (District/Agency) level. Waivers cannot be requested by school or program users.

If you are not the Directory Administrator and wish to obtain access to request a waiver:

Please go to the list of Directory Administrators for your organization type and reach out to them directly for assistance.

To request a waiver:

  1. Go to Office of Educator Licensure
  2. Login — You should see the Educator Licensure and Recruitment (ELAR) banner in the middle of the screen. Click on the image and Login to ELAR. This will bring you to the ELAR welcome page. Note: If you login through the MassEdu Gateway / ELAR security portal you will go to your own Personalized ESE Security Portal page. Once there, click on the Application List button in the left navigational bar and on the next screen, select the ELAR Welcome Page link
  3. Click on the link ELAR Welcome Page
  4. Click on "PreK-12 Waiver Request"
  5. Enter the Social Security number of the educator and click 'next'
  6. Select the school* where the waiver is needed and click 'next' *If the waiver is for a central office position such as a School Business Administrator, please select any school within the district.
  7. Select the field for which you would like to request a waiver. Note: You will only be able to request a waiver if the educator has applied for licensure in the area and at the grade level for which you wish to apply for the waiver. If they have not yet applied, they may do so on-line.
  8. If you are requesting a waiver for any non-special education teacher license, please complete steps 'i' and 'k.' If you are requesting a waiver for a special education teacher license, please complete steps 'i,' 'j,' and 'k.'
  9. Review and confirm (click on the boxes) the four sections of the authorization statements
  10. Review and confirm (click on the box) the applicable option related to IDEA*. *The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires all special education teachers to be either licensed or participating in a program leading to licensure with certain intensive supports. By submitting this waiver you affirm that either (Please select applicable option)
    • the district is supporting the candidate through the Structured Guidance and Supports (SG&S) Competency Review process to begin before the candidate begins to teach under the waiver and continuing throughout the period of the waiver; or
    • the candidate is enrolled in an approved educator preparation program for this licensure field, and the district is:
      • providing intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support for the candidate or a teacher mentoring program (the required first-year teacher induction program satisfies this requirement), and
      • ensuring that the candidate receives high-quality professional development that is sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused
    Please Note: if you request a first year waiver for a special education teacher and an additional waiver will be needed for a subsequent school year then the Department will be requesting evidence of the teacher's participation in the SG&S process or acceptance in an approved preparation program when the additional waiver is requested.
  11. Upload the 'Waiver Document' file into the educator's ELAR account: Refer to the following instructions for guidance if needed; (ELAR Document Upload Instructions)
    Please note that the 'Waiver Document' file must consist of:
    • Copy of job posting (must have been publicly posted for at least 14 days, sometime within the six months preceding the waiver request)
    • List of appropriately licensed applicants & explanations for not hiring them
    • Brief statement about qualifications of the chosen candidate


If you receive an error message stating that you are unable to request a waiver, you may want to ensure the following:

  • The educator has an application on file for the field, grade level and license type in which you are trying to request the waiver.
  • The field and grade level of licensure in which you are trying to request the waiver is not towards an application for either a "Temporary" or "Initial Extension" license.
  • The educator does not hold an active license in the field and at the grade level of the intended waiver request. For example, if the educator holds an Early Childhood PreK-2 "Preliminary "license, and also has an application on file for the "Initial" license in the same field and grade level of the waiver request, the system will not recognize the waiver request.

Last Updated: September 22, 2023

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

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.