Licensing

Renewing Your License
Upgrading Your License
Adding a License

Renewing Your License

North Carolina licenses must be renewed every five years. The renewal process ensures that professional school personnel continually update their professional knowledge and technical competency. Each license holder is responsible for knowing and satisfying license renewal requirements. Failure to renew a license makes one ineligible for employment.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are currently employed, your school system handles your renewal.

How to apply for renewal of license

All the information you need to apply for renewal of your license can be found in the Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) Update and Renew Your License area. If you prefer a renewal packet be mailed to you, please contact DPI's Licensure Section.

Credit required to renew a license

  • 10 semester hours or 15 units of renewal credit. Coursework must be directly related to an individual's area of licensure and/or professional responsibilities as a public school professional (e.g. classes in computers; reading; exceptional children; sign language; drug, alcohol or child abuse; CPR, first aid; classroom management; stress management; assertiveness training; effective teacher training; second languages; and AIDS education).

    • A unit of renewal credit is equivalent to one quarter hour or one in-service credit from a North Carolina public school system. Generally, a unit reflects ten contact hours.
    • One semester hour is equivalent to 1.5 units of credit.

  • For a license to remain current, all credit must be earned by the expiration date of the existing license. To renew an expired license, 10 semester hours or 15 units of renewal credit must be earned within the most recent five-year period.

Activities suitable for renewal credit

  • College or university courses (transcripts are required as documentation; grade reports are not accepted.)
  • Local in-service courses or workshops (the administrative unit certifies credits.)
  • Classes and workshops approved by an LEA (documentation of completion is provided by the agency sponsoring the activity.)
  • Teaching experience (one renewal credit is awarded for each year of full-time teaching completed during the 5-year renewal cycle. Part-time experience can be considered for renewal credit if it amounts to the equivalent of one year of full-time teaching.)

Keeping records of renewal credit

  • Individuals employed in a public school unit (or a nonpublic school authorized to administer staff development programs) should contact the superintendent, headmaster, or designated staff development coordinator about all renewal questions and recording of credits earned.
  • Individuals not currently employed in a public school unit (or a nonpublic school authorized to administer staff development programs) should maintain their own records of renewal credit until it is time to renew their license.

Questions about renewing your license?

The Department of Public Instruction's Licensure Section is available to answer your questions.

  • If you have a question or need more information, please contact the Licensure Section.
  • Phone: 1-800-577-7994 (callers within North Carolina) or
    919-807-3310 (callers outside North Carolina)

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Upgrading Your License

To upgrade the educational levels of an existing license, you will need the following:

  • An evaluation fee of $55.00. You may pay by personal check, money order, or certified check (made payable to the NC Department of Public Instruction) or by Visa or MasterCard. To pay by credit card, fill out the credit card payment form.


  • Form V (Verification by Institution: Completion of Approved Education Program). This form is to be filled out by the Dean of Education or Licensure Officer of the college or university where you completed your advanced degree work.


  • Transcripts of any degree not already on file in DPI's Licensure Section. Original transcripts must show the type of degree and the date it was awarded.

The evaluation fee for upgrading your license covers the applications for experience credit if the upgrade information and the experience application are sent together.

Assemble your application materials in the order listed above. Please do not fold, staple, or use paper clips to organize these materials or use highlighter pens. Doing so will slow down the automated application process and delay your response. Please mail the documents in a 9X12 envelope.

Materials may be mailed to:

Department of Public Instruction
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-6365

Questions about upgrading your license?

The Department of Public Instruction's Licensure Section is available to answer your questions.

  • If you have a question or need more information, please contact the Licensure Section.
  • Phone: 1-800-577-7994 (callers within North Carolina) or
    919-807-3310 (callers outside North Carolina)

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Adding a License

To add an area of licensure to an existing license, you will need the following:

  • An evaluation fee of $55.00. You may pay by personal check, money order, or certified check (made payable to the NC Department of Public Instruction) or by Visa or MasterCard. To pay by credit card, fill out the credit card payment form.


  • Form V (Verification by Institution: Completion of Approved Education Program). This form is to be completed by the college or university at which you finished your education program. If you hold an out-of-state license in the area to be added, you may submit a copy of that license instead of Form V. However, Form V is sometimes necessary in addition to an out-of-state license in order to establish eligibility.


  • Transcripts of earned degrees or course work leading to eligibility for an additional area of licensure. If an additional degree was earned to add the area, transcripts must show the type of degree and the date it was awarded. (Send original transcripts.)


  • Specialty area or subject assessment score if a Praxis test is required for the area being added. Individuals who complete an out-of-state education program may submit the application without a test score. You will be issued a temporary permit valid until June 30 of the school year in which the license is issued to meet testing requirements.


  • Form E (Verification of K-12 Educator Experience) if you are also applying for experience credit. Submit a separate form for each employer.

The evaluation fee for adding an area to your license covers the applications for experience credit if the upgrade information and the experience application are sent together.

Assemble your application materials in the order listed above. Please do not fold, staple, or use paper clips to organize these materials or use highlighter pens. Doing so will slow down the automated application process and delay your response. Please mail the documents in a 9X12 envelope.

Materials may be mailed to:

Department of Public Instruction
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-6365

Questions about adding a license?

The Department of Public Instruction's Licensure Section is available to answer your questions.

  • If you have a question or need more information, please contact the Licensure Section.
  • Phone: 1-800-577-7994 (callers within North Carolina) or
    919-807-3310 (callers outside North Carolina)

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Source: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction