Teacher Certification

Current Application Processing Timeline as of 12/31//2021:  Approximately 4-6 weeks

NOTE: Cash payments are not accepted

NOTICE: The Teacher Certification Section will be closed to ALL walkins (including fingerprinting) until Tuesday, Jan. 11th.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Teacher Certification office ensures that educators are properly credentialed and provides technical assistance to school districts, teachers, and college administrators regarding certification.


The PPAT will NOT  be required for school counselor certification.  A new alternative assessment (FOR SCHOOL COUNSELOR CANDIDATES ONLY) to be used in place of the OPTE and PPAT is currently in the works.  Because the new assessment is not ready at this time, the OPTE will be made available (FOR SCHOOL COUNSELOR CANDIDATES ONLY) for two testing windows in Spring 2022.
ATTENTIONAlternative certified individuals holding a non-standard certificate- If you have not passed the OPTE or PPAT, the OPTE is no longer offered and the PPAT must be passed before moving to a standard certificate.  The registration deadline for this semester's PPAT is February 2, 2022.  After this date, it will not be offered again until Fall 2022. So, if your certificate expires June, 2022, registration is a MUST.  Information about the PPAT can be found at https://www.ok.gov/oeqa/Certification_Testing/PPAT_Information/index.html
12/16/2021-UPDATEOPTE registration is now open for SCHOOL COUNSELOR CANDIDATES ONLY.  Click here to register: http://www.ceoe.nesinc.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_Tests.html

As of May 10th, 2021, the OSDE is open during regular business hours 8-4:30, M-F.  The Teacher Certification Office has opened back up to walk-in applicants, as well.  However, we are still requesting that all non-vaccinated guests continue to wear masks. If you are coming late in the day, please try to arrive by 4:15.
NOTE: This does NOT apply to fingerpriting, which remains by appointment only.

NEW:  Paraprofessional credentials have been added to OECS. District Superintendent and District Human Resources roles in OECS will now be able to recommend paraprofessional candidates for Tier 1 and Tier 2 Paraprofessional credentials.  Districts can start the recommendation process by clicking on the "Manage Your Paraprofessional Recommendations".  Once the educator is recommended the educator will be able to apply online using their recommendation tile.

Teach in Oklahoma
Why teach?

Here are some reasons why teachers say they choose this noblest of professions:

  1. Make a difference in the life of a child
  2. Ability to give endless possibilities for success
  3. Reap daily rewards of joy
  4. Opportunities to lead
  5. Build stronger communities
  6. Share a passion for learning

Take it from one of Oklahoma's best teachers:

"Teaching is one of the most challenging careers, yet it is one of the most important professions. Being a teacher is about making positive, lasting impressions and indelible marks. Creating the foundation for my students that will build the rest of their lives upon is an honor. Without teachers, there would be no other profession."
- Mara Richards
Durant Middle School
2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalist

Contact Us

Oklahoma State Department of Education
Teacher Certification

2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, #212
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4599

Phone: (405) 521-3337

Hot Topics:

1. HOUSE BILL 3398 in effect now!!

This bill requires any teacher who does not have a background check on file with the OSDE to obtain one before qualifying to renew their certificate.  Additionally,this bill mandates ANY school district employee hired prior to July 1, 2010, who does not have a background check on file with the OSDE, to obtain one by June 30, 2022.

WHAT'S NEW: School administrators and Human Resource staff now have a tab on their OECS dashboard which allows them to view all certified and support staff within their districts who do not have a background check on file with the OSDE.

2. Background Checks-

As of May 10, 2021 we are resuming live-scan fingerprinting M-F, during regular business hours by appointment only.  Please refer to the Background Check page for registration information.

The details are as follows:

  • All applicants must make an appointment online, prior to their visit.  No unscheduled walk-ins will be taken.
  • Appointments will be available in 10 minute blocks between 8 am through 4:10 pm.
  • If you are scheduled for the incorrect service code, we will reschedule your appointment and try to print you the same day if time allows.
  • The service codes & registration website are listed below under "Important Notice"
  • If you arrive late for your appointment, we will print you when another 10 minute block is available.  If there are no other openings before 4:10, the applicant can choose to come back at 4pm or reschedule.
  • If here for Dual Processing, the applicant needs to bring this form, completed by their district when they arrive. https://sde.ok.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Final%20NCHRC_4.docx


Emergency Certification Guidance (NOTE: Do not submit emergency certification requests for the 2021-22 school year until after May 31st, 2021. Any submitted before that date will be cancelled and districts will have to initiate the process again, after that date)



Important Notice

Effective January 1, 2020, the $53.94 fee for the certification and employment background checks will increase to $57.25. Please continue to make checks payable to Idemia.

All applicants must now pre-register on the IdentoGO website (https://ok.ibtfingerprint.com/) prior to being printed, regardless if the printing is done at a satellite site or the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). Applicants cannot be printed without the registration ID number that the website will provide after the registration is complete. Also, when registering, there will be a "Service Code Entry" screen and the following codes must be entered according to the purpose needed.

 "School District Employment" service code is 2B7KRR

"Teacher Certification" service code is 2B7KS5

"Dual Processing" (only available at OSDE) service code is 2B7KTN

Idemia will now offer Out-of-State digital fingerprinting services (if available in your area). You may register online at the IdentoGO website.

Furthermore, the Department of Education will no longer process physical fingerprint cards for the $57.25 payment option at our site for any purposes. All cards completed with the $57.25 payment option should be sent directly to IdentoGO by the applicant. Instructions on how to send the cards along with the address are provided on the IdentoGO website. Please note, we will still offer the $45 OSBI employment background check option. Please continue to send those to the OSDE.

If you have any questions, contact 405-521-3337 and ask to be transferred to fingerprinting office.

New background check rule for the dual results policy-Effective July 1st, 2017
Senate Bill 29 alleviates the fingerprinting process for new school district employees that meet the following criteria...; "provided that a board of education shall not be required to obtain a new criminal history record check for an individual who has obtained certification from the State Department of Education within the previous twelve (12) months."
What this means:
A school district that hires a new employee who has been certified for the first time in Oklahoma within 12 months of their hire date does not have to conduct a new background check on the employee.
Furthermore, as of July 1, 2017, the Oklahoma State Department of Education will no longer be allowed to disseminate the results of certification background checks to public school districts (commonly referred to as dual results) except for the following conditions; if the applicant wishes to be fingerprinted for both certification and employment, this must be made known at the time they are fingerprinted. The applicant must provide a completed Application for National Criminal History Record Check along with their fingerprints. This process can only be completed by visiting the Department of Education in person or by mailing in fingerprint cards with this completed National Criminal History Record Check form from the district.

In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). As a result of this action, Oklahoma has been afforded a transition year for the 2016-17 school year while ESSA guidelines are established. Please follow the links below for guidance on how regular education and special education teaching assignments should be made for this school year.

Other Notices

Further Services

Highly Qualified Teacher (HOUSSE)
Resources on the requirement that teachers be highly qualified who teach a core academic subject.

National Board Certification (NBPTS)
Resources on how to become NBPTS certified

Further Resources
Miscellaneous information and forms provided for administrators and teachers on topics of certification

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Last updated on January 10, 2022