Teacher Certification

Current Application Processing Timeline as of 5/12/2021:  At least 8 weeks

NOTE: Cash payments are not accepted


As of May 10th, 2021:
The OSDE will commence with live-scan fingerprints every day during regular business hours.


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.


Effective March 18, 2020 the Teacher Certification Office will be closed to all walk-in customers until further notice. This includes fingerprinting services. We apologize for any inconvenience. OSDE will still be answering phone calls from the main Teacher Certification line (405)521-3337, responding to emails and processing certification applications during regular business hours, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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

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

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, 2020, 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 thier 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- (limited- see NOTICE above)

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

The details are as follows:

  • We will temporarily be open for fingerprinting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9-3.
  • All applicants must make an appointment online, prior to their visit.  No unscheduled walk-ins will be taken.
  • Appointments will be available in 20 minute blocks between 9 am through 3 pm
  • If you arrive late for your appointment, we will print you when another 20 minute block is available.  If there are no other openings before 3:00, the applicant can choose to come back at 3 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

Temporary Certification Guidelines

During their monthly meeting held April 23, 2020, the State Board of Education granted the Oklahoma State Department of Education authority to issue a one-time, non-renewable Temporary Certificate during the 2020-21 school year, to applicants fitting the scenarios outlined in the following chartNOTE: Applicants for this certificate must not have any disqualifying circumstances in relation to their determined certification pathway (low GPA, failed professional educations courses, lack of work experience, etc.).






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 May 12, 2021