Substitute License

One-Year or Five-Year Substitute Teaching License (New or Renewal)

Qualified individuals may receive either a one-year or five-year substitute teaching license upon the request and recommendation of:

  • An employing superintendent of an educational service center or a city, local, exempted village or joint vocational school district; or
  • The governing authority of a chartered nonpublic school or community school.

Preliminary steps for first-time or renewal of substitute licenses

  1. Contact a school or district. Please DO NOT apply for this license (new or renewal) through ODE’s online system until you have completed the two steps below; failure to do so will result in your application being declined. The steps are:
  • Complete the employment process at the Ohio school or district where you are interested in serving as a substitute teacher.
  • Notify the school or district that you will be selecting them to electronically sign your license application.  
  1. Do you need a transcript sent? If you are applying for a NEW long-term or short-term substitute license, you will need to have an official transcript (no photocopies) uploaded to document your academic qualifications.
  • Please scan and upload your official transcript.  Transcripts from institutions at which you received a degree should clearly indicate the date your degree was conferred.  All uploaded transcripts should be legible, complete (all pages of the transcripts should be included, front and back) and include the registrar's signature.  When scanning a multi-page transcript, please create one document file that includes all pages of the transcript.  If you are uploading more than one transcript, each transcript should be a separate document.  Note: We cannot accept grade reports.
  • A teacher who has an expired educator license but wishes to teach in the same area of the previous license will not need to provide transcripts.
  1. Do you have a current background check? All licensed educators must have a current background check for a license to be issued. For more information, click here.
  2. Review the Complete list of License Type and Teaching Field Codes for Substitute Licenses here.
  3. Understand the requirements for each substitute license type.
  • Short-term substitute license. This license may be issued to the holder of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education. An individual holding a short-term substitute license may teach in a given classroom for no more than five days. For periods longer than five days, an individual with a long-term substitute license must be employed.
  • Long-term substitute license. A long-term substitute license may be issued to the holder of a baccalaureate degree who has evidence of appropriate coursework as follows:
    • Early Childhood (preK to Grade 3) – 12 semester hours in professional early childhood education;
    • Middle Childhood (Grades 4-9) – 20 semester hours in EACH subject requested;
    • Adolescence to Young Adult (Grades 7-12) – 20 semester hours in EACH subject requested;
    • Multi-Age (preK to Grade 12) – 20 semester hours in EACH subject requested;
    • Note: For licenses in integrated content areas, applicant must show evidence of an appropriate distribution of coursework. Example: for a license in integrated science, applicant must have coursework in life science, earth science, physics and chemistry.
    • Intervention Specialist (either preK to Grade 12 or K-12, depending upon specific area) – 12 semester hours in special education. This license may be issued only as a one-year license, new or renewal. When renewing this license, the applicant must have an additional six semester hours in a program leading to intervention specialist licensure.
    • Pupil Services Interpreter for the Hearing Impaired – the district e-signer must verify with his or her electronic signature in the online license system that the applicant has the necessary skills to serve in the capacity of educational interpreter.
    • Career-Tech Workforce Development – applicants for an initial license must submit a completed CTE-37 form posted here. (Upload this during the online application process).

Note: License areas are outlined in Ohio Revised Code 3301-23-44 (D) (2) (a) through (e)

Get Started with the Online Application


  • Following the instructions here, create a SAFE account.
  • Log into the SAFE account once it is set up and confirmed.
  • Click on ODE.CORE.
  • Complete and verify the contact information on the UPDATE My Profile tab.
  • From the drop-down menu at top right, return to the CORE dashboard.
  • Click on APPLY – New Application.
  • Open the + symbol next to Teaching.
  • Select the Substitute Teacher option.
  • Follow the “Three steps for completing all applications” below.


  • Sign into your SAFE account.
  • If you do not have a SAFE account, create one at this portal. Once your account set-up is confirmed, sign into this account.
  • Click on ODE.CORE.
  • Select RENEW – My Credentials.
  • Select your substitute teaching license.                       
  • At the drop-down menu marked Take Action, select Renew.
  • Follow the “Three steps for completing all applications” below. 

Three steps for completing all applications

After logging into your SAFE account and beginning the application, please complete the three steps below.

Step 1: Under the Professional Classification and Credential menus, select the appropriate choices. Selecting the desired term (one-year or five-year) for your application request. (A one-year permit is $25 and a five-year permit is $125.) Depending upon your application, you may or may not need to select a field(s) in which you are qualified to substitute. When completed with each step of the application, select “Save Application and Next.”

Step 2: Select Organization – here you will need to designate the school district where you are applying to work. You may search for the district in the Name box, but it is easier and more accurate if you enter the district’s information retrieval number (IRN). You may search for the district’s IRN here. Next, complete the answers to questions on this screen.

Step 3: Application Documents – This is where applicants for a substitute license in career-tech workforce development will submit a CTE-37 form. No other applicants need to use this step.

At the final screen, your substitute license application will be highlighted. Click on Select and Pay. Follow the prompts until you can submit your electronic check or credit card payment information. Then choose the Pay for Selected Applications button (look for a shopping cart symbol).

To Check Your Application Status

  • Log into your SAFE account on the Ohio Department of Education’s website at
  • From the SAFE menu, click on ODE.CORE.
  • Select My Applications - STATUS
  • Under Status, your application will say one of the following:
    • Waiting for Approver Signature – signifying that the application is awaiting review and approval by the superintendent at your district. If approved, your application will move forward in the review process.
    • Pending review – means that ODE’s Office of Educator Licensure is reviewing the application.


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Last Modified: 6/2/2015 5:32:25 PM