FAQs about the Online License System

Through the Ohio Department of Education's Connected Ohio Records for Educators system or ODE.CORE, users manage their credentials online. CORE is a secure environment where educators update their demographic data, request new credentials or renewals, and pay licensure fees using a credit card or electronic check.

General Questions

Timing and Status

Renewing My License

Communication about Your License Request


General Questions

    How can I make the online application process go quickly? Do I need a SAFE account?

     

    Here are a few steps you can take: 

    1. First, read more about the credential you will apply for on the Ohio Department of Education’s licensure website
    2. Make sure you have a SAFE account:
      • If you are certain you do not have a SAFE account, go to the SAFE portal and click the “Sign Up” button. There is a link to the SAFE portal at the top of every page at education.ohio.gov.
         
      • You will need to verify your identity. The fastest way is with a valid Ohio driver’s license or a state identification card. If you need to view a list of other acceptable documents, click here or go to education.ohio.gov to search for: SAFE – identification.
         
      • For answers to any further questions regarding the SAFE sign-up process, please review the Sign-Up Help document on the SAFE portal or contact SAFE.Admin@education.ohio.gov or (877) 644-6338.
         

     

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    What happens if I think I have a SAFE account, but I forgot my password or my name has changed since I set it up?

    In either of these situations, use the prompt “forgot my password” in the blue sign-in box at the SAFE portal. Please do not set up a second SAFE account. The directions will explain what to do if your last name has changed or you need a new password. 

    If you need assistance, you may contact SAFE.admin@education.ohio.gov.

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    Can I start my application, save it and finish it later?

    Yes. Click the Save My Application button in any step. 

    Upon your return, log into SAFE and ODE.CORE. Select STATUS – My Applications from the CORE dashboard. Find your saved application under the Applications Not Yet Submitted heading. Under the Action heading at right, click on the pencil symbol to edit your application.

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    Who approves licensure requests?

    The Ohio Department of Education reviews all applications and provides final approval before issuing credentials. Before the department can proceed in most cases, an electronic signer at either a school district or a college or university needs to review and approve license applications. Specifically, the e-signer may play one of the following roles: 

    School districts

    Colleges and universities

    • Dean or dean-designee from colleges of education.  

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    Can I start over if I make an error or want to change a response?

    Yes – but only if you have not yet paid for and submitted your application. If you have not done so, you can choose the “previous” button at the bottom of each page to go back and make changes. If you have saved your application and want to delete it later, go to the STATUS -My Applications screen from the CORE dashboard. Under Applications Not Submitted, see the Action heading and use the “recycle bin” icon to delete the application. 

    If you submitted your application with incorrect information, you will need to create a new application that corrects the previous errors.

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    How will I know if I submitted the application correctly?

    The department will send you email notifications at several points about your application: 

    • An acknowledgement that you submitted it; and
    • A notice that your application was either: a) approved and issued; b) placed on hold; or c) declined. 

    You also may receive email communication directly from your e-signer with questions or comments about your request. 

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    How can I keep a record of my issued credential?

    A person who has a valid credential may download, save and print an official copy of the license or permit from the My Credentials screen. Districts also will maintain records of issued credentials and may ask each individual to provide a copy for district files. 

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Timing and Status

    How long does it take to complete the application?

    If you have a valid SAFE account and you have the payment information handy -- as well as any documentation needed to indicate that you met your requirements -- submitting your application should take 10 minutes or less. You can prepare by reviewing information on the Ohio Department of Education’s licensure website pertaining to the credential you wish to request or to renew. 

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    What happens if my credential request is not renewed by July 1?

    If your application is not approved by July 1, do not panic. When the department issues credentials that are requested for the upcoming school year, the effective date will be July 1 (in the summer preceding that school year) — regardless of what date during the school year the credential is issued. If you are teaching next year, however, you will need to have a valid license when next school year begins. 

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    How can I check on the status of my application?

    You may log into ODE.CORE to learn where your application is in the review process. On the CORE dashboard, click on the STATUS button. On the My Applications screen, you will see a note about your application in the Status column. The Ohio Department of Education and local electronic signers make every effort to process applications as promptly as possible — but the processing time will vary depending upon the complexity of the application and the volume of requests submitted at the time.

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    How long will it take for my application to be issued?

    The review and approval process does require many steps among several people. For most applicants, the review and response to credential requests takes 10 or fewer business days from the day they submit their applications. 

    The processing time does vary, depending upon the complexity of license requests, completion time for requirements such as background checks and the sheer volume of requests at any one time. E-signers and the Ohio Department of Education review applications as quickly as possible. 

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    What does it mean if my application is “on hold”?

    If your application is on hold, please read the detailed message within the My Applications area (see the Status column) that explains the reason for the “on hold” message. You also will receive an email from the CORE system with this same message, which may ask you to take additional steps before your license request can move forward in the review process. If the message indicates that your application is on hold for e-signer approval for more than a week to 10 days, make sure you check your inbox for an email message from your e-signer. Or, you may wish to contact either your district's Human Resources office -- or your college or university -- regarding the delay.

     

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    How do I find out when my background check will be finalized?

    Processing time for a background check varies, depending upon the number of requests at one time. Contact the WebCheck location where you submitted your background check to ask about the expected completion date — and be sure to ask them to send results to the Ohio Department of Education. 

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Renewing My License

    When can I renew my credential?

    Applicants may begin renewing their applications on November 1 of the year preceding their expiration date.

     

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    Will the Ohio Department of Education pre-approve courses I need to take for the renewal of a five-year professional license?

    No, the department does not pre-approve courses. All applicants should select courses related to classroom teaching and/or the area of licensure.

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    I am licensed for teaching elementary grades. How can I gain credentials to teach middle school?

    A teacher with existing teaching licensure (ex. in pre-kindergarten through grade 3) who is qualified to apply for another license (ex., middle childhood) should use a new credential application to request approval for the additional middle childhood license. The college or university where the teacher takes the courses will assist in selecting classes and also will serve as the electronic signer for the new license. 

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    How do I add a new teaching field or endorsement?

    If you are a licensed teacher and you have met the requirements for a new teaching field or an endorsement, you may apply to add the area to your license by clicking on the My Credentials – RENEW button in ODE.CORE. Select the Action "Add Area" for the credential that you want to modify. 

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    What if I need to renew both my license and my endorsement area this year?

    If you are renewing both your license as well as existing fields or endorsements, you will complete one renewal application for all these credentials.

     

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Communication about Your License Request

    When will I hear something about the status of my application?

    The department will send you email notifications at several points about your application: 1) an acknowledgement that you submitted it; and 2) a notice that your application was either: a) approved and issued; b) placed on hold; or c) declined. You also may receive email communication directly from your e-signer with questions or comments about your request. 

    In addition, you may log into ODE.CORE to learn where your application is in the review process. On the CORE dashboard, click on the Status button. On the My Applications screen, you will see a note about your application in the Status column.

     

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    Where can I find answers to my other questions?

    If you have not already done so, please check the Ohio Department of Education Licensure Website for answers to your questions. If you do not find what you need, please contact one of the offices below. 

    We request that you select one mode of contacting us (email or phone). Before calling, please log into your SAFE account and ODE.CORE so the department representative can provide better service to you regarding your application. 

    For questions related to licensure: 

    educator.licensure@education.ohio.gov

    (877) 644-6338 

    For questions about the Ohio Resident Educator program:

    resident.educator@education.ohio.gov

    (877) 644-6338

    Your feedback is important

    If you have a suggestion for making the online application better -- or for an FAQ we should add here, please send that feedback to educator.licensure@education.ohio.gov. Thank you!

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Last Modified: 6/10/2016 2:45:28 PM