New York State teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel service providers are required to hold a New York State certificate in order to be employed in the State’s public schools. The certificates are issued by the Office of Teaching Initiatives, and certify that an individual has met required degree, coursework, assessment, and experience requirements. Certificates are issued in a number of titles in three major categories: classroom teaching, administrative and supervisory, and pupil personnel service (e.g., school counselor, psychologist, social worker).
- Applying for a certificate
Applying online is easy and fast, and allows you the options of paying by credit card or mailing your payment. To apply online, click on .
If you are enrolled in a New York State teacher preparation program or alternative teacher preparation program, you need to apply online and indicate "Pathway: Approved Teacher Preparation Program " as your pathway. Your college Certification officer will submit your institutional recommendation online as well.
What happens once you receive my application?
Submitted Online: After you have entered your payment the "Application Confirmation" screen will appear. It will have the date we received your application, amount of the fee owed, requirements that have been completed, the requirements that need to be completed in order to receive the certificates, and the address for which you should send the supporting documents for your application. You should print the "Application Confirmation" screen and retain it for your records. You may login to TEACH at any time and click the Account Information link to see the status of your application.
- Send us your supporting documentation
After you have applied for a certificate, you must send to us any supporting documentation necessary in order to conduct a complete evaluation of your credentials.
Supporting documentation must contain your identifying information:
- date of birth or a portion of your date of birth,
- the last four digits of your social security number, and
- your current name exactly as it is listed in your TEACH account.
- Original official transcripts of all college study;
- CLEP, DANTE, ACTFL, or Excelsior exam score reports;
- documentation of paid teaching experience that we have requested;
- documentation of experience for the Initial Certificate;
- other information that we requested that will enable us to complete an evaluation.
Send all documentation or correspondence to:
New York State Education Department
Office of Teaching Initiatives, Room 5N EB
89 Washington Avenue
Albany NY 12234
Transcripts and other documentation received in this office with the required identifying information will be recorded in the Documents you sent to OT/BOCES table in your TEACH account.
- Completing coursework to satisfy unmet requirements
After you have been evaluated, you may find that you are deficient in required course work. If you are unsure of what courses you should take to meet your deficiencies, follow the guidelines found in Frequently Asked Questions – Coursework to Satisfy Unmet Requirements to help you select appropriate courses.
- Check the status of your application
Click to check the status of your application and to view your pending evaluation.
Address Change: If you have not received your certificate in the mail and your address has changed, you may login to TEACH at any time and click Verify/Update Profile to update your address. Even after you receive your certificate, it is important that you notify us of future address changes so that you can receive any additional notices.
For more information go to
You will not receive a printed copy of your issued time limited certificate(s) such as the Provisional, Initial, Transitional, Teaching Assistant Levels I, II, and Pre-Professional types. Instead, you can verify that your certificate has been issued by logging in to your TEACH Online Services account and viewing the certificate table in Account Information. Once you have the end-level certificate such as Permanent, Professional, and Level III Teaching Assistant, you will receive a printed copy of these certificates. For more information go to the frequently asked questions on Printing of Time Limited Certificates Discontinued.
Effective and Expiration Date: Please take notice of the effective date and validity period of your end-level certificate. Certain certificate types, such as Initial, Provisional, and Teaching Assistant certificates are time limited. You must complete the requirements for the next level certificate before the first certificate expires. For more information on certificate validity periods, go to Types of Certificates and Licenses and Frequently Asked Questions - Effective Date .
Duplicate Certificates: If your certificate is lost or stolen you may apply for a duplicate certificate. Login to your TEACH Online Services account and click on Apply for Duplicate certificate. For more information go to Duplicate Certificates.
All New York State public school districts and most non-public school districts have direct access to the TEACH Online Services system and can verify your certification status online. We also offer direct access to the TEACH Online Services system to other states’ and jurisdictions’ certifying bodies so that they may verify NYS certification for individuals seeking to become certified in another state or jurisdiction. We do not provide official written verification of your certification for any purpose; all official verifications must be obtained online through the TEACH Online Services system.