Apply for an Educator License


Fingerprinting, Background Check, and Educator Ethics Review

Most licensing processes require you to complete a Criminal Background Review and an online review of the ethical rules for educators.

Create a profile in Utah Schools Information Management System (USIMS) and complete all checklist items, including:

  • Initiate a Utah State Board of Education Criminal Background Fingerprint Review Check
  • Educator Ethics Review

Please refer to the Educator Records and Fingerprints section of this website for more information regarding fingerprinting.

Associate Educator License (AEL)

The AEL is available for anyone who wants to teach in Utah but has not completed an educator preparation program (university-based or alternate program). The associate educator license is intended for:

  • Individuals who have been hired to teach in Utah schools before they have completed the requirements of a Utah professional teaching license, or
  • Individuals who do not currently hold a Utah professional teaching license but would like to teach in Utah while they are working towards a professional educator license.

The AEL means that a minimum number of requirements have been met and/or competencies demonstrated; an approved educator preparation program was not completed. This is a non-transferable license that pro tempore qualifies an educator to work for three years in a Utah school.

The following Google Docs outline the requirements for obtaining an AEL in the specific license areas of concentration:


SpEd Law Training Required for LEA-Specific and Associate SpEd License Areas
Massively Integrated Data Analytics System (MIDAS)


Application for Associate Educator License 

For questions about the AEL, please contact us at visit Frequently Asked Questions

Out-of-State (OOS)

If you have a standard renewable educator license from another state or country and would like to apply for a Utah Educator License, please read the following step by step instructions to prepare your OOS application packet for submission to Utah State Board of Education for review.

Please use the OOS Licence Application Checklist to prepare and submit your application.

Out-of-State (OOS) License Application Checklist
Google Docs


Verification of Educator Experience

Note: Educators coming from out of the country with a different language spoken, the university degree in a foreign speaking country only counts for the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Educators (candidates) still need to take the Praxis, unless your degree major was the actual language (Chinese, Spanish, etc.)."

If you have any questions, please contact the department at

Educator Tests

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) has approved a variety of assessments that meet one or more requirements for licensure. Some approved assessments are required, and some are options to meet demonstrated competency. For more information, refer to Utah State Licensure Test Requirements.

If initially requested to Educational Testing Services (ETS) by the educator, tests results will automatically be uploaded to USBE within 15 business days of receiving the test results from ETS. These can be verified by logging into my.uen on the Utah Education Network (UEN) website on the Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) view.

In the event the scores do not upload, please do not pay any additional fees to have the results resent. Instead forward the e-mail from ETS to, include your CACTUS identification number, and USBE will manually post your scores. If requested to Pearson by the educator, the state will receive a data file of candidate results and will have access to a secure reporting tool, which can be used to generate custom views and reports.

Pedagogical Performance Assessment (PPA)

Starting September 1, 2021, evidence of completion of a PPA will be required for any candidate seeking an initial professional license in Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, Career and Technical Education, Preschool Special Education, Special Education, and Deaf Education. USBE has approved the PPAT (ETS), the edTPA (Pearson) assessments, and the Davis Pedagogical Performance Assessment (DPPA).

Praxis® Performance Assessment for Teachers
ETS Performance Assessments

About edTPA 

For more information about PPA, refer to Pedagogical Performance Assessment.

Foundations of Reading

Teacher candidates earning their teaching license in the areas of early childhood, elementary education, preschool special education, and special education will need to pass the Foundations of Reading Test before they are awarded their professional license. Candidates from Utah who are currently enrolled in an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) will receive a test voucher from their program. The voucher must be entered during the registration process. Vouchers cannot be applied retroactively to existing registrations, so be sure to acquire your voucher before you register. If you have any questions about your voucher, ask your faculty advisor before registering for the test.

Utah Foundations of Reading
Pearson Education, Inc.


Out-of-State Testing Equivalency

Administrative (Leadership) License

To add an Administrative license area, you will need to submit the following to the Utah State Board of Education (USBE):

Documentation of successful completion of an administrative program that meets:

For University programs completed outside of Utah, please refer to:

For administrative programs completed in Utah:

  • Contact your university to request a University Recommendation.

Your out-of-state experience can be reported and submitted to USBE. Have your school district complete the Verification of Educator Experience form (per district or per charter school). Please be sure to include your Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) Identification number on the form to help us document the information.

For educators enrolled in a Utah based program:

For administrative programs completed in Utah:

  • Contact your university to request a University Recommendation.

University Recommends

Utah University Recommendation

The information below is for individuals who have completed an education preparation degree program through a Utah college/university and are ready to apply for a Professional Utah Educator License. Please read the following step-by-step instructions to obtain your standard Professional Utah Educator License.


Utah Schools Information Management System (USIMS)

For initial license recommendations only.

1. Successfully complete a Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Background Check in USIMS.

  • Choose the Initial Licensing option.
  • Complete the online account registration including your social security number and your date of birth to initiate the background check.
  • Utah requires completion of the background check that includes fingerprinting.

Fingerprinting for Applicants Physically Located in Utah
Create an account in USIMS. Follow prompts and complete Educator Ethics Review and Background Check. View the Fingerprint Directions provided. No cards will be mailed to you; please read directions. Schedule an appointment at one of the local Utah Educator LiveScan Fingerprint Sites. Results take approximately 15-20 business days from the date the prints are taken.

Fingerprinting for Applicants Located Outside of Utah

  • No cards will be mailed to you.

Schedule an appointment at any local agency that performs background checks and obtain a standard-issued Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint card(s) (FD-258)

  • Please be sure to include your full Social Security Number, signature and enter your Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) Identification Number in the Originating Case Agency (OCA) Box on your card.

Mail the completed card and signed Utah State Board of Education, Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Informed Consent and Release of Liability to:

Utah State Board of Education Educator Licensing
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200

Results clear in approximately 20-25 business days from the date the cards are received by USBE. Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) Identification numbers are created for individuals when initiating their first USBE Background Check.

To Retrieve Your CACTUS Identification Number

Go to USIMS and click on License Information to retrieve your CACTUS Identification Number.

2. Complete a Utah Educator Ethics Review in USIMS Within 12 Months of Being Recommended for a Utah Educator License.

  • Complete the 30-minute activity (it is a timed activity and should take no longer than 35 minutes) in USIMS. The activity completion date will be posted to your CACTUS profile within 1 hour.

3. Complete the University Recommendation Step in USIMS to Confirm the License and Print an Official Digital Copy of the License. Note: this should be available beginning August 22, 2022.

  • Your Utah University will post your University Recommendation in CACTUS profile and it will appear in your USIMS account.
  • It is recommended that the confirmation step be completed within 30 days of the university’s recommendation.
  • Delays in completing the final process could result in an expiration of the recommendation which could require addition coursework or certification through the university and USBE before this can be re-recommended.
  • For any questions or to report errors regarding the License Type, License Area or Endorsements, please contact the recommending university.