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Application Questions

What is a Certificate of Clearance and do I need one?

The Certificate of Clearance is a document issued by the Commission to an individual who has completed the Commission's fingerprint and character and identification process, whose moral and professional fitness has been shown to meet the standards as established by law. The Certificate of Clearance provides no authorization, only verification that the holder has completed a professional fitness review. An individual enrolled in a California educator preparation program must obtain a Certificate of Clearance prior to beginning their student teaching or practicum. An individual who has already completed the fingerprint process and has been issued a valid document by the Commission is not required to obtain a Certificate of Clearance.


How do I apply for a Certificate of Clearance?

California residents must apply for their Certificate of Clearance online effective July 1, 2007. See Credential Leaflet CL-900 for details on applying for the Certificate of Clearance.


What is the fee for a Certificate of Clearance?

The fee is $35.00. If applying for the Certificate of Clearance online, an additional $2.50 service fee will be required.


How do I use my Certificate of Clearance fee?

Your Certificate of Clearance fee may be applied towards issuance of your initial credential only. When you pay for your credential, send the amount of the full application processing fee MINUS the amount of the fee credit. The amount available to you is displayed on the Commission's renewal website, accessible using the Online Services for Educators button on our home page.


What is the validity period of a Certificate of Clearance?

The Certificate of Clearance is valid five years after the issuance date.


Why didn't I receive my Certificate of Clearance document?

On January 1, 2006, the Commission stopped issuing paper copies of Certificate of Clearance documents. Individuals may view the status of their Certificate of Clearance application using the Online Services for Educators button on our home page. Online applications submitted prior to 4:00 p.m. PST will display on the website the following day at approximately 2:00 p.m. PST or later.

When requirements for issuance of the Certificate of Clearance are completed, an email will be sent informing the individual that the document has been granted and can be viewed using the Online Services for Educators button on our home page.
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Updated July 23, 2012