There are a variety of full credentials and emergency permits that allow educators to serve as a substitute teacher. Different documents permit the educator to be in the classrooms for different durations. In general education classrooms, the lengths of service for any one educator are as follows:

Click on image for description of content

*Click on image above for larger version of content.


Per Title 5 §80025.3(c), holders of university and district internship credentials are not authorized to serve as day-to-day substitutes unless the assignment is during summer school, is in the subject area authorized by the internship credential or certificate, and is considered as fulfilling the internship.

In special education classrooms, Education Code §56061 provides that no employer shall allow an educator without an appropriate authorization to substitute teach for a period of more than 20 cumulative days for one teacher. Only an Education Specialist Instruction Credential holder with the appropriate authorization or a TPSL issued with an emphasis in Special Education can serve for longer periods of time.

*Note, passage of Senate Bill (SB) 141 temporarily extends substitute teaching limitations for the 2023-24 school year. The 2023 Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill continued the extension of the number of cumulative days a substitute teacher can serve in the classroom for one Teacher of Record until July 1, 2024. The following substitute timeframes apply until that date:

  • Holders of any Commission-issued document that authorizes substitute teaching in a general or special education classroom, including: 1) substitute permits, 2) full teaching credentials, and 3) emergency permits may serve for 60 cumulative days in either general education or special education settings;
  • Holders of any Commission-issued document that authorizes substitute teaching in a career technical education classroom, including: 1) Career Technical Education credentials, and 2) Career Technical Education substitute permits can substitute for 60 cumulative days in CTE setting.

Assignment Options

California Code of Regulations §80025.3(a) and (b)

Allows individuals who hold any valid teaching or services credential or permit which required the completion of a bachelor’s degree and the basic skills requirement with the exception of university and district intern credentials to serve as a day-to-day substitute.  These individuals are subject to the same daily restrictions as the Emergency 30-day Substitute Permits.  

Teaching Permit for Statutory Leave (TPSL)

When a teacher takes certain extended statutory leaves of absence, TPSL Permit holders may serve as a substitute for the entirety of the leaves.  When more than one acceptable leave is taken consecutively, as is often the case, the TPSL holder may still continue to serve as the interim teacher of record for the entire length of those leaves. TPSL holders may serve in the following types of statutory leave:

  • Sick Leave
  • Differential Sick Leave
  • Pregnancy Disability Leave Act
  • Family and Medical Leave
  • California Family Rights Act
  • Industrial Accident and Illness Leave
  • Administrative leave
  • Military Leave

Note that other substitute permit holders (e.g. Emergency 30-day Substitutes) are not permitted to serve in a classroom for more than 30 days for one teacher in a general education setting, and 20 days in a special education setting.   

You may find more information on the usage and issuance of TPSLs in the following resources:  

Number of Days Individuals May Substitute Teach for Any One Teacher in a School Year

Credential Type and Doc. Code

General Education

Special Education

Career Technical Education (CTE)

Adult Education



30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit (SUBP)







Prospective Substitute Permit (SUBT)13020303030None
Career Substitute Permit (SUBC)26020303030None
Designated Subjects CTE 30-Day Substitute Permit (SUBV)NoneNone30NoneNoneNone
Provisional Internship Permit (TC14)23020303030None
Short-Term Staff Permit (TC13)23020303030None
Teaching Permit for Statutory Leave (TPSL)23020303030None
University or District Intern Credential (TC1: IN, TC2: IN, TC3S: IN or TC10)3NoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Single Subject Teaching Credential (TC1)430203030305 months5
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (TC2)430203030305 months5
General Education Limited Assignment Permit (TLA1/TLA2)43020303030None
Education Specialist Teaching Credential (TC3S)430203030305 months5
Special Education Limited Assignment Permit (TLA3)43020303030None
Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential (CTE)4NoneNone30NoneNone5 months5
Designated Subjects Adult Education Teaching Credential (AETC)4NoneNoneNone30None5 months5
Designated Subjects Adult Education Teaching Credential (AETC)4 in Academic Subjects30203030305 months5
Administrative Services Credential (SC1A)3020303030Indefinitely
Any other "services" credential that requires a bachelor's (or higher) degree and Basic Skills (e.g., SLP, PPS)3020303030None
Credential issued without passage of the Basic Skills Requirement prior to February 1, 1983 - 5 CCR §80025.3(a)3020303030None6

1 The Prospective Substitute Permit holder may not serve for more than a total of 90 days in a school year.

2 Holder of document may only serve as a day to day substitute in any district within the county listed on the document (restriction).

3 Holders of district or university intern credentials are not authorized to serve as day to day substitutes unless the assignment is during summer school, is in the subject area authorized by the intern credential, and is considered as fulfilling the internship.

4 May substitute indefinitely in authorization/disability area(s) listed on credential.

5 Must be authorized under Education Code §44861.

6 Holder of Administrative Services credential may substitute indefinitely in a Principal assignment.

Updated December 12, 2023