Credential Questions

Can I access the fingerprint application forms on your website?

The 41-LS (LiveScan) form can be downloaded and printed from the Commission's website. Fingerprint cards (FD-258) are not accessible on the website; however, the Commission can mail cards upon request. Request fingerprint cards by sending an email with your name and address to the Commission's Information Services Unit at

What is the processing time for fingerprints?

For details on fingerprint processing time, please see the Fingerprint Information page.

How can I get an error on my document corrected?

Errors are addressed differently based on how the application was submitted.

  • If you are an educator who submitted the application directly to the Commission, please send an email to the Commission at The email must include ALL of the following information:
    • Name of Document Holder
    • Document number or document title (example: Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential)
    • An explanation of the error
    • Name of requesting party if other than the credential holder
    • Phone number and/or email address
  • If a program sponsor or an employing agency recommended or submitted the application on your behalf, please contact them and ask them to request the correction. Correction requests on recommendations must come from the originating Institution of Higher Education or Local Education Agency in order to be honored. To make the request, they should send us an email containing:
    • Name of Document Holder
    • Document holder's Date of Birth
    • Document number or document title (example: Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential)
    • An explanation of the error
    • Name of requesting party if other than the credential holder
    • Phone number and/or email address

Once the document correction request has been submitted, please allow 1-2 weeks for the corrected document to post online. If additional information is needed to process the correction request, or it has been determined that a correction is not necessary, the Commission will contact you by email.

I renewed my credential online this morning. How long will it take for me to receive my document?

The Commission no longer prints, distributes, or mails paper documents. Your document should be available in a view and print format on the Commission's website within 10 working days (excluding holidays). Please visit CTC Online - Your Educator Account and view the information under the section Documents: View, Print and Email and click on "Find and View a Document" and "Print a Document's Detail."

I don't know the name of the credential I want to apply for on the 41-4 application form. What should I do?

If simply you do not know the name of the credential you wish to apply for or need help filling out the 41-4 application form, you may email us using the link below, and we would be happy to assist you. 

However, if you would like assistance in understanding various credentialing options and want guidance on the certifications you may apply for, please schedule an appointment with one of our Education Career Counselors. They are here to support you through the credentialing process. You can request an appointment here.    

Do I have to be licensed to teach in California's public schools?

Yes. Elementary and Secondary public school teachers must be certified by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing in order to be employed in a California public school. Once an individual completes all Credential Requirements for certification in California, they may apply for and receive a California teaching credential. 

If you are inquiring about an educator that you think may be misassigned for their position, complaints or concerns related to certificated educator misassignments are the statutory responsibility of the employing district. Submit your complaint in writing to the school district in which the educator is employed. The district employs personnel who monitor certificated educator assignments within the district. The district credential analyst can assist you with questions or concerns related to the appropriateness of the individual’s assignment. If the complaint is not resolved at the district level, then you may elevate the complaint to the County Office of Education in which the district resides. 

What is the processing time for applications?

Online recommendations submitted through credential program sponsors are usually completed within 10 working days. Typically, all other applications are processed within 50 working days from the date we receive the application.  

Login to your CTC Online Educator Account to monitor your application status.  Please visit CTC Online - Your Educator Account to view detailed information under Check the Status.

I am moving to another state. Will that state accept my California credentials?

You will need to contact the state's credential or education agency to ask whether they will accept California's credentials. Each state's credential requirements may differ.

What is the fee for processing my credential?

In most cases the fee for processing a credential is $100. This includes initial issuances and renewals. There are some exceptions which include military fee waivers and upgrades. Please see the Fee Information Leaflet for a full list of processing fees.

My credential has expired. How do I renew it?

Most Clear Credentials, Emergency 30 Day Substitute Permits, and Child Development Permits may be renewed online. You can check the status of your document when you login to your CTC Online Educator Account using the Educator Login button displayed in the upper right-hand column. For additional information, please visit Renewal and Reissuance of Credentials, Login Help or CTC Online - Your Educator Account.

I would like the Commission to waive some of the course work required for my credential based upon training and experience that I have had. How do I do that?

The Commission does not have the authority to waive any course work required for certification. Speak with a California college or university with a Commission-approved teacher preparation program for more information.

The California university that I am attending is telling me that I must take four more courses for my clear credential but I feel that I have already completed everything for the credential. Can I apply directly to the Commission?

No. California prepared teachers must complete the course work required by their Commission-approved program. The Commission sets the standards for the programs. The institutions develop their programs based upon those guidelines and have the authority to require additional standards or courses beyond the minimum requirements set by the Commission

I am attempting to work in another state and they need the Commission to verify my CA credential. How do I get this verification?

The official record of an educator’s certification status can be located on the Commission’s website. The information presented on this secure website is the official record of the educator’s certification status and there is no corresponding physical document that can be considered official. The Commission no longer provides printed documents, confirmation of licensures or verification of licensures. The Commission cannot complete forms from any other agencies (e.g. Confirmation of Other State Educator License, Official Certification and Test Verification, Licensing Agency Confirmation of Licensure, etc.).

Verifying California Licensure
If an educator, employer, or credentialing agency needs to verify an educator’s certification status, it can be accessed on the Commission’s website. You may search for a credentialed educator using the Search for an Educator button on the homepage. Any questions may be directed to the Certification Division at

After an individual is queried, a red flag will display next to the Adverse and Commission Actions Indicator if there are any disciplinary actions for the individual. Further details can be found in the Adverse and Commission Actions tab, and questions regarding disciplinary actions can be directed to the Division of Professional Practices at

Verifying Examination Scores
The Commission cannot verify exam scores. Only the original testing agency may provide official verification of passage of an exam and provide duplicate score reports. Please contact the testing agency if such verification is required.

General Questions

How do I contact the Commission?

Click here for contact information, including driving instructions.

How do I change my name?

You must submit a name change using the Declaration of Name Change Application form (41-NC) for this purpose. Be sure to include the appropriate documentation as indicated on the form. This form must be used even if the change is only for a misspelled name or if names are reversed in your online profile.

How do I change my address with your office?

You may submit changes to your personal information (except name changes) at any time when you login to your CTC Online Educator Account using the Educator Login button displayed in the upper right-hand column.

Please visit CTC Online - Your Educator Account for information on how to add or change change your personal information and email address.

Where can I get information on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in California?

The State Board of Education and the California Department of Education's NCLB Resource Guide can be found at The Guide was developed to respond to questions about the NCLB requirements for a highly qualified teacher. Questions regarding NCLB compliance with teacher employment must be directed to the California Department of Education at or to the California Department of Education's NCLB Office at 916-319-0884.

What is a teacher preparation program?

Teacher preparation is a program of professional course work (including student teaching) that develops the skills needed for serving in the classroom. This includes course work in areas such as teaching methodologies, curriculum development, and classroom management.

What is subject matter competence and how does it differ from a teacher preparation program?

While teacher preparation is knowledge of HOW to teach, subject matter competence is knowledge of WHAT is taught. Subject matter competence is a requirement for all multiple subject, single subject, and special education credentials (with the exception of Early Childhood Special Education), which assess the prospective teacher's knowledge in the academic subject area that she or he will be teaching. This requirement is met either by completing specific examinations or by taking courses (in addition to the teacher preparation courses) in the academic subject area through a California college or university that has a Commission-approved subject matter program for that area.

How do I obtain subject matter equivalence from the Commission?

The Commission does not have the authority to evaluate candidate information for subject matter competence. Such evaluations may only be performed by California colleges or universities that have Commission-approved subject matter programs.

Can I take online or correspondence courses through California colleges?

Most of California's community and four-year colleges do not offer course work through correspondence, although there are a growing number of course offerings on the Internet called "distance education", and by cable television (on DISH television's Community College Network, or CCN). To find information about distance education courses and programs in California, you can view a Distance Education Catalog at the web site for the California Virtual Campus at

Can you tell me which school districts in California have a need for teachers?

The Commission issues certification for service in public schools, but does not maintain information regarding available positions or assist in job placement. You must contact the individual school districts, county offices of education, or other agencies for information on employment opportunities. Please visit the California Department of Education's web site for a list of the county offices of education along with their addresses and phone numbers. Many districts in California provide information on employment opportunities on their own district's website. Individuals interested in teaching opportunities throughout California should visit the EdJoin website.
Updated May 03, 2018