There are two ways to submit your application for renewal:

  1. Renew Your Credential Online: Qualifying credentials may be renewed online using the Educator Login button on the Commission’s website. Credentials renewed online are generally processed within 10 working days. All clear credentials and Emergency 30-Day Substitute Permits must be renewed online.

  2. Submit Your Application by Mail: Credentials that do not meet online renewal criteria must be applied for via postal mail. Application forms are available for download on the Commission’s website. Some credentials and permits may require you to file your renewal application through your employing agency or institution of higher education.

The requirements for the renewal and reissuance of various credential types are explained below:

  • CLEAR teaching or services credentials may be renewed without the completion of additional course work or service requirements. See Coded Correspondence 06-0017.

    All clear teaching and services credentials must be renewed online. See Coded Correspondence 06-0011.

    Regulations require that the issuance date of the clear credential be the same as the expiration date of your current credential, provided that the renewal application is filed within one year prior to the expiration date of the credential. Lapsed clear Ryan or Pre-Ryan credentials may be reissued effective the date an application is filed. No California public school service is authorized between the date the credential expired and the date the reissued credential becomes effective unless a “Request for Validation of Service Without a Credential” is filed by the employer. Reissued general credentials, standard credentials, and Ryan credentials expire five calendar years following the issuance date.

  • Dependent clear credentials are normally issued for five years but by statute cannot have an expiration date that exceeds the expiration date of the prerequisite credential. If the prerequisite credential is not valid for a full five years at the time an individual applies for the dependent credential, the dependent credential will be issued with the same expiration date as the current prerequisite credential.

  • Five-Year Preliminary or Level I teaching credentials cannot be renewed. To continue to teach in the public schools of California, you must complete all of the requirements for either the clear or Level II credential before the expiration date of your preliminary or Level I credential. If you are teaching when the credential expires, contact your employer about the possibility of acquiring an extension by appeal to cover your service until you can complete the requirements (See The Appeal Process).

  • Partial or Postponed Pre-Ryan credentials are not renewable. If your credential has expired, or you qualified for a pre-Ryan credential but never applied, you must obtain a credential under current statutes in order to serve in the California public schools. Contact a college or university or other agency with a Commission-approved Professional Preparation Program for more information.

  • Life credentials are valid for the life of the holder and do not require renewal. Life credentials are no longer initially issued.

  • Emergency Permits: Emergency 30-Day Substitute Permits must be renewed online. See Coded Correspondence 09-12. Emergency 30-Day Substitute Permits are the only emergency permits that are renewable online. All others must be submitted manually, using application Form 41-4 accompanied by current processing fees. Long term emergency permits must be filed through the employing agency and may only be reissued upon completion of the renewal requirements listed on the permit.

  • Child Development Permits: Child Development Permits are issued for five years. Permits can be renewed by verifying completion of 105 clock-hours of professional growth activities for all permit levels except the Associate Teacher Permit, which requires the completion of 15 semester units of course work toward the Child Development Teacher Permit. Child Development Permits of Teacher level or higher can be renewed either by applying online or submitting an application (form 41-4) and fee to the Commission office prior to the expiration date of the permit.

    Permit holders who complete the requirements for a higher level permit within three years of the date of initial issuance may upgrade to a higher level permit by submitting verification of completion of requirements, an application (form 41-4), and half the current application fee.

The Appeal Process

If you are unable to complete your renewal requirements for good cause, you may submit an application requesting an extension of time on an appeal basis directly to the Commission office. This process is explained in credential information leaflet AL-3, found on the Commission’s website.

Note: The Commission is continually reviewing existing statutes and regulations for credentials and permits. If you are considering allowing your credential or permit to lapse because you do not plan to use it in the near future, you may have to qualify under the new requirements when you decide to reinstate it.

Fingerprint information will be invalidated for individuals whose teaching or services credentials have been expired for eighteen (18) months or longer. The fingerprint process must be repeated when individuals whose fingerprints have been invalidated subsequently apply for certification. See Coded Correspondence 12-10 for additional information.


CL-494  October, 2016
Updated August 09, 2022