Your Teaching Certificate


What it is and how to keep it

Your teaching certificate is a license to teach in the state of Michigan.  It affirms to parents, students, taxpayers and your co-workers that you have met all requirements to work as a teaching professional in Michigan schools.

The Michigan Department of Education issues certificates after you have completed an approved professional preparation program covering curriculum and instruction, student developmental needs and your teaching subject area(s).

Under Michigan law, all teachers employed in the public schools must hold a teaching certificate, permit or vocational authorization valid for the position to which they are assigned.


As a teacher, you are responsible for obtaining your certificate and keeping it up to date.  All certificates expire on June 30 of a given year.  You are NOT notified by the Michigan Department of Education.

Make sure you know the validity period of your certificate and meet the necessary renewal requirements before the expiration date.  If you let your certificate lapse, you may lose your job and tenure. 


Over the years the requirements and process for obtaining a teaching certificate in Michigan have changed.  As a new teacher graduating from an approved Michigan teacher preparation institution, you will make application for a provisional certificate.  The certificate will list the endorsement(s) authorizing you to teach certain subjects or grade levels.

The Provisional Certificate

This initial certificate is valid for up to six years during which time the teacher is expected to acquire at least three years of successful teaching experience and complete at least 18 semester hours in a concentrated area of study (planned program) or a master’s or higher degree.  If this does not happen, the provisional certificate can be renewed twice.  A renewal is valid for three years.

For a first three-year renewal, you must complete the first 10 semester hours of the 18 semester hour “planned program,” which is required for the professional education certificate.  For the second three year renewal, you must complete the entire 18 semester hour planned program. ·

The Professional Education Certificate

Holders of the provisional certificate are expected to advance to the professional education certificate.  This certificate is valid for up to five years and must be renewed.

The requirements for the professional education certificate include:

  • Possession of a current or expired Michigan provisional certificate.
  • Has taught successfully for the equivalent of three years following the issuance of the Michigan provisional certificate and within the subject area endorsements and grade level on the certificate.
  • Has earned at least 18 semester hours after the issuance of the initial Michigan provisional certificate in a “planned program” (or have a master’s or higher degree, earned at any time) or have been awarded National Board Certification.
  • Presents evidence of having completed a minimum of six semester hours of reading methodology if she/he holds an elementary certificate or three semester hours for secondary certificate holders
  • Completion of a three-semester credit hour course of study in diagnostic and remediation  - effective July 1, 2009

Candidates apply for the professional education certificate through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS)

The Professional Education Certificate RENEWAL

The professional education certificate is valid for up to five years and must be renewed by the completion of six semester hours of appropriate credit from an accredited Michigan higher education institution (including accredited community colleges) or a regionally accredited out-of-state college or university, or the equivalent in State Board-Continuing Education Units (SB-CEUs) or a combination of the two.  (The SB-CEU equivalent to six semester hours is 18 SB-CEUs or three SB-CEUs are equivalent to one semester credit hour.)

Application for renewal must be made through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS).


MOECS is the new Michigan Online Educator Certification System.  This is a fully secured web application developed and managed by the State of Michigan.  Educators and teacher candidates can apply for certificates, renewals, duplicate certificates, pay certification fees using a credit card, etc. 


Step 1: Create a Michigan Education Information System (MEIS) Account Visit and follow the links on the screen to create a Michigan Education Information System (MEIS) account. MEIS will email you a user ID and password along with the MEIS account number to the email address provided by you during MEIS registration.

Step 2: Register with MOECS Once you have established a MEIS ID, please visit and on the login screen sign in with your MEIS user ID and password and follow the steps to self register with MOECS. On the registration page, you will be asked to provide your MEIS account number, which is included in the email that you received from MEIS.

Step 3: Apply for Certificate in MOECS Once you have signed in with MOECS successfully, you will be asked to complete the demographic information and once it is saved, you will see the links on the left navigation panel. Choose the link that is appropriate for you and follow the steps to apply for your certificate.

Step 4: University/College review/approval After you have applied for the certificate, your application will be submitted to the institution that you identified in the application process via MOECS for review and approval.

Step 5: Online Fee payment Once your application is approved by the institution in MOECS, you will receive an email with a link for you to pay the fee online using credit/debit card or you can do so by logging into MOECS using your user ID and password.

Step 6: Issuance of Certificate Once the fee is paid, your application will be approved by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Professional Preparation Services (OPPS) and the certificate will be printed and mailed to your address as stated in your demographic page within 7-14 business days. If you are having any difficulties with the registration process, please contact the Office of Professional Preparation Services at 517/373-3310.