Michigan Substitute Teaching License

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There are three types of substitute teaching permits available in Michigan: the Substitute Permit, the Full Year Permit, and the Emergency Permit. To obtain any of these permits, you must first apply for a substitute teaching position at a Michigan school. If you meet the qualifications, the school district will then submit an application to the Michigan Department of Education on your behalf so that you may obtain the necessary permit to work in the school.

Want to learn how to earn a professional teaching certification? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in Michigan.

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Education Requirements

Substitute Permit:
  • You must have completed at least 90 semester hours of college credit, with at least a 2.0 GPA, at one four-year, regionally accredited institution

Full Year Permit:
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree and graduate from an approved teacher preparation program. (If you are teaching a core subject area, you must either have a major in that area or pass the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC))

Emergency Permit:
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in the subject area to be taught, or
  • You must currently be enrolled in a teacher preparation program and have completed 90 semester hours of college credit

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Experience

No experience is required to become a substitute teacher in Michigan. However, preference may be given to applicants who have some experience working with children or youth.

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Criminal History Background Check

All substitute teachers, regardless of the term of their assignment, must pass a criminal history background check. The Michigan State Police (MSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will conduct investigations into your background. Fingerprints must be taken at one of these LiveScan fingerprinting locations. The Michigan Department of Education will receive the results of your background check and notify the school district of whether or not you should be hired into a substitute teaching position. A permit will not be issued to allow you to substitute without a cleared background check.

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Additional Information

Substitute Permit:
  • This permit authorizes you to teach temporarily on a day-to-day basis, for less than 90 days per school year
  • It is valid for one school year, until Aug. 31
  • It is renewable by your school district

Full Year Permit:
  • This permit authorizes you to teach in the same classroom in a long-term substitute position, for more than 90 days per school year
  • It is valid for one school year, until Aug. 31
  • It may be renewed twice, for a maximum of three school years, if:
    • You complete six semester hours of college credit towards certification each school year
    • You have been assigned a mentor teacher
    • You pass the appropriate MTTC test within three years of employment under this permit
  • Within three years, you must become fully certified as a teacher to continue teaching in the same assignment

Emergency Permit:
  • This permit authorizes you to teach in a regular or long-term substitute teaching assignment for one school year
  • It is valid for one school year until Aug. 31
  • The district must prove that an emergency situation exists and that a certified teacher is not available for the assignment
  • It may be renewed if the district can prove that the emergency still exists and if you meet the qualifications of renewal for a full-year permit above

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Contact Information

Contact the Michigan Department of Education at 517-373-3310 if you have additional questions about substitute teacher permits.

Check this link for a directory of Michigan schools.