Residency Certificate
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Teacher Certification

Residency Certificate

Washington issues the Residency Teacher Certificate to most first-time and out-of-state applicants for a regular teaching certificate. Foreign trained applicants who are able to demonstrate equivalency for these requirements are also eligible for a residency certificate.

The first level certificate issued is the Residency Certificate (First Issue), which is valid until the holder is reported as employed by a Washington school district as a teacher with 1.5 FTE or more years’ experience. This certificate must then be reissued with a three year expiration date.

PLEASE NOTE: All applications are submitted online through the E-Certification system and all supporting documents must be uploaded at the time of application or mailed to the certification office.


The below requirements, 1-4 must be completed to qualify for a first level regular certificate (Residency)

  1. Degree requirement: Earned a bachelor's degree or higher from any accredited college/university.
    Supporting documentation for the degree requirement:
    • Out of state applicants must submit official transcripts verifying completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher.
    • Foreign trained applicants (except those from Canada, the Philippines, and U.S. territories) must submit documentation verifying the equivalency of their degree, as demonstrated by either:
      • A document by document transcript evaluation review performed by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
        A document by document evaluation will meet the degree and program requirement if form 4030 is completed and submitted. (See program requirement below)
      • Or a transcript from an accredited U.S. college or university indicating acceptance of your degree as equivalent to theirs

  2. Program requirement: Completed any state's approved teacher preparation program. This would be either an approved program through an accredited college or university or an approved alternative route program.
    Supporting documentation for the program completion requirement:
    • Out of state applicants who have completed a state approved program must submit Form 4020E for traditional preparation programs or Form 4020E-1 for alternative route programs.
    • Foreign trained applicants who completed a program in another country must submit documentation verifying the equivalency of their program, as demonstrated by either:
      • Form 4030 completed and signed by a representative from the college/university where you completed your training
      • Or, if unable to obtain Form 4030, then submit a course by course transcript evaluation review performed by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. (The course by course evaluation will serve to verify both your degree requirement and program equivalency requirement)

    In Washington, there are 21 colleges/universities with state-approved teacher preparation programs and 12 state-approved alternative route programs.


    Out of state and foreign trained applicants may be considered if they have held a regular teacher certificate issued by another state within the U.S. and have taught at the P-12 level outside of Washington for at least 3 years within the last 7 years.
    By submitting an out of state issued certificate and verifying 3 years of out of state experience, endorsements issued on your out of state certificate may be included on your Residency certificate.

    Supporting documentation:

    • Out of state and foreign trained applicants who are using experience and certificate in lieu of program completion must submit Form 4020F-1 to verify experience and submit a copy of their regular out of state teaching certificate.

  3. Testing requirement: Applicants must pass a basic skills test (WEST-B or approved alternative/equivalent test) and an endorsement content knowledge test (WEST-E/NES or approved alternative/equivalent test) within 12 months of receiving a temporary permit.
    Supporting documentation for the testing requirement:
  4. Fingerprint/Background check requirement:
    Supporting documentation:




Please note: Applicable forms must be mailed with your official transcripts.
Form 4020E
Form 4020E-1
Form 4020F-1
Form 4030

   Electronic Certification Application


   Updated 6/29/2016

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