Can I Renew an Expired Teaching Certificate in California?

Professional licenses must be regularly renewed to remain valid. Like your driver’s license, if your teaching certificate has expired, you cannot teach in California’s public schools. Some private schools may be unwilling to hire you if your teaching credential has lapsed.

There may be a variety of reasons why you no longer have an active and valid teaching credential, including the following:

  • You forgot to renew it.
  • You did not have the time or resources to renew your credential when it was due.
  • It expired when you worked at a private school with no credential requirement.
  • You temporarily left the teaching profession and failed to maintain your credential.

Whatever the reason that led your California teaching certificate to expire, you can renew it.

Teaching Credential Renewals Are Necessary Every Five Years

In California, your teaching credential is generally valid for five years from the date of issuance. Once it comes time to renew your license, you will likely receive reminders and instructions about how to go about doing so.

That said, you ultimately should make sure the renewal happens before the expiration date, regardless of whether you receive reminders. This rule applies to both a standard teaching certificate and a substitute teaching permit.

If you have a child development permit, these are additionally valid for five years. Unlike clear teaching certificates or substitute permits, a child development permit must be accompanied by proof that you have completed 105 hours of professional growth activities.

All types of teaching certificate renewals require you to pay the fee that is associated with them.

Renewal of Expired Credentials Can Take Place at Any Time

In California, there is no penalty for allowing your teaching certificate to expire and then attempting to renew the certificate. Whether you renew your certificate before it expires, the day it expires, or a year after, the process and costs are the same. You do not need to pay any sort of penalty to the state.

However, if too much time has passed, you may have to (re)apply for the teaching credential under the new standards. You will need to consult the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to determine whether your credential can be renewed under the original standards or new ones that have been enacted after your license expires.

The best practice is to renew your license timely.

How to Renew Your License

Most common teaching credentials, such as the CLEAR credential, can be renewed online. If you are unable to renew your certificate online for any reason, you can also do so by mail. Form CL-494: Renewal and Reissuance of Credentials is the one you would need to complete to renew your license.

A Professional License Attorney Can Help You with Certificate Renewals

If you need any help renewing your teaching certificate or have questions about your general credentials, SJ Harris Law is here to help. We provide legal advice and representation to licensed professionals throughout California. Contact our office and request a free consultation with us to discuss your concerns.

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When dealing with these complex issues, you need legal representation that has a long track record of success in these types of cases. Scott Harris and the rest of our team at S J Harris Law will be ready to help you pursue any option available that allows you to keep your license and continue working, no matter what industry you are in.


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