Educator License Fees Eliminated for Veterans and Active Duty Service Members and their Spouses
The Ohio Department of Education has eliminated fees for educator licenses to recognize the contributions of military families. The fees for any initial Ohio educator license, permit or certificate – or for a renewal – will be waived for candidates who are veterans with honorable discharges or current service members of all branches of the United States Armed Forces; the National Guard or Reserve; and the Ohio Military Reserve or Ohio Naval Militia (under the Ohio Adjutant General). Spouses of active duty service members also may receive a license free of charge.
Getting ready for the licensure application
· Candidates will need a SAFE account to apply for a license. Set up a SAFE account here. Candidates who do not have an Ohio driver’s license may use their military ID or another alternative form of identification to set up their SAFE accounts.
· When you are completing the online license application within SAFE, you will need to verify military service by uploading a scanned copy of a verification document.
· While scanning your verification, please select the PDF file type for the document(s) you will upload.
· If you are a veteran of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, you will need to upload your U.S. Department of Defense Form 214.
· If you are a spouse of an active duty member, you will upload a copy of the front of your spouse’s identification card, your marriage license or proof of marriage and a copy of your spouse’s current orders for mobilization/deployment.
· Learn more applying for a new or renewed license here.
Licensure options of interest to military educators
The department also is offering means of streamlining the licensure process for educators involved with the military.
· The one-year out-of-state educator license – Incoming licensed teachers from other states – including service members, spouses of service members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces – may obtain this license soon after applying if they meet all requirements. This license simplifies interstate mobility and employment since it allows someone to teach for a year in Ohio while they are meeting any additional requirements they may need for full licensure in Ohio, such as passing a licensure exam.
· Military extensions to Ohio licenses – State law permits a member of the National Guard or a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States who is called to active duty and who, at the time of deployment, holds a valid educator license in Ohio, is entitled to have the license extended for a period of time commensurate with the length of active duty service, provided the educator is honorably released from that active duty service. (Ohio Revised Code 3319.284). To inquire about an extension, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Alternative routes to Ohio licensure – The Ohio Credential Review Board assists individuals who are pursuing an alternative educator license by taking into consideration factors such as successful experience, academic qualifications and professional accomplishments that may serve as a basis for meeting licensure requirements through alternative means.
Veterans may seek reimbursement for educator licensure tests
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a reimbursement program for educational expenses, which can include the cost of taking the Ohio Assessments for Educators. Here is how to seek reimbursement:
Download the Department of Veterans Affairs Application for Reimbursement of Licensing or Certification Test Fees (VBA-22-0803-A).
To complete the form, you will need the list of Ohio Assessments for Educators and related fees that are approved for reimbursement using veteran’s benefits. Access this information by following the steps below on the WEAMS Licenses/Certifications Search page:
· Enter “OAE” into the L&C Name field.
· Select “Both” as the LAC category type.
· Select the State initials “MA” for Massachusetts (location of the OAE testing contractor) and click on the “Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE)” prompt under the Description column. You should see a list of licensure exams. Select the exam that you will take and the associated cost. Complete and submit the reimbursement form.
· For additional information about reimbursement programs, please contact your local veteran’s benefits office.
You may also contact the Office of Educator Licensure at (877) 644-6338 or via email at email@example.com.