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Permits: How They Work

Michigan Law

Michigan law requires schools to hire and employ properly certified and endorsed teachers (MCL 380.1231 and 380.1233). In order to systematically address needed exceptions to law, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has established administrative rules in accordance with MCL 380.1531 to authorize permits. A school district or nonpublic school shall obtain a substitute permit to employ an individual or teacher who does not hold the valid and appropriate endorsement or certificate, including an individual employed under section 1233b, section 1233c, or section 1531f of 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1233b, 380.1233c, or 380.1531f.

Available Permits

  • Daily Substitute Permit
  • Full-Year BASIC Substitute Permit
  • Full-Year SHORTAGE Substitute Permit
  • Full-Year EXPERT Substitute Permit

Steps for Obtaining a Permit

  1. Establish that a properly certified and endorsed teacher is not available.
  2. While continuing to search for qualified job candidates, determine the appropriate permit (or permits) needed for the candidate using the Permit Eligibility Record. A Daily Substitute Permit may be used to transition a candidate into a Full-year Substitute Permit.
  3. Complete all tasks related to confirming the requirements have been met for the permit (e.g. background check per school safety law).
  4. Obtain appropriate access to the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) as a school user.
  5. Log in to the system and select “Permits” from the menu of options.
  6. Using the Permit Eligibility Record and all supporting documentation, respond to and verify each question asked within the MOECS online permit application.
  7. Once submitted, depending on the requirements and the permit type, the  application will indicate one of the following statuses:
  • Pending Evaluation
  • Hold
  • Pending Payment ($45)
  • Approved
  • Denied


It is important to note that in some cases (e.g., Daily Substitute Permit) the permit application does not require submission of documents to the Michigan Department of Education. In such cases, documentation to support the application must be maintained at the school or school district for future audit.

Documentation may include one or more of the following:

  • College or university transcripts
  • Name & Personal Identification Code (PIC) of the mentor teacher
  • Evidence of a formal observation
  • Score report from an approved content area test
  • Documentation specifying “unusual distinction or exceptional talent” (may vary)
  • Copy of a business or industry license


The permit is not valid until it reaches the approved status. This includes the payment process. A non-certified, inappropriately endorsed individual cannot be placed in the assignment without jeopardizing State Aid funding until the permit is issued and valid.

A full-year substitute permit is valid from the date of issuance through August 31st of the academic year in which it is issued. Permits are not valid retroactively.

Permits are granted to an employing school or school district. They are not portable between schools and are not held by an individual. There is no printable paper authorization. Verification of an issued permit is completed either through MOECS or the public verification site.

Schools should review the Daily Substitute Transition Plan for guidance on support of permitted educators in long term assignments.


It is vital that administration, AND the candidate being considered for employment, understand the requirements for renewal of each permit they are utilizing. Some renewal requirements must be completed while the candidate is working in the assignment (e.g., effectiveness rating).