Interested in becoming a substitute teacher? Download the full Licensure document here.


Minimum Requirements for Substitute License

  • Official transcripts showing 48 semester hours of college education (72 quarter hours)
  • Successful background check with ESPB


How to Apply for License

  • Click on ND Teach Apply Online
  • Submit your online application for the Interim Substitute Teaching license
  • Do NOT submit a permit application.
  • Get official transcripts to ESPB
  • Paper applications are available if you call 701-328-9641.



Print Fingerprint Instructions from ESPB Website

  • Go to ESPB Website
  • Pages 3 and 4 need to be completed and returned to ESPB with your cards and a money order or cashier’s check for $44.50.
  • ND uses ink fingerprints. If you are not in ND and need us to mail you fingerprint cards, please call us at 701-328-9641.


Substitute License Fees

  • One Time ESPB Application Fee $30.00   (paid on-line)
  • Fingerprinting Fee $44.50 (paid with money order or cashier’s check)
  • Substitute License for two years $85.00  (paid on-line)

                         Total:  $159.50


Substitute License Restrictions

  • You may not sign a teaching contract or be the Teacher of Record while on a substitute teaching license.
  • If you have not earned a bachelor’s degree, you will be limited to 30 consecutive days in the same classroom.


Substitute License Timelines

  • Once ESPB gets your fingerprint cards, background check forms, and money order/cashier’s check, it takes approximately 3-4 weeks to get results back.
  • You will get an email when your background check results have been entered.
  • Once your application status moves to “approval” it generally takes a couple days for the license to be issued.
  • You’ll get another email when the license is issued and instructions on how to print your license.
  • Then you’ll need to contact the district(s) where you’d like to substitute teach and follow their procedures to get signed up to substitute teach.


Had a teaching license in ND that expired?

  • If your teaching license expired more than 5 years ago, you can apply for a Re-Entry license with just a new background check
  • Or you could apply for a substitute teaching license with a new background check. All teaching content is removed from the teaching license when moving to a sub license.


Alternate Access License

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in a content area you want to teach?
  • If a school needs a teacher in your content area and they can’t find a fully qualified applicant, they could request this license for you.
  • You could have up to three years to complete education coursework. 



Call or email ESPB

  • 701-328-9641
  • We thank you for your interest in teaching in North Dakota!