Human Resources → Educator Certification → MSDE General Certificate Info

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) General Certificate Information


A Maryland teaching certificate is your license to teach in an accredited public school in the state of Maryland. All teachers, specialists, and administrators or supervisors in a position directly related to the instruction program in the state are required to hold a Maryland certificate. Maryland teaching certificates have an issuance date of either January 1 or July 1. Professionals who begin service between January 1 and June 30 will be issued a certificate valid January 1. Those who begin service between July and December 31 will be issued a certificate valid July 1. 

All official documents verifying completion of certificate renewal requirements must be submitted to the Certification Unit by the expiration of the professional certificate so that continuous employment is not jeopardized.  As stated in the Regular Contract (COMAR 13A.07.02.01B): This contract shall automatically terminate if the employee ceases to hold a professional certificate.  

As a reminder, while you are a permanent contracted educator, specialist or administrator, MCPS handles ALL of your certification via its direct access to the MSDE's Educator Information System (EIS).  Please contact a member of the Certification Unit with any and all questions about your Maryland Educator Certificate. During the year prior to the expiration of your Maryland certificate, you will receive a courtesy reminder notification via email. If your certificate is renewing in the coming year, remember to check your email including the summer months since we are here to serve you all year.  

How and Where to Keep Your Certificate

As with all licenses, it should be treated as an important document. It is recommended that your certificate be kept in a personal certification file so that you can refer to it for information. As stated on the actual certificate:  It is the responsibility of the holder of this certificate to know the current certification requirements and to renew this certificate prior to the expiration date.


Failure to meet your renewal requirements will result in a salary penalty, loss of tenure, and conditional certification or termination of permanent employment status, depending on your individual circumstances.

At the discretion of the local school system, professionals who fail to meet professional certificate renewal requirements are issued a Class II Conditional Certificate valid for two years. They will receive a provisional contract and will lose tenure. Experience completed under a Class II certificate may not apply toward salary advancement. For example, future step increases may be delayed based on the length of time the professional was on the Class II certificate. Failure to meet the remaining credits by the expiration of the Conditional Certificate will result in termination of employment.   

Please note that COMAR 13A.12.01.11A(3) states that “the local school system may request a conditional certificate…for an employee who fails to meet the renewal requirements of the professional certificate.”   

Certificates are rated Class II because of failure to meet renewal requirements. In each case, the professional whose certificate is rated Class II will be notified of the change. All other certificates are rated Class I.

View and Download Your Digital Certificate through the MSDE TEACH Platform

  • MCPS educators will continue to work directly with the MCPS Certification Unit regarding any changes to their Maryland certificates. The MCPS Certification Unit will provide guidance as we all learn how to best leverage the new TEACH system. See the MCPS TEACH Application Overview.

  • When it's time to renew your Maryland Educator Certificate, use the following renewal application instruction guide; however, please note that you are to complete the required renewal application ONLY after MCPS has informed you that you are eligible for the renewal of your Maryland Educator Certificate.  Please do NOT submit the required renewal application to the new TEACH platform until MCPS has instructed you to do so. MCPS TEACH Application Guide-RENEWAL instructions.  

IMPORTANT: Please review your certificate and contact the Certification Unit about any discrepancies.

Type of Maryland Certificates

Click on the certificate type below for information on how to renew the certificate or move to the next certificate.


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