Emergency 30-Day Substitute Permit



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California
If you want to substitute teach in California, you must obtain one of four types of permits to become a substitute teacher (if you meet the qualifications for the permit) or be a California-licensed teacher. Below is more information on the qualifications for each type of permit. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has more information about the types of permits available. The California Department of Education website can also guide you to more information about teaching and schools in California.
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Emergency 30-Day Substitute Permit
If you:

  • have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an appropriately accredited college or university,

  • meet the basic skills requirement (more details about this requirement below), and

  • can pass a background check (more details about this requirement below),

you may apply for an Emergency 30-Day Substitute Permit.


This permit will allow you to be a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom for up to 30 days for one teacher or 20 days in a special education classroom for one teacher in one school year. You may serve for more than 30 days (or 20 days, if applicable) overall in one school year if you substitute for more than one teacher. For example, you may serve as a substitute for 29 days in Mr. Smith’s classroom while he is out on parental leave during the 2016-2017 school year and still serve for 30 days in Ms. Jones classroom while she is out on medical leave during the 2016-2017 school year.
Once granted, you must renew the permit online annually.
You will find answer to additional questions about this type of permit here.

Emergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teachers
If you:

  • have completed at least 90 semester hours of credit from an appropriately accredited college or university,

  • are currently enrolled in a four-year program for a bachelor’s degree at an appropriately accredited California college or university,

  • meet the basic skills requirement (more details about this requirement below),

  • can pass a background check (more details about this requirement below),

you may apply for an Emergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teachers.


This permit will allow you to be a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom for up to 90 days for one teacher or 20 days in a special education classroom for one teacher in one school year. Additionally, this permit is limited to a total of 90 days per school year of service as a substitute teacher. For example, you may serve as a substitute for 30 days in Mr. Smith’s classroom while he is out on parental leave during the 2016-2017 school year, for 30 days in Ms. Jones classroom while she it out on medical leave, and for 30 days in Ms. Lee’s classroom while she is serving on a jury. After that, you would not be permitted to serve as a substitute again for the 2016-2017 school year.
Once granted, this permit will be valid for one year. You may apply to renew the permit for only one additional year, but you must

  • show that you have completed an additional 15 semester hours of credit and

  • verify your continued enrollment in a four-year California college or university.

You may not apply to renew the permit after the one-year renewal period expires. After that, you may apply for another type of substitute permit if you qualify for that type of permit.


Emergency Career Substitute Permit
If you:


  • have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an appropriately accredited college or university;

  • meet the basic skills requirement (more details about this requirement below);

  • have verification from your employer of either:

    • three consecutive years of at least 90 days per year of substitute teaching in the California school district requesting the permit (3-year period must be immediately prior to application date);

    • if the county office of education is responsible for substitute assignments for all of their school districts, three consecutive years of at least 90 days per year of substitute teaching accumulated in one or more of the districts in the county requesting the permit (3-year period must be immediately prior to application date);

  • have a statement of endorsement signed by the superintendent of the employing school district or county office of education (as applicable) that you served successfully and that the district or county would allow you to substitute teach for up to 60 days for one teacher during the school year;

  • have verification that your employing agency will make staff development activities offered to their regular teaching staff available to you; and

  • can pass a background check (more details about this requirement below),

you may apply for an Emergency Career Substitute Permit.


This permit will allow you to be a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom for up to 60 days for one teacher or 20 days in a special education classroom for one teacher in one school year. You may serve for more than 60 days (or 20 days, if applicable) overall in one school year if you substitute for more than one teacher. For example, you may serve as a substitute for 59 days in Mr. Smith’s classroom while he is out on parental leave during the 2016-2017 school year and still serve for 60 days in Ms. Jones classroom while she is out on medical leave during the 2016-2017 school year.
Once granted, this permit will be valid for one year. You may apply to renew the permit for one additional year, but you must

  • provide a statement of continuing endorsement from the superintendent of the employing school district or county education office and

  • verify that staff development activities offered to regular teachers were made available to you.

You may continue to renew this type of permit annually if you continue to meet the qualifications.


Emergency Designated Subjects Career Technical Education Permit

If you:



  • have one of the following:

  • can provide verification by your employer or employers of three years of work experience directly related to an industry sector (one year equals a minimum of 1000 clock hours and the experience may be full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid), and

  • can pass a background check (more details about this requirement below),

you may apply for an Emergency Designated Subjects Career Technical Education Permit.


Your employment verification (on company letterhead and signed by your employer) must include:


  • your employer’s name, address, and telephone number;

  • the working relationship of the person signing the letter to you (for example, direct supervisor);

  • beginning and ending dates of employment;

  • complete description of duties; and

  • statement of whether or not the duties are full time and, if not full time, the number of hours you worked.

If you were self-employed or are verifying for an area outside of your main occupation, you must include the items above in a letter signed under penalty of perjury and your experience must be verified by someone else in writing with first-hand knowledge, like your accountant, supplier, or customer.


One year of the required experience must be within the last five years, and two years of required experience must be within the last ten years. At least one year of actual work experience is required, but the following may count toward the required experience:

  • For up to 1000 clock-hours (one-year) of experience to meet the requirement that the experience be recent, a combination of:

    • work experience,

    • related coursework (college-level or non-college level),

    • occupational internship, or

    • vocational teaching experience.

  • Completion of 48 semester hours of related post-secondary vocational training may be substituted for up to two years of experience.

  • One or more of the following may be used for up to two years of experience:

    • an advanced industry certificate, or

    • one year of full-time general education teaching experience in public or private preschool or grades K-12.

More information about specific industries and jobs that can be used to satisfy the requirements of this permit are here.


This permit will allow you to be a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom only as part of a program for technical, trade, or vocational education for up to 30 days for one teacher and only if the employing agency has completed a Statement of Need. You may serve for more than 30 days overall in one school year if you substitute for more than one teacher. For example, you may serve as a substitute for 29 days in Mr. Smith’s classroom while he is out on parental leave during the 2016-2017 school year and still serve for 30 days in Ms. Jones classroom while she is out on medical leave during the 2016-2017 school year.
Once granted, this permit will be valid for one year. You may apply annually to renew the permit if you continue to meet the requirements for the permit.
California- Licensed Educator
As with other states, if you are a California-licensed teacher, you may be a substitute teacher. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has more information about the requirements for obtaining teaching credentials in California.
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Basic Skills Requirement
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has identified several ways to meet the basic skills requirement for obtaining certain substitute teaching permits. Any one of the ways identified below is sufficient.
California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
To pass the CBEST, you must have a score of at least 41 in each of the following sections: reading, writing, and mathematics. You may also pass the test if you score as low as 37 in one individual section if you have a total combined scaled score of 123.
You cannot combine passing scores in other types of assessments here (such as the CSET: Multiple Subjects or CSU Early Assessment Program) with your CBEST scores to meet the basic skills requirement.
More information about the CBEST can be found here.
CSET: Multiple Subjects Plus Writing Skills Examination
You must pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects that has been modified to include a writing skills examination or pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects along with passing the separate CSET: Writing Examination.
You cannot combine passing scores in other types of assessments here (such as the CBEST or CSU Early Assessment Program) with your CSET scores to meet the basic skills requirement.
More information about the CSET can be found here.
CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations
You may meet the requirement by having a passing score on the California State University (CSU) Early Assessment Program (English and Mathematics sections). You may also meet the requirement by passing the CSU Placement Examinations with a score of 50 (or a score of 550 on tests taken prior to March 2002) on the Entry Level Mathematics test and a score of 151 on the English Placement Test.
You can combine scores from sections of the CSU Early Assessment Program and the CSU Placement Examination to meet the requirements. For example, if you have a passing score on the Mathematics section of the CSU Early Assessment Program test, but do not pass the English Section of the CSU Early Assessment Program test, you may use a passing score on the CSU English Placement Test to help you satisfy this requirement.
However, you cannot combine passing scores in other types of assessments here (such as the CSET: Multiple Subjects or CBEST) with your CSU Early Assessment Program and CSU Placement Examinations scores to meet the basic skills requirement.
More information about the CSU Early Assessment Program can be found here, and information about the CSU Placement Examinations can be found here.
Qualifying Scores on the College Board SAT/ACT
If you have the following scores on the College Board SAT, it is sufficient to meet the basic skills requirement:


  • at least 550 on the SAT Critical Reading Section, and

  • at least 550 on the SAT Mathematics Section.

If you have the following scores on the ACT, it is sufficient to meet the basic skills requirement:




  • at least 22 on the ACT English Section, and

  • at least 23 on the ACT Mathematics Section.

You cannot combine either



  • passing scores on the College Board SAT with scores on the ACT, or

  • passing scores in other types of assessments here (such as the CBEST or CSU Early Assessment Program) with your College Board SAT or ACT scores

to meet the basic skills requirement.


More information about the College Board SAT can be found here, and information about the ACT can be found here.
Qualifying Scores on College Board Advance Placement (AP) Tests
You must have a qualifying score on one College Board AP mathematics test and one College Board AP English test in order to meet the basic skills requirement.
You may meet the mathematics requirement with a score of 3 or higher on any one of the following College Board AP tests:

You may meet the English requirement with a score of 3 or higher on any one of the following College Board AP tests:



  • AP English Literature and Composition or

  • AP English Language and Composition.

You cannot combine passing scores in other types of assessments here (such as the CBEST or CSU Early Assessment Program) with your College Board AP scores to meet the basic skills requirement.


More information about the College Board AP tests can be found here.
Pass a Basic Skills Examination from Another State
You may meet the basic skills requirement by passing a basic skills requirement in another state.
You cannot combine passing scores in other types of assessments here (such as the CBEST or CSU Early Assessment Program) with your basic skills requirement scores from another state to meet the basic skills requirement.
More information about the acceptable basic skills requirement tests from other states can be found here.
Background Checks
California requires that you submit fingerprints for review of criminal records at the California Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the international database of teacher misconduct maintained by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.
Section 4 (Professional Fitness Questions) of the Application for Credential Authorizing Public School Service that every substitute permit applicant must submit and the Professional Fitness Explanation Form provide more details on misconduct that must be disclosed in addition to the background check that will be conducted.
California law requires that people convicted of some serious crimes be denied a permit to substitute teach, but there are certain exceptions. If you have questions regarding past convictions, you should reach out to the school district in which you want to work for more information.


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