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Clearances & Obtaining a Substitute Teacher Certificate



  • Request your official transcript through PAWS. The Certification Office cannot request your transcript due to the FERPA Law. You MUST request to have your official transcript electronically sent to: New Jersey Dept. of Education:
  • Upload the approved Criminal History Background Form into your NJEDCERT Portal once you have created your account.  Criminal History Background forms are available to print out two weeks after completing your fingerprints.
  • Create an NJEdCert account, apply for your substitute certification, and pay the $125 application fee through the State of New Jersey Department of Education WebsiteFees are waived for the period beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2024.
      Please enter your email address.  You’ll then receive a specific case number for your application.
  • If you have 30 credits or more and are applying for a substitute certification (especially if you plan to sub in a district), make sure to select the 30-credit instructional substitute certification in the application when asked. If you have 60 or more credits, please make sure that you select the 60-credits instructional substitute certificate.


Complete the application below and email it to the Certification Office for record and tracking purposes.

Substitute Credential Application_072022 (PDF)

Upon completing the online registration fee of $125.00, fees are waived for the period beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2024.

applicants should include the individual case number on the substitute certificate application, and fill in the county (Mercer).

Please use your personal email account when completing this application.  It will be used to identify yourself in your NJEDCERT account. 

Students may email, mail, or drop off the application TCNJ at:

TCNJ Certification Office
Education Bldg. Rm 102,
Attention:  Jennifer Pirone
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

Certification Office Email:

When you apply for a substitute certificate, it is valid at any public or charter school in New Jersey and eligible for five years from the date of issuance.


The State of New Jersey Department of Education has implemented a new substitute credential pathway.

Clearances Required:

Substitute Teacher Credential Pathway 1 (Per N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-7.3):

  1. Have 30 credits to apply for a Substitute Teacher Credential
  2. Complete a criminal history background clearance
  3. Select TCNJ (click here for directions/codes) as your sponsoring agency/school and register as a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER.  TCNJ is your sponsoring agency.  DO NOT enter a School District.
  4. Pay administrative fees on the NJDOE Criminal History Website ($11)
  5. Go to the IdentiGO website
    1. schedule an appointment
    2. pay fingerprinting fees ($67.45)
    3. fill out New Jersey Universal Fingerprint Form
  6. Get fingerprinted
  7. Check criminal history status.

Substitute Teacher Credential as of June 30, 2023:

  1. A student may have a completion of 30 semester-hour credits
  2. Credits must be completed at an accredited institution of higher education at the time of application
  3. Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education at the time of application
  4. Applicant must be at least 18 years of age
  5. Credential is valid for five (5) years from the date of issuance

** If you have already been fingerprinted, but selected COLLEGE STUDENT or VOLUNTEER, you will have to fingerprint again as a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER**

If you only want clearances, without the Substitute Certification, COMPLETE STEPS #2-7 above.

The Substitute Certificate timeline for processing and issuance is 6-8 weeks by the New Jersey Department of Education.  You may check the status of your application at: