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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:
  • 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 Website.  When creating your account, please use your personal email account, NOT your TCNJ email account.  You’ll then receive a specific case number for your application.
  • If you have 60 credits and are applying for a substitute certification (especially if you plan to sub in a district), make sure to select the 60-credit instructional substitute certification in the application when asked.


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, 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 106,
Attention:  Jennifer Pirone
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

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 at least 60 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
  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 HERE

***As of October 13, 2021:***

Substitute Teacher Credential Pathway 2 (Per P.L. 2021, c.87):

  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 20 years of age
  5. Credential pathway is available until June 30, 2023
  6. 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: