Candidates Trained Outside of Kentucky

Does Kentucky have full reciprocity regarding teaching certification? 

Reciprocity is a term often used when educators need to transfer their certification from one state to another. This does not mean, however, that a state with “reciprocity” will automatically grant the same certification as was held in another state, since each state has its own special requirements or regulations. Kentucky is part of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement; therefore, the state accepts recommendations from teacher preparation programs from state-accredited colleges and universities in many states. Cases are evaluated on an individual basis. 

Out-of-state applicants must have completed a state approved teacher preparation program at a regionally accredited educator preparation institution or a state-approved alternative training program. In addition, candidates must comply with the state ancillary requirements such as GPA, testing and internship. 

Below you will find the application process when coming from out of state.  

Applying for Certification: 

Beginning May 2, 2022, the application for certification can be submitted electronically by creating/logging into your account in the new KECS system. Once logged in, click on “Start an Application” on the Dashboard page and follow the prompts in the application wizard to apply for Initial certification and submit the required documentation.  A certification fee of $85 will be required as the final step before submitting your electronic application.

Submitting Official Transcripts: 
Official Bachelor’s and Master’s/graduate (if applicable) transcripts must be submitted in addition to the application.

Transcripts are only considered official if submitted one of the following ways:  

  • Sent by mail on official transcript paper to

KDE Certification
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601.  

*Official transcripts that are mailed or dropped off at the office are NOT returned to the applicant.  

  • Electronic transcripts sent DIRECTLY from the institution's third-party transcript provider to Electronic transcripts are not accepted if printed by or forwarded by the applicant. 

Out of State Certificate: 
Kentucky state regulation 16 KAR 4:030 requires out of state graduates to provide a copy of their out of state teaching certificate, or a printed copy from that state's website verifying that they have obtained certification in the state where their program was completed. 
PRAXIS Tests: 
If you are supplying the verified two years of experience, the Kentucky PRAXIS tests are not required and you may skip that part of the application. If not supplying the experience requirement, the Kentucky PRAXIS requirements can be found on the ETS website.  If you have tested outside of Kentucky, select the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (code 7283) to have ETS electronically submit your scores to our office.  Out of state tests do not replace the required Kentucky PRAXIS tests unless they have the same PRAXIS test code.


PLEASE NOTE: Kentucky does NOT recognize teaching credentials which were gained in another state only by the passage of an assessment. Applicants must meet the requirements of Kentucky regulations regarding out-of-state preparation as found in 16 KAR 4:030.

Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2022, 9:33 AM