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Ohio Waives Educator License Fees for Military, Veterans, and Spouses

Teaching to read

Ohio has joined several other states to offer an educator license fee exemption for veterans, active duty service members, and their spouses. The action is meant to recognize the contributions of military families.

Service members, veterans, and military spouses often want to give back to their communities, and one form of such giving back is teaching. While licensing fees may not seem like a large amount, often ranging from $20 to $400, they can add up. It is great to see such states as Ohio showing their appreciation for military service and doing what they can to make this process less cumbersome.

If you are in Ohio and would like to obtain your educator license without a fee, read on to find out more.

How to Receive Your Educator License for Free

  • The fees are for any initial Ohio educator license, permit or certificate – or for a renewal
  • Veterans must have an honorable discharge
  • Candidates will need a SAFE account to apply for a license. Set up a SAFE account here
  • Candidates who do not have an Ohio driver’s license may use their military ID or another alternative form of identification to set up their SAFE accounts.
  • When you are completing the online license application within SAFE, you will need to verify military service by uploading a scanned copy of a verification document.
  • While scanning your verification, please select the PDF file type for the document(s) you will upload.  
  • If you are a veteran of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, you will need to upload your U.S. Department of Defense Form 214.
  • If you are a spouse of an active duty member, you will upload a copy of the front of your spouse’s identification card, your marriage license or proof of marriage and a copy of your spouse’s current orders for mobilization/deployment. 

Learn more about applying for a new or renewed educator license in Ohio here.

Examples of Other States with Waivers

Ohio isn't alone in offering benefits to military families with educator aspirations. For example, in 2015 Texas began offering waivers on certain educator certification fees to service members, military veterans, and their spouses.
Texas will waive fees for standard certificates, probationary certificates, one-year certificates, educational aide certificates, and the review of credentials. They do not waive fees associated with fingerprinting, preliminary criminal history evaluation, renewal (including late and reactivation fees), and reinstatement.

Click here to find out more about waiving your Texas educator fees.

Wisconsin has been waiving such fees since 2012, but only waives one fee per qualified applicant. The waiver cannot be applied toward renewals. You must apply for a voucher first, which you then take to the Department of Public Instruction for registration. The license does not expire while the service member is on active duty, and the license can be extended at no cost with the request of an extension or renewal.

Click here to find out more about waiving your Wisconsin educator fees.

There are likely other states with similar benefits, and we certainly hope more will follow suit. Teaching is a noble profession, and what better people to help educate the future of our country than our veterans, service members, and military spouses.

For more information on pursuing a teaching or education job, visit's Teaching & Education Jobs page.  

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