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Substitute Authorization

sub authorization teacher with student


Take the Online 
sub authorization course 

Self Paced Course

Iowa's AEAs are offering the required training course for the Iowa Substitute Authorization online or self paced. 

Receiving a Substitute Authorization will allow an individual who holds a Bachelor degree or an Associate's  degree to substitute in grades PK-12

This will allow you to substitute in any subject, any grade level, but does not include long-term subbing.

An individual who holds a Paraeducator Certificate without an associates degree or 60 semester hours of credit and completes this course will be authorized to substitute ONLY in the special education classroom (not preschool or ELL) in which the individual is employed, for no more than five consecutive days. Only paraeducators may elect the Paraeducator Credit. 


  • Has achieved  the following: holds an associate's degree or has completed 60 semester hours through an accredited university approved by U.S. Department of Education ,OR holds an approved Paraeducator Certification Program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate.
  •  Has attained a minimum age of 21 years.
  •  Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check.
  •  Has successfully completed a National Criminal History background check.
  •  Has successfully completed all the requirements of an approved Substitute Authorization course.

Renewal of Authorization
The period of renewal for this authorization is once every five years. At the time of renewal you will need to submit verification of two 15 contact hour courses taken within the five year period from the date your Authorization was issued, the renewal application form, documentation of Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse training and the renewal fee.

Application process will be provided during the course. Once you have successfully completed the Substitute Authorization class an online application must be submitted to the Board of Educational Examiners. 

  Update from the BOEE June 27, 2022  - Use of Substitute Teachers


The Board of Educational Examiners has established an emergency rule to allow paraeducators employed in an Iowa public school district or non-public school who hold a paraeducator certificate with a substitute authorization as an area of concentration to be allowed to substitute outside their assigned special education classroom IF permission is granted. This permission is not intended for long-term subbing. The permission form will be available in August.

Holders of a career and technical authorization with at least on year of experience may serve as a substitute in any classroom (except driver’s ed) as long as they hold the substitute authorization license. 

The course includes components on ethics, diversity, instructional strategies, and behavior management. 

This course will take place via Zoom (online and 15 hours) with additional assignments outside of the Zoom time (5 hours).

The application for this license is online. The process can be started as soon as you know the course you are taking is going to be held.

Visit: BOEE Applitrack License Site

To start your online application to apply for the license, you will need: 

  • Transcript showing completion of this Substitute Authorization course
  • PDF of your Official College Transcripts (paras will add this as an endorsement to a para license)
  • Fingerprint Cards - once you start the online application, the cards will be sent to you. Complete at your local police station (fees range from $0 – 20)
  • Fees payable to the BOEE; paid online during the application process:
  • Background Check – $75 You will need this even if you had one done for another organization or school. Waived only for those with a BOEE issued coaching authorization or Para License.
  • Application Fees of $85 + $3 debit/credit card processing fee. (Fee total is $163)

If you have taken this course in the past and have an EXPIRED substitute authorization license, you DO NOT need to take this course again - you can renew an expired license at any time. There are no penalties for letting your license expire.

License types Approved for full substitute teaching (up to 90 days in one assignment):

  • Initial, standard, master educator, permanent professional, or exchange licenses

  • Professional administrator license

  • Professional service license 

  • Full career and technical authorization 

  • Full native language teaching authorization

  • Substitute license 


Local districts have the option of hiring individuals with the Substitute Authorization. It does not guarantee employment. Please check with your local district. Visit for more opportunities.


Help with Registration

Visit the AEA Professional Learning Registration System. If you’re a first time user, select ‘Create Account’.  Fill in the information as requested.  When it asks for your BoEE folder number—select NA.  (The system updates new accounts during the night. This means you'll need to register for the course the following day.) Once you’re logged in, select 'Courses' on the menu bar. In the Course Search box, enter the course section number noted above.  You'll see the Substitute Authorization course listed, select the ‘Register’ button for the appropriate date and location. 


For more information contact:

Michelle Gregerson
Office: 800-632-5918
Fax: 563-245-1484