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Substitute Authorization

sub authorization teacher with student


Click here for the Online 
sub authorization course 

Click here for self Paced Course 

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


  • 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 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.


Receiving a Substitute Authorization will allow you to substitute in any subject, any grade level, but does not include long-term subbing.  Providing the individual  has an associates degree or has completed 60 semester hours through an accredited university approved by U.S Department of Education. 

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. 

 Application process

 Once you have successfully completed the Substitute Authorization class an online application must be submitted to the Board of Educational Examiners. Click here for a tutorial on application process.  

Visit: Department of Education 

The application fee is currently $85, and the background check fee is $35 (+ a $3 convenience fee) payable to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (fees subject to change by BOEE). Applicants will complete their background screenings through Iowa Fieldprint and pay a fee of $34.35 to them.

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.

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.

Substitute License 

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 

If you held or hold any of the above licenses you are eligible to apply to become a substitute. Go to

Employment Opportunities 

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