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What is an Emergency Permit?

A local education agency (LEA) requests an emergency permit to fill a vacant position when they are unable to find a certified educator holding a valid and active certificate. The LEA is required to post any permanent or temporary vacancy for a minimum of 10 days on the school entity's website before submitting an initial or reissuance application for an emergency permit to fill the vacancy.

If you do not hold a qualifying valid and active teacher certification issued by the PA Department of Education but have a conferred bachelor's degree, the LEA can hire you as a substitute by requesting an emergency permit. The process for the permit is outlined below:

Apply for Emergency Permit (next) School Reviews and Sends to PDE (next) Send documents to PDE

  • Step One: The position candidate initiates and submits the initial request via the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) at the request of the employing LEA.
  • Step Two: When the request is received by the LEA, they select the type of permit and subject area(s) through their TIMS dashboard, select the payment method, and submit the application to the PA Department of Education. Please note: The LEA determines who is responsible for the payment.
  • Step Three: The position candidate or the LEA submits any pending documentation listed on the TIMS coversheet to the PA Department of Education.

Emergency Permits are issued to the LEA instead of the educator. This means you may need multiple permits if you are subbing in multiple districts. The permit is valid from the first day of the month of issuance, until the last day of summer school in that school year. Additionally, the permits can only be requested by public school entities – school districts, intermediate units, career and technology schools, charter schools, and approved private schools. Third party employment agencies (i.e., Source4Teachers, Kelly Staffing, etc.) cannot request an emergency permit. If your licensed private academic school asks you to apply for a temporary certificate, please apply for the New Credential Application called Private Academic School – Temporary Approval (1010) instead of the Emergency Permit Application.

If you hold a pre-existing Pennsylvania teaching credential that is currently INACTIVE or VOLUNTARY INACTIVE with your Act 48 Continuing Education, you may substitute for a total of 90 days per school year in your certified subject area(s).

  • A Day to Day (Type 06) emergency permit is required if you are working outside of your certification area(s). However, a single assignment may not exceed 20 days.
  • Working both in your subject area and outside of your subject area combined cannot exceed 90 days per school year. To work over 90 days per school year, you must reactivate your Act 48 Continuing Education by completing the pending hours.

An Emergency Permit cannot be issued to a candidate who holds an expired Intern certificate in the subject area requested or a lapsed Level I certificate.