Substitute Teacher Requirements

The SDCOE Credentials Unit offers Temporary County Certificates for employment at school districts within San Diego County for those who met eligibility and fingerprint requirements. These certificates aren’t available to those who have been convicted of a violent or serious felony (Sec. 44332) and aren't available from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

The minimum requirements for substitute teaching assignments in San Diego County are possession of a Bachelor's Degree and passage of the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST), an approved out-of-state Basic Skills Requirement exam, or the CSET: Multiple Subject Plus the Writing Examination (CTC leaflet CL-667).  If you meet these requirements, you may apply for an Emergency 30-day Substitute Permit.  The substitute permit is valid in one year increments, renewable online each year, and authorize you to substitute teach on a day-to-day basis.  You are limited, however, to substitute for no more than 30 days in the same classroom.

You may seek employment at any or all of the 42 Districts in San Diego County.  A complete list of the school districts can be found on our website.  You will contact the Human Resource Department in the district where you would like to work or you may search through the Ed-Join website.

Please bring the following items to either of our two locations to verify eligibility for the Emergency 30-day Substitute permit:

  1. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing no long accepts electronic or e-Transcripts. Therefore, you must bring official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university showing the conferral date of your Bachelor's or higher degree or your original diploma. This will be returned to you.
  2. A photocopy of your CBEST scores, approved out-of-state Basic Skills requirement (BSR) scores, or the CSET: Multiple Subject Plus the Writing Examination scores (any of which will be returned to you).
  3. A photocopy of the Request for Livescan Service form returned to you at the time of fingerprinting or your Certificate of Clearance.  The Certificate of Clearance only verifies fingerprinting for the Commission.  You may need additional fingerprints for the SDCOE Clearinghouse.

Once eligibility is determined, the online submission is a seven-step process completed by a credential technician in our office.

  1. We enter the application information online to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).
  2. The CTC receives verification of bachelor's or higher degree and the basic skills requirement.
  3. An email is sent to the applicant confirming receipt of request for the Emergency 30-day Substitute Permit and requesting payment for the application fee by using a credit or debit card.
  4. The payment process is completed and the applicant receives a confirmation of payment number.  Print or save this confirmation of payment for your records.  (NOTE: The date on which the online recommendation is completed by our office is the effective date of the document, and the expiration date of the document is one year from that effective date.)
  5. The CTC receives fingerprint clearance, as appropriate.
  6. The CTC grants and posts the permit information to the online look-up system within approximately 10-15 business days from date of payment.  At that time you may download the document.  The CTC no longer mails documents to credential or permit holders.
  7. The CTC automatically downloads the permit to the SDCOE payroll and credentials database within approximately 12-15 business days.

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact an SDCOE Credential Technician at