I’ve received many questions regarding the entire process of Microsoft certifications over the years. Some of the most common questions I’ve gotten are around the topic of whether Microsoft certifications expire and how you renew them when they do. The short answer is, yes, most Microsoft certifications do expire, and will require a renewal to keep the certification current. However, there are some older Microsoft certifications that don’t expire. This article will go through and answer these questions in more detail.

When do Role-based Microsoft Certifications expire?

The role-based Microsoft certifications that are currently offered will expire after 1 year from the date they are earned. This applied to the Associate, Expert, and Specialty certifications.

If you earned role-based Microsoft certifications prior to June 30, 2021, then your certification had a 2 years expiration from the date earned. As the 2 year expiration elapses for those that still remain, they will be required to renew to stay current, and the renewal will be set to the newer 1 year certification expiration period after renewal.

How do you renew Role-based Microsoft Certifications?

Before the Microsoft certification expires, it can be renewed. When your Microsoft certification reached the period of 6 months prior to the expiration date, you will be eligible to take an online, unproctored assessement for free to renew the certification. This makes it extremely easy to keep your Microsoft certifications current.

If not renewed before the expiration date, Microsoft certifications can no longer be easily renewed with a simple assessment. If you do not renew the Microsoft certification before the expiration date, then you will be required to pay for and take the current version of the proctored certification exam.

These are the key items to know about when looking at renewing your Microsoft certifications:

  • Renewing Microsoft certifications is completely free.
  • You have a 6-month renewal window before the Microsoft certification expiration in which you can take the necessary steps to renew.
  • Microsoft certification renewals are short assessments that only cover recently changed technology questions on the current version of the exam, are unproctored, and easy to take on your own.

Tip: Be sure to renew Microsoft certifications before the expiration date. Once Microsoft certifications expire, you will no longer be eligible to take the free renewal assessment. You will need to take the full exam again.

To check if your Microsoft certifications are eligible for the renewal process, go to the “Certification Renewals” page on Microsoft Learn, and login with your MS account associated with your certifications.

What about Microsoft “Beta” Certification Exam expiration?

When taking Microsoft certification exams during their “Beta” period, you are taking an unreleased version of the exam. The exam results take longer to analyze by Microsoft to determine if you pass the exam and earn the subsequent certification. As a result, the expiration of certifications earned by taking “Beta” exams is set to expire 1 year after the date the certification exam goes live (or is generally available), instead of the date you passed / took the “Beta” exam.

Which Microsoft Certifications do not expire?

There were many older Microsoft certifications that are no longer offered, that do not expire. These are all older, outdated certifications that just didn’t have an expiration date back when they were offered. These certifications wont expire, but the many of them validate skills that are outdated and likely not in demand much anymore either.

These are the categories of Microsoft certifications that do not expire: MOS, MTA, MCSA, MCSD, MCSE, and MCE certifications.

Happy studying and maintaining your Microsoft certifications!

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect