Indiana License Requirements

Last Updated: April 25, 2017

Since cosmetology is a profession that is licensed on a statewide basis, you must meet the specific requirements of the state of Indiana if you want to work here. All licensing and examination goes through the Indiana State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners.

First, you must select and attend a program whose training program is approved by Indiana and meets the training requirements listed below. After finishing your training, you are required to pass a licensing exam issued by the Indiana State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners. Once you pass your written and practical exams, you will receive your Indiana cosmetology license shortly thereafter.

The state of Indiana does not allow apprenticeship to get your training hours for some licenses. Indiana uses Pearson Vue for its cosmetology board exams, and you may take the exam in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese or simplified Chinese for cosmetology, nail tech and esthetics. You can take the barber license and cosmetology instructor exams in English or Spanish. The electrology license exam is offered only in English.

To maintain your license, you must keep up with regular renewal and make sure that continuing education requirements in Indiana do not change.

Use our website to find Indiana beauty schools that can help you obtain a license in cosmetology, esthetics, nail technology and other beauty professions in the state of Indiana.

2017 Indiana Board of Cosmetology License Requirements

Indiana Cosmetology License Renewal

Indiana cosmetology licenses expire on August 1 every 4 years. Barber licenses expire on September 1 every 4 years. If your license has been expired more than 3 years, you must re-take the practical exam to get re-licensed. The cost to renew cosmetology licenses in Indiana is $40, but if you are late there is an additional $50 penalty. Indiana does not currently require additional cosmetology continuing education hours to renew.

Cosmetology License Reciprocity (Transfer) to Indiana

Reciprocity is granted in Indiana on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether your home state has equivalent or more demanding education and licensing requirements. You may not transfer if you have only attended nail school but have not worked actively with the license, and you may be required to take additional training. However, for cosmetology, it is acceptable to transfer a license with school hours only.

Electrologists must have cosmetology or esthetician licenses to transfer. There is a $40 fee and an application to transfer your license to Indiana. If your license does not meet the same standards that Indiana requires, you may be able to make up the difference with work experience. Each full year of work experience, up to 5 years in total, counts for 100 hours of required training.

IN State Board of Cosmetology Contact Information

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency 
State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners
402 W. Washington St., Rm. W072
Indianapolis, IN 46204 
Phone Number: 317-234-3031
Fax Number: 317-233-4236
E-mail Address:

The Indiana State Board of Cosmetology can help you with replacing a lost cosmetology license, updating a change of name or change of address information, and acquiring out-of-state and other useful forms, as well as answer additional questions about obtaining an Indiana cosmetology license.