Cosmetology License Transfer or Reciprocity by State
The Alabama Cosmetology Board does accept reciprocity from other states. This does depend on the training, testing and length of licensure in your home state. You must request that certification of your licensure and education be sent to the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering from the state you are currently licensed in. The process begins when the office receives your certification. You may need to take licensing exams, depending on which state your license is from. This service comes with a $100 fee.
The Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers can help with cosmetology license transfers. Your training from your home state must be equal to or greater than the training requirements of Alaska. If you have at least 1500 training hours, you can use one year of full-time work experience to make up the difference. If you have at least 1000 hours, you can use two years of work experience to make up the difference. If you cannot prove that you meet the training requirements of Alaska, you need to complete your training hours at an Alaska school.
If you began your cosmetology career in another state, licensure in Arizona may be accomplished through the reciprocity program or by taking an Arizona cosmetology ex-am. This requires an application for reciprocity. According the Arizona Board of Cos-metology, a person is entitled to receive a cosmetologist, aesthetician or nail technician license if:
- You submit an application to the Board of Cosmetology for a cosmetologist, esthetician or nail tech license; this application must be supplied by the Board of Cosmetology.
- You submit evidence that you are licensed in another state or country, OR you graduated from a school that offers cosmetology, esthetics or nail technology courses substantially similar to Arizona's requirements and that you passed the Board-approved cosmetology exams.
- You pay the required fees.
Along with your application for reciprocity, you must include:
- A passport-quality photo
- Type of license, license number, and expiration date if you were previously licensed by the Board of Cosmetology
- Statement of whether or not you have ever had a cosmetology, nail technology, esthetics, or instructor license suspended or revoked in any state or country.
- Certification of hours and proof of graduation or licensure in another state or country
The Arkansas cosmetology board requires a reciprocity application and a $150 to transfer your license to Arkansas. Your home state should send a certification of records and training. You will have to take the Arkansas State Cosmetology Board Exam. If your home state requires fewer training hours to get your cosmetology license, you may have to take additional exams.
If you completed your barbering education as an apprentice, you may need to repeat your barber training in Arkansas. Your home state must have similar barbering hour requirements or you must have your barber license for three or more years. All reciprocity and transfer applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. International licensees must prove they are both licensed and experience before taking the practical exam.
The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires that you must have a cosmetology license in good standing with no citations, violations, convictions or child support issues putting your license on hold in your home state. You must have been licensed for at least three of the last five years to qualify for reciprocity.
The training requirements of your home state must be equal to or greater than the requirements of California if you want to qualify for reciprocity. Otherwise, you must finish your training hours at an approved California school and take the cosmetology examination.
If you have a cosmetology license from another state or country, you may be able to apply for Colorado licensure via endorsement. First, you must have the licensing agency of your home state or country send proof of your license in good standing to the Office of Barbering and Cosmetology Licensure. If your license is not currently active, you must meet the educational requirements of the state of Colorado. This also involves passing the licensing examinations for your specialty.
The Connecticut Examining Board for Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmeticians requires that reciprocity or transfer applicants have received equivalent training and testing in their home state. You are required to provide verification of cosmetology licensure from your home state to the Examining Board for Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmeticians. You must pass a written exam to transfer your license. There is a $100 application fee.
Depending on which state you are currently licensed in and how much experience you have, you may be able to become licensed in Delaware via reciprocity. You do not have to go through the examination process if your home state’s training requirements are similar to those of Delaware. If your home state’s licensing requirements are considerably less than Delaware’s requirements, you may qualify through work experience. You must provide proof that you have been employed for three of the last five years as a cosmetology professional. The cost of transferring your license to DE varies from $68 for estheticians to $167 for instructors.
If applying for licensure by reciprocity in Washington D.C., you are required to pay a reciprocity licensing fee and provide a letter showing that you have met and completed license requirements equivalent to those in Washington D.C. For licensure by endorsement, you must show that you passed similar or equivalent exams and have an active license from your home state.
If you have a cosmetology license in another state, you may be eligible for licensing via endorsement in Florida.
To be considered for licensure by endorsement, the licensure requirements of your home state must be equal to or greater than Florida’s cosmetology licensure requirements. If you have at least 1,000 hours of education from another state and at least one year of licensure behind you, you can register to take the Florida cosmetology exam and get your license.
Those who have a cosmetology license in another country cannot get their Florida license by endorsement. They must go through the examination process.
If you wish to earn your Georgia license through endorsement, you must have a license valid in another state. The Board of Cosmetology and Barbers looks at each application on a case-by-case basis. You may qualify for endorsement if your home state’s training requirements are close to or greater than the requirements of Georgia. Endorsement is not an option for applicants from Alabama, California, Washington D.C., Washington, New York, and Hawaii.
Hawaii does not have reciprocity. If you are coming from another state, you have to provide proof that you have completed education requirements that are equivalent to or greater than the requirements of Hawaii. You still may be required to take the written and practical exam. You can obtain a temporary permit in order to work under someone while waiting for written exam, should you qualify to meet those criteria. A clean application is handed by a clerk at the Board. Questionable issues on your application are subjective to executive officer review or board meeting.
Idaho does not do licensure through reciprocity. There are two routes you can go to earn your license through endorsement if you have a valid license in another state. The first route involves proving that you have met training requirements that are consistent with or greater than the requirements of Idaho. If your training does not meet these expectations, you can still apply for endorsement by providing proof that you have had a valid license for at least three of the last five years. If you do not meet these transfer requirements, you must take Idaho's cosmetology exam and you may be required to take additional training hours to meet Idaho's minimum. The transfer fee is $100.
If you want to transfer your license to Illinois, you may be able to bypass the testing requirements of the license by applying for endorsement. You must submit proof of your education to demonstrate that your home state’s training requirements are at least as extensive as those in Illinois. You must also submit proof of work experience and proof of your current cosmetology license.
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.
Unlike many other states, Iowa does not have a process for transferring your license or earning your Iowa license through reciprocity. To begin the process, you must have the cosmetology board from your home state send proof of your licensure and education directly to the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences. From there, the Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences will determine whether or not you have to take an exam or complete additional training.
Kansas does not have a reciprocity program with other states. If you would like to transfer your license to Kansas, you must complete the out-of-state application that can be found on their website. If you meet the requirements for Kansas beauty professionals, you must complete a 20-question open-book exam. If you do not meet the requirements, you may have to take the full written and practical exam. This is also required if you do not have an active license in your home state.
The cost to transfer your license to Kansas is $50. The state board of cosmetology in your home state must verify your training hours. You must be currently licensed and your home state’s training requirements must be equal to or greater than those of Kansas.
If you have a license or prior cosmetology training in another state, you may qualify for licensure in Kentucky. You must have the initial licensing board in your home state submit proof of your licensure or completed education hours to the Board of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists. If you have not met the minimum training hour requirements of Kentucky, you will be required to complete your training in Kentucky before taking your exams and applying for your license. However, if you have been licensed for at least two years in your home state, you can take the exams without completing additional training in Kentucky.
The Louisiana cosmetology board does not have reciprocity with WI, VT, TX, TN, MN, MI, MA, MD, MT, NE, NJ, NM, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, UT, VA, and WV. Those out-of-state transfer applicants will need to take an NIC Exam for $25, a State Theory Exam for $25, and a practical exam for $25, then pay the reciprocity license fee of $50.
Maine offers licensure by endorsement if the licensee's home state has similar training hour requirements and board exams. If the two states do not have similar licensing requirements, the transfer applicant may be required to take Maine's board exams. You may be able to bypass the examination process by providing proof of full-time work experience as a licensed cosmetology professional in your home state. This form is part of the endorsement paperwork.
Maryland offers licensure by endorsement if the licensee's home state has similar training hour requirements and board exams. Applicants for licensure by endorsement who wish to transfer their cosmetology license to Maryland must provide certification that your license was obtained under the same standards, is in good standing, is current and is eligible for licensure by endorsement. If the training requirements of your home state are less than those of Maryland, you need to make up your training hours and take the licensing exams before you are eligible for a Maryland license.
The Massachusetts cosmetology board does not accept reciprocity from other states. In order to transfer your cosmetology license or other beauty license to MA, you must take the state's written and practical board exams. The cost is $135 for the transfer application, $120 for the test, and $68 for the license itself. (Total cost to transfer: $323.) Before you are approved to take the licensing exams in Massachusetts, your original Board of Cosmetology must provide proof that your training requirements are equal to or greater than the training requirements in Massachusetts. If you do not meet this requirement, you may be required to make up your training hours in Massachusetts.
Michigan grants cosmetology license reciprocity or transfer if the training and testing requirements in your home state are substantially equal to Michigan's. If they are not similar or greater, you may be required to take additional training hours or to take the Michigan written and practical board exams. Work experience can help you make up the difference if your home state’s training requirements are less than those of Michigan. In Michigan, 6 months of work experience is worth 100 hours of training. The cost to transfer your cosmetology license to MI is $39.
If you are currently licensed in your home state, you must show verification of your licensure from your home state, your high school diploma, completion of exams and an application for reciprocity with a $195 application fee. Your verification letter is good for up to 90 days.
If you are short on hours to meet Minnesota's minimum requirements, you may make up the difference by taking additional training hours either in Minnesota or your home state. You can also make up the difference with proof of at least three hours of work experience in your home state. To qualify for license transfer, you must have at least 1550 cosmetology training hours, 600 esthetician training hours, or 350 nail technician training hours.
To transfer your license to Mississippi, you must submit an application of intent to apply for licensure, have a record of your training and license status from your home state sent to the Mississippi Board of Cosmetology, and appear before the board for a credentialing interview. Transfer is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Whether or not you qualify for license transfer in Missouri depends on where you obtained you original license and what the training hours are in your home state. According to the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering Examiners, you may qualify for license transfer if your training requirements are at least 95% of what Missouri requires. You must still take the NIC licensing exams to get your Missouri license if you did not take them in your home state.
Applicants to transfer cosmetology licenses to Montana must pass both the national NIC written and practical exams and have an active license from their home states. If you have not passed the national exams, you will be required to do so before you can transfer your license to MT. You may be required to get additional training hours in school if the board finds that your home state does not have comparable training hour requirements to get licensed.
To transfer your cosmetology license to Nebraska, you must have at least 2100 training hours completed and a state board-issued exam from your home state. Work experience or additional training hours in Nebraska may be considered if you don't have 2100 training hours from your home state. You can replace 100 hours of training for each month of full-time experience as a cosmetologist or instructor, as long as your full-time experience was completed within the last five years. The cost to transfer your license to Nebraska is $95.
To transfer your cosmetology license to Nevada, you must have a current license in good standing from your home state and proof that you have passed an NIC written exam. All applicants for reciprocity with Nevada under the State Board of Cosmetology jurisdiction must take the Nevada State Law exam. The reciprocity application fee is $325.
To transfer your cosmetology license to New Hampshire, the training hour requirements in your home state must be equivalent to or greater than the requirements of New Hampshire. You must have passed a written and practical national exam in English.
If you do not have equivalent or greater training hours, you must have either twice as many hours of work experience as the hour requirements or you must take additional training hours to make up the difference. You must pay a $100 fee when you apply for reciprocity.
New Jersey offers cosmetology licensure by endorsement to cosmetologist applicants if they meet the New Jersey requirements for licensure as a cosmetologist and have a license that is valid in another state or country. If you want to work in New Jersey with any other practitioner's license, you must submit an "out-of-state" application and the required documentation from your home state, at which point you must take the New Jersey exams. The application must be requested in writing.
In order to transfer your cosmetology license to New Mexico, you must furnish an affidavit from your home state's regulatory agency where you are actively licensed. The training you’ve completed must be equal to or greater than the training hours required in New Mexico.
If you have fewer than New Mexico's required training hours, you may substitute up to 150 hours of verified work experience in lieu of the minimum hours. The rest must be made up in an approved beauty school program.
New York has specific reciprocity arrangements for different states and licenses. Each request for transfer by reciprocity requires the certification from the cosmetology board in your home state, and a completed cosmetology or other license application with the $40 application fee.
The states below offer licensure in New York by either reciprocity or endorsement. If your state is not listed or if you do not meet the minimum requirements, you may be required to a) take additional classes for more training hours, or b) take the New York practical and written board exams.
Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Virginia just require current licensure. Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington D.C. all require current licensure plus varying amounts of work experience. Work experience requirements range from one year to five years.
New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming cosmetology licensees may earn New York licenses via endorsement.
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Washington D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming licensees may apply for esthetician licensure by endorsement.
Nail Technician Endorsement
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Washington D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming licensees may apply for nail technician licensure by endorsement.
Natural Hair Styling Endorsement
Pennsylvania has natural hair styling licensure by endorsement.
North Carolina allows license transfer from Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. Licensee applications from other states are decided on a case-by-case license. Transferring a license costs $64 for cosmetologists and $35 for all other beauty specialists. You must show that you have a current license from your home state, prove that you have passed a state board exam or national cosmetology exam, and be free from disciplinary actions against your license. International transfers must show original documents from their original school and licensing board.
If you are an out-of-state applicant applying for your North Dakota license, you must submit an application and pay the applicable fees to get your license without taking the licensure exams. You must provide proof that you are licensed as a cosmetologist, manicurist or esthetician in another state and that your license is in good standing.
You must also show that the requirements to get licensed in your home state are substantially equal to those in ND at the time of your application. Otherwise, you may be required to take the North Dakota board examinations for sanitation practices and cosmetology law.
All applicants who wish to transfer their cosmetology license to Ohio must pass the state's written, practical and manager's exams. Ohio doesn't offer reciprocity with other states. You may get a license in Ohio without taking an additional exam if you were previously licensed in Ohio, got your license in another state, and returned to Ohio.
To transfer your cosmetology license to Oklahoma, your education and work experience needs to be equal to or greater than the Oklahoma requirements. You should also have 3 years of currently licensed work experience. If you have just one or the other, you may be required to take the Oklahoma board exams. If you are short of both, you may be required to take additional training hours at a board-approve Oklahoma cosmetology school. The cost to transfer your license is $65.
If you are an out-of-state applicant applying to transfer your license to Oregon, you must get verification of current licensure in good standing from your home state. This certification must be sent directly from the out-of-state regulatory authority to the Oregon Board of Cosmetology. You must take the Oregon Laws & Rules examination, and pass the exam for your field of practice. There is a $100 fee to transfer your license to Oregon.
Pennsylvania has beauty practitioner license reciprocity with most states, but does not have reciprocity with Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, New Mexico, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Utah. Nail technician licenses have no reciprocity with South Carolina, Alabama or West Virginia. There is a $60 fee to transfer your license to Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island does not offer reciprocity, but does offer you to practice in the state using licensure by endorsement. Applicants who wish to transfer their licenses and work in Rhode Island must meet RI minimum training requirements. If you don't meet the criteria for your specialty, you must get the additional training hours at an approved school.
Your original licensing board must submit proof of your licensure directly to the Rhode Island Department of Health. Cosmetologists and barbers may use 3 months of work experience to replace 100 training hours, up to 500 training hours. Three months of work experience count for 40 training hours for estheticians, up to 200 hours. Three months of nail technician work experience count for 20 training hours, up to 100 hours.
For answers to additional questions about obtaining a Rhode Island state cosmetology license, contact the board, whose information is detailed below.
To transfer your cosmetology license to South Carolina, your education and work experience must be equal to or greater than the South Carolina requirements. If South Carolina does not have reciprocity with your state and you are not currently licensed but have your training hours completed, you must take the South Carolina board exams to get licensed.
To transfer your cosmetology license to South Dakota, your education and work experience needs to be equal to or greater than what is required in South Dakota. The reciprocity to transfer your license is $100. You must also provide proof of high school graduation or GED, a passport or driver's license, and an affidavit from the licensing agency of your home state.
In order to transfer your cosmetology license to Tennessee, you must be able to demonstrate that you met Tennessee's minimum training hour requirements at a school in your home state. If you do not meet the training requirements, you can supply proof of five years of work experience to make up the difference.
If you cannot meet those requirements, you must submit your application for reciprocity to the board office for individual consideration. You may be required to take additional training hours to meet the minimum requirements.
Texas does have reciprocity with many states. For the majority of states, you do not have to complete any additional training or experience to transfer your license to Texas. A handful of states require one year of work experience in addition to your license. Only Florida and New York require two full years of work experience. The cost to transfer your license to Texas is $100.
Utah does not allow beauty license reciprocity, but they do offer licensure by endorsement if you meet their qualifications. To apply for endorsement, you must have your original licensing agency submit proof of your cosmetology licensure and education hours to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. If you completed your training hours in another country, you must have an approved credentialing company verify your training.
To be eligible for licensure by endorsement, you must pay a fee of $110 and submit a completed endorsement application to the Board. You must have evidence of your professional training submitted to the Board. It should show that you’ve completed 1000 hours for barber licensure, 1500 hours for cosmetology licensure, 400 hours for manicurist licensure, or 600 hours for esthetician licensure.
Virginia offers licensure by endorsement if you want to transfer your credentials from another state. The examination requirements for licensure by endorsement in VA are based on examinations previously completed in your home state. The cost to transfer your license to Virginia is $105 for a beauty practitioner license or $125 for an instructor license. The amount of hours you completed in your home state must be at least 80% of Virginia requirements, or else you are not eligible for licensure via endorsement.
To transfer your cosmetology license to Washington, you must have a current license from your home state, must have taken a practical and written exam to get the license in your home state, and must have a license in good standing. You can then send certification and your reciprocity application fee of $50 to the state board. If you originally earned your license in another country, you must take the Washington license exams to get licensed in this state.
To transfer your license to West Virginia, you must contact your home state's Board of Cosmetology that issued your original license and request that proof of Board certification be mailed to the West Virginia Board. This form must be sent directly between the state boards.
If your license is from an NIC state, your application may be processed more quickly. NIC states include AL, AZ, AR, DE, GA, ID, ME, MO, NH, NC, NV, OH, PA, SC, SD, UT, and WY. Please note that there is no reciprocity or license transfer option available for nail technicians and manicurists.
The Board will accept licensed work experience in lieu of part of the required training hours. Work experience is awarded at 25 hours per month of licensed salon work, or 300 hours per year. Your work hours must be proven via tax receipts. Total work experience accepted may not exceed 50% of the required hours to transfer, and it must have been acquired in the past 5 years. If you have not worked in the last 5 years, you must take the complete WV examinations covering practical skills, the national written exam, the State written exam and the State law exam, which calls for a $50 fee.
To transfer your license to Wisconsin, you must have 4000 hours of licensed experience and go through the WI license transfer application process. If you do not yet have 4000 hours of work experience, you will need to take the Wisconsin board exams to earn your license by examination. The training requirements of your home state must be equal to or greater than the training requirements of Wisconsin, otherwise the Cosmetology Examining Board may require you to complete your remaining hours at a Wisconsin school.
To transfer your license to Wyoming, you must have an equal or greater number of training hours from your home state. If you do not meet Wyoming's training hour requirements, you may be required to take the written and practical exam if your training program is not considered equivalent. If you have additional education, one credit hour is equivalent to 30 clock hours. One year of work experience can lower the cosmetology license hour requirements to 1600 hours for transfer students. The cost to transfer your license is $273.