FAQ - Cosmetology

What are the requirements to obtain a license for Cosmetology?

What are the fees, terms of licensure?

What forms of payment does the Department of State accept?

What does the practice of Cosmetology cover?

Who must apply for a Cosmetology license?

Do I need a physical to be licensed?

Is there reciprocity?


What are the requirements to obtain a license for Cosmetology?

If you are at least 17 years old, you may apply for a Cosmetology license based on:

1) New York State Education and Examinations (eligible for temporary license)
You must complete a 1,000-hour, New York State approved course of study and pass both the New York State written and practical examinations to get a license to operate in this state. As proof of successful completion of schooling, you must have the Affirmation of New York State Approved Schooling section of the application completed by your school director.

After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will receive information that explains the exam process in detail.

2) Education Outside of New York State (eligible for temporary license)
The Department of State may waive the New York State schooling requirement if you can document an equivalent level of schooling from another state or country. You must submit all three of the following documents:

(1) a school certificate;

(2) a school transcript listing subjects and hours completed;

AND

(3) a current, original Certification of Licensure from your state board or, if not licensed, a current Certification from your state's board verifying the hours claimed.

After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will also be required to pass both the New York State written and practical examinations to obtain a Cosmetology license in this state. You will receive information that explains the exam process in detail.

3) Experience: 5 Years Outside of New York State
Any individual having five years of legal experience in an occupation equivalent to cosmetology may apply for a New York State license by submitting satisfactory evidence of education and experience.

Within the United States experience:

1) An original certification from the licensing agency you were previously licensed with. 

2) Two experience statements filled out by former employers, co-workers, clients, that can claim your experience in the state for at least five years.  These experience statements must include EXACT  dates (month and year of start of service and month and year of end of service), location(City, State, shop name), and specific services that you performed.             

3) Copy of tax returns which indicate cosmetology as occupation

Outside of the United States experience:
Evidence may include but is not limited to:

1) Official certification from the licensing authority in your country or verification from the Consulate that a license is not required to practice this occupation in your country.

2) Detailed letters from employer(s) in your country specifying EXACT dates of employment, location and specific services that you performed.

3) Detailed letters from your client(s), or coworker(s), in your country specifying EXACT dates of service, location and specific services you performed.

4) Copy of passport which indicates cosmetology as occupation, drivers license, workbook with cosmetology experience, or any photo identification.

5) Copies of course curricula and diplomas/certificates for education completed in your country.

6) Copy of tax returns which indicate cosmetology as occupation.

After your application is reviewed and accepted, you may obtain a Cosmetology license in New York State without examination or further education.


4) Endorsement/Reciprocity
An applicant who holds a Cosmetology license in another jurisdiction may obtain a Cosmetology license in New York through endorsement or reciprocity. Refer to our website www.dos.ny.gov for a Cosmetology endorsement or reciprocity list to determine if you qualify for licensure based on endorsement or reciprocity.

An applicant must submit an original certification from the jurisdiction where s/he holds an equivalent license.

5) Previous New York State Licensure
An individual who fails to file an application and fee for renewal within five years of the expiration date cited on the individual's license shall be ineligible for such license until he/she passes a written exam. Proof of previous licensure may be required.

What are the fees, terms of licensure?

What forms of payment does the Department of State accept?

You may pay by check or money order made payable to the Department of State or by MasterCard or Visa using a credit card authorization form. DO NOT SEND CASH. Application fees are nonrefundable. A $20 fee will be charged for any check returned by your bank.

What does the practice of Cosmetology cover?

The practice of Cosmetology includes providing the services of natural hair styling, esthetics, nail specialty and waxing and also includes providing services to the hair, head, face, neck or scalp of a human being, including but not limited to shaving, trimming, and cutting the hair or beard either by hand or mechanical appliances and the application of antiseptics, powders, oils, clays, lotions or applying tonics to the hair, head, or scalp, and in addition includes providing, for a fee or any consideration or exchange, whether direct or indirect, services for the application of dyes, reactive chemicals, or other preparations to alter the color or to straighten, curl, or alter the structure of the hair of a human being.

Who must apply for a Cosmetology license?

Any person practicing Cosmetology as described above is required by law to have a Cosmetology license. A Cosmetology license will not permit you to operate a business; a separate business application must be completed and a separate business license obtained.

Do I need a physical to be licensed?

Yes. You need to be examined by a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner to apply for a license in Cosmetology. Your physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must complete and date the Health Certification section of the application. You must submit your application within 30 days after the certification is signed and dated.

Is there reciprocity or endorsement with another states?

Yes. There is reciprocity and endorsement with other states specified:

Reciprocity       • Endorsement