Cosmetology License Renewal Requirements


Every state has a governing board that determines the criteria to be met by applicants requesting renewal of their cosmetology license. Therefore, the requirements for license renewal vary. Licensed cosmetologists must submit an application for licensure renewal along with any required documents and the required fees prior to the end of the current licensure period.


  • The most common variation among state board requirements for cosmetology license renewals is the fee for licensure. Additional variation lies in the documentation that some states require. (See Reference 1 for an example of requirements in Missouri.)


  • Application for license renewal must be received by the state office before the stated deadline. Late filers are charged penalty fees. Some will forfeit the license completely.


  • Cosmetologists must adhere to state laws to maintain the privilege of renewing their license throughout their career.


  • The cosmetology license does not transfer from one state to another. Cosmetologists who relocate must file reciprocity documents with their new state of residence.


  • The art of cosmetology was practiced long before a license was required to do so. Marcel Grateau invented the first curling iron in 1872. It was no more than a pair of wavy tongs that were heated in a fire.


  • Practicing cosmetology without a license violates the law in all states.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Kelly B
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