How to Transfer a Nail Tech License


Each state has education and certification requirements for nail technicians. Typically a combination of cosmetology education, apprenticeship or work hours, nail technicians will demonstrate understanding of key health and sanitation guidelines along with the process for pedicures and manicures. To transfer certification to a new location, technicians should first ensure their current license is in good standing, then locate and inquire about licensing requirements with the state cosmetology board for their destination state.

Things You'll Need

  • Cosmetology training
  • Proof of active license in good standing in the current state
  • Recent work experience as a nail technician
  • Review the certification requirements for your destination state. For a complete listing of all the cosmetology boards in the United States, you can visit two professional organization resources: the National Cosmetology Association and the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology. (See Resources)

  • Get your proof of license documentation from your current issuing state of licensing. All states issuing a license to transferring nail technicians will require proof of active licensing in good standing. The process for acquiring this information may vary according to the local board of cosmetology for your location, so visit your board website for details on license verification in preparation for your license transfer application. In the state of Indiana, verification of a cosmetology license can be handled online through a digital verification process. (See Resource).

  • Verify your training. Have a copy of your training program completion or certification available to submit with your application. If you have participated in a apprenticeship program, be prepared to provide information on your apprentice provider and hours participated.

  • Get proof of work experience. In the state of California, the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires proof of at least three years of recent work experience in addition to current licensing to complete the license transfer profess. Check with your destination state's board to identify requirements on work experience. Suitable forms of verification of work experience may include pay stubs, employer references and tax statements.

  • Confirm citizenship requirements and provide proof of citizenship. Common citizenship forms accepted in the application process, include birth certificate or active (or expired) U.S. passport.

  • Complete the license application. Some states, like Georgia, support licensing by reciprocity with states that have equal or similar work, education and testing requirements but may not extend a license to those nail technicians applying from a state outside of the reciprocity agreement. Check to find out if there are exceptions, as you may be required to take a certification examination if your state is on the exception list. Also, confirm the submission requirements for your application including when to pay the license transfer fee and if the application must be notarized prior to submission.

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  • Photo Credit macro manicure image by LadyInBlack from
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