Can You Have a Texas Cosmetologist License in California?


To work as a cosmetologist in California, you must have a California cosmetologist license from the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. If you already have a Texas cosmetologist license, you may qualify for a California license by reciprocity; otherwise, you must take the California cosmetology exam.


To qualify for a license by reciprocity, you must have a current cosmetology license in good standing that has not been suspended, revoked or otherwise restricted. The license must also have been active for three of the last five years, during which you have not received a disciplinary action or been convicted of a crime. You need to complete a reciprocity application and pay the fees required by the California Board and contact the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation with a request that it send certification of your current Texas license to the California Board.

License Not Active for Three of Five Years

If your Texas license has not been active for three out of the past five years, you must apply to take the California cosmetology exam. You need to complete the Examination and Initial License Fee Application and the Out of State Applicant License Certification form and have Texas send a Certificate of Licensure to the California Board. Because Texas requires 1,500 hours of training for a license and California requires 1,600 hours, you also must fill out the Out of State Applicant Affidavit of Experience Form C.

Cosmetology Exam

The California cosmetology exam has two parts: written and practical. The written part has 100 multiple-choice questions that you have two hours to complete. The practical exam looks at your ability to perform cosmetology procedures, including demonstrating proper techniques for sanitation and disinfection, consumer protection and safety; setting up necessary materials, equipment and supplies; and preparing the model.


California does not require continuing education credits to maintain a cosmetology license, while Texas does require continuing education.

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