Are Cosmetology Licenses Transferable?

If you want to establish a career in cosmetology, getting a professional license is just as important as undergoing training in an accredited cosmetology school. Irrespective of which state you intend to work in, you must first obtain a cosmetology license in order to work professionally as a cosmetologist.

However, different states have different requirements that aspiring cosmetologists must meet in order to qualify for a cosmetology license. Therefore, while you may qualify for and obtain a license in your current state, you may have to go through an elaborate license transfer process if you decide to practice cosmetology in a different state.

So, Are Cosmetology Licenses Transferable?

The process of transferring a cosmetology license is typically quite lengthy and usually takes between two and four months depending on the origin and destination states. However, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to transfer your license by understanding the license transfer terms of different states before moving to a new state. This will enable you to prepare adequately and start fulfilling the licensing requirements of the new state.  In order to qualify for licensing or license transfer in most states, you must meet one or several of these requirements:

  • Have completed a cosmetology course in a school approved by the state board.
  • Have completed a state approved apprenticeship.
  • Have practiced cosmetology in a different state for a period deemed equal to over 100 hours or more of training in a state approved cosmetology school.

The Process of Transferring Cosmetology Licenses

The process of transferring a cosmetology license may vary from one state to another. However, in most states, you can successfully transfer your license using the following steps:

  1. Establish the license transfer procedure of the state you intend to move to. Most states require license transfer applicants to have completed a certain number of training hours in an accredited beauty care training school. If you do not meet the training hour’s limit of the state you are transferring to, you can go back to school and take more study units.
  2. Determine if the state you are transferring to has reciprocity laws. If it does, you can transfer your license without undergoing more training even if the training hour limit of the state is higher than that of your current state.
  3. Submit an official license transfer application or request to the state licensing board. If you have considerable work experience, indicate your accumulated working hours on your application since this may make you eligible for an easy transfer process.
  4. If your license transfer request is successful, you will receive conformation from the state licensing board and get a temporary license that you can use to start working as a cosmetologist as you await the permanent license.


Overall, cosmetology licenses are transferable. All you need to do is establish the transfer process of the state you are moving to and follow the stipulated procedure. However, it is important to note that besides reviewing transfer applications, all state cosmetology boards also liaise with boards from the other state(s) where you trained or worked to gather facts about your training and working record. It is therefore important to train in an accredited beauty school to get a good training record. At Evergreen Beauty College, we offer cosmetology courses that meet the training standards of most states across the country.

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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