How to Transfer Your Cosmetology License to California
On the first day of Beauty School, the last thought in your mind is the possibility of transferring your state license to another state. The first thing on your mind is graduation and getting a job.
However, sometimes in life, we find we must move. In the field of cosmetology, all license are not created equal. While it is possible to transfer the license, a stylist is unable to use one license in each state. However, some states will allow you to practice under a temporary license while waiting for your new license to come.
The hours needed to obtain your cosmetology license differ from state to state. To find the number of hours needed for your state, click here. Since each state updates regularly, it is a good idea to check out the specific state board website for barbering and cosmotology. There you will also find what their rules are for reciprocity, and whether or not you will need to take another examination in order to obtain a license in another state. Some states will require another examination, while others will waive the test if you have been an active license holder for a set amount of years.
Recently I moved to California from the state of Wisconsin. Figuring out how to switch my license over was a tiring process. For the most part, each time I went to the search engines, I was able to find articles telling people how to transfer their California Cosmetology License to another state, but not the other way around. This was not only tiring, but annoying.
I finally figured it out. I hope this will make it much easier for others who are in the same situation.
NOTE: Since my situation is specifically for transferring my Wisconsin license to California, I will use these to states as reference. Even though, this article should provide a basic format and information to transfer license between each state.
Having your cosmetology license does not automatically qualify you for a California license. The first thing you will need to do is fill out a reciprocity form and send it in to the state along with the fees required by the California board. Currently, to obtain your California Cosmetology license, it will cost $50.
You will also need proof of a current license, which will be provided from your previous state. The out of state license must meet the following requirements:
- It has not been revoked, suspended, or otherwise restricted.
- It is in good standing.
- It has been active for 3 of the last 5 years, during which time the applicant has not been subject to disciplinary action or criminal conviction.
NOTE: If you have not worked with your license for a minimum of 3 years, you will be required to take the State Board Examination all over again. In addition, after talking to a specialist at Consumer Affairs, the website instructs the stylist to contact the previous state. I was informed the California State Board will contact the previous state. Therefore, the only thing necessary to do is fill out the reciprocity form.
Step 2: You will need to mail out the form to the address at the top of the form along with the form of payment.
For the purpose of transferring your license to California, the address is:
- Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
- PO Box 944226
- Sacramento, Ca 94244
Step 3: Wait. Yep. That is all. In fact finding the information on the internet to transfer your license was actually harder than the whole process itself. As of time of publication, the turnaround time for obtaining your new license is about 3 weeks.
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Once sending the form in, the California Board will review your application and license certification. If they are satisfied that you have meet the criteria, you will be sent a letter informing you of how to obtain your license from a PSI examination site in California.
While waiting times may vary, it is a good idea to check the status. For California, call 1-916-574-7540. Another good number to call if you have questions is 1-800-952-5210.
For more information, visit the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology by clicking here.
Hopefully this article has provided you the proper tools to effortlessly transfer your cosmetology license to the state of California. Good luck on your continued journey.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.