This page provides information for California license requirements including how to apply for a new license, renew an existing one, reactivate an expired license and California license reciprocity for when you need to transfer a license to this state or out of state. If available, we provide other useful information such as cosmetology school hours requirements, how to apply for additional license for professions like manicurists, nail technicians, instructors etc. If you did not find the answer you were looking for on this page or if you have questions or issues pertaining to cosmetology, then we recommend you contact the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

California Cosmetology License Verification

If you need to verify a license for a salon or person, then you can do so by visiting the California Board of Cosmetology license verification website. From there you can search for the person or business and see if there are any disciplinary actions on record. This will allow you to make an informed decision about the person and or business providing your service.

Hours needed to Qualify for the State Board Examinations

Type Hours
Cosmetologist 1600
Barber 1500
Esthetician 600
Electrologist 600
Manicurist 400
Do you need to take exam to provide services after completing training?

Yes. You will need to take and pass a written and practical examination in order to perform barbering and cosmetology services in California for a fee.

Changing Address on License

You can change the address on your license online at the Online Licensing page and also request a duplicate of the license with the new address. Your address will be updated within 48 hours. If you requested a duplicate license it will be sent to you within 15-20 business days.

You can also change your address by printing and mailing the Change of Address form. The normal processing time is 4-6 weeks if submitted by mail. If you would like to update the address by email please send the request to or by fax by sending the form to 916-575-7281 or 916-575-7282.

Changing Name on License

A Request for Change of Name form will need to be filled out and returned with copies of your government issued ID with your new name and marriage certificate, naturalization documents or other legal documents that changed your name to the address on the top of the form. The documents can also be scanned and sent via email to or faxed to 916-575-7281 or 916-575-7282. Please attach a cover letter if you are faxing the documents. Allow for 4-5 days to process this request.

If you would like a duplicate license with your new name, you will also have to submit a $10 fee with the form via mail. This fee can also be paid online at Online Licensing, if you have submitted your information by email or fax, once the name change has been completed.

Request Duplicate for a Lost License

You may only request a duplicate of your license if you have lost the original. The Board does not allow licensees to have two licenses in their possession. The fee for a duplicate license is $10. Duplicate licenses can be requested online at the Online licensing page. It can take 15-20 business days to receive it by mail. You can also obtain a duplicate license using the Replacement License form. You will need to print and mail this form along with the fee of $10. The normal time frame to receive a license by mail is 4-6 weeks.

If License Becomes Delinquent after 5 Years

After 5 years without renewing the license, the Board will cancel it. If you would like to be licensed again, you will have to apply for and pass the examination. Please fill out the Examination Application and use the cancelled license number as your qualification to apply for the examination.

License will Expire soon and you have not Received Renewal Notice

You may not receive a renewal notice if you have outstanding fines or you changed your address and did not notify the Board timely. To verify you have no outstanding fines, search for your personal license number using their Verify Licensee page. If you owe fines your status will be 15, please contact the Board at 916-574-7575. If there are no fines due, then the quickest way to renew your personal license is on-line at BBC Online licensing page. Address changes can also be done by using this link.

Establishment licenses can only be renewed by mail. Verify you have no outstanding fines for your establishment license by viewing their Verify Establishment page. If you owe fines your status will be 15, please contact the Board at 916-574-7575. If no fines are due, you can send payment for your establishment license or personal license by sending the renewal payment to the following address. Allow 4 to 6 weeks to process the payment and receive your license in the mail.

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
ATTN: Cashiers
PO BOX 944226
Sacramento, CA 94244-2260

Include the license number on the check and write Renewal on the memo line. If you have outstanding fines and are including payment for these fines, be sure to include the citation number on your check.

California Cosmetology School Hours

Type Requirements
Cosmetologist License 1600 Hours / 3200 Apprenticeship
Barber License 1500 Hours / 3200 Apprenticeship
Nail Technician License 400 Hours
Esthetician License 600 Hours
Electrologist License 600 Hours / 3200 Hours Apprenticeship
Permanent Makeup License Demonstrator License
Massage Therapist License 250 Hours Practitioner / 500 Hours Therapist

Apply or Renewing California Cosmetology License

In order to apply for an initial license or renew an existing one, you would need to access their online system called BreEZe. If you do not have an account, then follow the steps below:

  • Go to the BreEZe link at
  • Click on New Users BreEZe Registration at the bottom of the screen
  • Complete the User Registration information. You create the User ID (minimum of 8 characters. It's not case sensitive) enter the security code (all lower case characters, No spaces) and press next
  • Go to your email (remember to check you spam or junk email folders) to retrieve the temporary password, the password is case sensitive
  • Go back to the BreEZe link
  • Enter your user ID, and then enter the temporary password press next
  • Enter your temporary password again, and then create a new password that you can remember. Press next when you are done

After creating your account, the next step is to associate your license/applicant account with the BreEZe system. The steps to do that are listed below:

  • Log into your account
  • Press on Update Profile (this is on the upper right hand side of the screen)
  • Press add licenses (this is on the bottom right hand side of the screen)
  • Choose the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and your license type from the drop downs
  • Under last name: Take out the name in the last name field and type your last name in again in CAPS
  • Under SSN: Put in the last 4 digits of your SSN
  • Under Date of Birth: add your date of birth using the this format (mm/dd/yyyy)
  • Add the Security Measures Characters (all lower case letters please press refresh if you cannot read them until you get a set you can read)
  • Press next
  • You have now associated your license/applicant account with your BreEZe account

If you have an establishment license (Such as a salon), then you would need to associate the license/applicant account with the BreEZe account. The steps to do that are listed below:

  • Log into your account
  • Press on Update Profile (this is on the upper right hand side of the screen)
  • Press add licenses (this is on the bottom right hand side of the screen)
  • Choose Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and Establishments from the drop down
  • Put in you establishment license number (Do not enter the letter A)
  • Enter the Business name as listed on your license
  • Add your full social security number or FEIN if you are a corporation under your tax number
  • Add the Security Measures Characters (all lower case, press refresh until you get a set that you can read)
  • Press next
  • Your establishment has now been associated with your BreEZe account

Once you have created your account and associated your license with the BreEZe system, then you can log into the system and see when it's time to renew under the license Activities section. Press the select button. Once you submit the transaction and pay the fee, your renewal is instant unless you owe outstanding fines, you can pay them at the same time. You will receive your license within 7 business days.

How to Change Name on your license or Order a Duplicate License

Now that you created your account and associated your license with your account, once you log into the system you can go under the heading manage your license information, choose the change of name drop down and complete the transaction. You must attach the required documentation. If you cannot scan the documents, you can take a picture of them and attach. Applications submitted without the required name change documents will be withdrawn. Once your name has been updated, allow up to 5 days, you will receive an email saying your name has been changed. At that time, you can renew your license or order a duplicate license with your new name.

How to attach a document to an application in BreEZe

Below are the steps to take when logged into the BreEZe system when you need to attach documents for things like requesting a name change or address change:

  • Step 1. Browse for Documents
  • Step 2. Press Attach
  • Step 3. See file that you have uploaded

Uploading documents inside the California BreEze cosmetology system

California Reciprocity Apply for Licensure in another State

If you are licensed in California and plan to apply to another state for licensure, you will need to get a certificate of licensure and a copy of your school transcripts sent to that state. Certifications can be ordered online through BreEZe or through the mail. Certifications submitted online through BreEZe generally take 2 to 4 weeks to be processed, mailed and received by the other state board. Certification requests submitted through the mail generally take 4 to 6 weeks to be processed, mailed and received by the other state board. The fee is $10 for each certification requested. The Board will send one certification of licensure to the state you indicate either on the form or online. All certifications indicate the following information:

  • Required hours needed to take the examination in California for the license you hold
  • Whether the examination was taken or the license was issued through reciprocity
  • The license number
  • The issue and expiration date of the license. Click Certification Request to order the certification online or download the form

Transcripts of your school hours will not be on file. You will need to obtain those from the school you attended.

If you need to apply for licensure in California but received training in another state and have not received a license, then if you're training was completed in a different state and you have not received your license, the California Board will determine your eligibility. Out of State applicants cannot apply online. The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires the following school hours, depending on your license type. The Board does not accept Apprentice hours.

Type Hours
Cosmetologist 1600
Barber 1500
Esthetician 600
Eectrologist 600
Manicurist 400

Submit the Initial Exam Application along with the Out of State Applicant School Training Form B. Form B will need to be completed by the school you attended out of state. You will also need to sign and date the completed Form B. The Initial Exam Application and Form B need to be submitted to the Board at the same time, if possible.

The Board will review your Application and Form B to determine if you have enough hours to qualify for the exam or if you will need to complete additional school hours. The Board will send you a deficiency letter, if you need to complete additional hours. You may complete the additional hours in the state you are currently residing or at an approved California school.

A Proof of Training from the approved California school or a second Form B must be submitted to the California Board once the additional hours are completed. After your application is approved, you will be scheduled to take the written and practical exam on the same day at one of our exam sites in Northern California (Fairfield) or Southern California (Glendale). The Board will schedule you for the exam at the location you selected on your application.

You will receive an admission letter 2 to 6 weeks after your application has been approved, depending on the license type and the amount of pending applications at the Board. Your exam date will be between 25 to 40 days after you have received your admission letter. The Board has information about the exam on their web site. They recommend that you review this information prior to your exam. Candidates who pass both portions of the exam on the same day will be issued a license on the day of their exam.

Qualifying for Reciprocity for out of State License

The Board will grant out of state licensees a California license through reciprocity without having to take the California written and practical exam, if they meet the following requirements.

  • A completed reciprocity application form and all fees required by the California Board
  • Proof of a current license issued by another state to practice that meets all of the following requirements: It is not revoked, suspended, or otherwise restricted. It is in good standing. It has been active for three of the last five years, during which time the applicant has not been subject to disciplinary action or a criminal conviction

If you do qualify for reciprocity and need to submit your application to receive a California license, then you need to contact the state board that issued your out of state license and request a certification of your licensure to be sent directly to the California Board. Next, you need to submit a reciprocity application to the Board. Click here to download the application from their website or submit an application online by connecting to their BreEZe system. Applications submitted through BreEZe are processed up to 3 weeks faster than applications submitted through the mail.

After your application has been received, the Board will verify your certification has been received and shows you have a current out of state license that meets the qualifying criteria, as stated above. If the certification has not been received, the board will send you a deficiency letter. After the certification is received, the application will be re-evaluated. After your application is approved, PSI will send you a reciprocity approval packet, noting the various PSI locations throughout California. You will then go to the nearest PSI location where your photo will be taken and the license issued to you. Please call PSI at 800-733-9267 to confirm the hours and days the location nearest to you is open. You can only receive a California license by going to a PSI location in California. You will not need to make an appointment to obtain the license from PSI.