This page provides information for North Carolina license requirements including how to apply for a new license, renew an existing one, reactivate an expired license and North Carolina 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 North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners.

North Carolina Cosmetology License Verification

If you need to verify a license for a salon or person, then you can do so by visiting the North Carolina 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.

Licensure Requirements for North Carolina Applicants

Cosmetologist: 1500 hours in an approved cosmetic art school cosmetologist curriculum and completion of the required performances Passage of the State Board examination 75% or higher Payment of appropriate fees

Apprentice: 1200 hours in an approved cosmetic art school apprentice curriculum and completion of the required performances Passage of the State Board examination 70% or higher Payment of appropriate fees

Esthetician: 600 hours in an approved cosmetic art school esthetician curriculum and completion of the required performances Passage of the State Board examination 75% or higher Payment of appropriate fees

Manicurist: 300 hours in an approved cosmetic art school manicurist program and completion of the required performances Passage of the State Board examination 75% or higher Payment of appropriate fees

Natural Hair Care Specialist: 300 hours in an approved cosmetic art school natural hair care program and completion of the required performances Passage of the State Board examination 75% or higher Payment of appropriate fees

Teacher: 800 hours (Cosmetologist), 320 hours (Manicurist) or 650 hours (Esthetician) in an approved cosmetic art school teacher program or proof of 5 years (Cosmetologist), 2 years (Manicurist) or 3 years (Esthetician) full-time work in a cosmetic art shop immediately prior to application Passage of the State Board examination 85% or higher Payment of appropriate fees High school diploma or high school graduation equivalency certificate Current license in either cosmetology, manicuring or esthetics

North Carolina Graduates

After graduation and passage of the state board exams (see above for score requirements) NC cosmetic art school graduates must file application either online via the Online License Application or by mail via the paper License Application and fees. Licenses will be issued and mailed within 5-10 business days after receipt of completed application and payment.

Fees
  • Apprentice 20 overpayments will be returned
  • Cosmetologist: $49 overpayments will be returned
  • Esthetician: $20 overpayments will be returned
  • Manicurist: $20 overpayments will be returned
  • Natural Hair Care: $20 overpayments will be returned
  • Teacher: $20 overpayments will be returned
Temporary Permits

Each graduate is eligible for a temporary permit if the following is complete:

  • Graduation paperwork is submitted to the Board (this is completed by the school)
  • The graduate submits the examination application (within 3 months of the date of graduation) to DL Roope
  • The graduate submits the temporary permit form and $5 fee to the Board office

All permits are valid for 6 months after the date of graduation. Permits cannot be renewed.

Out of State Graduates

All applicants who have graduated school in another state and wish to take the North Carolina examinations must complete the following.

Obtain a Certification: Contact the licensing agency in the state where you attended school and have a certification letter including your school hours and performances sent to:

North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Arts
1207 Front Street · Suite 110
Raleigh, NC 27609

If your licensing agency sends electronic certifications, request the certification be emailed to: certifications@nccosmeticarts.com. They will be unable to accept online verifications or fax submissions. If the licensing agency is unable to verify the number of performances, then you may become licensed in North Carolina by either:

  • Obtaining a license in the state where you attended school and then completing the license transfer procedures or
  • Attending a North Carolina school to complete the required curriculum

North Carolina Salon Initial Licensure

To apply online for an initial salon license, click here. To download a copy of this application so you can print it out and mail it in, click here. For the salon checklist, click here. Services provided in licensed cosmetic art shops must be performed by licensed cosmetologists, manicurists, estheticians and natural hair care stylists. Practice without a license will result in civil penalty.

North Carolina Cosmetology School Hours

Type Requirements
Cosmetologist License 1500 Hours
Barber License 1528 Hours
Esthetician License 600 Hours
Nail Technician License 300 Hours
Cosmetology Instructor License License + 800 Hours
Natural Hair Care Instructor 300 Hours
Manicurist Instructor License + 320 Hours
Esthetics Instructor License + 650 Hours
Massage Therapist License 500 Hours

North Carolina License Renewal

To renew your personal license, click here to download the application. To renew your salon license, click here. Fill it out and mail it in to the address below.

North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners
1207 Front Street Suite 110
Raleigh, NC 27609
919-733-4117
Website: www.nccosmeticarts.com

North Carolina License Status Check/Change - Inactive/Reactivation

To download a copy of the inactivation form, click here. Or if you prefer, you can fill out the form online. To download a copy of the reactivation form, click here. Or if you prefer, you can fill out the form online.

Individual License in Another State

Below are the requirements:

  • Hold a current license in good standing (disciplinary actions)
  • Be licensed in a state that offers reciprocity to North Carolina
How to Transfer

If you are licensed in Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi**, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma**, Pennsylvania, Texas**, West Virginia, or Wisconsin:

Have your state licensing agency send a certification via email or mail to:

Email: certifications@nccosmeticarts.com

Mail:
NC Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners
1207 Front Street, Suite 110
Raleigh, NC 27609

They do not accept fax submissions. Certifications are held on file for either 90 days or until the date of expiration, whichever comes first. To determine if your certification has been received please email your name, state, and license number to nccosmo@nccosmeticarts.com.

If you are licensed in Alabama, Alaska***, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida*, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina**, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, or Wyoming no certification is required simply submit the application online or by mail:

License Fees
  • $35 - Apprentice, Esthetician, Manicurist, Natural Hair Care and Teacher licenses
  • $64 - Cosmetologist license

Incorrect payments will be returned unprocessed. If you do not meet the requirements listed above, your payment will be returned unprocessed.

*Reciprocity licenses will not be granted for hair braiders, manicurist or estheticians in the state of Florida.
**Reciprocity licenses will not be granted for hair braiders in the state of Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, or South Carolina.
***Reciprocity licenses will not be granted for manicurist in the state of Alaska, although advanced manicurist are accepted.

Teacher's licenses cannot be obtained without first holding a current license for practice in the corresponding discipline. Ex: Only NC licensed cosmetologists may obtain a NC cosmetology teacher's license.

North Carolina Duplicate License Request

To make the request for a personal duplicate license online, click here. To download a copy of the personal duplicate license application, click here. To download a copy of the duplicate license request form for salons, click here.

License Change of Name and/or Address

If you need to request a name change or address change on your personal license online, click here. If you want to download a copy so you can mail it in, click here. To request a location change for a salon, click here. To reuest a name change for a salon, click here.

Continuing Education Exemptions

Apprenticeship Completion - Application for Cosmetology License

Click here to download the application for the Apprentice Affidavit.

Salon Forms How can I get my apprentice license?

There are two ways to become licensed as an apprentice:

  • Graduate the 1200 hour cosmetology program, passage of exam with 70 or higher on written and practical and pay for licensure ($20)
  • Graduate the 1500 hour cosmetology program, passage of exam with 70 or higher (instead of 75 required for cosmetology license) on written and practical and pay for licensure ($20)

How do I get a temporary permit?
Upon graduation schools provide the application, or the link to the online application to students which should be submitted to the Board office. To qualify for a permit 3 conditions must be met:

  • Graduation form received by the Board directly from the school
  • Permit application and payment submitted to the Board
  • Graduate has applied for examination after graduation and within 3 months of the graduation date
Is a license required to perform lash extensions?

Lash extension application falls under the scope of practice for a licensed esthetician and licensed cosmetologist. This information is determined my NC state law and listed in NC General Statute 88-B.

To obtain either license you must graduate from the respective cosmetic art school, pass the Board exams (both written and practical) and apply and pay for licensure. The Board provides a list of all licensed cosmetic art schools.

How can I apply to get a teacher license?

There are two ways to become eligible for the teacher's examination:

  • Graduate from the teacher training program at a licensed cosmetic art school or
  • Challenge the Board to examine based on work experience

To challenge the Board Please submit the application along with a copy of your high school diploma to receive authorization to schedule your teacher licensure examinations. Study information can be located at www.dlroope.com.

Can I perform microblading as an esthetician or cosmetologist?

Microblading is not within our scope of practice. It is regulated though by each local health department. It is considered to be in the same family of services as tattooing, as it is the insertion of pigment under the surface of the skin by means of a blade. Tattooing, permanent make-up, and microblading are regulated by each county's Environmental Health Department. Please contact the county you will be practicing out of and ask for Environmental Health to find out what is required.

Can I check to see if my license has been issued?

To verify if your license has been issued please search your name using their online system.

I am taking over the ownership of an existing salon. What do I need to do?

Salon licenses are not transferable from one owner to another. Submit the Salon License Application before the date you will take over ownership. The salon may remain open and you can assume ownership on the date listed on the application. The physical inspection will be conducted without notice during the business hours indicated on the application. The earliest date this would occur is on the opening date, however, it could occur as late as 30-45 days after your opening date.

I am moving my salon to a new location. What do I need to do?

Salon licenses are not transferable from one location to another. Submit the Salon License Application before the date you will open at the new location. Open for business on the date listed on the application. The physical inspection will be conducted without notice during the business hours indicated on the application. The earliest date this would occur is on the opening date, however, it could occur as late as 30-45 days after your opening date.