Cosmetologist

Become a Cosmetologist

Requirements

Applicants are required apply for their license on the New York State e-Licensing system.  You must have a NY.gov ID account. If you do not have an account, you should go to the MY NY.gov Online Services page to sign up for an account. 

To apply for a Cosmetology license, you must:

  1. Be 17 years old
  2. Complete a 1,000 hour approved course of study and pass both the New York State written and practical examinations. The affirmation of New York State Approved Schooling section of the application must be completed by your school director as proof of successful completion.
  3. Be examined by a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner. The physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must complete and date the Health Certification section of the application. You must submit your application within 30 days after the health certification is signed and dated.

There are several ways to apply for a license:

  1. New York State Education and Examinations (eligible for temporary license)
    You must complete a 1,000-hour approved course of study and pass both the New York State written and practical examinations to get a license to operate in this state. As proof of successful completion of schooling, you must have the Affirmation of New York State Approved Schooling section of the application completed by your school director.

    Effective June 17, 2020, all operator applicants qualifying based  on the completion of NYS education must complete a 1- hour course on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness. Visit this page to complete the course before submitting your application.

    After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will receive information that explains the exam process in detail.

  2. Education Outside of New York State (eligible for temporary license)
    The Department of State may waive the New York State schooling requirement if you can document an equivalent level of schooling from another state or country. You must submit all three of the following documents:

    1. a school certificate;

    2. a school transcript listing subjects and hours completed; AND

    3. a current, original Certification of Licensure from your state board or, if not licensed, a current Certification from your state's board verifying the hours claimed.

    After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will also be required to pass both the New York State written and practical examinations to obtain a Cosmetology license in this state. You will receive information that explains the exam process in detail.

  3.  Experience: 5 Years Outside of New York State
    Any individual having five years of legal experience in an occupation equivalent to cosmetology may apply for a New York State license by submitting satisfactory evidence of education and experience.

    Within the United States experience:

    1. An original certification from the licensing agency you were previously licensed with. 

    2. Two experience statements filled out by former employers, co-workers, clients, that can claim your experience in the state for at least five years.  These experience statements must include EXACT dates (month and year of start of service and month and year of end of service), location(City, State, shop name), and specific services that you performed.             

    3. Copy of tax returns which indicate cosmetology as occupation


    Outside of the United States experience:
    Evidence may include but is not limited to:

    1. Official certification from the licensing authority in your country or verification from the Consulate that a license is not required to practice this occupation in your country.

    2. Detailed letters from employer(s) in your country specifying EXACT dates of employment, location and specific services that you performed.

    3. Detailed letters from your client(s), or coworker(s), in your country specifying EXACT dates of service, location and specific services you performed.

    4. Copy of passport which indicates cosmetology as occupation, drivers license, workbook with cosmetology experience, or any photo identification.

    5. Copies of course curricula and diplomas/certificates for education completed in your country.

    6. Copy of tax returns which indicate cosmetology as occupation.

    After your application is reviewed and accepted, you may obtain a Cosmetology license in New York State without examination or further education.

  4. Endorsement/Reciprocity
    An applicant who holds a Cosmetology license in another jurisdiction may obtain a Cosmetology license in New York through endorsement or reciprocity. Refer to the Cosmetology endorsement or reciprocity lists to determine if you qualify for licensure based on endorsement or reciprocity.

    An applicant must submit an original certification from the jurisdiction where s/he holds an equivalent license.

  5. Previous New York State Licensure
    An individual who fails to file an application and fee for renewal within five years of the expiration date cited on the individual's license shall be ineligible for such license until he/she passes a written exam. Proof of previous licensure may be required.

Fees

There are fees associated with you applying for your Cosmetology license. You may pay by American Express, MasterCard or Visa.

  1. $40 initial application fee
  2. $40 renewal fee
  3. $15 written exam fee
  4. $15 practical exam fee
  5. $10 six month temporary license
  6. $10 six month temporary license renewal
  7. $10 late renewal penalty
  8. $10 Name Change (unless the name change is a result in a change of marital status)
  9. $10 change of address
  10. $10 duplicate license/registration request

If you are applying for an initial application and a temporary license, you may combine the fees and remit one $50 application fee.

Exams

Written Exam

Applicants are required to schedule their appearance enhancement examinations on the New York State e-Licensing system. In order to schedule your examination, you must have a NY.gov ID account. If you do not have an account, you should go to the MY NY.gov Online Services page to sign up for an account. 

Persons with disabilities who require accessibility information should call 518-474-4429.

 

About the Exam

The written exam is multiple-choice and based on the pre-licensing curriculum.
Applicants will be allowed 2 1/2 hours to complete the test. The allotted time begins at the conclusion of the instructions.

Examination Sites and Addresses 
 

What To Bring 

1. A form of government issued signature identification which must be photo-bearing. Your identification MUST BE CURRENT (not expired) and from the following list:

  • driver's license
  • state issued identification (ex. non-driver ID)
  • IDNYC Card (NYC Identification Card)
  • military ID
  • United States Passport
  • Employment Authorization Card (issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
  • United States INS issued ID
  • Certificate of US citizenship
  • Foreign Passport
  • Brazilian, Mexican, Honduran, and Ecuadorian Consular ID
     

2. A copy of your examination confirmation, which should include all of your examination information, including your candidate number.

Examination Site Policies

Cellular phones, beepers and any other electronic devices MUST be turned off during the exam.

Dictionaries, books, other reference materials, large bags and briefcases are not allowed at the exam site. Do not bring these materials to the exam site as there is no place to store them.

Eating, drinking or smoking is not permitted at the exam site. If you bring food or beverages, you will be asked to dispose of them before entering the exam site.

Visitors, guests and children are not permitted at the exam site.

Firearms are not allowed at the exam site. Please contact our exam unit at (518) 473-2731 for questions pertaining to this policy.

Any person found using notes, books, or other aids; giving or receiving help; removing examination materials or notes from the exam site; causing a disturbance or engaging in practices contrary to the rules of proper examination conduct will be dismissed from the exam site. Any decisions regarding disciplinary measures will be made by the Exam Supervisor at the Department of State.

 

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel an appointment, you will forfeit the examination fee.
 

Reschedule Policy

If you wish to change your appointment, you must reschedule the appointment at least six days before your scheduled examination date.  Once you are within the six-day period, you cannot reschedule your examination.
 

No-Show Policy

If for any reason you do not appear on your scheduled examination date, you will forfeit the examination fee.
 

Lateness Policy

It is recommended you arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the exam. If you arrive at the examination site after the specified starting time, you will not be admitted into the examination and will forfeit the examination fee.
 

Score Reporting
Examination results are reported as either passed or failed; you will not receive a numerical score. Passed examination results are only valid for a period of five years. Results will not be given over the phone, so please do not call Licensing Services for them. 
You will be notified by email once the examination results are available for viewing. 

Examination results will be available online by utilizing MY NY.gov Online Services

If you fail the exam, you can schedule another examination by utilizing MY NY.gov Online Services

 

Practical Exam

Images of Cosmetology Practical Exam Procedures

Cosmetology Practical Exam Sites

Exam Scheduling Policy

Photo ID Policy
You MUST bring a form of government issued signature identification which must be photo-bearing. Your identification MUST BE CURRENT (not expired) and from the following list:

 1. driver's license

 2. state issued identification (ex. Non-driver ID)

 3. IDNYC Card (NYC Identification Card)

 4. military ID

 5. United States Passport

 6. Employment Authorization Card (issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) 

 7. United States INS issued ID

 8. Certificate of US citizenship 

 9. Foreign Passport 

 10. Brazilian, Mexican, Honduran, and Ecuadorian Consular ID

All appointments MUST be made in EXACTLY the name which appears on your identification. This does not include middle names or middle initials.  If your last name is hyphenated, please be sure to include your full name.  If your name does not match your ID exactly, we reserve the right to deny you access to the examination.

Cancellation Policy
If you cancel an appointment, you will forfeit the examination fee.

Reschedule Policy
If you wish to change your appointment, you MUST reschedule the appointment at least six days before your scheduled examination date.  Once you are within the six-day period, you cannot reschedule your examination.

No-Show Policy
If for any reason you do not appear on your scheduled examination date, you will forfeit the examination fee.

Lateness Policy
If you arrive at the examination site after the specified starting time, you will not be admitted into the examination and will forfeit the examination fee.

Practical Exam

Apply

To apply for a license, please select the below link and submit your application through the online system:

APPLY 

Translations: (Spanish/Español)  (Haitian-Creole/Kreyòl Ayisyen)  (Italian/Italiano)  (Korean/한국어) (Russian/Pусский)  (Chinese/中文)  (Arabic/العَرَبِي)  (French/Française)  (Polish/Polski)  (Bengali/বাংলা) (Urdu/اردو)  (Yiddish/אידיש) 


Using the online services provides a quicker turnaround time on the processing of your application. It will allow you to view your record, track the status of your application, view exams scores and complete amendment transactions through your online account.

Please refer to the below useful user guides to assist you with this online application process:

Quick Online Application Instruction Flyer (pdf)

Applicant User Guide for the License Center (doc)

For further information on the online system, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions: Frequently Asked Questions about the NYS License Center

Appearance Enhancement Business/Area Renter Application

Other Forms

FAQs

Contact Contact the Division of Licensing Services

Have a question regarding your license? First, see if your questions are answered in the FAQs above. Otherwise, the quickest way to get in touch with us is through email: Contact us here!


Mailing Information: 
NYS Department of State Division of Licensing Services 
PO Box 22001 
Albany NY 12201-2001 

Please note: If you utilize express services or next day ground services such as UPS, Federal Express, DHL, etc. you should use the physical address of the building. 

Albany Physical Address
Division of Licensing Services 
1 Commerce Plaza 99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor 
Albany, NY 12231

Phone Information:
General Information (518) 474-4429 
Security Guard and Armored Car Guard Information (518) 474-7569 

Call Center Representatives are available from 8:45am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday except on Legal Holidays.

Deaf, hard of hearing and speech-disabled callers, please use 7-1-1

For all other inquiries, email Licensing Services

Visitor & Customer Service Center Information:
Below is a listing of Licensing Customer Service Centers and the hours of operation. Please monitor this page for updates to office hours, guidelines and or any closures. 

Albany: This office is open for all services.
NYS Department of State Division of Licensing Services 
1 Commerce Plaza 99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor 
Albany, NY 12231 

Customer Service hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm
Apostille Service hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am to 4:15pm 

Albany Parking 
Limited on street metered parking is available for 1 Commerce Plaza in Albany. The Office of General Services has various parking lots throughout downtown Albany which have limited visitor parking. To find out more information about the OGS lots, please visit their website.   

New York City: This office is open for all services.
NYS Department of State 
Division of Licensing Services 
123 William St. 2nd Fl. New York, NY 10038-3804

Customer Service hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm
Apostille Service hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm  

Binghamton: Effective July 7, 2023, Licensing Customer Service Center will be closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled. 
NYS Department of State 
Division of Licensing Services 
State Office Building 
44 Hawley Street, Room 1506 
Binghamton, NY 13901-4455 
(518) 474-4429 

Buffalo: Effective November 10, 2022, Licensing Customer Service Center will be closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled 
NYS Department of State 
Division of Licensing Services 
295 Main Street, 8th Floor, Suite 821 
Buffalo, NY 14203 
(518) 474-4429

Hauppauge: Effective June 21, 2023, Licensing Customer Service Center will be closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled.

NYS Department of State 
Division of Licensing Services 
State Office Building 
250 Veterans Memorial Highway 
Hauppauge, NY 11788-5519 
(518) 474-4429

Utica: This office is closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled

NYS Department of State 
Division of Licensing Services 
State Office Building 
207 Genesee Street Utica, NY 13501-2812 
(518) 474-4429