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Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Cosmetologists

  1. How do I become licensed?
  2. If I have lost my license, how do I obtain a duplicate one?
  3. How do I transfer my license to another state?
  4. How can I renew or reinstate my lapsed license?
  5. How do I change my name or address?
  6. Can I receive a temporary work permit while my application is being processed?
  7. What type of license do I need in order to perform microblading services?
  8. What do I need to do to open a salon?

1. How do I become licensed?
If you are already licensed in another state, please see the reciprocal information online.

Individuals interested in becoming a licensed cosmetologist, hair stylist, blow dry technician, nail technician, or esthetician should follow the steps outlined below:

  • Contact a board-approved school.
  • Discuss financial aid/payment plans with potential schools.
  • Complete the required courses and hours. Please see the education information online.
  • Apply for an examination with third-party examiner.
  • Pass the examination.

If you have a foreign high school diploma or foreign transcripts from a beauty school and wish to apply for a license with the Maryland State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists, you must e-mail a translated copy to barber.cos@maryland.gov or mail the information to 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

2. If I have lost my license, how do I obtain a duplicate one?
Send an e-mail a requesting a duplicate license and include your license number and current mailing address. Duplicate licenses are also available online.

3. How do I transfer my license to another state?
Send an e-mail to barbers.cos@maryland.gov or mail your request to 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. Please be sure to include your name, license number, and the name of the state board where you will be applying for licensure. License certification requests can also be made online.

Please allow 3 to 5 business days for processing your request.

4. How can I renew or reinstate my lapsed license?
Call the board office at 410-230-6190 or e-mail barbers.cos@maryland.gov for information.

5. How do I change my name or address?
In order to process a name change, please attach a copy of a legal document such as a driver's license, redacted Social Security card, marriage license or divorce decree.

6. Can I receive a temporary work permit while my application is being processed?
In the case of having a spouse in the military, you will qualify for a temporary work permit. Please the call the board office at 410-230-6190 or e-mail barbers.cos@maryland.gov for information.

7. What type of license do I need in order to perform microblading services?
We do not currently offer a license for microblading or permanent makeup. Cosmetic tattooing is prohibited in salons in Maryland.

8. What do I need to do to open a salon?
Complete the steps below to open a salon/shop in Maryland:

  1. Complete the new salon application. Please note: Do not start this process if you have you not yet obtained your use and occupancy permit from your zoning board.
  2. Submit the completed new shop application with the $200.00 application fee. You may complete this portion online.
  3. The board office will send you a salon/shop opening letter that you must post in your salon/shop. The salon/shop opening letter will serve as a temporary license for you to operate your salon/shop. After you have successfully completed steps 1-3 and receive your shop opening letter you may begin servicing clients in your salon/shop.
  4. The board office will contact one of our inspectors to conduct a salon/shop opening inspection at your salon/shop as soon as possible.
  5. You must post rules and regulations in your salon/shop.
  6. The inspector will schedule a visit to ensure your salon/shop has the required equipment, can promote a safe and sanitary environment, and has the proper layout needed for operating.
    If you need to make corrections, the inspector will schedule another inspection date with you.
    If all requirements are met, the inspector will notify the board office on your behalf that the salon/shop meets all requirements. Once the board office receives approval notification from the inspector, your shop license will be mailed to you.