An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia

The Board for Barbers and Cosmetology licenses individuals and businesses that perform barbering, cosmetology, nail care, waxing, tattooing, body piercing, and esthetics. The Board also regulates individuals who teach and schools that provide training in those areas.

UPDATES RELATED TO COVID-19:

DPOR Offices at the Perimeter Center re-opened to the public on Monday, August 2nd.

Visit dpor.virginia.gov/COVID-19 for more information about DPOR's response to COVID-19.

Important Exam Notices

Updates:

Additional Notices

FAQs: Masks + COVID-19 Vaccination

Registered Apprenticeship Information

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE: Summary of Virginia License Requirements 
Q & A: How to transfer a license from another state 


  • Go to: Most Requested Forms (name/address change, criminal conviction reporting, certification request, etc.)  
  • Applicants must read and understand Board Regulations. Application fees are not refundable.  
  • DPOR Boards only accept the most recent versions of the applications provided.  
  • Problems opening forms  

 


Individuals - Barber & Cosmetology

Barber - Exam & License Application               Apply Online Interactive Static
Cosmetologist - Exam & License Application Apply Online Interactive Static
Nail Technician - Exam & License Application Apply Online Interactive Static
Wax Technician - Exam & License Application Apply Online Interactive Static

 

  • Summary of Virginia License Requirements 
  • Interactive application - Download the application, save to your computer and open the application using the latest version Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Complete the application, print, and mail to the department (alternative to applying online). 

 


Individuals - Esthetics

Esthetics - Exam & License Application Apply Online Interactive Static
Master Esthetics - Exam & License Application Apply Online Interactive Static

 

  • NEW! Apprenticeship Standards - Learn more
  • Summary of Virginia License Requirements 
  • Interactive application - Download the application, save to your computer and open the application using the latest version Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Complete the application, print, and mail to the department (alternative to applying online). 

 


Individuals - Body-Piercing

Body-Piercing - Exam & License Application  Apply Online Interactive Static
Body-Piercing | Ear-Only - License Application No online option Interactive Static
Apprenticeship Completion Form No online option Interactive Static
Apprenticeship Sponsor Application No online option Interactive Static
Apprenticeship Standards and Application No online option Interactive Static
Client Disclosure Form No online option Interactive Static

 

 


Individual - Tattooing

Tattooer - Exam & License Application No online option  Interactive Static
Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer - Exam & License Application No online option  Interactive Static
Master Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer - Exam & License Application No online option  Interactive Static
Limited-Term Tattooer License Application No online option  Interactive Static
Limited-Term Tattoo Parlor License Application No online option Interactive Static
Apprenticeship Completion Form No online option Interactive Static
Apprenticeship Sponsor Application No online option Interactive Static
Apprenticeship Standards and Application No online option Interactive Static
Client Disclosure Form No online option Interactive Static

 

 


Other Forms - All Board License Types

Application by Endorsement 
**only for applicants who hold a CURRENT license from another state** 
No online option  Interactive Static
Temporary Permit Application No online option  Interactive Static
Student Instructor - Temporary Permit Application No online option  Interactive Static
Reinstatement Application - Individuals Only No online option  Interactive Static
Training and Experience Verification Form No online option  Interactive Static

 

  • Interactive application - Download the application, save to your computer and open the application using the latest version Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Complete the application, print, and mail to the department (alternative to applying online). 

 


Other Forms - Salon/Shop/Spa/Parlor

Salon/Shop/Spa/Parlor License/Reinstatement Application 
Instructions for completing application for salon/shop/spa/parlor application 
No online option Interactive Static
Body-Piercing Salon/Tattooing - Parlor License/Reinstatement Application No online option Interactive Static
Change of Responsible Management Application No online option Interactive Static
Salon/Shop/Spa Self-Inspection Form No online option Interactive Static

 

  • Interactive application - Download the application, save to your computer and open the application using the latest version Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Complete the application, print, and mail to the department (alternative to applying online). 

 


 Other Forms - Schools

School License Application
Instructions for completing an application for a school license 
No online option Interactive Static
School Reinstatement Application No online option Interactive Static
Instructor Certification Application No online option Interactive Static
School Self-Inspection Form No online option Interactive Static

 

  • Interactive application - Download the application, save to your computer and open the application using the latest version Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Complete the application, print, and mail to the department (alternative to applying online). 

​​​​


Other Forms - Agency Forms

Denial of Licensure Reporting Form         No online option Interactive Static
Criminal Conviction Reporting Form No online option Interactive Static
Disciplinary Action Reporting Form No online option Interactive Static

 

  • Interactive application - Download the application, save to your computer and open the application using the latest version Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Complete the application, print, and mail to the department (alternative to applying online). 

Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here

Statutes

Regulations

Master Barber Regulatory Changes  

Pending regulatory action (proposed changes, public hearings, etc.)

  • Barbers & Cosmetology Regulations  PDF | online 
         (for Barbers, Cosmetologist, Nail Technicians and Wax Technicians)  
  • Body-Piercing Regulations  PDF | online 
  • Esthetics Regulations  PDF | online    
  • Tattooing Regulations  PDF | online 
  • Guidance Documents on Virginia Regulatory Town Hall 

Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.

The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall provides access to the board's meeting schedule, agendas, and past meeting minutes.

Exam Information | Education Providers | Apprenticeship

 

Important Notices Concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19)  -  Updates:  www.psionline.com/important-notice-update-concerning-covid-19-coronavirus

 


Important NIC Practical Exam Update:

Last year, the NIC relaxed their disinfectant policies citing the shortage of disinfectant wipes nationwide. With the production and availability of wipes, the NIC has decided to go back to actual wipes with the manufacturer's label on the container.
It must be a disinfectant wipe, with the container displaying a manufacturer's label showing the product has virucidal, bactericidal, and fungicidal properties. 

 


Exam Information
 

Important Notice Effective January 1, 2020, PSI will assume examination responsibilities for the Board for Barbers and Cosmetology's regulated occupations. The Board will continue to administer NIC exams with PSI. The new examination fee is $86.00 per exam
 

PSI registration and scheduling instructions are located here

Exam Languages The written (theory) exam is offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean for the following:
  • Barber
  • Cosmetologist
  • Basic Esthetician
  • Instructor
  • Nail technician
However, the written exam is only offered in English for:  Body Piercer, Master Esthetician, Master Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer, Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer, Tattooer, and Wax Technician.

Also, please note that all practical exams (when required) are administered only in English.
Other Questions?  DPOR Examinations Section
(804) 367-8544 or exams@dpor.virginia.gov 

PSI (833) 310-3427

To check on application status after you have submitted your license payment to DPOR, contact the Board's Licensing Section at (804) 367-8509 or BCHOPLicensing@dpor.virginia.gov.


 PSI - Virginia Exam CIB's offered in the following languages:
 

Barber English Korean Spanish Vietnamese
Master Barber English Korean Spanish Vietnamese
Body Piercing English       
Cosmetology English Korean Spanish Vietnamese
Esthetician English Korean Spanish Vietnamese
   Master Esthetician English Korean Spanish Vietnamese
Tattooer English      
   Master Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer English      
   Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer English      
Nail Technician English Korean Spanish Vietnamese
Wax Technician English      
Instructor English Korean Spanish Vietnamese

 


BOARD-APPROVED EDUCATION PROVIDERS

  1. Barber Schools 
  2. Cosmetology Schools 
  3. Nail Technician Schools 
  4. Esthetics Schools 
  5. Permanent Cosmetic Tattooing Schools 
  6. Tattooing Schools 
  7. Wax Technician Schools 

Health Education Courses

  • Guidance Document listing certified providers for tattoo and body-piercer licensing  
     

APPRENTICESHIP

  • How do I contact the Board office? Will I be able to speak directly with a Board member? 

    You may reach us by phone at 804-367-8509 (Licensing Section) or 804-367-8590 (Board Office), by FAX at (866) 245-9693, or by e-mail at BarberCosmo@dpor.virginia.gov. Additionally, if you have information that you would like to mail to the Board, please send it to:

    Board for Barbers and Cosmetology
    Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
    9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
    Richmond, VA 23233

    The Board members do not work in the Board office. They come into the Board offices for Board meetings and hearings, but are not here on a daily basis. Board office staff members can answer your questions and are trained to process all information that comes into the Board office. Please do not contact Board members directly.

    May I use my license from another state to practice in Virginia? What about applying for a temporary permit?

    No. State law prohibits any person from practicing or offering to practice barbering, cosmetology, nail care, waxing, tattooing, body piercing, or esthetics in the Commonwealth without a Virginia license.

    A temporary permit to work under the supervision of a currently licensed practitioner may be issued to applicants for initial licensure who are eligible and scheduled for examination.

    • Cosmetologists, nail technicians, and barbers: please refer to Section 18 VAC 41-20-90 of the Board for Barbers and Cosmetology Regulations for information on temporary permits.
    • Wax technicians please refer to Section 18 VAC 41-40-80 of the Wax Technician Regulations for information on temporary permits.
    • Estheticians please refer to Section 18 VAC 41-70-70 of the Esthetics Regulations for information on temporary permits.

    Do you accept scanned applications and supplemental documentation by e-mail?

    Yes, we strive to make the application process as fast and convenient as possible. You may scan the application or document into a PDF (not password-protected) or take a clear photo in JPG or GIF format and e-mail to BCHOPLicensing@dpor.virginia.gov

    Make sure that the scans or photos are high quality and easy to read. We cannot accept scans or photos of poor quality that are are crooked, blurry, cut off, shadowed, etc. The resolution must be good enough to show clearly all text, images, markings, and seals visible on the original paper document. Essentially, when printed, the image must look like a photocopy of the original application or document. 

    Remember to include all pages of multi-page documents and both sides of double-sided documents. If a scanned document is not acceptable, we will request a new, higher quality image or ask you to send it to us in a different way (such as by fax or regular mail). 

    What if I have a criminal conviction?

    A prior conviction does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a license; there are no “barrier crimes” that are an absolute prohibition to licensure. State law requires the Board to evaluate applicants with past convictions on a case-by-case basis to determine whether their criminal history is related to the profession. The Board must take into account the nine factors outlined in § 54.1-204.B of the Code of Virginia. Only the full Board, voting in public session at a regular meeting, can make the decision to deny an application for licensure.

    If you have a criminal conviction, you must submit the Criminal Conviction Reporting Form, along with a state police criminal history report for every state where you have convictions. Once the Board receives this information, the Board may request additional documents from you pertaining to the conviction, and you may be required to attend an Informal Fact-Finding conference. Learn more here. 

    What is an Informal Fact-Finding Conference?

    An Informal Fact-Finding Conference, or IFF, is a due process administrative proceeding required by state law, to allow the Board to obtain facts “on the record” about a specific matter. It is an opportunity for an applicant or licensee to present evidence and provide the Board with information relating to their case. If the IFF is required due to an applicant’s criminal convictions, the Board will be seeking information relating to the nine factors described in § 54.1-204.B of the Code of Virginia, to assist its deliberations about whether the criminal history is related to the profession and if a license should be issued.

    The IFF will be conducted by a presiding officer (a Board member, former Board member, or Department staff person); a court reporter will be present to transcribe the proceedings; and you may bring any witnesses you wish. You may also submit additional documents, including letters of reference. The IFF conference is your opportunity to provide your input to the Board. You do not need to have an attorney (although it is certainly your right to be represented by counsel if you choose).

    After the conference concludes, the presiding officer will make a recommendation to approve or deny the license application. This recommendation will be presented to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting, along with all of your documents, and a copy of the transcript from the IFF conference. You will receive a copy of the recommendation prior to the Board meeting. At the Board meeting, when your case is called, you are allowed five minutes maximum to address the Board on whether you agree or disagree with the recommendation, and why. You cannot present new evidence or information at the Board meeting. The Board will then consider all of the information and vote to approve or deny your application.

    Please note: The IFF process is lengthy and takes several months because it includes application review; drafting a referral memo; mailing the hearing notice and scheduling the IFF; conducting the IFF; writing the recommendation; and then waiting for the next scheduled Board meeting.

    How do I obtain licensure in another state?

    Contact the state or jurisdiction in which you are seeking licensure. That state might request proof of your Virginia license, which you can request from the Board using the Certification Request Form. 

    I need a letter of certification quickly. If I come into the office with the certification fee, can you process it the same day?

    No. Although the Board staff makes every effort to send letters of certification out in five business days, our official turnaround time is 30 days. Certifications are processed in the order they are received.

    How do I transfer my license from another state to Virginia?

    To obtain a license in Virginia based on holding a current valid license in another state, you must submit an Endorsement Application. Examination requirements for licensure by endorsement are based on examinations previously completed in other states.

    To apply: (1) submit a completed Endorsement Application and application fee, and (2) request the licensing authority in the state where you are currently licensed to mail a Certification of Licensure to the Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology. However, if you originally obtained licensure in a jurisdiction other than the state where you currently hold a license, the Certification of Licensure should come from the original jurisdiction where you completed your training and exams.

    Please refer to the Virginia regulations for the hours of instruction and training required to qualify for licensure. If you completed less than 80% of the required hours to qualify for your current license from another state, you are not eligible for licensure by endorsement. For more information, refer to the Board's guidance document on Endorsement Education Requirements.

    I need to renew my license, but I haven't received my renewal form. What do I need to do?

    Send in the renewal fee, make checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia, and include your license number on your check. (If you have had a change of address, also complete, print, sign and submit an Address Change Form.) Mail this information to:
    Board for Barbers and Cosmetology
    Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation
    9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
    Richmond, VA 23233
    You CANNOT continue to practice in Virginia after your license has expired.

    My renewal payment was one day late and I have always paid on time. Can you waive the late fee?

    No. The Board's regulations allow a 30-day grace period in which a license may be renewed without penalty (therefore, your payment is actually 31 days late). Staff cannot waive the fee.

    I did not renew on time because I didn't receive my renewal card. Do I still have to pay a late fee or reinstate my license?

    Yes. Board regulations state that failure to receive the renewal notice does not relieve the licensee of the obligation to renew.

    Does the Board office use the date of receipt or the postmark date to determine whether an application or renewal was received on time?

    The date the application or renewal was received in the agency determines whether it is on time, not the postmark date. If the renewal fee is received after the due date, you will be required to pay the reinstatement fee. If the reinstatement fee is received after the due date, you will be required to apply as a new applicant, meeting all current requirements.

    My address and/or name has changed. What do I need to do to notify the Board?

    Many Boards allow you to update your ADDRESS using Online Services, so login to your personal profile to see if this is an option for your license type. The alternative is to complete, print, sign, and submit an Address Change Form to the Board office by mail. Unless updated online, all Address Change Forms must be received by the Board in writing. When providing a post office box as the mailing address, it must be accompanied by the physical address.

    To report a NAME CHANGE: complete, print, sign, and submit a Name Change Form to the Board office. All name changes must be received by the Board in writing. Individual name change requests must be accompanied by a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, or other official documentation that verifies the name change.

    Do I need a license to offer waxing services?

    Yes. Individuals performing waxing services must hold a wax technician license, cosmetologist license, or esthetician license.

    Can a nail technician provide waxing services?

    No. A nail technician license does not authorize the performance of waxing services. A nail technician must also be licensed as a wax technician in order to provide waxing services.

    Are electrologists licensed in Virginia?

    No. Electrolysis is an unregulated profession. Electrologists are not licensed in Virginia.

    Do tattoo parlors that offer body piercing services also need a body piercing salon license?

    Yes, tattoo parlors are not authorized to provide body piercing services. A body piercing salon license is required for businesses that provide body piercing services, and individuals properly licensed as body piercers much perform the work.

    Do cosmetology salons that offer esthetic services need an esthetics spa license?

    It depends. Cosmetology salons may offer esthetics services, but not master esthetics services (e.g., non-laser lymphatic drainage, chemical exfoliation, microdermabrasion, etc.). An esthetics spa license is required for businesses that offer master esthetics services provided by a licensed master esthetician.

    Do I need to be a licensed practitioner (barber, cosmetologist, etc.) to own a barber shop, cosmetology salon, nail salon, waxing salon, esthetics spa, tattoo parlor, or body piercing salon?

    No, facility ownership does not require a practitioner license. Provided you will not perform any services, you do not need an individual practitioner license to open a business.

    Can I provide cosmetology services in my home?

    Yes, provided you (1) hold both a current cosmetologist license and a current cosmetology salon license and (2) comply with Board regulations as well as all other federal, state, and local laws and ordinances (including Department of Health regulations).

    How do I become a tattooer or body piercing apprentice?

    Submit the appropriate Apprenticeship Certification Application and the Apprenticeship Agreement to the Board. The apprenticeship sponsor must be a licensed tattooer/body piercer designated as an apprenticeship sponsor, and the apprenticeship must be conducted in accordance with the Standards of Apprenticeship for Tattooers/body piercers in a licensed parlor.

    How do I become a cosmetology, barber, or nail technician apprentice?

    Apprenticeships are conducted through the Department of Labor and Industry. You must contact the Department of Labor and Industry directly to receive information regarding becoming an apprentice.

Board Leaders

Board Executive Director

Stephen Kirschner

Licensing Operations Administrator

Tamika Rodriguez

Regulatory Operations Administrator

Joseph Crook

Member Roster

Board Member Roster

Matthew D. Roberts | Board Chair

  • Nail Technician Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Darrin R. Hill

  • Barber Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2022

Lonnie Quesenberry

  • Cosmetologist Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2022

Margaret B. LaPierre

  • Esthetician Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2021

Oanh Pham Kim "Tina" Dang

  • Cosmetologist Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2022

Alfred O. Mayes | Board Vice-Chair

  • Barber Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2022

Bo Machayo

  • Citizen Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Sandra G. Smith

  • Citizen Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Gilda Acosta

  • Tattoo/Body-Piercer Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2022

Renee H. Gilanshah

  • Esthetician Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2023

Board members are appointed by the Governor. To learn more about the gubernatorial appointment process, visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website 

DPOR stands ready to assist veterans and active-duty military personnel as they maintain or transition to civilian careers requiring professional credentials.

Active-duty military personnel and their spouses having served outside the U.S., as well as certain diplomatic service members and veterans, may be eligible to receive up to a five-year extension for meeting license renewal requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-117 of the Code of Virginia).

Spouses of active-duty military personnel assigned to a duty station in Virginia are eligible for expedited processing using the Military Spouse Expedited License Application (Interactive | Static). A temporary, non-renewable 12-month license for certain military spouses licensed in another state who need more time to meet Virginia-specific requirements is also an option if necessary. [Section 54.1-119

  • Military spouses also can get help covering the costs of transferring their professional licenses or certifications when they experience a permanent-change-of-station move with their service member spouse

For honorably discharged veterans, “substantially equivalent” military training, education, or experience may be credited toward certain license requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-118). The Virginia Department of Veteran Services does not reimburse for exam costs. However, Veterans can be reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The link for the information is here: https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/how-to-use-benefits/test-fees.

(Please check back periodically as we modify transactions in the future.)

Address change

ALL license types  

  • Except Apprentice Tattooer and Limited Term Tattooer

 


Renew a license

ALL license types 

  • Except Apprentice Body-Piercer and Apprentice Tattooer

 


NOTE: No online transactions available for temporary permits at this time.

 

Go to Online Services