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.
Barber | Cosmetologist | Nail Technician | Wax Technician | Esthetics | Body-Piercing | Tattooing| Other Forms (for all license types)
The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall provides access to the board's meeting schedule, agendas, and past meeting minutes.
Visit the Town Hall: http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewboard.cfm?boardid=134&display=meetings
Exam Application Process | Education Providers
Exam Fees (payable to vendor)
Exam Dates and Locations
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 CosmetologyDepartment of Professional and Occupational Regulation9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400Richmond, 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.
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.
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).
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.
No. Although 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.
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.
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 CosmetologyDepartment of Professional & Occupational Regulation9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400Richmond, VA 23233You CANNOT continue to practice in Virginia after your license has expired.
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.
Yes. Board regulations state that failure to receive the renewal notice does not relieve the licensee of the obligation to renew.
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.
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.
Yes. Individuals performing waxing services must hold a wax technician license, cosmetologist license, or esthetician license.
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.
No. Electrolysis is an unregulated profession. Electrologists are not licensed in Virginia.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Demetrios J. Melis
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 (PDF). 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]
For honorably discharged veterans, “substantially equivalent” military training, education, or experience may be credited toward certain license requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-118). In addition, the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs may reimburse veterans for the cost of license or certification exams. See the VA Pamphlet 22-02-1 for more information.
ALL individual license types (except Wax Technician Instructor, Body-Piercing Individual, and Tattooing Individual)
Barber Shop, Cosmetology Salon, Esthetics Spa, Nail Salon, and Waxing Salon only
SCHOOLS for Barbering, Cosmetology, Esthetics, or Nails only
ALL license types
ALL license types
please contact us in writing or via telephone and we will work with you to make the information available.