Stylists Article - January 2017

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Every day, the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology fields calls from people who have delayed taking the necessary steps to renew their license before the expiration date, or failed to submit a change of address, or moved to another state without first considering the steps they need to take to acquire "reciprocity" for their California license in their new home.

With a New Year beginning, it's the perfect time to make sure you're up-to-date with the Board.

Timely license renewal is important. Section 7317 of California's Business and Professions Code states in part: 

"… It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to engage in barbering, cosmetology, or electrolysis for compensation without a valid, unexpired license issued by the board, or in an establishment or mobile unit other than one licensed by the board, or conduct or operate an establishment, or any other place of business in which barbering, cosmetology, or electrolysis is practiced unless licensed under this chapter … "

Section 7397 of the Business and Professions Code states that:

"Every licensee shall display the license in a conspicuous place in his or her place of business or place of employment."

Taken together, what these two sections mean, is that it's not enough to be listed as being licensed in Board records: you must have your license up-to-date, in hand and on display at your workstation or in your establishment in order to provide services. This makes timely renewal of your license vital to your professional well-being. You can also be cited and fined for operating or working with an expired license, or working in a shop

We want to help. As a result, you can expect to receive a courtesy notice from the Board approximately two and a half months before your renewal is due (the Board typically asks that renewals by mail be submitted no more than 60 days before the expiration date). You'll get your new license in approximately three weeks, thereby ensuring that your ability to provide services will continue uninterrupted. But of course, to take advantage of this "heads up," the Board needs to have your mailing address on file. By law, you must notify the Board of a change of address within 30 days.  Make sure to do so. All too often, licensees will fail to update their address and not receive the courtesy notice, only to see their license become delinquent — and their ability to make a living temporarily lapse. This can cost you money, either because you had to stop working, or continued to work and were cited by a Board inspector for unlicensed activity.

You can save yourself a lot of time by renewing your license on BreEze, the Board's online licensing system.  All you need to do is sign up for a BreEze account, pay the renewal fee and your license will update immediately. Your paper copy will arrive in the mail in about a week. You can even use the system to change your address instantly.

Finally, if you are licensed in California and planning to move out of state, make sure you plan ahead.  Contact barbering and cosmetology officials in your new state of residence as soon as possible and get their licensing requirements. Most states have "reciprocity" agreements with California, which means that you can use your California license to qualify for a license in another state. Most states require a certification from California's Board. You can ask that a certification be mailed to your new state by filling out the form at and mailing it to us. Keep in mind that it can take as long as four weeks for the Board to issue the certification to your new state. But once again, by using BreEze, you can cut down the processing time for a license certification to as little as a week.

So don't delay. Make sure you're up-to-date with the Board.

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