Frequently Asked Questions

1. I cannot find my license information during onboarding.

When linking your license(s) to your account, verify you are entering all licensee information exactly as it appears on your license/record in the required format. If you are still experiencing difficulties, re-enter all licensee information but delete your last name and reenter it in all CAPITALS (please see example below).

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Choose Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and your license type from the drop downs. Press Next.
  3. Under last name: type your last name in CAPITALS. Verify you are entering your last name exactly as it is printed on your license.
  4. Under SSN: type the last 4 digits of your SSN
  5. Under Date of Birth: type your date of birth using this format (mm/dd/yyyy).
  6. Security Measures: click on the appropriate images.
  7. Click on I confirm this is my License/Registration. Please note the license number will not include the letter(s) in your license, only the numbers.
  8. Press Next.
  9. Your license is now associated with your account.

2. Can I use a smart phone or tablet to create a BreEZe account?

No, you must use a laptop or desktop computer to create an account.

3. My password and/ID do not work, what do I do?

Click on Forgot User ID and/or Forgot Password to recover your existing BreEZe account. If you do not have access to the email address you used to create your BreEZe account, contact BreEZe Technical Support at 855-227-9633 or breeze@dca.ca.gov.

4. Is BreEZe a secure website?

Yes. BreEZe is an Official Government website and all information provided is secure.

5. How do I create an account in BreEZe?

  1. Access the BreEZe website at https://www.breeze.ca.gov.
  2. Click on BreEZe Registration at the bottom of the screen under “New Users.”
  3. Complete the User Registration information. Create a User ID (minimum of 8 characters, not case sensitive), enter the security code (all lower-case characters, no spaces), and press Next.
  4. Go to your email (remember to check you spam or junk email folders) to retrieve the temporary password (the password is case sensitive).
  5. Go back to the BreEZe website.
  6. Enter your user ID then type the temporary password. Press Next.
  7. Enter your temporary password again and then create a new password that you can remember. Press Next when you are done. Your new password must contain the following:
    • A minimum of 4 (four) characters
    • Must not be the same as your user id
    • Must not be a variation of your user id
    • Must contain at least (1) uppercase alphabetic character
    • Must contain at least (1) lowercase alphabetic character
    • Must contain at least (1) numeric character
    • Must contain at least (1) special character (example: @!#$%^&*)
  8. Write down you user ID and password in a safe place so you have them for the next time you need to log in.

  9. You should now be at the Add Licenses to Registration screen and this question will appear, “Are you, or have you ever been, professionally licensed or registered with the Department of Consumer Affairs?”
    • Click “Yes” if you have ever been licensed or have ever submitted a license application, then press Next to continue.
    • Click “No” if you have never applied with the Board before. You will be taken to the Add a license to Registration-Validation screen. Provide your information so the Department of Consumer Affairs to confirm that you do not have a previous record in the BreEZe system. Once the system confirms you have never applied, you will be taken to the Quick Start Menu, where you can start a new application.

6. How do I associate my license(s)/applicant account with the BreEZe account I created?

  1. Log into your account
  2. Click Update Profile (at the upper right-hand side of the screen)
  3. Click Add Licenses (at the bottom right-hand side of the screen)
  4. Choose the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and your license type from the drop downs.
  5. Under last name: delete the name in the last name field and type your last name in CAPITALS.
  6. Under SSN: type the last 4 digits of your SSN
  7. Under Date of Birth: type your date of birth using this format (mm/dd/yyyy).
  8. Security Measures: click on the appropriate images.
  9. Press Next.
  10. You have now associated your license/applicant account with your BreEZe account.

7. How do I associate my establishment license(s) with my BreEZe account?

  1. Log into your account
  2. Click Update Profile (at the upper right-hand side of the screen).
  3. Click Add Licenses (at the bottom right-hand side of the screen).
  4. Choose Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and Establishments from the drop downs.
  5. Type in your establishment license number (do not include the letter A).
  6. Enter the Business Name as listed on your license.
  7. Under SSN: type your full social security number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  8. Security Measure: click on the appropriate images.
  9. Press Next.
  10. Your establishment has now been associated with your BreEZe account.

8. How do I associate more than one license with my BreEZe account?

Go to question 6 to associate all your personal licenses. Go to question 7 to associate your establishment licenses.

9. I created an account; how do I renew my license?

Your license must be associated with your account (go to question 6). If your license is up for renewal within 60 days and you have already associated your license with your account, the renewal option will be at the top of the screen.

10. I need to pay my fine online, how do I do that?

First you must register with BreEZe, (question 5) and then associate you license(s) with your BreEZe account (question 6). Once you do that, the fines owed will appear in your cart on the right-hand side of the screen.

11. I locked myself out of my account, what do I do next?

Email your full name, license number and user ID to breeze@dca.ca.gov and say you have been locked out of your account and need to have it reset. Or call the BreEZe help desk at (916) 557-1208.

12. BreEZe says my license is already associated with another account/entity.

Email breeze@dca.ca.gov your full name, license number, birthdate and last 4 digits of your SSN, and tell them what error you are receiving. This is most likely because you already created an account. You cannot have two accounts with the same license number. They will send you the last known user name for that account. Or call the BreEZe help desk at (916) 557-1208.

13. BreEZe says my email already exists.

This means you tried to create an account using this email address. You can click on forgot user ID/Password. If you are not able to answer the "secret question" contact the BreEZe help desk at (916) 557-1208. They will help recover your account.

14. I forgot my User ID/Password, how do I reset it?

On the BreEZe login page, select forgot User ID and/or Password. Answer questions and your User ID and/or Password will be emailed to you.

15. It will not take my credit card information, what's wrong?

  1. Enter all 16 digits without slashes/dashes.
  2. Enter Expiration date: 2 digit month 2 digit year ONLY. No slashes/dashes. Example: type 1020 for October 2020.
  3. The CVV2 code is the 3 numbers on the back of your credit card. If it is an American Express, it will be the 4 numbers on the front of the card.
  4. Enter in the billing information for your card (including the country if requested).
  5. When all information is entered properly click the process button.

Note: Prepaid cards will not work with our system.

16. I checked on the status of my application and it says withdrawn, what does that mean?

The Board automatically withdraws all applications that are submitted without the required fee or attachments. Please open a new application and submit the required fee and/or attach the required documents by following the instructions below.

Step 1: Browse and open file
Step 2: Press Attach
Step 3: Press Next

FAQ 1

17. I need to renew my license. Where do I start and how long will it take for my license to renew and for me to get my license?

Start with questions 5 and 6. After you create a BreEZe account and associate your license, you will see it's time to renew under License Activities. Click the select button. Once you submit the transaction and pay the fee, your renewal is instant (unless you owe outstanding fines). If you owe fines, you may pay them through BreEZe as well. You will receive your license within 7 business days.

18. I need to order a license certification online, how long will it take to send the certification to the state I requested?

It takes 2 weeks for the Board to process your certification and send it to the state you requested (this accounts for mailing and processing time from the other state). Allow 4 weeks when you submit a certification request online and allow 6 weeks when you send in a certification for the state you are moving to receive your certification. Be advised the other stated will also need processing time.

19. How do I submit a re-exam application?

Create an account (question 5) and associate your applicant registration already on file with the Board (question 6). Go to start a new application, choose Board of Barbering and Cosmetology from the drop down, and then choose your license type re-exam application. Complete the application and pay the required fee.

20. How do I update my address or order a duplicate license?

Create an account in BreEZe (question 5) and associate your license or application record (question 6). Go to the Manage Your License Information and pick the appropriate drop down.

21. I have tried everything and cannot associate my license with BreEZe.

Email breeze@dca.ca.gov the following information and they can associate your license for you:

  • Your full name (last name as you enter it into BreEZe)
  • The last 4 digits of your social
  • Your birthdate (as you entered it in BreEZe)
  • Your license number or file number if you are an applicant
  • Your user ID
  • Your password
  • Your phone number, if I have any questions
  • The error message you received

22. Common BreEZe User Errors

  • Birthdate entered in incorrect format (04/12/43 should be entered as 04/12/1943).
  • After selecting images, click "Verify". Once you see the green check mark, click the Next button once to search for your license information.
  • BreEZe cannot find you because you are licensed under a different name. Click License Search on the BreEZe log in screen to see if the Board has your correct name. The name on your license needs to be entered exactly into BreEZe.
  • You are entering the expiration of your credit card with a /. The expiration should read 1020 for October 2020.
  • If you were licensed prior to 1990, the Board may not have your birthdate in our system. Please email the Board to confirm the birthdate on file.

23. BreEZe Help Phone Number and Email Address

Email breeze@dca.ca.gov with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • License Number (if you have one)
  • License Type
  • Last 4 digits of your social
  • Your Birthdate
  • What error message you received

Or call the BreEZe Help Line (916) 557-1208.

1. How many hours are needed to qualify to take the State Board examinations?

Cosmetologist = 1600 hours, Barber = 1500 hours, Esthetician = 600 hours, Electrologist = 600 hours, Manicurist = 400 hours.

2. Can the State Board examination be taken if the required hours have not been completed?

No. No one is allowed entry to the examination until they have completed all the required hours for their field of study.

3. Which schools are approved by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology?

A list of all Board-approved schools is available online and can be viewed by going to the Schools link located on the upper right-hand side of the home page.

4. I have completed my training. Do I need to take the examination to provide services in California?

Yes. You need to pass the written and practical examination and be issued a license to perform barbering and cosmetology services for a fee.

5. Are continuing education credits needed to maintain a license?

No. The Board does not require continuing education credits to maintain a license.

6. I would like to obtain my training through the apprentice program. Who do I contact?

For more information on the apprentice program, contact a program sponsor in your area listed in the Apprenticeship Information.

7. I finished part of my training in school. Can I make up the remaining hours in the apprentice program?

No. Training from a school does not transfer to the apprentice program and vice versa.

1. How do I obtain an application for the examination?

The applications for examination are located under the Forms/Publications tab on the Board's website. You can also call (800) 952-5210. The hearing impaired may call TDD (800) 326-2297 or TDD (916) 322-1700.

If this is the first time you are applying for the examination, complete the Examination Application for your license type. If you are re-applying for the examination, complete the Re-Examination Application. You can submit an initial application or a re-exam application online at https://www.breeze.ca.gov/. Go to the BreEZe FAQ section for more information.

2. What does the examination consist of?

Please view the Examination Information link on our website at http://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/applicants/index.shtml.

3. Can I apply to take the examination if I’ve been convicted of a crime?

Individuals who have been convicted of a crime can still apply to take the examination. Complete the Disclosure Statement Regarding Criminal Pleas/Convictions form (http://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/forms_pubs/forms/disc_crimpleas.pdf) and send it with your application or attach it to your online application. Include as much detail as possible. The board may request additional documents related to your conviction if not enough information is provided, which will delay the processing of your application. These are reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some of the factors that are considered consist of the following:

  • The length of time since the conviction
  • The nature of the conviction
  • Evidence of rehabilitation since the conviction
  • Whether the crime (or act) is substantially related to the qualification, functions, or duties of the licensee.

If you have any further questions, call the Enforcement Unit at (916) 574-7574.

4. How long does it take to be scheduled for an examination after sending the application through the mail or submitting an application online?

Mailed Applications

Written Only Re-Exams- You should receive the PSI handbook to schedule the written exam at a time or location of your choice within 6 weeks.

Practical Exams both Initial and Re-Exam- You should receive an admission letter within 10 weeks. This is dependent on how many applications the board is receiving. Please note, once you receive your admission letter your exam date will be 25 to 30 days later.

Online Applications

Written only Re-Exams - You should receive the PSI handbook to schedule the written exam at a time or location of your choice within 3 weeks. The Board does not mail admission letters for the written exam.

Practical Exams both Initial and Re-Exam – You should receive an admission letter within 6 weeks. This is dependent on how many applications the board is receiving. You could get an admission letter in as little as two weeks, but it should not take longer than 6 weeks. Please note, once you receive your admission letter your exam date will be 25 to 30 days later.

Online applications are processed first and are generally processed 2 to 4 weeks faster than paper applications.

5. Can I work while I am waiting for my examination date?

No. You will be cited for unlicensed activity and subject to a $1,000 fine if you are working without a valid license.

6. I missed my examination date. Can I reschedule at no charge?

No. The Board does not reschedule examination dates. You must submit a Re-Examination Application with a new fee to be scheduled for a new date.

7. I failed one part of my examination. How many times can I take the examination in a year? Do I have to pay the whole fee again?

There is no limit on how many times you can retake a portion of the examination within a year, however, if you have not passed both portions within one year you will be required to complete both the written and practical again. You must submit a re-exam fee to be scheduled for a re-exam.

1. I lost my license. How do I obtain a duplicate?

Mail a Duplicate/Replacement License Request with the $10 fee and receive your license within 4-6 weeks or apply online through BreEZe and receive your license in the mail within 15-20 business days. Note: you may only request a duplicate of your license if you have lost the original. The Board does not allow licensees to have two licenses in their possession.

2. What does the "status" of a license mean on your web site?

  • Current – license holder has completed all renewal requirements
  • Delinquent – license holder has not complied with renewal requirements
  • Probated/Suspension – license holder cannot practice due to an Enforcement action
  • Suspension – license holder received a disciplinary action of suspension by the Board
  • Revoked – license holder received a disciplinary action of revocation by the Board
  • Canceled – license holder did not comply with renewal requirements for 5 years

3. This is my first time renewing my license online and I did not see it when I registered. What do I do?

See BREEZE HELP section at the top of this page.

4. What happens if a license is delinquent for five years?

The Board cancels licenses that are not renewed for 5 years. If you would like to be licensed again, you must apply for and pass the examination. Submit an Examination Application and use the cancelled license number as your qualification to apply for the examination.

5. I need to verify a license to see if it has been renewed.

Go to the License Search page on the website. You can search for the licensee by name or license number to verify the status. Or you can call the Board at (800) 952-5210. The hearing impaired may call TDD (800) 326-2297 or TDD (916) 322-1700.

6. I sent a payment for license renewal and I have not received my license.

It takes 6 to 8 weeks to process a renewal payment if you submitted the payment through the mail without the renewal form. If you send in your payment with the renewal form it should take 2 to 4 weeks to receive the license in the mail.

Please check with your bank to see if the Board cashed your check. If the Board cashed your check and your renewal is taking longer than the above time frames, call the Board at (800) 952-5210. The hearing impaired may call TDD (800) 326-2297or TDD (916) 322-1700.

7. My license is going to or has expired and I did not receive a renewal notice. What should I do?

Do not wait for a renewal notice to renew your license. You may not receive a renewal notice if you have outstanding fines or you changed your address and did not notify the Board timely. The fastest way to renew your license is online through BreEZe. If you owe fines, they will appear in your cart and you can pay them before you renew. If you’ve moved, be sure to change your address before you renew.

8. Can I get a temporary license?

No, the Board does not issue temporary licenses.

9. How can I change my address with the Board?

You can change your address online through BreEZe, by printing and mailing the Change of Address form, faxing the form to (916) 575-7280 or (916) 575-7281, or emailing the request to barbercosmo@dca.ca.gov.

10. How can I change my name on my license?

Submit a Request for Change of Name form with copies of your government issued ID with your new name and marriage certificate, naturalization documents, or other legal documents that changed your name to the address on the top of the form. The documents can also be scanned and sent via email to barbercosmo@dca.ca.gov or faxed to (916) 575-7280 or (916) 575-7281. Please attach a cover letter if you are faxing the documents. Allow for 4-5 days to process this request.

If you would like a duplicate license with your new name, you will also have to submit a $10 fee with the form via mail. This fee can also be paid online through BreEZe if you have submitted your information by email or fax, once the name change has been completed.

1. How do I apply for licensure in California if I received my training in another state but did not receive a license?

If your training was completed in a different state and you did not receive a license, the California Board will determine your eligibility. Out of State applicants cannot apply online. The Board does not accept Apprentice hours. The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires the following school hours, depending on your license type:

Cosmetologist = 1600 hours, Barber = 1500 hours, Esthetician = 600 hours, Electrologist = 600 hours, Manicurist = 400 hours.

A. Submit the Initial Exam Application along with the Out of State Applicant School Training Form B. Form B must be completed by the school you attended out of state. You must also sign and date the completed Form B. Submit the Initial Exam Application and Form B at the same time.

B. The Board will review your Application and Form B to determine if you have enough hours to qualify for the exam or if you will need to complete additional school hours. The Board will send you a deficiency letter if you need to complete additional hours. You may complete the additional hours in the state you are currently residing or at a Board approved California school.

C. A Proof of Training from the Board approved California school or a second Form B must be submitted to the California Board once the additional hours are completed.

D. After your application is approved, you will be scheduled to take the written and practical exam on the same day at one of our exam sites in Northern California (Fairfield) or Southern California (Glendale). The Board will schedule you for the exam at the location you selected on your application. You will receive an admission letter 2 to 6 weeks after your application has been approved, depending on the license type and the amount of pending applications at the Board. Your exam date will be between 25 to 40 days after you have received your admission letter.

E. The Board has information about the exam on our web site. We recommend that you review this information prior to your exam. Click Examination Information for more details.

F. Candidates who pass both portions of the exam on the same day will be issued a license on the day of their exam.

2. I have an out of state license, do I qualify for reciprocity? What is reciprocity?

The Board issues out of state licensees a California license through reciprocity without taking the California written and practical exam, if they submit the following:

A. A complete Reciprocity Application and all fees required by the California Board.

B. Proof of a current license issued by another state to practice that meets all of the following requirements:

a. It is not revoked, suspended, or otherwise restricted.
b. It is in good standing.
c. It has been active for three of the last five years, during which time the applicant has not been subject to disciplinary action or a criminal conviction.

3. I qualify for reciprocity. How do I apply for a California license?

A. Contact the state board that issued your out of state license and request a certification of your licensure to be sent directly to the California Board. Note: Florida Full, Facial, and Nail Specialist licenses do not qualify for reciprocity.

B. Submit a Reciprocity Application to the Board. Click Reciprocity Application to download the application or submit an application online through BreEZe. Applications submitted through BreEZe are processed up to 3 weeks faster than applications submitted through the mail.

C. After your application has been received, the Board will verify your certification has been received which shows you have a current out of state license that meets the qualifying criteria, as stated above. If the certification has not been received, the board will send you a deficiency letter. Once the certification is received, the application will be re-evaluated.

D. After your application is approved, PSI will send you a reciprocity approval packet, noting the various PSI locations throughout California. You will then go to the nearest PSI location where they will take your photo and issue your license. Please call PSI at 1-800-733-9267 to confirm the business hours of the location nearest to you. You can only receive a California license by going to a PSI location in California. You do not need to make an appointment to obtain the license from PSI.

4. My license from another state is expired. Do I still qualify for reciprocity?

No, you must have a current license to qualify.

5. How do I submit proof of my out of state licensure to qualify for reciprocity?

The Board requires the state where you hold your license to submit a certification of your license to us. There is usually a fee associated with this. Please check with the state where you hold a current license. Florida Full, Facial, and Nail Specialist licenses do not qualify for reciprocity.

6. If I hold two or more licenses issued in different states, will I qualify for reciprocity?

If one of the out of state licenses is current and you have held it for less than three years, you may qualify for reciprocity if the same license type was issued in an earlier year by another state board and is now expired. In this situation, you will need to order license certifications from both state boards to be sent to our office as verification.

7. What is Form B (Out of State Applicant School Training Record) for?

The Out of State Applicant School Training Form B completed by your school certifies your training hours and is used by the Board to determine if you have enough hours to qualify for the exam.

8. How do I apply for licensure in California if I am licensed in another state but have not held that license for three years or more?

The Board does not accept Apprentice hours. The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires the following school hours, depending on your license type:

Cosmetologist = 1600 hours, Barber = 1500 hours, Esthetician = 600 hours, Electrologist = 600 hours, Manicurist = 400 hours.

A. Contact the state board that issued your out of state license and request a certification of your licensure to be sent directly to the California Board.

If you do not have enough hours and are licensed, you can substitute hours for experience. Include a completed Affidavit of Experience Form C with your application. Each three months of practice shall be deemed the equivalent of 100 hours of training. Example: your state requires 1400 hours; we require 1500 hours. If you worked in your state for 3 full months with that license, we will credit you with an additional 100 hours. You can find Form C on our website by clicking Exam Application Optional Attachments.

B. Submit your completed Initial Exam Application with the required fee to the Board at the address listed at the top of the application. You may apply for the exam at the same time you request certification of licensure from the state where you are licensed. The Initial Exam Application can be downloaded from our website by clicking on Examination Application. Please choose the appropriate application type, as the application fee is non-refundable. Out of State applicants cannot submit an online application.

C. After your application has been received, the Board will verify your certification has been received. If the certification has not been received, the Board will send you a deficiency letter. After the certification is received, the application will be re-evaluated.

D. Once your application is approved; you will be scheduled to take the written and practical exam on the same day at one of our exam sites in Northern California (Fairfield) or Southern California (Glendale). The Board will schedule you at the location you selected on your application. You will receive an admission letter 2 to 6 weeks after your application has been approved, depending on the license type and the amount of pending applications the Board has. Your exam date will be between 25 to 40 days after you receive your admission letter.

E. The Board has information about the exam on our web site. We recommend that you review this information prior to your exam. Click Examination Information for more details.

F. Candidates who pass both portions of the exam will be issued a license on the day of their exam.

9. If I do not have enough hours to qualify for the exam, can I use my experience as a licensed person in my current state?

Yes, attach a completed Affidavit of Experience Form C to your application. Every 3 full months you worked as a licensed person in your state is equal to 100 hours to be applied toward your training hours. Example: Your state requires 1400 hours; we require 1500 hours. You worked in your state for 3 months. We will credit you with an additional 100 hours. You can find Form C on our website by clicking Exam Application Optional Attachments.

10. How do I apply for licensure in California if I am licensed in another country?

A. Submit a completed Initial Exam Application with the required fee to the Board at the address listed at the top of the application along with documents related to your foreign training and experience. For school training submit: certificates, diplomas, transcripts with a course breakdown of hours for each course, and school training record (Form B). For work experience submit: employment contracts, tax records and bank statements showing income from working in a salon, paystubs, letters from employers detailing the dates you worked and services performed, and an Affidavit of Experience (Form C) for each location worked. The documents must show the length of time worked and the work experience must be after your graduation date from the training in your profession and be in the country where you completed your training. Submit your documents in the native language and include certified translations.

B. If necessary, the Board will request additional information to verify the education you received meets the Board’s requirements.

C. Once your application is approved, you will be scheduled to take the written and practical exam on the same day at one of our exam sites in Northern California (Fairfield) or Southern California (Glendale). The Board will schedule you at the location you choose on the application. You will receive an admission letter 2 to 6 weeks after your application has been approved, depending on the license type and the amount of pending applications the Board has. Your exam date will be between 25 to 40 days after you receive your admission letter.

D. The Board has information about the exam on our web site. We recommend that you review this information prior to your exam. Click Examination Information for more details.

E. Candidates who pass both portions of the exam on the same day will be issued a license on the day of their exam.

11. I am licensed in California and moving to another state. How do I transfer my license?

Contact the licensing agency of the state you are moving to for licensing requirements. All states have different requirements.

You may need to request a Certification of Licensure from the Board. You can request a Certification online through BreEZe or through the mail. Certifications submitted online generally take 2 to 4 weeks to be processed, mailed and received by the other state. Certification requests submitted through the mail generally take 4 to 6 weeks to be processed, mailed and received by the other state board. The fee is $10.00 for each certification requested. The Board will send one certification of licensure directly to the state indicated. All certifications indicate the following information: required hours needed to take the examination in California for the license you hold, whether the examination was taken or the license was issued through reciprocity, the license number, and the issue and expiration date of the license.

That the Board does not retain school transcripts of your school hours. If the state you are moving to requires transcripts, you must obtain these from the school you attended.

1. I just bought a salon, what forms do I need to fill out? Do I have to schedule an inspection?

If you purchased a salon from a previous owner, added an owner to a partnership, or deleted an owner in a partnership, you must have the previous owner fill out an Establishment Closure form and you must submit a new Establishment Application. An establishment license is only valid for the location and owner(s) it is issued to.

The Board does not schedule inspections. They are performed randomly by inspectors in your area. You may want to review the Self Inspection Worksheet (Spanish) (Vietnamese) (Korean) to verify your salon is in compliance with California Laws and Regulations.

2. I am a booth renter or independent contractor; do I need to apply for my own establishment license?

No, only the owner of the establishment may apply for an establishment license. Only one establishment license may be issued per address.

3. I have been convicted of a crime; can I still apply for an establishment license?

Yes, people with prior convictions may still apply for an establishment license. The Board requests documents related to the conviction(s) be included with your Establishment Application. These are reviewed and evaluated on a case- by-case basis. The factors that are considered include:

  • The length of time since the conviction
  • The nature of the conviction
  • Evidence of rehabilitation since the conviction
  • Whether the crime (or act) is substantially related to the qualification, functions, or duties of the licensee

If you have further questions, call the Enforcement Unit at (916) 574-7574.

4. I moved to a new location; can I still use my establishment license from the previous location?

No. The license is only valid for the location and owner it is issued to. If you moved, you must submit a new Establishment Application.

Operating an unlicensed establishment is a violation of Business and Profession Code 7317. Practice of Barbering, Cosmetology, or Electrolysis for Compensation Without License which carries a $1,000 fine.

5. Can any type of establishment use a barber pole in or on the outside of the premises?

Only an establishment that employs a barber can have a barber pole in or on the outside of the establishment.

6. What type of license is needed for a mobile spa business?

If you are planning to provide services inside of a mobile unit you must submit a Mobile Unit Application. The requirements for this license are listed on our web site under Business and Professions Code sections 7354-7361 and California Code Regulations section 937.

7. I would like to offer spa/bridal parties in the consumers' home; is this legal?

No. Any type of service that is regulated by the Board needs to be performed by a licensee in a licensed establishment. Licensee's providing spa/bridal parties at an unlicensed location may be cited for Business and Profession Code 7317. Practice of Barbering, Cosmetology, or Electrolysis for Compensation Without License which carries a $1,000 fine.

8. I would like to hire a person for the sole purpose of shampooing or preparing consumers for services; can I do this?

No, only a licensed barber, cosmetologist or apprentice can wash a consumer's hair or prepare a consumer for services.

9. Can I have a salon in my home?

Yes, so long as you have completed the Establishment Application and your home salon meets all the requirements listed on the application for your home salon. You must also contact your city and county regarding additional permits or licenses.

10. Should I keep my establishment license if I am no longer providing Board services?

Establishment licenses are only required if you are offering services regulated by the Board. If you no longer offer Board services, the Board recommends you submit an Establishment Closure form immediately. Holding a current establishment license subjects you to Board inspections and fines.

1. How are inspections performed? Can I schedule my own inspection?

Inspectors are assigned to specific territories throughout California and perform inspections randomly. You cannot schedule an inspection. When an inspector arrives at the salon, they will have proper identification and announce they are from the State Board and are there to conduct an inspection. You may continue working on your clients while the inspection is being performed. They will ask to see a valid picture ID to verify the licensees working and ask the licensee in charge to unlock any cupboards, doors or drawers within the salon to inspect. At the end of the inspection they will go over the inspection report issued to the establishment with the licensee in charge and with each individual licensee who was also issued an inspection report during the inspection.

If you would like to perform a self-inspection of your salon you may refer to the Self Inspection Worksheet (Spanish) (Vietnamese) (Korean).

2. An inspector just inspected my salon; what happens now?

After the inspection is complete, the inspector will leave a yellow copy of the inspection report with each individual present. This is not a citation. This information, as well as any photographs taken during the inspection are forwarded to headquarters where the Cite and Fine Unit determines which violations warrant a citation and fine. A citation will be mailed to the address on record within 45-60 days of the inspection.

The citation will be sent with information regarding the appeal process and the due date of any fines owed. Read all the information carefully. If you are appealing the citation, you must mail the appeal request by the due date indicated on the citation. Only the person issued the citation can appeal the citation.

3. What are the most common violations cited during an inspection?

Please refer to the 10 Most Common Violations Cited During Inspections.

4. I am the owner of the salon. My salon was cited for violations by an independent contractor, booth renter, or employee. Who is responsible for paying the fine?

The Board does not differentiate between independent contractors, booth renters, or employees. The owner of the salon is responsible for the activities of all the people working in the salon. If an inspector finds a violation by an individual working at the shop, he or she may issue a citation to both the individual and the owner. If the independent contractor, booth renter, or employee is not present during the inspection and has violations at his or her station, the owner of the salon may be issued a citation for these violations.

5. I just received a Request for Payment notice in the mail. What does this mean?

The Inspections Unit will issue Request for Payment notices to individuals who have not paid their citations. The Board will make three attempts to collect the amount due. After three attempts are made, the Board can refer the information to a collection agency or Franchise Tax Board to collect any fines due.

1. I received a citation and I do not agree; what should I do?

After receiving the citation in the mail, the citation is due and payable. You have the option of appealing the citation if you do not agree with it. To request an appeal, complete the “Statement of Correction and/or Request for Appeal” form included with the citation. List all violations you are appealing and return it to the Board (postmarked on or prior to the due date). After the Board receives the citation appeal request, an acknowledgment letter will be sent to you if the request was timely. An informal appeal hearing will then be scheduled with the Board's Disciplinary Review Committee.

2. How much time do I have to appeal my citation?

All appeals must be submitted by the due date indicated on the citation. The due date is 30 days after the date of issuance. Appeals that are not submitted in a timely manner will be denied. Only the individual who received the citation can appeal it.

3. How and when will I be notified of my hearing?

Approximately 30 days before the date of your hearing, you will be notified by mail of the date, time and location of your hearing. To ensure that the Notice of Hearing is delivered, the Board sends two Notices to your address of record - one via regular mail and one via certified mail. If you have recently moved or have cancelled your establishment license, you must notify the Board within 30 days of your new address.

4. What can I do if I am unable to attend in person?

You may send an authorized representative to speak on your behalf. You must provide a signed authorization letter allowing the representative to appear in your absence. If you are an employee of an establishment, the owner of the establishment cannot represent you at the hearing. You may also choose to withdraw your request for a hearing by sending in a written request prior to the hearing and subsequently pay the full amount of the fine. A "Request to Withdraw Appeal" form is included on the second page of your Notice of Hearing.

5. If I miss my hearing, can I reschedule?

You must show "good cause" for your hearing to be rescheduled. "Good Cause" is defined by the Board as personal illness, auto accident, death or severe illness in the immediate family or other severe physical or emotional hardship. For any condition to be considered good cause, it must be verified in writing.

6. What can I expect during the informal appeal hearing?

During the appeal hearing, you will have the opportunity to discuss your case with the Disciplinary Review Committee, which consists of a panel of three Board members. You will have 15 minutes to state your case and explain why you are appealing. You are allowed, but are not required, to bring appropriate legal representation, witnesses, written documentation or photos to support your case. Here are some examples of evidence that you may want to consider bringing:

  • Photos of corrected violations
  • Copy of foot spa cleaning logs
  • Copy of license(s) (if cited for unlicensed activity)
  • Proof of mailing/certified mail receipt
  • Copies of the front and back of checks cashed by DCA
  • Lease agreement with start/end date
  • Death certificate
  • Time card/appointment book
  • Health insurance bills/letter from doctor
  • Inspection report from future visit showing No Violations
  • Photo I.D. (if cited no photographic ID)
  • The actual tools/implements that were cited; bottles of disinfectant

7. If I need an interpreter, will there be one present?

Only individuals who requested a Spanish or Vietnamese interpreter within 5 days of receiving their acknowledgement letter will be scheduled with an interpreter. If you did not request an interpreter timely or require an interpreter for a language other than Spanish or Vietnamese, you must bring your own. The interpreter cannot have a pending appeal hearing for a citation issued to him or her at the same location.

8. When will I be informed of the results of my appeal?

You will be notified by mail of the Committee's decision 30 days after your hearing date. The Decision Document mailed to you will state whether your violations are upheld, modified, or dismissed. It will also state the total amount owed on the citation and how to pay (if applicable).

9. Can I contest the committee's decision?

Yes. If you do not agree with the committee's decision, you may appeal by sending the Board a written request to be heard before an Administrative Law Judge. Your request must be submitted before the effective date of the decision. Your appeal will then be forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General.

1. How do I file a complaint? Will you disclose my name if I put it on the complaint form? What happens if I file the complaint anonymously?

The Board requests all complaints be made in writing. You may file a complaint online, through the mail, or by fax. You can submit a complaint online through BreEZe by clicking File a Complaint or by printing the Consumer Complaint Form and mailing it to the address listed on the top or faxing it to 916-575-7280. You may request a Complaint Form by calling (800) 952-5210.

The Board will not disclose any of your personal information unless you file a consumer harm complaint. For general complaints, the Board will not disclose your name but may notify the licensee of the complaint and what they need to do to correct the violation(s).

If you filed the complaint anonymously, and the Board cannot contact you for additional information, the case may be closed due to insufficient evidence. In addition, when filing a complaint anonymously, you cannot inquire about the status of the complaint, nor will you be notified of the outcome.

To investigate a consumer harm compliant, your name will be given to the licensee so that they may respond to the allegations. The Board will not be able to investigate unless the licensee is aware of the complaint.

2. What types of complaints does the Board investigate?

Disciplinary action taken prior to July 1, 2009 is published on the Enforcement page, listed by last name of the individual and by the name of the establishment. Disciplinary action taken after July 1, 2009 is found by using the License Search page. Note: Disciplinary Actions do not include Administrative Citations.

3. What types of complaints are not within the Boards jurisdiction?

The Board does not investigate complaints regarding prices charged, poor customer service, and dissatisfaction with services provided. The Board does not have the authority to collect monetary compensation on behalf of consumers. In addition, there are many services that are not within the jurisdiction of the Board that may be performed in a licensed establishment (examples: permanent makeup, massage, threading, tanning, and acupuncture.)

4. How does the Board investigate the complaints it receives?

Complaints are received by the complaint intake unit. If the complaint is within the Board's jurisdiction, a case is opened, and a complaint acknowledgment letter is sent to the complainant. The case is then assigned to an analyst to investigate the complaint. If there is not enough information to investigate, the analyst will contact the complainant for additional information. To investigate the complaint the analyst will look at the prior history of the licensee, including any additional complaints the licensee has received and any prior inspections that occurred. The analyst may send a letter to the licensee letting them know a complaint has been received against them, and ask them to respond to the complaint, or the analyst may request an inspection of the establishment depending on how long ago the establishment was inspected and what their violations were.

The complainant's personal information is kept confidential and not released to the subject of the complaint. In cases alleging consumer harm, only the complainant's name is released. If you would like to request a status update on the case, you must provide contact information, so the Board can send you the case number. Without the case number, the Board cannot identify you as the individual who initiated the case and will not share any information with you unless disciplinary action is taken. No one views this information except the case analysts and it is not shared with anyone unless you have the case number and can identify yourself.

Complaints can take a minimum of three months to investigate. Once your case is closed, you will be notified by mail or email if you left your contact information on the complaint form.

1. I want to look up and verify licenses for an establishment or person working in a salon; how do I do this?

To verify a license, go to the License Search page on the website.

2. How can I look up licensees with past disciplinary actions against their licenses?

Disciplinary action taken prior to July 1, 2009 is published on the Enforcement page, listed by last name of the individual and by the name of the establishment. Disciplinary action taken after July 1, 2009 is found by using the License Search page. Note: Disciplinary Actions do not include Administrative Citations.

3. How can I look up citations for licensees or establishments?

The Board does not currently publish citation information online. You may submit a request for public records in writing with the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • License number
  • What information you are requesting
  • Your name, contact number, and address

And send it to:

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
Public Records
PO BOX 944226
Sacramento, CA 94244-2260

4. How can I request a mailing list of current licensees/applicants?

You can access a licensee list online at https://www.dca.ca.gov/consumers/public_info/index.shtml. Download the “Barbering and Cosmetology” data and sort it to suit your needs.

5. What licensee information is considered "public"?

Licenses are printed with the address of record as well as the name of the licensee. If you are requesting additional information, you must submit a Request of Public Record in writing with the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • License number
  • What information you are requesting
  • Your name, contact number, and address

And send it to:

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
Public Records
PO BOX 944226
Sacramento, CA 94244-2260

1. What services can be provided in a salon? Who can perform these services?

Licensees may perform services for beautification only. They may not perform procedures that penetrate the skin or affect any living tissue (except for the electrologist who may penetrate the skin with the appropriate tools in the scope of their license).

  • Cosmetologist can prep, style, cut and color the hair of any person. They may also perform facials, remove hair by waxing or tweezing, apply makeup and false eyelashes, and provide nail care. Their license allows them to provide the services of a manicurist and esthetician.
  • Barbers can prep, style, cut, shave, and color hair. They may also apply cosmetic preparations, antiseptics, powders or lotions to the scalp, face or neck.
  • Estheticians can perform facials, remove hair by tweezing or waxing, and apply makeup and false eyelashes.
  • Manicurists can give manicures and pedicures and apply false nails (using gel, acrylic or silk). Their licenses limit their contact to the hand and foot area only.
  • Electrologists perform their services with a needle or probe to permanently remove the hair on the body of a person using electric currents. This is the only license that allows a licensee to use a needle.

For further information on the scope of practice of our licensees, view BPC 7316.

2. Are laser treatments regulated by the Board?

No. It is against the law for a Board licensee to operate a laser unless they also have a medical license. Please refer to the Medical Board to inquire about the regulations on this type of treatment.

3. Is Botox regulated by the Board?

No. It is against the law for a Board licensee to provide any type of injections unless they also have a medical license. Please refer to the Medical Board to inquire about the regulations on this type of treatment.

4. Is teeth whitening regulated by the Board?

No. Our licensees have not been trained to perform this type of service under their license. Contact the Dental Board for more information about the regulations on this type of activity.

5. Can I provide services for a bridal party in a hotel or home?

Any type of service that is regulated by the Board needs to be performed by a licensee in a licensed establishment. The Board must be able to inspect the tools and the location where services are being provided for the safety of the consumers of California. At this time, individuals providing services at an unlicensed location can be cited for a violation of Business and Profession Code Section 7317. Practice of Barbering, Cosmetology, or Electrolysis for Compensation Without License which carries a $1,000 fine.

6. Can licensees work in a doctor's office? What types of services can they provide?

Board licensees may work in a doctor’s office if the doctor's office has an establishment license issued by the Board. Licensees may only perform services within their scope of practice. Supervision by a doctor does not permit a licensee to provide medical services or work outside their scope of practice. Please refer to the Medical Board for additional information.

7. Is threading, hair braiding, wig-styling or wig-making regulated by the Board?

No, these services are not regulated by the Board and do not need to be performed by a licensee.

8. Is permanent make-up regulated by the Board?

No, the Board does not regulate permanent make-up. You may contact your city or county for more information regarding permanent make-up and tattooing services and requirements. Licensees who would like to perform this service cannot practice this service under the scope of their license or lead the public to believe the service is included in the scope of their license. The Board recommends licensees who provide the service do so in a separate room designated for this practice alone.

9. If I only shampoo consumers, do I need to be licensed by the Board?

Yes. Only a licensed barber, cosmetologist or apprentice can wash a consumer's hair. The Board does not have a shampooing license.

10. Are certified massage therapists, acupuncturists or reflexologists regulated by the Board?

No, the Board does not regulate massage therapists, acupuncturists or reflexologists.

11. Are tanning salons regulated by the Board?

No, the Board does not regulate tanning salons. However, if the tanning salon offers services regulated by the Board, the salon will be subject to Board inspections.

12. Are "Fish Pedicures" legal in California?

No. The Board determined that disinfection methods for “fish pedicures” were not consistent with the Board's regulations. You may view the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Statement on "Fish Pedicures".

1. How do I open a barbering, cosmetology, or electrology school?

You must submit an Application for Barbering, Cosmetology, or Electrology School Approval - please email the Board at BBC.Schools@dca.ca.gov to request the application.

2. Can I open a school prior to obtaining approval from the Board?

No, any hours a student completes before a school is approved and issued a School Code will not be accepted.

3. Can I open a school for skin care and/or nail care only?

No, the Board does not recognize standalone schools for skin care or nail care. Skin care and nail care are branches of cosmetology and must be taught in a school of cosmetology that offers the full cosmetology course.

4. How do I change the name, address, or ownership of an approved school?

You must submit an Application for Barbering, Cosmetology, or Electrology School Approval - please email the Board at BBC.Schools@dca.ca.gov to request the application.

5. How do I add a course to my current curriculum at an approved school?

You must submit an Application to Add Course to Approved School of Barbering, Cosmetology, or Electrology – please email the Board at BBC.Schools@dca.ca.gov to request the application.

1. How do I know if my school or a school I am interested in attending is approved?

A list of approved schools can be found on the Board's website at: www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/schools/approved_schools.pdf

2. Does the Board recommend schools?

No, the Board does not recommend schools. You should contact and/or visit multiple schools and inquire about their tuition cost, financial aid, courses, pass/fail rates, student resources, and more to determine whether the school is a right fit for you.

3. How do I know what courses a school teaches?

You must contact the school for a list of approved courses. A list of approved schools and their contact information can be found on the Board's website at: www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/schools/approved_schools.pdf

4. Can I check a school’s examination results (pass/fail rates)?

Yes, examination results can be found on the Board's website at: www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/schools/schls_rslts.shtml

5. I have a complaint about my school, what do I do?

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (Board) has jurisdiction over violations of the Barbering and Cosmetology Act and Regulations regarding health and safety issues, missing and/or broken equipment, school curriculum, making sure the school meets the California Building Code requirements for a school, and/or operating without approval from the Board. If your complaint falls under the Board's jurisdiction, you may submit a complaint.

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) has jurisdiction over complaints regarding fraud, contractual issues (enrollment agreement not followed), unqualified faculty, operating without BPPE approval, and disciplinary actions taken by another state or state agency. If you are unsure whether your complaint falls under BPPE's jurisdiction, you may contact the BPPE at (888) 370-7589 or bppe@dca.ca.gov. Complaint forms are located on the BPPE's website: www.bppe.ca.gov.

For complaints you are unable to resolve with the school that are not within the Board or the BPPE's jurisdiction, you may need to seek the assistance of an attorney.

1. What is the Externship Program?

The externship program is a program that allows a student enrolled in a private school of cosmetology or barbering to work (unpaid) in a licensed salon under the direct and immediate supervision of a designated licensee.

2. What is the difference between an extern and an apprentice?

An extern attends a school of cosmetology or barbering and works in a licensed salon in an assisting capacity under the direct and immediate supervision of a designated licensee. An extern is not paid for their services.

An apprentice attends a two-year program which allows the apprentice to work in a licensed salon under the guidance and supervision of a designated licensee (trainer) instead of attending a public or private school of barbering, cosmetology, or electrology. An apprentice receives on-the-job training and is paid for their services.

3. Can students attending public cosmetology schools be externs?

Yes, as of January 1, 2019, community college students may participate in the externship program.

4. How does a student become an extern?

A student should speak with someone at the school they attend. It is the responsibility of each participating school to submit a Notification of Participation in the Externship Program form to the Board and ensure the establishments and licensees participating in the program are in good standing with the Board.

5. How many school hours must a student complete to qualify as an extern?

A student must complete a minimum of 60% of the total clock hours required for graduation in the course to be eligible to participate in the externship program.

6. Will the extern be paid when working in an establishment?

No, an extern is not paid. Externs receive clock hour credit toward graduation, but that credit shall not exceed eight hours per week and shall not exceed 10 percent of the total clock hours required for completion of the course.

7. How many externs can an establishment have?

One extern per four licensed employees is permitted.

8. Can an establishment with only space/booth renters participate in the Externship Program?

No, only establishments with licensees that work for salaries or commissions (not space renters) can participate in the program.

9. How is an extern identified in an establishment?

While working in an approved establishment, externs shall wear conspicuous school identification at all times and shall carry a school laminated photographic identification card.

10. Can barbering students participate in the Externship Program?

Yes, as of January 1, 2019, barbers may participate in the externship program.

11. Are there any fees associated with the Externship Program?

No, there are no Board related fees to participate in the program.