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North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners
Sanitation, Safety, and Consumer Protection

Frequently Asked Questions and Quick Reference Guide

To apply for initial individual licensure online please use the Online License Application

For help with your Reciprocity application watch this How To video

Laws and Rules pertaining to Individual Licenses

Board Laws GS 88B-20 defines the Fee Requirement for license renewal and GS 88B-21 defines license renewal, expired licenses, inactive licenses, continuing education requirements, and exemption qualifications.

Board Rules

How can I get my apprentice license?
There are two ways to become licensed as an apprentice:

  1. Graduate the 1200 hour cosmetology program, passage of exam with 70 or higher on written and practical and pay for licensure ($20)
  2. Graduate the 1500 hour cosmetology program, passage of exam with 70 or higher (instead of 75 required for cosmetology license) on written and practical and pay for licensure ($20)

How do I get a temporary permit? 
Upon graduation schools provide the application, or the link to the online application to students which should be submitted to the Board office.  To qualify for a permit 3 conditions must be met:

  • Graduation form received by the Board directly from the school
  1. Permit application and payment submitted to the Board
  2. Graduate has applied for examination after graduation and within 3 months of the graduation date


Have my CE hours been reported to the Board?
We don’t receive any reported hours from providers.  Each licensee keeps CE records and submits them to us only when audited. 

What services can an unlicensed individual do in a salon?
An unlicensed individual can shampoo hair.

Can I get a permit while I wait for reciprocity from another state?

 No, permits are only for NC graduates.  However the reciprocity process is very short and we review applications quickly upon receipt. 

 How do I transfer/reciprocate from another state?

 Please refer to the complete instructions at this link:  https://www.nccosmeticarts.com/initiallicensing/licinanotherstate.aspx

If I have a current license in another state will I have to take an exam?
No.  Please refer to the complete instructions at this link:  https://www.nccosmeticarts.com/initiallicensing/licinanotherstate.aspx


Did I take a national or state exam?

 Examination History:

 Prior to 2/27/1978 State Administered Examination;
 2/27/1978-12/1/2004 NIC National Examination;
12/1/2004-10/1/2007 State Approved Examination;
10/1/2007-Present NIC National Examination.


Is a license required to perform lash extensions?

Lash extension application falls under the scope of practice for a licensed esthetician and licensed cosmetologist.  This information is determined my NC state law and listed in NC General Statute 88-B.  Here is a link to the statute: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByChapter/Chapter_88B.html

To obtain either license you must graduate from the respective cosmetic art school, pass the Board exams (both written and practical) and apply and pay for licensure.  The Board provides a list of all licensed cosmetic art schools at the link below.  


How can I apply to get a teacher license?

There are two ways to become eligible for  the teacher’s examination: 1. Graduate from the teacher training program at a licensed cosmetic art school  or 2. Challenge the Board to examine based on work experience. 

To challenge the Board Please submit the application (at the link below) along with a copy of your high school diploma to receive authorization to schedule your teacher licensure examinations. 


Study information can be located at www.dlroope.com

Can I perform microblading as an esthetician or cosmetologist?

Microblading is not within our scope of practice. It is regulated though by each local health department.   It is considered to be in the same family of services as tattooing, as it is the insertion of pigment under the surface of the skin by means of a blade. Tattooing, permanent make-up, and microblading are regulated by each county’s Environmental Health Department. Please contact the county you will be practicing out of and ask for Environmental Health to find out what is required.

Can I check to see if my license has been issued?

 To verify if your license has been issued please search your name at the following link: https://www.nccosmeticarts.com/onlineservices/Verification.aspx

Online Question from FAQ

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