How to get your WA cosmetologist license: Out-of-state license

Licensing requirements

  • To get your license as a cosmetologist, barber, manicurist, esthetician, or master esthetician in Washington, you must:
    • Be at least 17 years of age.
    • Have a current license in good standing in another state or foreign country.
  • After you get your license, you must post it at your work station.

How to get your license

With a current license in another U.S. state

If you have passed both a written and practical exam:
  1. Complete an application form.
    • Check the “reciprocity” box on the form.
  2. Provide proof you have a current license in good standing.
    • A copy of your license isn’t proof of licensure. Please contact the state where you’re licensed to request a verification. The state board may send the verification to us directly, or you may enclose it with your application.
  3. Mail your completed application, supporting documents, and a check or money order (payable to Department of Licensing) for $50 per license to:
    Cosmetology Program
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 3856
    Seattle, WA 98124-3856
If you have taken one exam or no exams:
  1. Complete an application form.
    • Check the “out of state” box on the form.
  2. Provide proof you have a current license in good standing.
    • A copy of your license isn’t proof of licensure. Please contact the state where you’re licensed to request a verification. The state board may send the verification to us directly, or you may enclose it with your application.
  3. Mail your completed application, supporting documents, and a check or money order (payable to Department of Licensing) for $50 per license to:
    Cosmetology Program
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 3856
    Seattle, WA 98124-3856

Note: If you apply for a Washington state license, it won’t affect your license in another state.

With a license from another country

  1. Complete an application form.
    • Check the “out of state” box on the form.
  2. Provide proof you have a current license in good standing in your country.
  3. You’ll need to take the Washington State exams. For information about exams, see the NIC Exam Preparation Guide for your type of license.
  4. Mail your completed application, supporting documents, and a check or money order (payable to Department of Licensing) for the fees to:
    Cosmetology Program
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 3856
    Seattle, WA 98124-3856
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