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How to get your license: Cosmetologist, barber, manicurist, esthetician, hair design, or master esthetician

We have a new online service for managing professional and business licenses. Learn how to set up account access. If you need help with the new service, please contact your professional licensing program.

We expect a processing delay for mailed applications and renewals. Renew or apply online for faster processing of your license. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Licensing requirements

School or apprenticeship graduate

To get your license as a cosmetologist, barber, manicurist, esthetician, master esthetician, or hair design you must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age.
  • Graduate from a school approved and licensed by the Department of Licensing with the minimum required state hours.
    or
    Successfully complete a state-approved apprenticeship training program with the minimum state-required hours.
  • Pass the state-approved practical and written exams administered by D.L. Roope.

Reciprocity applicants

To get your license as a cosmetologist, barber, manicurist, esthetician, master esthetician, or hair design you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old.
  • Have an active license in good standing in another jurisdiction and have passed that jurisdiction's approved exam(s).

After you get your license, you must post it at your work station.

How to get your license online

Log in or sign up to start your application.

How to get your license by mail

School graduates

  1. After you pass the exams, complete a Cosmetology, Hair Design, Barber, Manicurist, Esthetician, or Master Esthetician License, Renewal, Reinstatement, Out-of-Country, or Reciprocity Application (English, Español, Русский, and more)
  2. Mail your completed application, supporting documents and a check or money order (payable to Department of Licensing) for the fee to the address below.

Reciprocity applicants

  1. Complete a Cosmetology, Hair Design, Barber, Manicurist, Esthetician, or Master Esthetician License, Renewal, Reinstatement, Out-of-Country, or Reciprocity Application (English, Español, Русский, and more)
  2. Provide proof of an active license in good standing in another jurisdiction and proof you have passed that jurisdiction's approved exam(s).
  3. Mail your completed application, any supporting documents, and a check or money order (payable to Department of Licensing) for the fee to the address below.
Cosmetology Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3856
Seattle, WA 98124-3856

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

Education requirements

Minimum required school hours*

  • Cosmetologist - 1,600 hours
  • Barber - 1,000 hours
  • Manicurist - 600 hours
  • Esthetician - 750 hours
  • Master esthetician - 450 hours
  • Combined master esthetician - 1,200 hours
  • Hair design - 1,400 hours

Minimum required apprenticeship program hours*

  • Cosmetologist - 2,000 hours
  • Barber - 1,200 hours
  • Manicurist - 800 hours
  • Esthetician - 800 hours
  • Master esthetician - 1,400 hours
  • Hair design - 1,750 hours

*Your school or program may require you to complete more than the minimum state-required hours.

If you fail an exam

You may take each exam once per day. If you fail an exam, you may apply to retake it on another day. To schedule a re-exam and pay the re-exam fee, go to dlroope.com.

For veterans, military personnel, and partners

Your military experience or training might help you meet licensing requirements. You may also be able to get a temporary license if you're moving here with a current license from another state. For more information visit military assistance.

If you're a U.S. veteran, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement of your fees. For more information, visit Get paid back for test fees.

Email updates

Subscribe to email updates to get the latest rule changes, licensing updates, and board notices by email.

Related information

Questions? Need help?

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Access Washington – official state government website