Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Note:In additon to this FAQ, you can view our Consumer Guidelines by clicking the preceding link.

What is my license/permit/record ID number?

Your number is the RED number located in the upper right corner of your license/permit. This number and/or your Social Security number should be on everything you submit to our office.

Why do I have to send in a photo?

The photo you send will be scanned onto your license. This photo must be a 2" x 2" passport photo (color, head-and-shoulders, full frontal view). Snapshots, glamour shots, cell phone shots paper photos or "selfies" are not acceptable. A passport photo may be purchased from businesses that provide passport photo services. Only one (1) photo is required.

When do I have to renew my personal license?

For Barbers, personal licenses are renewed in even-numbered years during your birth month. For Cosmetologists, Estheticians, Manicurists, Eyebrow Threaders, Estheticians/Manicurists, Manicure/Waxers and Natural Hair Stylists, personal licenses are renewed in odd-numbered years during your birth month. Renewals postmarked after the last day of your birth month will be assessed a late fee of $50.

If your license is expired for more than four (4) years, you must pass the practical exam then pay the back fees to when your license expired. Please contact our office for this application.

How do I open a new shop?

Please complete the New Shop Application under Applications Section on our website.
    New Shop Application
    General Guidelines for New Shops
    Sanitize, then Disinfect
    Example of Inspection Report and Explanation
Please follow all instructions. The application must be in our office at least 30 days before the opening date.

Any questions concerning new shops, please contact Donna in our office at

How do I change the name or location of a shop?

You may download the Shop Change application from the Applications Section of our website. Please follow all instructions.

When do I have to renew my shop or school license?

All shop and school licenses expire on September 30th and must be renewed by October 31st in odd-numbered years. Renewals postmarked after October 31st will be assessed a late fee of $50.

How do I renew my license?

You may renew online – on our homepage, just click on “Online Renewals” and follow the instructions.

If you’d rather print out a renewal and mail it in, go to the Applications Section of our website, print a renewal application and mail it to our office with the requirements listed.

Why do you need my Social Security number for License information?

This requirement is mandated by the Federal “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996” and Section 30-3-194 of the Code of Alabama, 1975. If your Social Security card requires INS Authorization or DHS Authorization, you must also send a copy of your Permanent Resident card or Naturalization or other permission to work.

A print-out from the Social Security Administration is unacceptable. You must send a copy of your actual Social Security card.

Why do I have to renew during my birth month if I just received my first license?

By law, no license is valid for more than two (2) years. After successfully completing both exams, the $40 original license fee that you pay is just that – an original license fee. Once you have an original license, you then renew every two (2) years during your birth month.

What is an instructor?

To become an instructor, you are required to attend a licensed school that offers a Instructor training program, and take and pass both sections of the instructor exam. 

If I hold a manicurist license, what do I need to do to be able to wax?

A licensed manicurist may attend a licensed school for 160 hours to be able to also wax. The school must certify the hours to our office and your manicurist license must be sent in with this certification. A new license with the title of Manicurist/Waxer will be issued to you. The fee for this is $40.. 

If I am licensed in another state, how do I transfer that license to Alabama?

First, you must request that Certification Letter from your current state be sent to our office with your current address on it. This must be sent directly from your current state directly to our office. This should not be sent to you to be forwarded to our office, but should be sent to us by the state office only. Wait 2 (two) weeks after you request this before contacting our office. We can do nothing without this first. Once we receive this Certification, we will send you the paperwork you must complete and notify you if you are required to take any exams. There is a minimum $100 fee for this service.

Any questions concerning reciprocity, please contact Denise in our office at

How do I transfer my license from Alabama to another state?

You must make a written request for the Board to send a letter of certification to the state to which you are moving. You may print out and complete the License Certification Request located in the Applications Section of this website. You must include a copy of your current Alabama License, your Social Security card and current Driver’s License with your request. For each state you request that Certification be sent to, there is a $25 fee (money order only).

How do I transfer my license from another country to Alabama?

Please contact our office for the correct application. The reciprocity fee is $100 and you will be required to take and pass both the written and practical exams. The fee for the written exam is $75.00 (money order only).

How many hours must an apprentice complete and how long does he/she have to complete them?

Barber 2,000 clock hours within 2 years
Cosmetologist 3,000 clock hours within 3 years
Esthetician 2,000 clock hours within 3 years
Manicurist 1,200 clock hours within 2 years
Natural Hair Stylist 420 clock hours within 6 months
There is no apprenticeship allowed for Manicurist/Waxer or Esthetician/Manicurist.

How many hours must a student complete in a school?

Barber 1,000 clock hours
Cosmetologist 1,500 clock hours
Esthetician 1,000 clock hours
Esthetician/Manicurist 650 clock hours if already licensed as an Esthetician
Manicurist 750 clock hours
Manicurist/Waxer 160 clock hours if already licensed as a Manicurist
Natural Hair Stylist 210 clock hours

How soon after completing school or apprenticeship do I have to take the examination?

Once you have completed school, you and your instructor are jointly responsible for applying for the exam within 120 days.
Sponsors for apprentices must certify the apprentice’s hours within 120 days from the date of completion.

How do I change my name on my personal license?

At the time you renew your license, please furnish proof of name change by sending a copy of your marriage license, driver's license or certificate of divorce. There is no charge if this is done during your renewal. If you wish to change your name at a time other than renewal, please go to the Applications Section of our website and complete a Request for Duplicate Personal License application -- there is a $25 fee for this. 

How do I change my address on my personal license?

You must inform the board promptly in writing of any address change. You may send in a Personal Address Change Form (located in the Applications Section of our website) or you may just send it in writing by mail or fax (must include your license number or Social Security number). Your file will be amended so that you may be sure to receive correspondence from the Board.

If my license is lost or stolen how do I get another one?

You may download the Request for Duplicate Personal License located in the Applications Section of our website or contact our office at (800) 815-7453 for the correct application.

How do I file a complaint?

You may submit a written and signed letter or download a copy of the complaint form from the Applications Section of this website and follow instructions. The person or shop or school you are making the complaint against does receive a copy of the complaint. By Law, we are unable to accept anonymous complaints. If the Board pursues this matter, you are required to testify at a hearing in Montgomery.

Do I have to send in all of the requirements listed on the application?

Yes. If all requirements are not received with the application, it will be returned to you. If you have any questions concerning the requirements, please contact our office at 1-800-815-7453.

What address do I send my payment and/or application to?

Our mailing address is P. O. Box 301750, Montgomery, AL 36130-1750.
Our physical address is 100 North Union Street, Suite 324, Montgomery, AL 36104.

Other information concerning the Law changes effective 6/9/15:
Barber Exemption 6/9/2015