Frequently Asked Questions



However, there are exceptions.  Alabama Administrative Rule, Chapter 250-X-3-.01 (13) states, “No licensee shall perform any service authorized by a license issued by the Board in a facility not licensed by the Board, except

(a) when necessary due to the illness or other physical or mental incapacitation of the recipient of the service, and
(b) when performed by a licensee in the employment of a licensed shop, and

(c) when appointments are made through a licensed shop for the service."

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.

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.

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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 $54.

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.

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 $54.

By law, no license is valid for more than two (2) years. After successfully completing both exams, the $50 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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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 $54.


A school is an establishment licensed or registered by the board to teach any or all of the practices of barbering or cosmetology.  Public schools and high schools are regulated by the Alabama Department of Education.  Private schools are regulated by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.

Please click here for a current list of schools.

The Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (ABOCB) will accept course work for distance learning programs beginning March 16, 2020, through December 31, 2020, for Theory and Practical Instruction that lead to licensure with ABOCB. Students may obtain distance education for up to 50% of the total course work.

Each school should determine the number of theory and/or practical hours of instruction based on the course of study in accordance with the school’s established curriculum.  Documentation of attendance must be maintained to include distance learning hours and are subject to inspection by the Board.

Students must be notified upon enrolling in a distance education program that distance education courses may not be accepted for reciprocity or accepted for eligibility of licensure in other states.  A signed and dated disclaimer must be included in the student file.

If an institution offers a distance learning program, the distance learning policy must be in compliance with the NACCAS Policy on Distance Education, Policy VI.02.