Life happens! And so do expired cosmetology licenses.
I have heard it a million times. You had a baby, got married, felt burned out, changed careers, moved, or money was tight. Or, maybe you just forgot (panic mode!) to renew your cosmetology, nail tech, or esthetician license.
The reason you let your cosmetology, nail, or skincare license expire really isn’t important right now. It is the steps you take now to get your license back in good standing that really matters now.
I promise you are not the first person to be in this position and you will definitely not be the last. As you contemplate the return, you are probably asking yourself lots of questions and not sure where to turn to for answers.
- What do I do first?
- Can I even get my license back?
- How can I do this as quickly as possible?
Simple Steps to Renew Your Expired Cosmetology License
I have helped many cosmetology professionals get their licenses back in good standing. And nearly ever state is different. I cannot tell you exactly what you need to do, but I can give you an idea of what you probably need to do to navigate the reactivation or reinstatement process. The first thing we need to do is go to your cosmetology board’s websites to find out what you probably need to do in order to get you back in the salon with a clear and valid license as quickly as possible.
Hey, Florida Cosmetology Professionals!
Yes, you! If you happen to be looking getting your cosmetology license back in Florida, then I have an article just for you with step-by-step instructions for expired cosmetology licenses (hair, nails, and facial licenses). Yes, this is one of the states where I tell you exactly what needs to be done based on your situation. The below article is all about getting your license back in the sunshine state.
Everyone else, the rest of this article is for you.
Here are a few easy steps to help you get your expired cosmetology, nail, or esthetician license off of the delinquent or expired cosmetology license list and onto the active list.
Step 1: Research Yourself
Every state as a license lookup for the public to check and see if their cosmetology professional has a license, or an active license. You can check out your name in a public license database or license verification to see what the status of your license is here. You can search for your state’s license lookup using the below terms:
_________ (your state) cosmetologist/nail technician/esthetician license lookup.
For instance, if you are wanting your Texas cosmetology or operator license back, go to the TDLR license verification.
- Texas TDLR License Verification / License Lookup
- Ohio license verification
- Illinois IDFPR license verification
Once you look up your name or number, you should be able to see your license expiration date.
Generally, your current status determines the requirements and fees you will be responsible for in order to get the license back to active status.
You know in The Princess Bride when Westley is with Miracle Max. And Miracle Max says Westley is just “mostly dead” and not “all dead”? Sometimes licenses are expired or delinquent (mostly dead) or null and void (all dead). Mostly dead licenses usually have a few requirements and late fees in order to get back to active. All dead licenses usually require more work, and some times will require you to go through the license application process again.
“There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.” – Miracle Max
Step 2: Do the work
Next, look up the renewal requirements for late licensees in your position. Again, there are likely different requirements based on how long your license has been expired. This step requires some reading and research on your part. Typically this can be found on the Board’s website. Below is the information for the Ohio Cosmetology Board. They have a few different terms they use for licenses that are “expired”. Ohio uses the term “lapsed status”.
What I meant by “do the work” is that find out based on your status what needs to be done to get your license back to active status.
- If you are required to complete continuing education, complete the continuing education. You may be able to complete that today. Yay!
- If you are required to appear before the board to talk about why you left and why you want to come back, or what prevented you from renewing previously renewing- do that. I promise it isn’t as scary as it sounds.
- If you need to call/email and ask the board about any questions you have about renewing your expired cosmetology license, make that call or write that email. I promise they have heard it all.
Is there a chance I won’t qualify for a license anymore?
Unfortunately, yes., depending on your state requirements. But this is unlikely. When you let your license expire, you put yourself in the position that you may need to apply for a license again. And if the requirements have changed since you were originally licensed, there is a chance that you no longer qualify for a license. Again, this is rare and uncommon, but important to point out and hopefully some motivation not to let this happen again.
Step 3: Pay Your Fees
Next, you probably will need to log in to the state website and renew your license and pay your renewal fees. Expect some late fees too. Very few cosmetology boards send out paper renewal forms these days.
Most of the time you will answer some renewal questions and need to pay your regular renewal fee and late renewal fees.
Once this is done, chances are you will see your license in your email box or mailbox within a few days or weeks.
Step 4: Get Back to Work & Consider This A Lesson Learned
I hope you learned something from this expired cosmetology license experience. Next time, I hope you will remember that renewing your cosmetology license each deadline is worth the trouble. So, make it a priority, even if you step away from the field. Think of it as a backup career if you need it. Really.
And I hope you enjoy your time in the salon with your clients. You probably will have a new appreciation for it after this process. There truly is nothing like this profession out there.