Apply for a Barbering License

Instructions for obtaining one of eight types of barbering licenses

Board of Cosmetology and Barbering Services Administration

The Details of Apply for a Barbering License

What you need for Apply for a Barbering License

If you are applying for an Apprentice Barber license, please note that the application process is managed by the Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering’s vendor, Pearson VUE.  Please contact Pearson VUE at (800) 274-2021 or visit their website to apply for a license.

All other barbering licenses described below - Assistant Barbering Instructor, Barber Instructor, Barber Shop, Lapsed Master Barber or Apprentice Barber, Master Barber, Out of Country Apprentice Barber, Out of State Master of Apprentice Barber (Reciprocity) -  can be applied for using the Department of Professional Licensure's ePLACE portal. Please review the instructions below prior to starting your license application.

Licensing Benefits for Active Duty Military, Relocated Military Spouses, and Veterans

The Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) and the Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering are pleased to offer licensing benefits to active duty members of the military, relocated military spouses, and veterans pursuant to the Veterans’ Access, Livelihood, Opportunity and Resources Act (VALOR Act) and the new VALOR Act II, signed into law on April 4, 2014. These benefits include:

  • Credit for related military experience;
  • Extensions of the license renewal period;
  • Expedited license application processing; or
  • Waiver of certain licensing fees.

To apply for any of these licensing benefits, interested parties must self-identify as an active duty member of the military, military spouse, or veteran. To apply for these benefits or for more information, please visit www.mass.gov/dpl/valor.

 

Barber Instructor License Application Instructions

  1. Review the Board’s Regulations

Prior to completing your application, please review the Board’s regulations, set forth at 232 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).  You may purchase an official copy of 232 CMR in person at the State Bookstore located at the Massachusetts State House, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, or you may order a copy online through the Secretary of State’s office. The Board also maintains an unofficial, courtesy copy of the regulations accessible through the Statutes and Regulations section of its website. 

  1. Requirements to Apply
  • Be a high school or General Equivalency (GED) graduate.
  • Have graduated from a licensed barber school.
  • Be a licensed Master Barber in Massachusetts.
  • Pass an Instructor written and practical examination.
  1. Submission of Supporting Documentation and Required Forms

The following documents may be uploaded during the online application process:

The following document(s) must be mailed to the Board:

  • Transcript: A copy of your transcript from the barber school you attended in an official sealed envelope.
  • License Verification(s): If you hold or have held another license or certification in the United States or another country or foreign jurisdiction, please contact the relevant licensing authority and arrange for that authority to send a certificate of standing to the Board directly indicating the status of your license, information on any pending actions, and any disciplinary information.

Please mail the aforementioned document(s) to the Board at the following address:

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

Division of Professional Licensure (DPL)

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118-6100.

  1. Application Fee

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $170. This fee must be paid online at the end of the application process, either by check or credit card. Please note that a convenience fee will be assessed for credit card payments. 

 

Barber Shop License Application Instructions

  1.  Review the Board’s Regulations

Prior to completing your application, please review the Board’s regulations, set forth at 232 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).  You may purchase an official copy of 232 CMR in person at the State Bookstore located at the Massachusetts State House, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, or you may order a copy online through the Secretary of State’s office. The Board also maintains an unofficial, courtesy copy of the regulations accessible through the Statutes and Regulations section of its website. 

  1. Barber Shop Inspections

Following the receipt and approval of a completed Barber Shop application, the Board will assign an investigator to conduct an inspection of the shop. The owner listed on the application will be contacted by the assigned investigator to schedule the inspection. Please note that a new Barber shop cannot be opened without inspection and approval by the Board.

For additional information on this process, please review the Helpful Tips for Barber Shops document available on the Applications and Forms section of the Board’s website.

  1. Submission of Supporting Documentation and Required Forms

The following documents must be uploaded during the online application process:

  • A 2” X 2” passport-style photo of the shop owner (the person who will hold the shop license).
  • A driver’s license or government-issued photo ID for the shop owner.
  • A driver’s license or government-issued photo ID for the manager (Master Barber) if different from the shop owner.
  • A floor plan which includes the entire layout of the shop. The plan does not have to be professionally prepared; it may be hand drawn using circles and squares as symbols to indicate rooms and equipment, the front door and back door, bathroom locations, and the overall set-up of the shop. The plan must contain the location of a barber pole or barber pole decal.
  • Business Certificate from the city or town where the shop is located.
  • A completed Plumbing Inspection Form or Electrical Inspection Form if plumbing or electrical work has been done on the premises, or a No Plumbing or Electrical Work Required Form if no plumbing or electrical work has been done.  These documents are on the Applications and Forms page of the Board’s website.
  • If the business is incorporated, submit a copy of the Articles of Incorporation; if a partnership or LLP, a copy of partnership agreement; for LLCs, submit a copy of Certificate of Organization. If the business is organized or incorporated, submit a copy of a certificate showing foreign registration with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office.
  • If you hold another license or certification in the United States or another country or foreign jurisdiction, please attach a certificate of standing from each state or jurisdiction indicating the status of your license, information on any pending actions, and any relevant disciplinary information.
  • A notarized, signed Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Acknowledgement Form links to PDF file.
  1. Application Fee

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $130.  This fee must be paid online at the end of the application process, either by check or credit card. Please note that a convenience fee will be assessed for credit card payments. 

Lapsed Master Barber or Lapsed Apprentice Barber License Application Instructions

Please review and complete the steps below before starting your Lapsed Master Barber license application. Questions about the application process should be directed to cosmetologyandbarberingboard@state.ma.us  or 617-727-9940.

If you do not wish to submit your application online, you may download a copy of the application from the Board’s Applications and Forms page on its website.

  1. Review the Board’s Regulations

Before completing your application, please review the Board’s regulations, set forth at 232 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).  You may purchase an official copy of 232 CMR in person at the State Bookstore located at the Massachusetts State House, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, or you may order a copy online through the Secretary of State’s office. The Board also maintains an unofficial, courtesy copy of the regulations accessible through the Statutes and Regulations section of its website. 

  1. Requirements to Apply

To apply for a new license after holding a lapsed barber license an applicant must:

  • Have a Massachusetts Barber license that has been expired for three (3) years or more.
  • Pass a practical examination, after receiving approval by the Board. 
  1. Submission of Supporting Documentation and Required Forms

The following documents must be uploaded during the online application process:

The following document(s) must be mailed to the Board:

  • License Verification(s): If you hold or have held another license or certification in the United States or another country or foreign jurisdiction, please contact the relevant licensing authority and arrange for that authority to send a certificate of standing to the Board directly indicating the status of your license, information on any pending actions, and any disciplinary information.

Please mail the aforementioned document(s) to the Board at the following address:

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

Division of Professional Licensure (DPL)

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118-6100.

  1. Application Fee

All Lapsed Master Barber applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $66.00, in addition to any examination fees.  This fee must be paid online at the end of the application process, either by check or credit card. Please note that a convenience fee will be assessed for credit card payments.  Lapsed Apprentices are not charged an application fee.

Master Barber License Application Instructions

Please review and complete the steps below before starting your Master Barber license application. Questions about the application process should be directed to cosmetologyandbarberingboard@state.ma.us or 617-727-9940.

If you do not wish to submit your application online, you may download a copy of the application from the Board’s Applications and Forms page on its website.

  1. Review the Board’s Regulations

Before completing your application, please review the Board’s regulations, set forth at 232 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).  You may purchase an official copy of 232 CMR in person at the State Bookstore located at the Massachusetts State House, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, or you may order a copy online through the Secretary of State’s office. The Board also maintains an unofficial, courtesy copy of the regulations accessible through the Statutes and Regulations section of its website. 

  1. Requirements to Apply

To become licensed as a Master Barber an applicant must:

  • Have a current Apprentice Barber or Out of Country Apprentice license.
  • Be able to verify that you have worked under a Master Barber for at least eighteen (18) months, if you are an Apprentice Barber, or for at least two (2) years, if you hold an Out of Country Apprentice license.  
  1. Submission of Supporting Documentation and Required Forms

The following documents must be uploaded during the online application process:

  • A small 2" x 2" passport-style photo.
  • A notarized (i.e., signed by a notary with a seal) affidavit or affidavits signed by barber shop managers certifying:
    • The date you started and stopped working for each employer as an apprentice barber;
    • Whether the work was full or part-time (full-time entails 5, 8 hour days per week; part-time entails a minimum of 24 hours per week for 40 weeks per year);
    • Eighteen months of work experience, or two years if you have an out-of-country apprentice license.  The Board will not consider any work experience:
      • Obtained prior to becoming licensed in the field of barbering
      • Outside a barber shop licensed by the Massachusetts Cosmetology and Barbering Board
      • Obtained in another state
  • A copy of a government-issued ID or a driver's license.
  • A notarized, signed Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Acknowledgement Form links to PDF file

The following documents must be mailed to the Board:

  • License Verification(s): If you hold or have held another license or certification in the United States or another country or foreign jurisdiction, please contact the relevant licensing authority and arrange for that authority to send a certificate of standing to the Board directly indicating the status of your license, information on any pending actions, and any disciplinary information.

Please mail the aforementioned documents to the Board at the following address:

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

Division of Professional Licensure (DPL)

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118-6100.

  1. Application Fee

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $66 in addition to any examination fees.  This fee must be paid online at the end of the application process, either by check or credit card. Please note that a convenience fee will be assessed for credit card payments. 

Out of Country Apprentice Barber License Application Instructions

Please review and complete the steps below before starting your Out of Country Apprentice Barber license application. Questions about the application process should be directed to cosmetologyandbarberingboard@state.ma.us or 617-727-9940.

If you do not wish to submit your application online, you may download a copy of the application from the Board’s Applications and Forms page on its website.

  1. Review the Board’s Regulations

Before completing your application, please review the Board’s regulations, set forth at 232 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).  You may purchase an official copy of 232 CMR in person at the State Bookstore located at the Massachusetts State House, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, or you may order a copy online through the Secretary of State’s office. The Board also maintains an unofficial, courtesy copy of the regulations accessible through the Statutes and Regulations section of its website. 

  1. Requirements to Apply

To apply for an Out of Country Apprentice Barber license, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years old.
  • Be able to verify that you have worked as a barber in another country for at least two (2) years. 
  • Have taken a ten (10) hour sterilization course.
  1. Submission of Supporting Documentation and Required Forms

The following documents must be uploaded during the online application process:

  • A 2” x 2” passport style photo.
  • A copy of your driver’s license or government-issued photo ID, which may be a passport
  • A green card allowing you to work in the United States.
  • A birth certificate or passport.
  • Verification of a 10-hour sterilization course.
  • A notarized (i.e., signed by a notary with a seal) affidavit or affidavits signed by barber shop managers in another country certifying:
    • The date you started and stopped working for each employer as a barber; and
    • Whether the work was full or part-time (full-time entails 5, 8 hour days per week; part-time entails a minimum of 24 hours per week for 40 weeks per year).
    • Please Note: You must submit original affidavits in the original language and must also submit copies translated by an accredited translator.  The affidavits must be notarized in the country of origin.
  • A notarized, signed Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Acknowledgement Form links to PDF file

The following document(s) must be mailed to the Board:

  • License Verification(s): If you hold or have held another license or certification in the United States or another country or foreign jurisdiction, please contact the relevant licensing authority and arrange for that authority to send a certificate of standing to the Board directly indicating the status of your license, information on any pending actions, and any disciplinary information.

Please mail the aforementioned document(s) to the Board at the following address:

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

Division of Professional Licensure (DPL)

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118-6100.

  1. Application Fee

The Board does not charge an application fee for Out of Country Apprentice Barber licenses.

Out of State Master Barber or Apprentice Barber (Reciprocity) License Application Instructions

If you do not wish to submit your application online, you may download a copy of the application from the Board’s Applications and Forms page on its website.

  1. Review the Board’s Regulations

Before completing your application, please review the Board’s regulations, set forth at 232 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).  You may purchase an official copy of 232 CMR in person at the State Bookstore located at the Massachusetts State House, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, or you may order a copy online through the Secretary of State’s office. The Board also maintains an unofficial, courtesy copy of the regulations accessible through the Statutes and Regulations section of its website. 

  1. Requirements to Apply

To apply for an Out of State Apprentice Barber (Reciprocity) license, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a current Apprentice license from another state. (Not a license that says “Apprentice”.  In most states the “Apprentice” means ability to work in a shop without formal schooling.  You must show that you have at least 1000 hours of schooling and you have taken exams to obtain a license if the license says “Apprentice”).
  • You must have worked fewer than two years in the state where you are licensed. 
  • Or have a license shows you were licensed as an Apprentice Barber (not signed up for apprenticeship under a barber instead of going to a licensed school.  Some states have in-the-shop training; Massachusetts does not recognize this form of training.)
     

Please Note: If you are licensed as an Apprentice in Massachusetts, you will have to work eighteen (18) months under a Master Barber before you may take the Master Barber license exams.

To apply for an Out of State Apprentice Barber (Reciprocity) license, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a current Master Barber License from another state.
  • You must have worked as a Master Barber for two (2) or more years in the state where you are licensed.

Please Note: If you have not worked as a licensed barber for at least two (2) years, you must apply as an Apprentice Barber and work for eighteen (18) months under a Master Barber before you will be eligible to take the Master Barber exams.

  1. Submission of Supporting Documentation and Required Forms

The following documents must be uploaded during the online application process:

The following document(s) must be mailed to the Board:

  • Transcript(s): Official sealed transcript from your Barber School.
  • Current License Verification: Certification of your current license. This form must be mailed directly from the state board where you are currently licensed to the Massachusetts board.
  • Other License Verification(s): If you hold or have held another license or certification in the United States or another country or foreign jurisdiction, please contact the relevant licensing authority and arrange for that authority to send a certificate of standing to the Board directly indicating the status of your license, information on any pending actions, and any disciplinary information.

Please mail the aforementioned document(s) to the Board at the following address:

Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering

Division of Professional Licensure (DPL)

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118-6100.

  1. Application Fee

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $225.  This fee must be paid online at the end of the application process, either by check or credit card. Please note that a convenience fee will be assessed for credit card payments. 

 

Fees for Apply for a Barbering License

Profession

Fee
Assistant Barber Instructor No Fee
Barber Instructor $170
Barber Shop $130
Lapsed Master Barber or Apprentice Barber No Fee
Master Barber $66
Out of Country Apprentice Barber No Fee
Out of State Master or Apprentice Barber (Reciprocity)   $225

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee. These fees are in addition to examination fees that may apply. In addition, please note that errors incurred during the payment process, whether online or by money order or personal check, may subject an applicant to an additional $23 fee.

How to apply Apply for a Barbering License

If you do not wish to submit your application online, you may download a copy of the application from the Board’s Applications and Forms page on its website.

Next steps for Apply for a Barbering License

After reading the requirements

Begin Your Application Now

To start your online application, please go to the ePLACE Portal.

NOTICE: Please be aware that if you submit an application and it is determined by the Board that it is incomplete, or that you have failed to meet the regulatory requirements for licensure, the Board will provide you thirty days to complete your application or submit the information needed to demonstrate that you meet the regulatory requirements. After thirty days, if your application is still incomplete, or if you have still failed to demonstrate that you meet the regulatory requirements for licensure, your application will be closed or denied. If your application is closed or denied, you would need to re-apply for licensure by submitting a complete application to the Board and by paying a new application fee.

Application Determinations

If you have met all licensing requirements, the Board will notify you. If you do not meet the requirements, you also will be notified.

Application Questions

Please direct any questions regarding the application process to the Board at cosmetologyandbarberingboard@state.ma.us, or 617-727-9940.

 

Contact for Apply for a Barbering License

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