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Cosmetology Reciprocity Requirements

How to Obtain an Oregon License

Step 1: Overview

Are you moving to Oregon and you hold an active cosmetology license from another state? To obtain an Oregon practitioner certification in barbering, hair design, esthetics or nail technology by reciprocity, you will have to provide proof of licensure in another state and pass all relevant Oregon written examinations.

Note: Oregon does not offer an umbrella cosmetology certification.

Step 2: Proof of Licensure From Your Home State

First, the Health Licensing Office must have proof that your license is current and in good standing in your home state. Your license alone is not enough; this proof must be communicated to the Health Licensing Office from the board or agency of the state in which you are licensed itself.

Your license can be verified in one of two ways:

  • Contact the regulatory authority of the state in which you are currently licensed and request that it send a verification of licensure to us at Health Licensing Office, 1430 Tandem Ave. NE, Suite 180, Salem, OR 97301.
  • Some states give us the ability to verify your license for you. To do this, fill out an Affidavit of Licensure form and mail it to the HLO or bring it with you to the Office in Salem. (Do not fax or email it.) Contact the office at or 503-378-8667 to determine your home state's status regarding license verification.

Once the HLO receives proof of your licensure in another state, we will determine whether your home state's licensure is substantially equivalent to Oregon certification requirements.

If you use the Affidavit of Licensure to verify your license and it includes an address, the HLO will mail you the Office's findings along with additional information. You may also call us at 503-378-8667 to verify whether your affidavit has been received.

If the affidavit discloses any unresolved disciplinary actions and/or outstanding civil fines, you must resolve these issues before obtaining licensure in Oregon.

Step 3: Take Written Examinations

To obtain Oregon licensure, all reciprocity applicants must pass the Oregon Laws and Rules examination as well as the written exam for each field of practice in which they wish to obtain licensure. 

The fees required for licensure include:

  • Verification of licensure
  • Application fee
  • Oregon Laws and Rules examination
  • Each field of practice written examination
  • And, after you pass the exams, you will pay a certification fee for each field of practice.

Basic information on testing at the HLO:

  • The written examinations are conducted on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary).
  • HLO office hours to begin testing are Monday 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Applicants who are taking two or more fields of practice examinations should arrive as early as possible (no later than noon) to complete their examinations by 4:30 p.m. at the latest. Applicants taking four fields of practice examinations should arrive and be ready to test at 9 a.m.
  • You are allowed 90 minutes for each examination. Multiply that by the number of exams you need to take to calculate how much time you need. Applicants who do not allow enough time to complete their exams will be turned away.

To study for the Oregon Laws and Rules examination, please review the Practitioner Application Information Packet and the Oregon Laws and Rules. For individual field of practice examinations, questions and answers are taken from the Milady and Pivot Point textbooks.

Please bring two forms of acceptable original identification issued by a federal, state or local government agency of the United States. One form of identification must be photographic, and the names on each ID must match each other and your certification, or you must bring court documentation showing the name change

After passing the required examinations and paying all fees, you will receive your Oregon certification(s) the same day.