The commission requires that each person seeking a license be examined for basic knowledge and skills. The required State Board examinations are the NIC (National-Interstate Council) theory, the NIC hands-on practical and the South Dakota laws/rules test for cosmetology, esthetics and nail technology.
If you have completed your education in South Dakota, use the Exam and Temporary License Application Form (available from our Forms page) for the examination and temporary license.
If you have a license from another state, see Reciprocity Licensing.
If you have a license from or were educated in another country, see Foreign Applicants.
If you are from a different state or country and do not have a license, see Out-of-State Student Applicants.
See the events calendar for exam dates.
The following candidate brochures give details for the written and practical examinations. Read the brochure carefully so you will know what to expect and what supplies you will need to bring to the practical exam. South Dakota uses the national tests (theory and practical) from the National-Interstate Council of Cosmetology Boards (NIC) for the examinations.
It is the policy of the Cosmetology Commission to administer the examination and all other services in a manner that does not discriminate against a qualified applicant with a disability. If you have special testing needs, see our policy concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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