If you are from a foreign country and wish to apply for a South Dakota license, you must:
- have a current, active license or certificate from your country. (If you do not, you must apply as a graduated student and any work credit will not be accepted.)
- meet the minimum education requirements (2100 hours for cosmetology; 600 hours for esthetics; 400 hours for nail technicians). You may add documented work credit hours to education hours (600 hours maximum for cosmetology; 250 hours maximum for esthetics; 100 hours maximum for nail technicians. For example, 1500 education hours + 600 work hours = 2100 hours.)
- have your education evaluated by a professional education company and submit the report to the South Dakota Cosmetology Commission. (A list of evaluation companies is below. You must pay for any evaluation costs.)
- complete required education hours from a South Dakota school (300 hours for cosmetology; 150 hours for esthetics; 60 hours for nail technicians). This education must include:
- federal safety requirements (OSHA and FDA)
- South Dakota safety and sanitation requirements (laws/rules)
- United States product information
- submit the following in English (any translations must be done by an official translator):
- reciprocity application
- copy of birth certificate or naturalization record
- copy of high school education or GED
- current photograph
- work credit (if necessary)
- education evaluation report mentioned above
- proof of education from your South Dakota school
- pay the required application and examination fees ($100)
- take and pass the NIC national theory test, the NIC hands-on practical test and the South Dakota state laws/rules test from the South Dakota Cosmetology Commission
Evaluation and Translation Services
Contact the following companies for record evaluation and translation services. Foreign applicants must have their education records evaluated by one of these companies. The company report is then submitted to the South Dakota Cosmetology Commission office with the reciprocity application form (and checklist) available on our Forms page. All documents must be submitted in English. It is your responsibility to pay all costs associated with evaluation or translation services.
The following list is for convenience only. The Commission does not endorse any of these companies.
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Ave.
Miami, FL 33173
Fax: 305-273-1984 (translations)
International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
109 Barksdale Professional Center
Newark, DE 19711-3258
World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
University Language Services
Department of Certification
15 Maiden Lane Suite 300
New York, NY 10038
US Government Transcripts Online
1000 Vermont Ave NW 5th Fl
Washington DC 20005