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South Dakota Cosmetology Commission
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, and the South Dakota laws/rules test for cosmetology, esthetics and nail technology.
Administration of State Board Examinations has been suspended until at least June 1, 2020, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. Applicants will be notified when exam administration resumes. Applicants who have completed their required education or who are applying for a South Dakota cosmetologist, esthetician, or nail technician license through reciprocity from another state may apply for a temporary license if you have a confirmed job lined up. All required documents must be received by the Commission office prior to the issuance of a temporary license. The $6 temporary license fee is being waived until exam administration resumes.
If you have completed your education in South Dakota, use the Exam and Temporary License Application (also available from our Forms page) for the examination and temporary license.
If you have already applied for State Board examinations and now have a job lined up, use the Temporary License Application.
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 our Exam Schedule page for upcoming exam dates.
The following Candidate Information Bulletins (CIB) give details for the written examinations. Read the bulletins carefully so you will know what to expect. South Dakota uses the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) written theory examination.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
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).