Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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South Dakota Cosmetology Commission - Menu

South Dakota Cosmetology Commission

Out-of-State Applicants - Not Licensed (Student Applications)

If you do not have a license from another state, but do have education in another state, you will need to apply for a license in South Dakota as an out-of-state student.

Your original state board of cosmetology must provide an affidavit/certification (available on our Forms page) attesting to the school and the hours you earned. The certification must be sent directly to our office. We do not accept the education hours directly from the an out-of-state school, only from the State Board. If certification cannot be obtained from the state board of cosmetology, the schooling education hours cannot be accepted. A cosmetologist applicant must have 1,500 hours; an esthetician applicant 600 hours; and a nail technician applicant 400 hours.

As a graduated student, you must provide:

  • a completed application
  • the $80.00 examination fee (a money order made payable to "SD Cosmetology Commission")
  • a copy of your high school graduation record or GED
  • a copy of your birth record or naturalization record
  • a recent photograph

All paperwork must be received at least two weeks before the examination date. See our Exam Schedule page for upcoming dates when the exam will be given.

Once registered for the examination, we will send you a candidate brochure, state laws/rules booklet and information on the exam procedures. Approximately two weeks before the date of the boards, we will send you an admission notice, detailing what you must bring to the exam.

The examinations consist of a national (NIC) written exam, a national (NIC) hands-on practical exam and a South Dakota state written laws/rules exam. The written exams can take up to two hours. The practical exam is timed and is approximately 2 1/2 hours (nails or esthetics) or 3 hours (cosmetology).

A temporary license to practice in South Dakota before taking the examination is available. The fee is $6.00 (a money order made payable to "State Cosmetology Board"). The temporary license is valid until the examination results are received. Use the Application for Examination in South Dakota form (Adobe PDF format).

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Commission staff at 605.773.6193.