This website is scheduled to undergo routine maintenance on Saturday, 19 January 5:00 p.m.- Sunday, 20 January 2:00 a.m. CST. During this time, you may not be able to schedule, reschedule or cancel test appointments. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Pennsylvania Cosmetology and Barber

The Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology and the State Board of Barber Examiners implemented an online application portal for cosmetology and barber students seeking to apply for professional licensure in the Commonwealth.

The digital platform replaces the paper-based applications forms.

The application process starts by logging in the PALS system and following the instructions.

The required documents must be reviewed and approved by Dasher, per the Board's specifications. Once an application is marked complete, a notice will be sent (via e-mail) to the candidate from the PALS system. PALS must then send an electronic file to Pearson VUE in order for each applicant to be authorized.

Due to the implementation issues, there has been a delay in processing applications. Please allow upwards of thirty days for your application to be approved.

We appreciate your patience as we work through the implementation issues.

Thank you,
Pennsylvania Department of State & Pearson VUE

Register for your next exam, find test information, or download handbooks/applications/forms from this page.


The Pennsylvania Board of Cosmetology and the Pennsylvania Board of Barber Examiners requires all candidates to submit an official Criminal History Record Information check with their applications for licensure examinations, reactivation, and reciprocity.

Applicants will need to supply an official Criminal History Record Information check from the State Police or other state agency for every state in which the candidate has resided during the past five years. The reports must be dated within ninety (90) days of the date of the application.

Message for Early Theory/Procedural Skills exam candidates
If you meet the minimum requirements for EARLY TESTING (900 hours for Cosmetologist) and submit your application prior to completion of the required hours (to obtain a license), you will be permitted to take the exam. However, you will NOT BE ISSUED A LICENSE until your school has submitted the transcripts VERIFYING that you have completed the required hours for the license (1,250 for Cosmetologist, etc).

Reciprocity for Cosmetology

Reciprocity agreements are subject to change, so please contact the board to review the requirements:

Non-Reciprocal States:
If you hold a current license in a state where Pennsylvania DOES NOT have an understanding of reciprocity you are required to take and pass the combined theory/procedural skill computer based exam. Please complete and submit a cosmetology application and review the instructions.

Examination Scheduling Information

Please VERIFY that you have registered your LEGAL name as it appears on your government-issued ID and that your personal information is CORRECT. Contact Pearson VUE immediately to correct the spelling of your name or update your personal information if you notice any errors. It is very important that this information is correct, as it will appear as it was entered on the documentation provided to you after you have completed the exam, as well as on any reports to your licensing agency.

Theory appointments may be made up to one calendar day prior to the day you wish to test, subject to availability. You may schedule your exam online or over the phone by contacting customer service.



Document Name Format Size
Pennsylvania Cosmetology Candidate Handbook
Updated March 2018
PDF 622 KB
Frequently Asked Questions PDF 82 KB
Exam Preparation
Theory/Procedural Skills Examination Content Outline PDF 242 KB
Licensure by Examination Application
Cosmetology Application for Professional Licensure by examination
Effective September 18, 2017
Electronic Application
Cosmetology Reinstatement Application for Professional Licensure by examination
Updated August 2016
PDF 373 KB


Document Name Format Size
Pennsylvania Barber Candidate Handbook
Updated January 2018
PDF 532 KB
Pennsylvania Barber FAQ’s
Updated February 2017
PDF 532 KB
Barber Test Dates and Locations
Updated October 2017
PDF 2.1 MB
Exam Preparation
Practical Skills and Theory Examination Content Outlines
Updated February 2017
PDF 242 KB
Practical Examination Equipment/Supplies List
Updated February 2017
Teacher Practical Examination Candidate Information PDF 328 KB
Barber Exam Photo Supplement PDF 2.1 MB
Licensure by Examination Application
Barber Application for Professional Licensure by examination
Effective September 18, 2017
Electronic Application
Barber Reinstatement Application for Professional Licensure by examination PDF 377 KB
Last updated 2018-03-12