Board of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences - Apply For a New License

See left menu for Renewal and Reactivation

Application Guidelines 

The documents below explain the required steps to complete the application process.  While the process has several steps many of the requirements can be done simultaneously. Best practice is to apply for a new license online.

Documents may be submitted electronically to the Board office. The Board’s fax number is 515-281-3121. Emailed documents should go to plpublic@idph.iowa.gov .

Salon Self Inspection Checklist

To expedite processing a new license request, take advantage of our secure online application.

Click here to Access Online Services or to Apply Online

Applications are reviewed by Board staff as soon as possible, in the order received,  typically within 5 business days.

  • Refer to the Application Guidelines above to determine what steps you can complete while awaiting review.
  • Once your application is reviewed, you will receive an email with an attached letter indicating what additional information is required to approve the license.

Application Rules

The rules below describe the application process for cosmetology, electrology, esthetics, instructors, and nail technology.

Scroll down in Chapter 5 to find licensure fees for Cosmetology arts and sciences

Salon Rules

  • Chapter 61 - Licensure of Salons and Schools of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences
  • Chapter 63 - Sanitation for Salons and Schools of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences

Exam Information

NIC Candidate Bullentins

Cosmetology Schools

Application Forms

Due to COVID-19, paper applications will not be processed at this time.  Click here to apply, renew, or reactivate online.  For questions about username and password, please call the State of Iowa Service Desk at 515-281-5703 or 800-532-1174.  For assistance with the online application contact 515-281-0254. 

Related Links

Cosmetologists and Barbers of Iowa (CBI)

Web: www.cbiowa.org

LaserGrade LP
PO Box 87245
Vancouver WA 98687
Tel: (888) 211-2754
Web: www.lasergrade.com

7622 Briarwood Circle
Little Rock, AR 72205
Tel: (501) 227-8262
Web: www.nictesting.org

Recommended Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures for Foot Spa Basins in Salons' by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

Iowa NIC Exam Provider

The Iowa Department of Public Health has contracted with NIC to provide examination services. The Department will exclusively use the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) examinations.  You may schedule your appointment without prior approval from the Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences at the discretion of your school. The fee outlined in the Candidate Bulletin is for each examination, whether you are taking the examination for the first time or repeating. Exam fees are paid directly to PSI; do not send exam fees to the Board. Exam fees are non-refundable, non-transferrable  


Federal Department of Labor Approved Apprenticeships
Web: www.apprenticeship.gov
Job Finder: www.apprenticeship.gov/apprenticeship-job-finder



Contact Information & Office Hours

Bureau of Professional Licensure
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319


Phone: (515) 281-0254

Fax: (515) 281-3121

Bureau Website: https://idph.iowa.gov/licensure

Online Licensure Services: https://amanda-portal.idph.state.ia.us/ibpl/portal/

Email: PLPublic@idph.iowa.gov


Office Hours:

8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays