Do I have to renew my barber license in California?

1 February | By SZA

Do I have to renew my barber license in California?

‚ÄčAs a licensed barber, it's essential to stay informed about the renewal requirements for your professional license. The California Board frequently receives inquiries from licensees questioning whether license renewal is mandatory. In this blog post, we will address this common concern and provide you with valuable insights into the renewal process, considerations for retirement or relocation, and the consequences of allowing your license to expire. Understanding these factors will help you make informed decisions regarding the status of your barber license.

License Renewal: A requirement in California

If you are currently providing barbering services in California, maintaining a current license is mandatory. The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology requires licensees to renew their licenses regularly to ensure that they meet the necessary standards and remain updated with industry practices. Failure to renew your license can lead to penalties, restrictions on practicing, and potential loss of opportunities.


If you are retiring from the barbering and beauty industry and have no intentions of returning to practice, you have the option to allow your license to expire. It's important to note that the Board does not have a designated "retired" or "inactive" license status. Therefore, you will continue to receive renewal reminders even if you choose not to renew. You may disregard these reminders if you have permanently retired from the industry.


Suppose you plan to move to another state but have intentions of returning to California in the future. In that case, it may be beneficial to maintain an active license in California. Keeping your license current can save you time and effort when you decide to resume your barbering career in the state. Additionally, some states may have reciprocity agreements with California, allowing for a smoother transition and potential license transfer.

Consequences of allowing your license expire

According to Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 7418, if your license has not been renewed within five years of its expiration, it will be deemed canceled. This means that you will no longer be able to renew, restore, reinstate, or reissue your license. To regain your license, you would need to submit a new application, fulfill all required fees, and meet the examination requirements as if you were applying for the license for the first time. Therefore, if you plan to take a temporary break from the industry, it may be in your best interest to continue renewing your license during that period.

Renewing your barber license is mandatory if you are providing services in California. However, there are circumstances, such as retirement or relocation, where you may choose to allow your license to expire. It's crucial to understand the consequences of an expired license, as well as the potential benefits of maintaining an active license even during a temporary break. To make informed decisions regarding your barber license, consult with the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and consider your future plans within the industry. By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure compliance with licensing requirements and maintain flexibility in your barbering career.