In Florida, beauty is big business. And not just with its residents.
Home of Miami, Disney, and Universal Studios, Florida brings attracts its fair share of visitors. And, when you’re on vacation in a state as sunny as Florida, you want to look good. And that means making sure your hands and feet to look their best.
So, that’s why Nail Techs are so important! They keep everyone’s fingers and toes looking beach (and theme park!) ready.
Of course, if you’re just about to graduate from Nail school, you’ll already know how important your new career is. In fact, we bet you can’t wait to get started!
But before you work your magic as a fully-fledged Nail Technician, you’ll need to apply for a license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Services (DBPS).
And you may be wondering if you’ll need to pass an exam first.
That’s a great question. In many states, you do need to pass an exam to become a licensed Nail Tech. But in Florida, an external examination isn’t required.
The process of applying for your Florida DBPS Nail Specialist (Technician) license
In Florida, the professionals responsible for keeping filling, painting, and applying specialist products to nails are known as ‘Nail Specialists’. And every Nail Specialist must hold a valid license awarded by the Department of Business and Professional Services in order to ply their trade.
Now, you’ve probably been so busy learning about different nail techniques, that you haven’t even thought about applying for your license yet.
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back every step of the way.
Step 1: Check you’re eligible for a Florida Nail Specialist (Technician) license
In order to apply for a Florida Nail Specialist license you must have:
- Graduated from a Florida Nail Specialist program AND
- Worked a minimum of 240 practical hours OR
- Have a Nail Specialist license in another state whose requirements for licensure are comparable or more stringent than Florida requirements. AND
- Have worked a minimum of 240 practical hours
If you meet these requirements, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Fill out your application
Before you can get your license and begin working, you’ll need to complete an application with the Department of Business and Professional Services.
It is important to note that the same form is used for applications for Cosmetologists, Nail Specialists, Facial Specialists, and Full Specialists.
And because of this, it’s really important that you complete the right sections of the form. This will ensure that your application is processed correctly and that you get your license in a timely manner.
For applications for Nail Specialists, only sections I-II and IV-VI of the application form should be completed.
Once you have entered your personal information, an official from your school must complete section IV of your application form. This section is used to confirm that you have completed the necessary hours of study required for a license to be issued.
Step 3: Submit your evidence
Along with your application, you will need to submit some additional evidence to prove that you meet the Department of Business and Professional Services’ licensing requirements.
That means you’ll need to provide:
- Proof that you have completed an approved HIV/Aids course with a duration of at least 4 hours (a list of approved providers can be found here)
- Proof that you have completed a minimum of 240 practical hours (section IV of the application form, completed and signed by an official from your school)
- Previous course credit evaluation documentation (if applicable)
Step 4: Pay your application fee
When you submit your completed application, you will also need to pay a fee in order for your license application to be processed.
Currently, this fee is set at $75.
Step 5: Submit your application
If you are applying online, your application can be submitted following the on-screen directions.
However, if you are applying by post, you will need to send your full application, fees, and documentation to:
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783
Step 6: Get your Florida DBPS Nail Specialist (Technician) License!
Once you have submitted your application, paid your fee, and provided supporting documents, it will take up to 48 hours for your license to be processed.
Because the state of Florida allows you to print your license yourself, you can start practicing as soon as the DBPS has finished processing.
Then, there you have it. You’re a licensed Nail Specialist in the state of Florida. So go ahead and use your skills to keep your clients Instagram-ready at all times!
Frequently asked questions about the Florida Nail Specialist (Technician) license
How do I get a Nail Specialist (Technician) license in Florida?
Do I need to take an exam?
No, unlike many states, Florida does not require that Nail Specialists pass an exam in order to gain their license.
However, if you wish to qualify as a Cosmetologist in Florida, you will be expected to pass two exams first.
Qualified Cosmetologists do not need to gain a separate Nail Tech license in order to offer nail services.
How much does it cost to apply for a license?
It costs $75 to apply for a Nail Specialist license.
How many hours of practical work do I need to qualify for the Florida Nail Specialist (Technician) License?
In the state of Florida, Nail Specialists need to have completed a minimum of 240 practical hours in order to gain their license.
Can I complete my hours through an apprenticeship instead of attending Nail school in Florida?
No, the state of Florida does not currently recognize apprenticeships in any cosmetology fields.
Can I apply for my license before I’ve completed the required hours?
No, you’ll need to complete the required hours, and have an official from your school confirm this before you can submit your application.
Will I have to sit a practical examination?
No, the state of Florida does not require that you sit a practical examination before gaining your Nail Specialist license.
How long does Nail school take in Florida?
The length of time it takes to complete a Nail Specialist program in Florida varies.
But, as you only need to complete 240 hours of study, it is possible to qualify fairly quickly.
In fact, depending on your school’s timetable, you could qualify full-time in just 3 months!
How do I transfer my Nail Specialist (Technician) license to Florida?
If you meet certain requirements, you will be able to transfer your Nail Specialist license to Florida through an application for endorsement.
In order to be eligible for endorsement, you must:
- Hold a valid, up to date license from a state whose licensing laws are equal to, or more stringent, than Florida’s. A list of the states eligible for endorsement can be found here.
- Be over the age of 16 and hold a GED or high school diploma
- Complete an approved 4-hour AIDS/HIV course (a full list of approved providers can be found here)
- And pay a registration fee of $95
If you meet these requirements, you will need to complete an application with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Services.
To do this, you will need to set up an account here and complete the online application process.
Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed and you’ll be notified of the outcome within 21 days.
How do I renew my Nail Specialist license in Florida?
In Florida, you must renew your Nail Specialist license by the 31st of October, every other year.
But, before you apply for renewal, you must complete 16 hours of training. These short courses are known as ‘continuing education’.
Although completing additional training every other year can feel a little time consuming, it’s a great way to expand and refresh your skills. And, luckily, they are provided by many different schools and organizations.
This means that you will have plenty of choices over which continuing education course you complete.
Once you have completed your mandatory training, you can apply to renew your license via the DBPS portal. The cost of renewing your license is currently $55.