Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do I become a barber?

Answer: If you are not a barber in another state or country, you have two pathways towards licensure. 1. Complete 1920 hours of on-the-job training under a licensed barber instructor in a licensed barbershop or 2. Complete 1500 hours in an approved barber college/school.

Question: After completing the required hours, what’s my next step?

Answer: Ensure that you have received a training affidavit (transcript) from your barber instructor or barber school. Then schedule to take the theory/practical examinations with Professional Credential Services (PSC). PSC may be contacted by phone at 888-822-3272 or visit their website at

Question: Do my barber hours ever expire?

Answer: Currently there’s no expiration date on barber hours.

Question: How can I study for the barber or instructor examination?

Answer: Visit the testing service provider’s website,, and select registered barber or instructor handbook for NIC examination references/ textbook information.

Question: I’m a barber instructor, where can I find the training affidavit?

Answer: The affidavit is on the testing service provider’s website,, under forms. Make sure you click on the correct affidavit

Question: How many hours can I transfer from a barber college to on-the-job training or vice versa?

Answer: The instructor or school will determine how many hours will transfer for training.

Question: How many student permits can I obtain?

Answer: Three, the Board will not issue a fourth (4th) permit.

Question: Can I become licensed as a barber in South Carolina if I am licensed as a barber in another state?

Answer: If you meet the requirements for reciprocity, you would be eligible. If not, you will have to pass the NIC examination (theory and practical). South Carolina doesn’t have a grandfather clause.

Question: Will South Carolina accept my apprentice barber license from another state?

Answer: No, South Carolina does not accept apprentice hours.

Question: If I’m a licensed barber assistant (manicurist or shampooer), do I have to work under a licensed barber?

Answer: Yes, you must be supervised by a licensed barber in a barbershop.

Question: Can I work in a cosmetology salon with a barber assistant license?

Answer: No, you have to work in a licensed barbershop under a registered barber, master hair care specialist or barber instructor.

Question: Who do I make my money order or check payable to?

Answer: SC Board of Barber Examiners (do not send cash in the mail).

Question: I received a letter from requesting me to provide a SLED report/criminal background report, but who should I contact and how do I obtain the information?

Answer: If violations happened in South Carolina, you must contact the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). If violations happened outside of South Carolina, you must contact the state or local agency for a criminal background report. In addition, you must supply court documents with final dispositions for all charges.

SLED Headquarters is located at:

4400 Broad River Road

Columbia, SC 29210

The public may reach SLED by calling (803) 737-9000 or send correspondence to their mailing address at: Post Office Box 21398, Columbia, SC 29221.

Question: How do I apply for a barbershop license?

Answer: Visit the South Carolina Board of Barber Examines website at:

Once on the website, select the APPLICATIONS / FORMS for the Barbershop Application. Submit the complete application ten (10) days before you plan to open. An inspector will contact you to conduct an inspection of your new barbershop. Once you pass inspection, you can open for business.

Question: I have changed the location of my barbershop; I am the new owner of an existing barbershop; I want to change the name of my barbershop- what do I need to do?

Answer: Any time there is a change whether in location, ownership or name of the business, the owner must submit a new barbershop application and fee. In most cases, an inspection must take place prior to operating the business. The license is not transferrable.

Question: How do I contact the testing service provider?

Answer: Call toll free 855-746-8173 or visit PSI Exam Online.

 Question: How many years can my register barber and master hair care specialist license be lapsed?

Answer: You have 3 years to reinstate the license before you have to pass the examination again.

Question: How many years can my barber instructor license be lapsed?

Answer; You have 5 years to reinstate the license before you have to pass the examination again.