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Board of Barber Examiners

Reciprocity for Barbers


A person who holds a valid license or certificate of registration as a barber, a technician or barber instructor under the laws of a state, the District of Columbia, a territorial possession of the United States, or foreign country may be issued a certificate of registration if the board makes an individual determination that such person has substantially met the qualifications for registration in Tennessee.


If you are licensed but do not meet the required classroom hours and cannot provide a five year work history, you will need to submit your application for reciprocity to the board office.


The board may issue a certificate of registration as a master barber without examination to a nonresident who:

  • Holds a valid license or certificate of registration as a master barber in another jurisdiction which:
  • Has substantially the same requirements for licensing or registration of barbers as are contained in this chapter, exclusive of the tenth-grade education requirements set forth in T.C.A 62-3-110(b)(2); or
  • Has entered into a reciprocal agreement with the board permitting licenses or certificates of registration to be issued without examination to master barbers resident in and registered by this state;
  • Proves by sworn affidavits that such nonresident has continuously and lawfully practiced as a barber in another jurisdiction for the immediately preceding five (5) years; or
  • Has held a MOS (Military Occupational Skill) rating in a branch of the military services for two (2) or more years that required the person to perform the duties of a barber.
    • NOTE: Applicants applying for instructor reciprocity must attach proof of at least a 12th grade education or equivalent and proof the applicant has completed and passed a board approved course of instruction of at least 450 hours for instructors.
    • You may not work until you receive your approval letter and can show proof of payment of application fee.

      It is our intent and desire to make all reciprocal license transactions as quick and convenient as possible; however, state laws, board rules and office policies must be observed - these requirements may not be waived and exceptions are not considered.

    • Do not ask the office staff for "special handling" as all applications must be processed in the same manner.


  • Please read directions on the application thoroughly
  • Complete both sides of the application. Include your Social Security Number.
  • Take form to a Notary Public and have your signature Notarized.
  • Attach a copy of your Barber School record or diploma, if available.
  • If you are from a foreign country, attach a copy of your Drivers License, Social Security Card, and Alien Registration or Naturalization papers
  • Call the State Board you are currently licensed with and ask if they require a fee (or written request) for completing a License Certification.
  • Forward application, attachments, (and certification fee, if required) to your state board and request they complete the license certification section on the back of the application. Affidavits should bear no erasures, corrections or alterations. The State Board seal must be affixed and the form cannot be dated prior to six(6 months) of application.
  • DO NOT send Tennessee's Reciprocity fee of $150.00 with your application. You will be contacted for the required fee once your application has been received and approved.
  • If you do not meet Tennessee's hourly requirement, or did not attend a licensed barber school, you may submit proof of 5 years work experience in the form of notarized statements. Statements must show proof of continuous and lawful employment in the barber field for at least five years immediately prior to the filing of the application. Exact dates of employment are required as well as the owner/manager's signature. If you owned your own shop you must provide notarized statements from the shop's tax preparer or accountant as proof of employment. DO NOT SEND COPIES!


If you do not meet the minimum hourly requirement and cannot provide affidavits of 5 years work experience immediately prior to your application date, you will be required to take and pass the Tennessee practical examination.




If your hours of school training were less than 1500 hours for master barber, 340 hours for technician or 450 hours for instructor, follow the instructions below. (You MAY still qualify for reciprocity.)




  1. Notarized affidavits or
  2. Statements from employers on original letterhead documenting five (5) years of licensed work experience immediately prior (ending within the year before application) to application.
  3. If you were self-employed (owned your own shop) work experience affidavits/statements may be approved if from the following sources:
    • employer - owner or manager of previous salon(s).
    • tax preparer, or accountant.
    • affidavit from applicant's State Board.
    • shop licenses dating back five (5) years, from self owned shop.
    • other, to be approved by the Board office unless it is deemed necessary to be presented to the Board.