Why do I need a license?

Anyone selling polishing, manicure, pedicure or acrylic/gel artificial nail services (in Virginia) without a state issued Virginia Nail Technician license posted (for customers to view at all times) can be violated with a class 1 misdemeanor including fines by the state, prevention of licensure in the future and lawsuits by customers for damages.


To get a nail license in Virginia (to be able to sell nail services) you must attend a state licensed nail school to get the training to understand safety in providing nail services and understand state regulations. At this state licensed school you will get this training to prepare for an exam given at a state secured testing facility (not here). We don't push any student to attend our school so check all the schools to make sure that they are state licensed to get your license training. 


Instead of attending a nail school like ours, you can also apprentice for no less than one year in an approved sponsor salon and pass a written course at a vocational school. Salons can become sponsors for free by contacting their city/county representative.


After you pass the state's exam you can get your nail license. It is renewed with a fee of about $100-150 every other year to stay licensed. If you move to another state you can apply for a transfer. Some states require a fee, proof of working hours after being licensed or more training  hours in a school approved by their state. 

Ok so you found a love for nails and a career in nails can provide a flexible job that makes what you want to make...when you want to make it. Get your schooling out of the way now to be ready for the next level of opportunity to grow in this career.


 A License means that you have been tested by a State approved Testing company for the ability to understand the chemicals used in nail care services and the ability to provide a safe service to the public while keeping yourself safe.


Fear for being caught, violated or sued

Potential lawsuits by clients

Class 1 Misdemeanor if caught

Stuck in a lower level job

Can't open a professional salon

If caught, can't get licensed later

Fines to pay if caught

Has not been taught safety

Potential harm to self/client from chemicals

can not grow in career options when advanced

Could spread HIV, HPV, Herpes or Hepatitis

serious 5-7 figure lawsuits from damages

can not be insured (if unlicensed they dont pay out!)




Higher Pay

Insurance coverage as licensed

Self employment career

High paying Resort jobs

Advance class/trade show eligible

Employment by Nail Companies

Future teaching jobs

Can move on to a better job position

Recession proof Medical job

Beat the competition as a professional

Access to jobs with benefits

Growth in life skills meeting professionals

earn taxable income on the side of another career



  • nails done by a untrained tech could cause long term damage to nails
  • disinfectant solution should never touch human skin
  • acrylic liquid should NEVER be applied to the skin especially with wet beads of acrylic or brushing the skin with a brush soaked in acrylic liquid (#2 cause for lawsuits that the instructor sees)
  • the tacky layers from gels left on skin can create permanent serious allergic reactions to other daily used things outside the salon and future nail services. It must be removed with the correct gel cleanser (soap does not remove it all).
  • Hepatitis, MRSA, HIV/AIDS, Herpes, TB, warts and fungal infections can be spread during nail services when a person is not trained for safe service procedures  (#3 cause for lawsuits that the instructor sees)
  • would you use a stranger's "sanitized" toothbrush? You can't sanitize nail brushes ESPECIALLY dust brushes
  • not understanding, using cheap or incorrectly used gel lights could expose skin and eyes to dangerous UVA ultraviolet radiation exposure
  • improper skin cutting or ingrown toenail work can cause infections that can lead to amputations. If an infection occured during ingrown work by a nail tech contact a lawyer since nail techs are not allowed to perform any ingrown care  (#1 cause for lawsuits that the instructor sees)
  • incorrectly used primers and cuticle removers cause long term permanent damage to the nail
  • there is more....go to school to learn how to protect yourself and your client. There are many clients willing to pay MORE for Techs that have licenses that provide safer services from their training
  • menus with descriptions of removal of callus, cuticles or ingrowns can be reported to the state for violation

Yes many people are doing nails unlicensed just like there are clients out there that are okay with getting a BBL from a person doing it in a hotel room. More people want the BBL from a medical doctor with training and it will cost more. License=better income for the future. Get your license to grow your business right. Think bigger and you can be bigger.

Unlicensed Nail Techs struggle to find time for schooling later when their client list has grown. 

Unlicensed Techs selling services at home (without a nail license) risk a serious financial loss in lawsuits from clients. Unlicensed Nail Technicians are also uninsurable (even with insurance there is no payout if you are not licensed). Not having a license can prevent them from opening a salon and the ability to work at high paying salons/resorts.


This course will train students with the requirements to provide safe and sanitary services to the public. This training can also give them an understanding of the chemicals they use to protect themselves and their clients from harmful exposure. Nail Services and Nail Chemicals should be used by trained professionals to ensure safety. Dummy hands don't get infections or get allergies that you can be sued for. 


Actual Lawsuits

There will be an added lawsuit for being unlicensed and insurances could avoid pay outs to unlicensed Nail Techs

  • K Jackson, TX (died after infection from pedi)
  • L Davis, PA (infected finger from cuticle cut)
  • H Cook, TX (mani led to infection then amputated finger)
  • P Perpetuino, SC (burned hands from acetone) 
  • S Algara, CA (lost toe after a pedicure)
  • D Carr, IL (man lost leg and died from pedicure)
  • T Shorter, PA (infection from a set of nails)
  • M Gerardo, AZ (cut on finger led to infection)
  • S Falcone, AU (infection that led to amputation)
  • R Burgess, KS (infection that led to amputation)
  • J Jackson, UK (infection from mani that led to amputation)
  • Bethany, NC (cut during dip service led to infection)
  • Client, NC (refusal of service for HIV infection) you can be sued for discrimination of many diversities

Why do you need a driver's license?

Why should doctor's have a license?

Why should cooks have a servsafe?



Take the time to read this message from the teacher to understand why you need a license:


Since COVID-19 there are many self taught people providing nail services without a license.
If a doctor told you: "get vaccinated for COVID",  what would you say?

Some would say "sure I want to be safe and keep people near me safe".
Some would say "Why should I, I know people that had it and they are fine" and other comments. 


Doctors tell you to get vaccinated because they are in the hospital and see people die from COVID-19. It can be traumatic to them and they want to help people avoid becoming what they see in the hospital. Now I am not talking about the politics that people have issues about with vaccination, just the fact that a doctor would "say" this because of what he "sees" everyday. Most people don't work in hospitals to see this so you have your own opinion and that's ok.  


Lawsuits by clients are increasing everyday from unlicensed people doing nails today.  I also work with lawyers that have cases against nail salons and unlicensed people selling nail services. This increase is a big help to me to be able to retire because the cases are increasing like never before to allow me to stop teaching soon. Before COVID, I was lucky to have 2-3 cases a year. In 2021, I had 12 cases. As of Jan 2022, I have had over 18 cases and there will be more this year. The people look so sad leaving the court room being sued for thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.


I am available to my graduates for help with questions even after they graduate. I teach my students hoping that I will never see their name on a lawsuit investigation. I have seen clients in lawsuits that got HIV, HPV, Herpes, Warts, Hepatitis and even techs that got it. I have seen clients that lost fingers, toes, feet, a leg and even their life from nail services. I am like the doctor telling you to get vaccinated. Most people doing nails unlicensed don't see these lawsuits so it's not real or serious to them. My students have the choice to follow these recommendations or not in their career.


To those doing nails unlicensed: I understand the need to make money but first it is unfair to those that did go to school to understand how to keep their clients and themselves safe during nail services. The other issue is later on when you get really good at your art you will want to grow your business into something bigger but you can't if you are not license. There are so many opportunities after your skills grow to make more money. Does a cashier want to be a cashier forever or use their skills to become managers or owners making more money. When your books are full how will you have time to go to school? If you get caught, you could lose everything and I have seen the fines in thousands of dollars. The state is busy now from COVID but when they catch up with their work, they will be cracking down on unlicensed techs and they are now working on upcoming violations for unlicensed training. Imagine the nightmare of instantly losing income from the hard work of a built up client list. You can't be insured when unlicensed. Stop hiding, build your business for the future by getting your license. The nail industry can be very profitable licensed. 


I tell my children: working hard to make the right choice EVERYDAY in life can lead to happiness. Our bad luck and luck will even out to become constantly blessed when you start making the right choices in life, even when no one is looking. 


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State Licensed © Virginia Nail School in 12 Centre Court in Palmyra VA 22963. 434-305-9799