Requirements to get a VA Nail Technician License



  • Age 16 or older within one month of starting 
  • Valid Driver's License or DMV ID presented by first class day
  • Social Security card (if issued one) presented by first class day



  • High School diploma is not needed
  • 7th grade Math skills
  • 9th grade English Reading skills



  • Students do not have to live in Virginia to get a Virginia Nail License
  • Students with a Virginia Nail License can only sell nail care in Virginia
  • Other states may offer reciprocity to transfer a VA nail license into their state
  • Students can have multiple state licenses as long as they pay the yearly fees
  • VA Nail License can transfer into other states to be dual licensed: West VirginiaNorth Carolina and  Maryland etc



  • ESL book tutoring offered for $750
  • In-Class organized attendance offered for $500 more to avoid online study
  • Speak with the Instructor to understand these items before paying


  • To obtain a VA Nail Technician license you should be clear of any previous violations with licensure issues or disciplinary actions in barbering, cosmetology, waxing, nail care, esthetics or tattooing in any other state
  • The board will review past issues to determine eligibility for licensure only after passing both state exams
  • The board will also review past license loss or failed issues to determine eligibility for state licensure ONLY after exams are passed
  • DPOR may also check into violations for those licensed in real estate, certified interior designers, lanscape architects, contractors, home inspectors, opticians, hearing aid specialists, polygraph examiners, tradesmen, waste operators etc. 


CRIMINAL BACKGROUND:  State Regulation on Licensing

  • Click this FAQ Link for criminal convictions licensing questions
  • Anything discussed privately with convictions to the instructor will not share any information with other students or clients especially in the local community.
  • Students with misdemeanors and/or felony conviction(s) must show criminal history reports to DPOR after finishing the course by purchasing their criminal history report for $20-25. The instructor will privately help with the instructions. 
  • The state DPOR board will review the charges only after completing a course and passing both state exams to approve or disapprove state licensure
  • The state will be reviewing felony charges less than 20 years ago and misdemeanors less than two years ago. 
  • The decision to approve a student for licensure when students have convictions is based entirely on the Virginia DPOR state board, this school has no part in the decision making
  • The regulatory board does not make a review to decide to approve licensure until AFTER the student passes a nail course here and passes both state exams
  • The board will want state police copies of your charges
  • We have had students in the past with misdemeanor and felony convictions that got approval for licensure but it can take months or even over a year to finalize if approved. An approval is worth fighting for!
  • All conversations about convictions are kept confidential and private between the student and the instructor so please don't be concerned about speaking about it.


Criminal Conviction Flyer
Criminal Conviction.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [201.8 KB]


  • We welcome wheelchair bound students with an accessible environment 
  • The state offers ADA accommodations for those taking their state exams with medical signed documentation.
  • The school walkways are ADA compliant with education provided in wheelchair accessible rooms/tables
  • all hallways and doorways are wide enough for wheelchair accessibility
  • The two way swinging door can be opened for those needing assitance
  • Free Handicap parking is within 20 feet of the door
  • Seating is available with or without arms and room for leg extension
  • Students are welcome to bring their own stable chair or request the use of one
  • There are no stairs inside or outside the school to enter
  • There is no curbs to step up for walkway into the school
  • The restroom at the school is ADA wheelchair compliant 
  • Please bring IEP documentation to request a private meeting before starting to discuss learning accommodations. This can be discussed as needed without documents. 


COST TO GET LICENSED (after course completion): 

  • The written exam is $86 and the practical exam is $86. Both costs are per try to pass. This should be paid within 2 months of graduation to avoid failing when taking it later.
  • The state license fee is $105 after passing both exams and should be paid within 60 days of passing both exams.
  • The fee to stay licensed is $100 paid every two years. Make sure to always notify the state regulating department of any address changes so that you get your notifications.
  • No CEU's are required in Virginia to stay licensed
  • Virginia is a NIC test approved state. Your license will be transferable into other states. You can be multi-state licensed. License expires when you stop paying the renewal fee.
  • Expired licenses require taking new updated state exams again. We offer workshop classes for this. 



Are you an apprentice? Make sure you are not being scammed!


The state allows people to train inside a apprenctice registered salon to get their nail license without having to go to nail school. Attendance for written study is also required to finish. After finishing hours and passing the written course students can take the exams to get licensed. Apprentices must be paid minimum wage per hour or equal in commision pay. 


Only ONE apprentice is allowed PER posted license nail tech or cosmetologist license. Example: If you see two apprentices in training and one posted Tech license with one posted salon license then there is a violation. There should be One Tech License, one salon license and one apprentice license. The second apprentice is not permitted to sell services without another Licensed Tech sponsor posted and a issued apprenctice card posted. These types of violations should be reported to DPOR immediately by anyone.


This school has had a high rate of students enrolling after thinking they were in an apprenticeship program at a Salon only to find out they were not.  Apprentices should contact their state representative to make sure the salon is approved and licensed to offer apprenticeship. Apprentice hours do not count until a state apprenticeship representative has come INTO the salon to check your ID and issue a state apprenticeship card (that must be posted) in order to start selling any nail care services by linking you to a licensed Nail Tech or Cosmetologist that will sponsor you.  If this has not happened and you have been working fo a long time contact the representative for your area to report the salon. Use our contact page if you need help finding your representative.


Salons MUST post ALL licenses by the register/entrance or they are in violation to be reported for not posting their licenses. A Salon must have a license from DPOR posted to sell hair, nail, waxing or skin care services. Depending on what they sell they may have more than one approved service license posted. Separate to the service license, a license MUST be posted for EACH person selling beauty services or they can be reported to DPOR for violation. Count the posted licenses, then count the staff and add the separate service license(s). Receptionist do not require a license but they can not sell any beauty services without one. If you can’t find the DPOR License for the service(s) that you are buying and another DPOR license for the person servicing you, then it would be a good idea to walk out! This means that they have not been tested to keep you safe. A form is listed at the bottom of this page to report violations.


Apprentice Hours are no less than 2,000 hours done in no less than 12 months and you must get minimum wage hourly pay during working. Apprenticeship must also pay, complete and pass a separate written course at a state approved school. 



Disciplinary Action Reporting Form
Disciplinary Action Reporting Form.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.5 MB]
Denial of Licensure Reporting Form
Denial of Licensure Forms.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.4 MB]
Criminal Conviction Reporting Form
Criminal Conviction Reporting Form.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.5 MB]
Virginia State Police Criminal History Record Request Form
VSP Help Desk (804) 674-2131
Criminal History Record Request Form.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [638.3 KB]
Temporary Permit Application
Temporary Permit Application.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.1 MB]
Salon/Shop/Spa Self-Inspection Form
Salon Self Inspection Form.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [974.4 KB]
Interested in how to file a complaint about a Salon or Tech?
CALL (804) 367-8509
State Issued Nail Licenses or training permits MUST be posted for anyone selling nail care services in VA including all learning apprentices. Violation is on the person selling nail services without a license, the salon selling nail services without licensed employees and an another violation is given to the salon for not POSTING individual licenses for every employee selling nail services. The state is relying on you to report violations!
Salon Complaint Information.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [190.8 KB]

Updated Nov 2019

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