(1) A person desiring to be licensed as a cosmetologist shall apply to the department for licensure.
(2) An applicant shall be eligible for licensure by examination to practice cosmetology if the applicant:
(a) Is at least 16 years of age or has received a high school diploma;
(b) Pays the required application fee, which is not refundable, and the required examination fee, which is refundable if the applicant is determined to not be eligible for licensure for any reason other than failure to successfully complete the licensure examination; and
(c)1. Is authorized to practice cosmetology in another state or country, has been so authorized for at least 1 year, and does not qualify for licensure by endorsement as provided for in subsection (5); or
2. Has received a minimum of 1,200 hours of training as established by the board, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the equivalent of completion of services directly related to the practice of cosmetology at one of the following:
a. A school of cosmetology licensed pursuant to chapter 1005.
b. A cosmetology program within the public school system.
c. The Cosmetology Division of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, provided the division meets the standards of this chapter.
d. A government-operated cosmetology program in this state.
The board shall establish by rule procedures whereby the school or program may certify that a person is qualified to take the required examination after the completion of a minimum of 1,000 actual school hours. If the person then passes the examination, he or she shall have satisfied this requirement; but if the person fails the examination, he or she shall not be qualified to take the examination again until the completion of the full requirements provided by this section.
(3) Upon an applicant receiving a passing grade, as established by board rule, on the examination and paying the initial licensing fee, the department shall issue a license to practice cosmetology.
(4) If an applicant passes all parts of the examination for licensure as a cosmetologist, he or she may practice in the time between passing the examination and receiving a physical copy of his or her license if he or she practices under the supervision of a licensed cosmetologist in a licensed salon. An applicant who fails any part of the examination may not practice as a cosmetologist and may immediately apply for reexamination.
(5) Renewal of license registration shall be accomplished pursuant to rules adopted by the board.
(6) The board shall certify as qualified for licensure by endorsement as a cosmetologist in this state an applicant who holds a current active license to practice cosmetology in another state. The board may not require proof of educational hours if the license was issued in a state that requires 1,200 or more hours of prelicensure education and passage of a written examination. This subsection does not apply to applicants who received their license in another state through an apprenticeship program.
(7)(a) The board shall prescribe by rule continuing education requirements intended to ensure protection of the public through updated training of licensees and registered specialists, not to exceed 16 hours biennially, as a condition for renewal of a license or registration as a specialist under this chapter. Continuing education courses shall include, but not be limited to, the following subjects as they relate to the practice of cosmetology: human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome; Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations; workers’ compensation issues; state and federal laws and rules as they pertain to cosmetologists, cosmetology, salons, specialists, specialty salons, and booth renters; chemical makeup as it pertains to hair, skin, and nails; and environmental issues. Courses given at cosmetology conferences may be counted toward the number of continuing education hours required if approved by the board.
(b) Any person whose occupation or practice is confined solely to hair braiding, hair wrapping, or body wrapping is exempt from the continuing education requirements of this subsection.
(c) The board may, by rule, require any licensee in violation of a continuing education requirement to take a refresher course or refresher course and examination in addition to any other penalty. The number of hours for the refresher course may not exceed 48 hours.