New Mexico Proposes New Barber, Cosmetology Rules

The New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists (Board) has proposed barber and cosmetology rules that may affect your practice and/or school. AHP has summarized the proposed rules for you below, which affect the following sections:

  • General provisions
  • Licensing
  • Expedited licensure
  • Fees
  • Regular licenses
  • Schools

Email the Board at if you would like to submit written comments in support of, or in opposition to, the proposed rules before December 8, 2022. You can also voice your comments in person and attend the rulemaking hearing on December 9, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. MST at the following address:

New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department

2550 Cerrillos Road

Santa Fe, NM, 87505

General Provisions

The proposed rules explain the objective of the Barbers and Cosmetology Act (Act), which is to promote, preserve, and protect public health, safety, and welfare by regulating the practice of barbering, cosmetology, electrology, esthetics, hairstyling, manicuring, and pedicuring in New Mexico. The Board is not an advocacy organization but a regulatory body responsible for acting in the interest of the public.

The Board has the authority to:

  • Process and issue licenses to applicants who meet New Mexico requirements
  • Investigate individuals who may be violating the Act
  • Approve the selection of and supervise administrative staff
  • Carry out Board operations, including budgetary expenditures
  • Maintain files, including financial records
  • Keep a licensee database in which the names, addresses, and license numbers of all licensees must be maintained with a record of all license renewals, suspensions, and revocations
    • Licensees must maintain current contact information on file and notify the Board within 30 days of a change in their contact information (mailing, residential, or email address, or telephone number). Failure to notify the Board in a change of mailing or residential address may result in disciplinary action.


The proposed rules delete this section and replace it with a new section called Expedited Licensure detailed below.

Expedited Licensure

The proposed rules create a new section called Expedited Licensure to set professional standards for license applicants from out of state or other countries. Below is a summary of the proposed expedited licensure process, including new definitions, a list of rejected licensing jurisdictions, the expedited licensure application, and expedited license duration and renewal.

Eligible jurisdiction—any state or territory of the US, except those included in the list of disapproved licensing jurisdictions, and any approved foreign country.

Expedited license—a provisional license that gives the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as a regular license issued by the Board.

Good standing—a license or registration that is active, not expired, suspended, revoked, surrendered, conditioned, or otherwise restricts the activity of a licensee or registrant.

Qualified applicant—an applicant who:

  • Holds a current license in good standing in another jurisdiction, unless they are a military service member or veteran
  • Does not have a disqualifying criminal conviction, and
  • Is not subject to pending disciplinary action in New Mexico

List of Disapproved Licensing Jurisdictions

Applicants licensed in another US state or territory seeking to practice barbering, cosmetology, manicuring, pedicuring, esthetics, electrology, or hairstyling in New Mexico may not be eligible for expedited licensure depending on their home state due to inadequate education and/or training requirements. Review the full list of disapproved licensing jurisdictions for each profession (page 2).

Expedited Licensure Application
A candidate seeking an expedited license must submit an application packet to the Board that contains the following:

  • A completed application form that is signed and dated
  • Proof of their current license in good standing in an eligible jurisdiction, and
  • The required application fee

Once the Board receives an expedited license application, qualified applicants will be issued an expedited license within 30 days. If the applicant has a disqualifying criminal conviction or the Board finds other reasons to deny the application, the expedited license may not be issued within 30 days. The Board may vote to grant the application or refer the matter to its administrative prosecutor for denial.

Click here (page 3) for the expedited licensure application process for military service members and veterans. A military service member or veteran who is issued an expedited license will not be charged a licensing fee for the first three years.

Expedited License Duration and Renewal
The proposed rules would allow an expedited license to be valid for the same length of time as a regular initial license issued by the Board. For reference, initial licenses are issued for at least 12 months but no more than 24 months to align the license expiration date with the Board’s two-year renewal cycle.

A licensee with an expedited license is eligible to apply for license renewal but will be required to pass the practical and written exam as a prerequisite to license renewal. A regular license will then be issued to the licensee.


The proposed rules eliminate the reciprocity fee and replace it with an expedited license fee. The proposed expedited license fee is $150, which is the same as the repealed reciprocity fee.

Regular Licenses

The proposed rules eliminate the requirement that applicants must complete at least the first two years of high school. For barber instructor applicants, the rules add the requirement that applicants must complete four years of high school or equivalent.


The proposed rules eliminate the requirement that students must complete at least the first two years of high school.

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