Industry Legislation

The State of Licensing: Illinois And New York

Although it’s been official that a license is required for all nail technicians in the states of Illinois and New York, the grandfathering periods are about to end.

Although it’s been official that a license is required for all nail technicians in the states of Illinois and New York, the grandfathering periods are about to end.

The fact that nail technicians in New York and Illinois must obtain licenses is easy to understand. The facts about the regulations, particularly those concerning delayed applications or missed deadlines for using grandfather clauses, have caused some confusion.

As of July 5, 1994, all nail technicians in New York must be licensed with the New York Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services. In Illinois, licensing became official on January 1, 1992.

Nail technicians already in business are eligible to come in under the “grandfather” clause and acquire a license by showing they are already working as nail technicians, without having to attend school. In New York, according to Denise Andreson, vice president of the National Nail Technicians Group, a nail technician must prove she has been actively doing nails for the previous year, working a minimum of 25 hours a week. Proof would be tax returns from the previous year, as well as a working social security number. Qualifying nail technicians had one year (up to July 5, 1995) to apply for a license under the grandfather clause; if the deadline is missed, then they are required to complete 250 hours of school and to pass a practical and written examination before they can practice legally.

At press time, New York’s grandfathering deadline had not yet passed. But in Illinois, where the deadline was December 31, 1994, it created a small uproar. “The media got word about the deadline, and they went crazy,” says Pat Johnson-Rambo, director in charge of legislation for the Chicago Cosmetology Association. Rambo is angry with the press for waiting until the last minute to run a story. “I was begging them to help us get the word out,” she recalls. “But it wasn’t a story to them until the deadline was right around the corner.”

Out of the estimated 10,000 nail technicians working in Illinois, about 3,000 did get their paperwork completed. For those who didn’t make the deadline, an amendment is being considered by the state House of Representatives to extend the deadline to December 31, 1995.

In both states, legislation for nail licensing had been on the books for several years before the deadline date. Opinions vary as to why some nail technicians weren’t aware of the new requirements.

But whether it was procrastination or obliviousness, nail technicians in New York and Illinois who haven’t taken heed of the new licensing laws better find out right away what they need to do to remain a practicing nail technician legally Time is slipping away.

RELATED READING: Why Is New York Still Unlicensed? (October 1991)

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