By Kurtis Ming

SHINGLE SPRINGS (CBS13) — She’s got her diploma and her loans are due, but Sarah Stevenson, a cosmetology graduate from Shingle Springs, says the state is keeping her from getting her license.

“All I want is to take my test and to get licensed,” said Stevenson.

READ MORE: PG&E Criminally Liable For Deadly Zogg Fire In Shasta County, Prosecutors Say

After logging in 1,600 hours of training and spending more than $20,000, Stevenson just wants to start cutting hair. She graduated in October but the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering won’t grant her a license until she passes the state exam.

The pandemic has stopped all testing.

”I’ve reached out to numerous salons and they’re like, ’I really want you to be a stylist here, so come back when you get your license,’” Stevenson said.

We’ve learned that 6,500 California Cosmetology graduates are waiting to take that test.

“It’s just not fair,” Stevenson said.

The state says the stay-at-home orders kept them from offering the tests. But with those orders now lifted, they’re working through a massive backlog.

READ MORE: 42 Structures Now Destroyed As Dixie Fire Grows To 226,421 Acres

The Board says testing will resume this week at the Fairfield location and next week at the Glendale location.

More from CBS Sacramento:

Sarah says she can’t get rescheduled soon enough.

“I’m ready to go to work. I want to work, I’m hungry to work. But I’m in a position where legally I can’t,” she said.

The Cosmetology board says it’s now looking for ways to increase testing to clear the backlog. Tests also are backed up for other industries including contractors, dental hygienists and real estate agents.

Full statements from the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering and the California Contractors State License Board are below.

”The Board administers exams in two secured Board facilities. Those locations are in Fairfield and in Glendale. Examinations cannot be conducted in other facilities as there is a very specific setup for the exam facility. Since the stay-at-home order has now been lifted, we are currently contacting candidates to schedule their exam. Exams have resumed in Fairfield this week and will resume in Glendale next week…The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology is working diligently to administer exams in a timely manner and is researching options to increase the number of exams.” -Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.

MORE NEWS: Call Kurtis: Grandfather Pays $59,000 For Unfinished Pool, Contractor’s License Suspended

Contractors State License Board and other state agencies closed offices to the public beginning Monday, December 7th pursuant to the Governor’s stay-at-home orders in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases, and intensive care until availability falling below 15%. The stay-at-home orders were recently lifted statewide and we reopened all our public offices and resumed testing this past Monday, February 1st. CSLB is working to reschedule test candidates impacted by the closure as soon as possible.
Exam applicants with a test date during the closure have been notified and their exams are being rescheduled. This week alone, more than 4,000 exams were rescheduled.
To reduce the backlog a third testing session has been added at many of the test centers and seating capacity expanded at the Sacramento and Norwalk test centers. CSLB anticipates the number of pending exams will return to normal sometime in late spring of this year.
Please also be aware that CSLB usually has some last-minute cancelations. Anyone interested in checking to see if there is an available spot in their area due to a cancelation can contact us at: exams@cslb.ca.gov.” – California Contractors State License Board.