For a printable version of these requirements, click here.
For Licensure as a Massage Therapist by Examination, the requirements are as follows and can be found in Section 480.041, F.S. and Rule Chapter 64B7-25, F.A.C.
- Is at least 18 years of age or has received a high school diploma or graduate equivalency diploma (GED).
- Must submit application and fees.
- In Florida: Has completed a minimum 500 clock hour course of study at a board-approved massage school or has completed an apprenticeship in the State of Florida.
- In another state: If the school you attended is located in another state, the school must be approved by the Department of Education or an equivalent licensing agency in the state in which it is located. Official transcripts must show completion of a course of study including a minimum of 500 clock hours.
- Outside the United States: If the school you attended is located outside of the United States, the school must be approved by the Department of Education or an equivalent licensing authority in the country in which it is located. Transcripts and supplemental education documents should be translated into English by a translation service or credentialing company. These education documents will be evaluated by the board at one of its regularly scheduled meetings.
Must pass one of the following accepted examinations:
- Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). The FSMTB can be reached at 1-866-962-3926.
- National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The NCETM exam is no longer available, but will still be accepted if taken prior to its retirement on November 1, 2014.
- National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) administered by NCBTMB. The NCBTMB exam is no longer available, but will still be accepted if taken prior to its retirement on November 1, 2014.
- National Exam for State Licensure (NESL) administered by NCBTMB. The NESL exam option is no longer available, but will still be accepted if taken prior to its retirement on December 31, 2012.
Mandatory Continuing Education Requirements
- Completion of a ten (10) hour Florida Laws and Rules course
All courses must be obtained through a Florida Board-approved massage therapy school, a Board of Massage Therapy Approved CE Provider, or be from NCBTMB, FSMTA, or the AMTA/AMTA Florida Chapter. To view approved CE providers and courses, please visit www.cebroker.com.
License Verification Requirements (if applicable)
You must also request an official license verification(s) to be submitted to the board directly from all state licensing boards in which you hold, or have held any health related professional license. The official licensure verification must state the following:
- Current status
- Method of licensure (exam or endorsement)
- Date of original licensure
- Any discipline; if license has been disciplined you must submit a self-explanation and all relevant disciplinary documentation.
Applicants for initial licensure must use a Livescan service provider to have their fingerprints submitted electronically to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for conducting a search for any Florida and national criminal history records that may pertain to the applicant. The results will be returned to the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) and made available to the board office for consideration during the licensure process. The Livescan fingerprints submitted by the applicant will be retained by FDLE and the Clearinghouse. All costs for conducting a criminal history background screening are borne by the applicant. All results must be submitted electronically from a Livescan service provider.
It is important to use the correct Originating Agency Identification (ORI) when submitting fingerprints. If you do not provide an ORI number or if you provide an incorrect ORI number to the service provider, the board office will not receive your fingerprint results.
The Board of Massage Therapy’s ORI number is: EDOH4600Z.
Applicants who reside outside of the State of Florida can contact national Livescan Service Providers, who can assist out of state applicants with submitting their prints electronically. You can locate these providers by clicking on the “Department’s website” in the paragraph below, then clicking on the “Locate A Provider” link and then clicking on the “Out of State/International” option on the Map.
Applicants can use any FDLE approved Livescan service provider to submit their fingerprints. The applicant is fully responsible for selecting the service provider and ensuring the results are reported to the board office. For more information, FAQs, and a list of all approved Livescan service providers please visit the Department’s website, under the Livescan Services Providers tab. Please take the Massage Therapy Electronic Fingerprint Form with you to the Livescan provider. Please check the service provider’s requirements to see if you need to bring any additional items. Please verify the ORI number submitted by the Livescan service provider matches the information provided by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy.
Applicants with Criminal History
There are certain criminal offenses that will prohibit the board from approving licensure. Find a list of these offenses at:
/latest-news/changes-to-the-massage-practice-act/ and /latest-news/electronic-fingerprinting/
Any applicant who has ever been found guilty of, or pled guilty or no contest/nolo contendre to any charge other than a minor traffic offense must respond accurately to the criminal history questions on the application. Failure to respond correctly to the criminal history questions on the application may result in denial of your application. Each application is reviewed on its own merit.
The Board of Massage Therapy has created guidelines for specific offenses to be cleared in the board office; however, staff cannot make determinations in advance as laws and rules change over time. Applications that contain backgrounds with violent crimes and/or repeat offenders are required to be presented to the Board of Massage Therapy for review. Board staff are unable to make any type of determination on applications that require Board review. When making licensure decisions, evidence of rehabilitation is important to the board members.
Applicants with criminal convictions are required to submit the following documentation:
Self-Explanation – Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit a letter in your own words describing the circumstances of the offense.
Arrest Records – Arrest records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.
Final Dispositions – Final disposition records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.
Completion of Probation/Parole/Sanctions – Probation and financial sanction records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. Parole records for offenses can be obtained from the Department of Corrections or at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.
Applicants with Discipline History
Applicants who have ever been denied licensure, had disciplinary action taken against their license, or have action pending against their license to practice any health care related profession by a licensing authority are required to submit the following documentation to the board office:
Self-Explanation – Applicants must submit a letter in your own words describing the circumstances of the action.
Agency Records – All relevant documentation regarding the action should be sent to the board office by the licensing agency. If the records are not available, you must have a letter, on agency letterhead, sent from the licensing agency stating that they are unavailable.
Applicants with Health History
Applicants who answer “Yes” to any of the Health History questions on the application are required to submit the following documentation to the board office:
Self-Explanation – Applicants must submit a letter in your own words explaining the medical condition(s) or occurrence(s). Include a description of all treatments and diagnoses you have received for any condition(s)/impairment(s) you are/have been treated for. Include all medications prescribed and all physicians/counselors that have provided treatment.
Physician(s) Letter – Applicants must submit a statement from your treating physician(s)/counselor(s) for each condition you are/were being treated for and whether or not you are currently able to safely practice massage therapy. The physician’s statement should include all DSM IIIR/ DSM IV, Axis I, II, and III diagnoses.
Health Care Fraud; Disqualification for License, Certificate, or Registration
Effective July 1, 2012, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes (F.S.), provides that health care boards or the department shall refuse to issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant:
- Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapter 409, F.S., (relating to social and economic assistance), Chapter 817, F.S., (relating to fraudulent practices), Chapter 893, F.S., (relating to drug abuse prevention and control) or a similar felony offense(s) in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
- For the felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- For the felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- For the felonies of the third degree under section 893.13(6)(a), F.S., more than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 (relating to controlled substances) or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 (relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application;
- Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to section 409.913, F.S., unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent five years;
- Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state or Federal Government, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent five years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application;
- Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities.
- Submit application with the appropriate fees to the board office.
- Complete the Livescan screening process.
Once all an application has been received it will be reviewed by Board staff. It may be necessary for Board staff to request additional information. Once all requirements for licensure are met a license will be issued and should be received in the mail within 7-10 working days.
Some applications require review by the Board to make a determination for licensure. Notification of required Board review will be mailed out to the applicant’s address of record.
Application Fee – $50.00 (non-refundable)
Licensure Fee – $100.00
Unlicensed Activity Fee – $5.00
TOTAL FEE – $155.00
Make cashier’s check or money order payable to: “Department of Health.”