How to Transfer A Massage License to Florida

How to Transfer Your Massage License to Florida

I have helped a lot (hundreds) of massage therapists through this process, as well as gone through it myself. Transferring your license to Florida is a little more complicated than transferring a license to most other states, but by the end of this post you should have all of the links and resources you need to get your Florida massage license.

Don’t wait until you move to begin the process

It is best to plan your professional move ahead of time, or you may find yourself sitting in Florida waiting and waiting for your license to arrive. When things go smoothly (meaning once you have contacted your school, state, and exam administrator and asked them to forward all of your scores, transcripts, and certificates to the Board office without being lost), the entire process takes 4-6 weeks.

So in order to keep your massage income flowing and avoid delays, I suggest you start the process as soon possible. Once you apply, you have an entire year to submit your supporting materials (listed below) to the board office. After the board office receives all of your supporting materials, they will issue your license. If you do not get everything to the board in one year, you will need to reapply.

OK, here we go…

Endorsement or Examination Candidate?

There are primarily two routes to licensure, endorsement and examination.

If you have a current/valid massage license which you obtained by taking a national licensing exam (MBLEx, NCETMB, NCETM, or NESL), you are and Endorsement Candidate. Here is your checklist.

If you are not currently licensed, or have not passed a national licensing exam, you are an Examination Candidate. Here is your checklist.

The routes are very similar. Both endorsement and examination candidates must complete three courses before applying for a license. The courses are 10 hours of Florida Law and Rules, 3 hours of HIV/AIDS, and 2 hours of Prevention of Medical Errors, and must be taken by a Florida Approved Continuing Education Provider.

I offer these courses as a Florida License Package, as well as available separately:

After you complete these required courses, send your completion certificates to the Florida board.

Proof of License

You must show proof of your current state massage license, or any past licenses you have held.

To do this you need to contact the state massage board(s) where you are/were licensed. They will need to forward proof of your license to the Florida Board of Massage. Your current state must also verify you previously completed a board-approved exam (i.e. NCETMB, MBLEx, NESL, NCETM) if you are applying as an endorsement candidate.

Licensing Exam

Contact the NCBTMB (if you took the NESL, NCETM, or NCETMB) or the FSTMB (if you took the MBLEx) and have them forward your scores to the Florida Board office.

If you have not previously completed the MBLEX or, NCETMB, NCETMB, or NESL, you will need to do so in order to obtain a Florida massage license. Learn which massage licensing exam is right for you.

Massage School Transcript

Provide the Florida Board of Massage with an official transcript (with a seal) from your 500 hour minimum massage training program. Your school must forward this information to the Board.

Florida Application

Submit all the supplemental information with your completed Application (Online or Printable) and Required Fees (currently $155) to the Board for review.


Now, just patiently wait for the Board to approve your license.

Questions about this process?

Try my Florida License FAQ.

You may also leave a question in the comments below or email me anytime:

2014 News and Updates

Rumor is digital fingerprints will soon be required from new licensees. I will update this post and checklists as these changes are implemented by the Board office.

Photo Credit: Arturo Donate


  1. linda says

    my friend passed her exam and move to ft lauderdale . she likes to work here as a L.mT. NEED YOUR HELP TO TRANFER HER LICENSE. 954 687 5718 THANK YOU

      • Dee Joyce says

        Hello Ivy, I just received your update on the site. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I just completed everything for my Aesthetics license for Florida, now I will work on my Massage license. You certainly have made the process easier!

        • says

          Congrats, Dee! One license down, one to go. Please let me know if you have any questions along the way. How was the Aesthetics license process? I believe their board is not under the MQA, so I wonder if that makes it easier/harder. From time to time I do have people ask about an online 4 hour HIV course and cannot find one. I believe that is for the aesthetic license.

          • says

            I have not seen that one before. So the aesthetics/facial specialists licenses are under the cosmetology board.

            Thank you soooooo much for sharing, Misty! That is perfect!

            Here is the direct link to the 4 hour law course for those that need it.

            So, for those of you reading this and trying to get both a massage and an aesthetics license—Just a reminder— The 4 hour course cannot be taken in lieu of the 3 hour course needed for initial massage licenses. The cosmetology and massage boards are not under the same departments. Here is the 3 hour HIV course for massage therapists.

  2. SABRINA says

    I plan on moving to Florida. I know the renewal time is August 31st but I plan on moving before then. Will I have to transfer my license and then renew it too.

    • says

      Good question. The next FL massage license renewal is August 31st, 2013 (this is the end of the biennial period). You can get your license anytime before then. Every massage therapist needs 24 hours of CE’s at the biennial renewal, except new licensees or transfer licensees. When it comes time for your renewal you will need one credit for every month left in the biennial period. So if you move in August of this year, you will need 12 CE’s. If you move now, you would need 18 hours since there are 18 months left in the renewal period. Make sense?

  3. says

    We are wanting to relocate to Florida for “retirement”. We currently reside in Ohio, can I start working on obtaining my Floriday license while in Ohio? Do I have to relinquish my Ohio license once I move?

    • says

      I actually highly suggest you start the process before you move. This will help minimize the gaps in income (so you can start working sooner) when you move. Since the biennial period has just passed, it is the same cost to apply for a license now as it will be anytime before the next 8/31/13 renewal deadline.

      Luckily massage licenses are not like citizenship, you do not have to relinquish one for another. You will just be dually licensed. I hold Iowa and Florida massage licenses. You will just need to decide if you want to keep your Ohio license once it comes up for its next renewal.

      If you have any other questions- let me know!

      When you are ready for your Florida required courses, head over to my CE website (

      • Luzdary perilla sanchez says


        IVI, Iam Just move to Florida, I did school for massage therapist in Greensboro NC, 500 hours, never applied for state license, only did the school for help my patients, family and close friends,I take and pass national test for NCBTM this expire in last november,let me know, what is the follow stepts, for take license, for florida state, thanks for you attention.


        • says

          Hi Luz,
          Luckily, your situtaion should not be that difficult. It does not matter that your NCTMB credential has expired, it just matters that you took and passed the NCETMB exam. As long as NC recognizes your school as an approved massage therapy school, you should be fine. So, you are actually a candidate for examination. Here is a link from our website on all of the items you need to complete. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Ivy

  4. Cassidi says

    Hi ! not sure if im reading the blog correctly so i have a question. Im going to move to florida in the next 6-12 months. i want to get the process started to have my florida license. First question, will i still be able to practice in ohio while obtaining a license in florida and if i order the endorsement materials off this site, is that the same as taking the required courses and how will the florida board get that info ? Thanks so much for your help

    • says

      Hi Cassidi.
      Yes, you most certainly can work in Ohio (as long as your license is still valid there). You can hold a license in all 50 states if you want. Getting a license in FL does not negate the current one you have. I have an Iowa and Florida License.

      As long as you have had 500 hours of training, passed the NCETMB or MBLEx, then next you need the 3 required Florida courses (Here is the link to the course package from my site) After you pass these courses, I will send you a transcript to send to the Board, or you can send it yourself. Most people complete these classes and send the transcript in with their application. If you apply first without taking the courses, the Board opens a file for you. Then they wait for all of the other information to come in (School transcript, NCE/MBlex scores, license varication, CE transript). When everything is in, they send you your license. Make sense?

  5. Denise says

    Hi, I have a grandfathered license in Indiana right now. I took a 500 hr cert. program and took and passed the test we were given, but I’m don’t remember what kind of test it was called. I was originally a “Certified M.T” then they passed a law to be licensed and i qualified for the “grandfathering” action. So, my question is, would this be accepted to transfer to a FL license? (along with completing the other actions you mentioned)

    • says

      Hi Denise,
      I have a new chart I am going to put up to help people with this process. I have never seen any leeway other exams. The BOM really prefers the MBLEx, NESL, or NCBTMB. You can call a verify this with the the board, but I would doubt that they would accept the exam. All of the tests are very easy to schedule. It is just one extra step you will need to complete.

      You will be an examination candidate. Here is the checklist from our site.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Good Luck!

  6. Kiwana says

    Hi! Got a question… I will be finishing massage therapy school this October. I am planning on moving to Florida within the next year. Should I wait and take my exam in Florida after I graduate or should I take the exam in the state that I’m in now.

    • says

      Hi Kiwana,
      Which state are you in now? It depends if you want to practice where you are currently in the time being. If your current state takes the MBLEx or the NCETMB, you can use your test scores for both states. If you are moving in October, I would start the process for getting your FL license soon. That way you have it when you arrive. Hope that helps.

  7. Nancy Wilson says

    Hi, I am planning to move to Florida in the next month or so. I received my massage license in Virginia after completing a 600 hour course and passing the NCBTMB a few years ago. I practiced massage for a year or so and then let my massage license lapse without completing the CE hours. I am considering practicing massage again and would like to know the process for obtaining a license in Florida.

    • says

      Hi Nancy – Since your license has lapsed, you will be a license by examination candidate. It is not really that different than the endorsement process. You have most of the work done already. Here is a checklist of everything you need to do as an examination candidate: Examination Checklist. Let me know if you have any other questions and good luck on your return to massage!

  8. says

    I have 376 hours from an approved massge therapy school in California and over 300 hours from my University. Since CA is an unregulated state, I went straight for National Certification. I submitted my application for the national exam and am waiting for approval. In the process I moved back to FL and would like to get licensed in FL. What are my options?

    • says

      Hi Tanya,
      Your situation is a little more complicated. Which national exam did you apply for?

      The state of Florida is going to most likely look over all of your hours to make sure you have 500 hours in the areas they require (you can check the Board site for the break down). They also have a list of schools from California that they do not accept hours from. I would give that list a quick view to, just to be sure your school is okay.

      If you are missing hours, then the massage board will most likely require that you go back to school to make up the remaining hours before you get your license.

      Email the Fl Board too. They are very good about responding to emails.

      You will be an examination candidate. Here is a general checklist of everything you need to do:

      Please keep me updated!


  9. Vicki says

    I was grandfathered into the Illinois licensing when it originated but I also have NCBTMB certification. Is that sufficient for transfering to Florida? I do not see NCBTMB listed as one of the acceptable testing organizations.

    • says

      Hi Vicki,

      Yes, The NCETMB is accepted. Since you were grandfathered in, you will be a license by examination candidate. Since you took the NCE, I assume you have 500 hours of massage education. So, it sounds like you are well on your way. Here is the link to the license by examination checklist for you from my other website. Let me know if you have other questions.

  10. Val says

    I am currently licensed in NV. But went to school in CA . In the process of getting my transcript from 1987. How is that going to affect my process? I have homes in both states and in the process of coming to FL. Saw this statement on your site. *Your school needs “to be a school that is approved within your current state
    or jurisdictions” in order for it to be accepted.*

    • says

      Hi Val.

      You should be fine. Here is a list of schools from the FL website of schools from CA that it does not accept. If your school is not on there, I would think you should be fine. The worst that could happen is that the BOM would want to take some extra time to review your transcript and the courses more in depth.

      You can visit this page for more information on the process. Let me know if you have other questions.

  11. Misty Dunkle says

    Hello. I moved to FL recently and have an OHIO state license and wanting to know if I have to take the national exam in order to obtain a FL license or if there was a way to transfer without taking the test?

    • says

      Good question. I do get this question quite often. The FL BOM approved exams do not include the Ohio state exam. So, as much as I hate telling you this, you will need to take either the MBLEx or one of the NCBTMB’s exams.

      I just sent a message to someone I know that just transferred their license from Ohio to FL. I will double check with them tonight and get back to you if I hear differently.

      • Misty Dunkle says

        ok great thank you! I appreciate this blog! It is very helpful in knowing what steps to take next. I appreciate any feedback you can send my way!

  12. Rubeena says

    Hello, I have 300 hrs. from an approved massage school in Tx. and have a massage license. I saw your checklist and really appreciate it. I am planning to move to Florida in the end of January 2013. What is your advice? And also, I am an RN too. Florida nursing board also requires the two of the items from the packet you are offering that is the HIV and the the two hour CE. Do you think I can use the same packet for both of my licenses.
    Thanks. I really appreciate any feedback.

    • says

      Your message just made me realize I had not posted my blog specifically about moving from Texas to FL. I will work on it today.

      Okay. I am sure you see that you will have to make those 200 missing hours up to get to the 500 minimum hours. I would start by contacting the FL BOM and asking them about schools where you could sit for another 200 hours. Also, explain that you were a RN. Maybe you could transfer some of those hours. It is worth a shot. As far other CE’s you need. My courses are not approved by the nursing board in FL, so they would not count for both boards. Sorry!

      I will post my blog on my Advanced Massage Techniques site soon (in the UPDATES section). I hope to have more detailed information there for other Texas MT’s in your situation.

      I hope this helps. I wish I had better advice for you. If you have other questions, let me know.

  13. David Beard says

    Hi Ivy, Thank you for your service to aspiring transfer to Florida massage therapists. I completed a 500 hour program in Syracuse, NY in 1999 and got my NYS Massage License in early 2000. I’m considering moving to Florida at least half of the year (can we say snowbird?) and maybe full time. What will I need to do to be certified as a Florida Massage Therapist?


  14. Deidre says

    Hi Ivy. I am moving to Florida in two months and want to get my license transfered before i move there. I am currently licensed in the state of MS and have 700 hours of massage education. From what Ive gathered i just need to take the 15hour ce classes and take the mblex. I see you offer the classes on this website and study guide for the mblex. I am interested and would like to know a little more if you can help me. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Deidre,

      I would be happy to answer any questions you have. First, I assume you did not take the NCETMB to get your MS license. Right? I just want to make sure you do not think you have to take both the NCE AND MBLEx.

      So based on my assumption that you have not taken an examination, you would follow this checklist.

      Just so you know, when you buy the 15 hour course package, there is a link to buy the MBLEx study guide package for 1/2 price.

      Again, feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Deidre says

        Right, I did not take the NCETMB i just took the MS exam. I just want to take the MBLEx opposed to the NCETMB I believe it would be more suitable for me and my situation. Thank you for the checklist and i want to buy the 15 hour course package and the study guide for the MBLEx so I can get my license transfered ASAP. Before I purchase them how exactly does it work? Is it like an online course where i have to get on so often and do assignments or what? Also when I have the MS BOM and my school transfer my current information do i need to have them send it to the florida physical address or can i have them fax it?

        • says

          When you purchase the courses, you will set up a login and password. After you purchase the courses, you can log in and you will see links to all of the courses you purchased and links to the exams. You can download the courses and read them at your own pace. When you are ready, you can take the exams. After you pass the exam, a certificate will be ready to print, and a copy will be emailed to you. Print the three courses off and send those to the FL BOM. If you have problems or questions along the way, let me know. I try to make it as simple and stress-free as possible!

          And the FL BOM requests that everything be snail-mailed directly to them.

          • Deidre says

            ok got it. you have helped me tremendously i cant thank you enough. You have made it a lot less stressful!! :) Im going to purchase the courses if I have any additional questions I will be sure to ask!! Thanks again

  15. YanIqUe says

    Hello ivy,I’m from Chicago and I will be locating to Florida in march of this year.the requirements of Chicago is 24 ceus .what is the the requirements of Florida and will it be simple to transfer my license their.

    • says

      Good Afternoon!
      I have just the blog for you from my other site. It is all about transferring a license to FL from IL (LINK). It will have a checklist for you based on how you obtained your IL license. It will guide you through the whole process and give you the links to the courses you need. You will need 24 hours every two years in FL. You will learn about the specific courses you need in the required 10 hour Florida massage law and rules course (which you will see on the checklist). Let me know if have other questions. Take care.

  16. Leah says

    Hello, I’m a massage therapist in Canada with 3000 hrs classroom & 550 hrs practicum. I may be relocating to Florida in the next 6 months & would like to become registered/certified there. I am ok with taking the licensing exams, but wonder if they will accept my Canadian diploma?
    Any info would be great.

    • says

      I see no reason why they would not accept your education. They do accept most foreign programs. I have only seen one person have a problem with getting theirs approved. It was from Puerto Rico. The person had 500 hours, but lacked a few hours in Florida’s required areas. The BOM will most likely want to review your transcript for this reason. But, with the high amount of training hours you have, I see no reason you would have any problems. Here is your checklist for the examination process. Please let me know if you have other questions.

  17. Deidre says

    Hey Ivy it’s me again!! I have been studying the study guide for the Mblex exam. I am scheduled to take it this Saturday the 23rd. I am starting to freak out just a little bit my nerves are getting to me. I have taken both the Mblex simulation tests that you have in the member area. I know the Mblex is going to be different, but in your opinion, if I am passing the practice tests that you provide… do you think I will be ok on the real deal? Is there anything additional that I should cover?

  18. Deidre says

    I took and passed my Mblex exam today!!! I want to say thank you to you and your website. Your study guide and practice tests really helped prepare me and pass! Thank you!!

    • says

      CONGRATS DEIDRE! I was just going to go to bed and decided to check my messages. This made my night! I honestly love hearing from people after they pass their MBLEx! I know this has to be a huge relief for you! YAY!

  19. Virginia says

    Hello Ivy
    My husband and I are planning to move ti panama city beach by the end of the year. I am trying to get everything processed with obtaining my massage license in Florida and when I read the comments I wanted to know if I should apply asap or wait til after till after the end of the biennial period which is this August We will be looking at houses at the end of May so I would like to have a job lined up asap but we will not be moving down till December or January. Please give me some advise on if I should wait till after August or if it okay to get apply like this week.
    Thank you,

    • says

      This is a great question – one that I am getting a lot right now. I am actually writing an entire blog post about this over at Advanced Massage Techniques, but it is not done yet.

      Apparently the Florida Board does not require you to renew this year if you receive your license between May 1-ish (the date is not listed or released yet – it is whenever they open the license renewal for everyone currently licensed) and the end of the biennial (August 31). This info is listed nowhere on their website… But I have verified this stipulation with them.

      So you could file begin all your paperwork probably as early as April and get your license during this magical period and not have worry about renewing your license until August 2015. You could actually apply now really, but just do not complete all of the steps until May-ish. When they have all of your paperwork, they will automatically issue your license.

      I really hope that makes sense. I know it is confusing.

  20. YanIqUe says

    Hello ivy again question ,I have a little problem I’ve ran into the school I attended in 2009 no longer have the massage program anymore and they giving me the run around with transferring my transcript over to BOM. In Florida do you have any idea as to what I can do. Thank you in advance :)

    • says

      Good Morning! And Grrr! Part of a schools responsibility is to keep your transcripts for such instances; even if they close their massage therapy program! Part of your tuition is trusting them that they will keep proof of your training and hours in case you need proof in the future. Are they saying they do not have your transcript, or what are they telling you? If you do not mind sharing, where did you go to school?

      • Yanique says

        Hello ivy they are telling me they don’t have them .i went to everest downtown Chicago .They are not returning my calls and so forth.

          • Yanique says

            I graduated dec was said they no longer have massage therapy transcript .the program doesn’t exist at that location

          • yanique says

            hi ivy okay i contact the main office.accoriding to the everest representative the entire school school is close and she have no record of my diploma nnor transcripts.The lady informed me i would have to contact them so will let you know how that goes. i have all my ducks in the row to send off my application.A question for the application fee you are saying $105 but the application is saying $155. for the endorsement application.
            thank you for your help.

          • Yanique says

            Just wanted to Thankyou for all your help Ivy.i am now a licensed massage therapist in the state of Florida

          • says

            Congrats Yanique! Good luck with your massage career in FL and let me know if you have any other questions at any time about your FL license and renewal.

  21. Tami says

    Hello Ivy,
    I’m a little confused since Minnesota isn’t a licensed state what all do I need to get a license in Florida? I have had certification in Massage Therapy since 2006.

      • Tami says

        Thanks for getting back to me. So what National Certification would you recommend for me to take? I have bee looking at a lot of them and im confused on which one or ones that i should be studying for and taking.
        Thank you for your help its great having someone to talk to about these kind of things!

        • says

          You are welcome! I typically recommend the MBLEx (which is the one I have a study guide for on this site).

          I have taken both (you can ready about it here -

          Most states accept both the MBLEx and NCETM exams. Are you planning on moving around a lot?

          • Tami says

            I am hoping not to move to much it all depends on what I can find for work down there.

  22. Kelly says

    I am licensed and have taught massage therapy in Tennessee, but I originally taught and went to a school in Illinois. This massage school closed in 2011 and did not transfer all the student records to the Illinois Department of Higher Education. Now my husband has been transferred to Florida and I antcipate joining hom in mid May. How do I apply for my license without a transcript? I did take the NCBMT exam and have the framed sealed copy of the diploma from the Illinois school.

    • says

      Hi Kelly,

      I hate to say it, but you really do need to get a transcript. Is there any way to contact the former administrator or owner of the school? Someone *should* still have access to your records. It may take a little searching. I have talked to a lot of people who have had trouble tracking down their records, but usually can find them. I am sure are those who have not been able to do it. You can always email the Board of Massage in FL and ask them what would happen if you cannot track them down.

      Your NCETM records will need to be mailed directly from the NCBTMB to the Board in FL. They do not accept the copies we receive after we pass an exam. It costs about $20 to do this.

      Please let me know what you find out about your transcript and let me know if you have any other questions.

      Good Luck!

      • Kelly says

        Hi Ivy,
        I am afraid I am in the same boat as the lady who graduated from Chicago’s Everest SoM. My school was in Normal, Illinois and was privately owned. I have been trying to track down the former owner (as have some other graduates) for two years! She did not send our records to the state. Illinois does not seem to be concerned about records of closing programs. I do believe I have a copy for myself and I know the state of Tennessee has one because I had to get one sent when I transferred my license the first time. Whom do I speak with in Florida to explain my situation? Tennessee Massage Dept. Has a FABULOUS lady named Dale who is a huge help to all of us LMTs here. I am going to see if she can get permission for me to dig in records and find all my transfer paperwork.
        Many Thanks for your help,

        • says

          Everest has other locations, right? I cannot believe they did not transfer them to another location. It could not have been that hard for them to do that. I feel so bad for you guys!

          The email for the FL Board of Massage is:

          It will go to the first staff member that can answer it. They are usually pretty good about getting back to a person the same day. It may be worth it to see if they will take your transcript from TN if they have it on file.

  23. says

    Hi ivy,
    I worked as a massage therapist for 5 years in my country, but I dont have idea for those fundamental theory about the anatomy and physiology and etc. Because I undergo only training and after that I worked as a massage therapist in my country. Now Im planning to learned the anatomy and thysiology so that I can take the exam in the ncbtms.
    My question is any country or state accepted the foriegn school about massage therapist because I planned to go back on my country to study. But My country required 4mos to study massage therapist.

    • says

      Every state is different and has different rules about education. Most will require some anatomy and physiology courses. It really just depends where you move. It may be easier to obtain training here in the States. Also, as of November 2014, the MBLEx is now the only licensing exam option in most states.

  24. Ashley Solle says

    Thank you so much for thus blog. It has helped me understand what I need to do to get my license transferred from VA to FL. I do have one question. My last name has changed since I graduated massage school in 2005, will I need to send a copy of my marriage license along with everything else when I send my package down to the stare board in Fl? Thank you again for your help!


    • says

      Hi Ashley,

      That is a great question! I never thought of that when I applied to FL. My name on my transcript and NCB scores would have had my maiden name on them. My Iowa license would have had my current married name. I did not send a copy of my marriage license and everything went through just fine. I believe on the application it does ask for any previous names you may have had (I assume for your background check). You could always email the Board and ask, but in my case – it went through just fine without a copy of my marriage certificate.

  25. Janice Falvey says

    Hi there. I’ve been a licensed massage therapist in CT for over 30 yrs. Recently my husband died and left me in a bad situation financially. I have friends in FL who have offerred to take me in until I’m able to get on my feet. Even though I’m retirement age, I may need to continue practising massage for an indefinate period of time. I’ve thoroughly read your website and assume (although I’ve not tested for a FL license) that I would need to follow the protocol for FL endorsement license. Am i correct in that assumption or is there an issue (as there is in NY) for CT residents becoming licensed in FL?

  26. Dee Joyce says

    Hello Ivy!
    Can you stand one more question? Or maybe several? I have read several of the questions posted, but not all. My, there are a lot of people moving to Florida! Here is my situation:
    I lived in Mass and graduated from a school in NH in 1995, having done 891 hours of which 750 were required. I am both NH State licensed and Nationally Certified. Naturally I have tons of CE hours over the years. I am dually licensed in both Massage & Esthetics. I found an online course for four credits in HIV & Aids for Cosmetology. This will satisfy my esthetician’s requirements but is this the same test for massage as well? Will I have to take the test twice or can it be used for both? I am just in the early stages of all of this. I am studying this at the moment. Any guidance that you can give to me for where to go next would be greatly appreciated. I am looking to satisfy both licenses here. Florida rules and regs should be pretty much the same to some degree, but I know I need to know different things for each license. I am getting buried under all of this… If you could list and point the way for me, I’d be most appreciative! Thanks!

    • Dee Joyce says

      I also forget to ask….. what is Ncetmb? Or Mblex? Does it matter that I am certified through NCBTMB? Is this acceptable?

    • says

      Hi Dee,
      I do have one more question. Besides the list of comments here, I also field a fair number of other emails with questions each week. I really enjoy clearing up the confusion for people 😉

      Nationally certified means you took the NCETMB, which is a FL approved examination. You will need to contact the NCBTMB and have them forward your scores to the FL Board after you apply. Remember to go to this page and print off your endorsement checklist if you took NCE to get your license, if not – print the examination checklist (even though you already fufilled that requirement). That will give you the links to the courses I offer and guide you through the whole license process.

      The HIV Course that comes with the package is basically free with the 10 hour law and Prevention of Medical Errors. The courses are all approved by the FL Board of Massage, which is very important. If the course you took was approved by the Cosmo board, but not the massage board, you need to take it again- it HAS to be approved by their board. I know, I know.

      Well, I am off to enter completed credits for current FL licensees into the FL CE tracking system (there are 30.000 LMTs in Fl). So more questions to answer ;). Please let me know if you have other questions.

  27. Nathan Spring says

    I’m Texas licensed after having completed a 300 hour course in 2002. Considering moving to florida.
    Is there a way to take 200 more hours of training and just have that add up with the 300 hour course I took in 2002?
    Or would I have to take a whole 500 hour course separately? Essentially going to school all over again?
    Any knowledge is appreciated

    • Nathan Spring says

      Also now Texas has the requirement of 500 hours but us 300 hour folks weren’t required to take 500 since we got licensed before Texas made the change.
      I don’t know if that would change anything, just a note.
      Any knowledge on previous questions greatly appreciated.

  28. Nathan Spring says

    Ok I just checked ur site and got my first 2 posts answered, I’d have to make up the 200 hours short.
    Now I can’t simple do that here in Texas? I’d have to do that in florida?
    And if I have to take the 200 hour course make up in florida only, before I’m able to do that would I have to have Texas verify my 300 hr license to florida, then take the 10hr florida law course and other ceu’s first before even going to a florida school.
    I’m just trying get the proper order of actions for someone who is 300 hr certified in Texas.
    Any advice appreciated

    • says

      Hi Nathan,

      Happy your were able to find the answers to most of your questions. There is a lot of FL stuff to dig through ;). I had someone recently from CA that took two 300 hour programs and the Board would not accept it since she never graduated from a 500 program. But, I do know people who have sat in classes to make up hours too. I recommend contacting the BOM and asking them what would be best for you to do (take them in FL or TX). You can email them or call. After your 500 hours you can complete your board examination and the 3 required courses to get your FL license.

  29. Brianna P. says


    My name is Brianna, I’m a cmt. I have 600 hrs, and would like to transfer them to Florida. What are all my requirements? Please email as soon as you can.


    • says

      Hi Brianna, I will forward this to you too. But, this depends on if you have taken a Board-approved exam and if you already have a state massage license. See this page - There is a printable checklist on it, depending if you are an examination candidate, or endorsement candidate. The checklist will guide you step by step to getting your FL Massage License.

  30. Danielle says

    I’m currently licensed in Illinois and moving to Florida in October. I have completed all of the required courses to obtain a license in Florida. Next step is to have transcripts from my school and proof of Illinois license forwarded to the Florida Board. My question is, when filling out the application am I to choose endorsement or exam? I am confused as to what license by endorsement means and license by exam. Also, if I fill out the application online rather than sending it in with my school transcripts, etc., will all my information end up together? These questions my seem silly but I just don’t want anything to hold up the process, as I need to work as soon as I possibly can in Florida. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

    • says

      Hi Danielle,

      Okay, since you are in Illinois (a state that has not had licensing too terribly long), this question can be tricky. If you got your license buy taking the NCETMB or MBLEx, you are an endorsement. If you took the MBLEx or NCETMB after you got your license, you are an exam candidate. They are very similar

      Your information should end up together. After you apply you will have a file with your name and a file number opened. When everything arrives at the board office, it will go into your file. When everything has been checked off (the required items you need for your license), they will automatically issue your license.

      I hope this answers all of your questions. Let me know if you have any others!


  31. Brenda says

    I am currently taking classes for massage therapy in California. I am done with my classes, but the program requires that I complete 185 hours of clinic/internship hours, which will take me another 3 months. I am currently a paralegal and have been in this field for the past 12 years. I found some great opportunities for work in the legal field, but have been waiting to make the move to Florida because I am a couple months away from finishing my hours. During the time that I have been searching for work, I have found great jobs that I don’t want to pass by, but am worried about what to do in regards to my massage therapy classes. I slowly plan to make the transition from the legal field to massage therapy. As of now though, the legal field is my main income. If I decide to make the move before I finish my intership hours, my massage school says I will be able to get my transcripts since my classes are finished, but they will not be complete. Am I just better off waiting out the 3 months? Help!!

    • says

      Hi Brenda,

      The most important thing you can do is to make sure you graduate from at least a 500 hour program. It will make your move so much easier. Florida is VERY picky about hours, so I would make sure you have that complete before you move. If that means you need to wait, then wait. How many hours is your program total?

      I have another blog for CA LMT’s about to move to FL –

      I hope this helps a little. I know it is tough when you see jobs there right now, but I would hate to have you leave your job now and get there and have problems getting your license.

  32. Brenda says

    I only have about 130 hours left to complete the program. I’ve completed all my classes, but I have to finish my clinic hours. The classes completed are Swedish massage, chair massage, pregnancy and infant massage, body wrap, deep tissue, business, Ethics in massage thetapy, hot stone and chakra. Due to my schedule, I won’t be done until November 1st. The jobs I’ve found are in the legal field. i know that the cost of living in Florida is a lot less, so I will be paid less than what i make in Los Angeles. However, recently I’ve found a job as a paralegal in Florida that pays the same rate I’m getting paid in Los Angeles, if not higher. So I’m a little anxious to jump for the opportunity. But don’t want to compromise my plans as a massage therapist.

  33. Elaine says

    Hello Ivy,
    Nice job keeping everyone straight. I am planning to move to FL from GA in the near future. Glad to know I can continue to work in GA while obtaining a FL lisc. I graduated from a 775 hr course in 2002..(sadly the school just closed after 22 yrs) I can still get my transcripts….I took the National Cert. exam immediately out of school and have maintained it to present. I was grandfathered in when GA become a lisc. state. Can you please tell me if I will be required to take anything other tests or just the FL courses to get a license there. Thank you so much.

  34. Colleen Murphy says

    Hello I just found this very helpful site, thank you. My question I grandfathered in when Iowa became a license state. I wasn’t required to take any test since I went to an accredited school. So what test do I have to take to get my Florida license. Thank you, Colleen

  35. Gideon Labban says

    Hi Ivy,
    I am a LMT from FL planning on moving to VA. The requirements for VA is 500hrs and NCBTMB or MBLEX certification. I was certified by NCBTMB in 2009 but it expired March this year (2013). If I am correct, the new “board certification” renewal requires 750hrs total education (Massage program + CEUs) and 250hrs of hands on work experience.
    Currently I have 648hrs (500hrs Massage Therapy, 100hrs Colon Therapy and 48hrs CEUs), I also have 350+ hrs of hands on experience (mostly from my Track & Field coaching Job)
    Which would you advise? (a) do CEUs to complete the 750… or (b) complete the MBLEX?

  36. Kiley Cornman says

    Hi Ivy,
    I am licensed here in FL and took the MBLEX exam. I am thinking about moving up to Tennessee in the future and I was wondering if Tennessee will except my Florida license?

    • says

      I would not think you should have an issue obtaining a TN license. I am not aware of any special hoops you will have to jump through. They do have a 2 hour requirement for TN law that has to been done to renew a MT license, but I do not know if that needs to be done to obtain a license too. Call the TN Board of Massage and ask them. I have heard in the past their massage board office is quite helpful.

  37. Michal says

    Hi Ivy,
    First I would like to thank u for your website , it’s extremely helpful. I have a few questions .I’m in the process of transferring my Illinois license to Florida , have done all required continue educations courses, all paper work have been send ( I hope so, I made a request ,and paid fee), from my school , Illinois license and regulations department , and NCETMB. So what is the next step , should I wait for any info from Florida board , any confirmation that they received my documents and working on my application ? How would I know that all the documents get there and didn’t lose on the way ( I know from my experience that things like that happens). Is there any way to check it online on their website . Thank u again Michal

    • says

      Hi Michal,

      Do not be afraid to call and check on the status of your application and to see if there is anything missing from your file.

      Before I got my license, they mailed me something to say that they never received my school transcript (It got lost in the mail….). In that letter I had a login and password that allowed me to check and see if my license had been issued after that. You can always go to the practitioner license search on the DOH website and type your name in and select “massage therapist” once you license is issued, you and your license number should appear.

      I would just call them and see what they have. Especially if you are in a hurry to get your license.

  38. Mimi Miks says

    Hi Ivy

    I’m a LMT from FL. Past 3 year I lived in Germany due to my husband’s job and I’m back to the States a 2 month ago and I live in VA right now. I’m in process to transfer my FL license to VA. But I’m planning to move to FL may be next year.

    Does my FL license still good even I transferred to VA? Also can I keep two states license?

    Thank you so much.

    • says

      Welcome back, Mimi~

      You bet you can keep both licenses. As long as you pay the fees and keep you continuing education current, you can have a license in as many states as you want. I have both a Florida license and an Iowa license. Sometimes I need to sit down and figure out what credits count towards which state because of the different dates of renewal and figuring out which states accept which courses (tip – take classes that will work for both states ;).

      Best wishes on your move.

  39. says

    I presently maintain a Massage license in both DE & AR. I work full time as a massage therapist in DE since 2009. I passed NCBTMB test in 2008. I went to a school in CA. that was certified at the time. They Lost their certification around 2011 and no longer are open. I plan on moving to FL in the next year. I am concerned about my acceptance by the FL board. Is there any suggestions you can give me….Thanks Lin

    • says

      Hi Lin,

      There used to be a list if Cali schools Florida did not accept on their site. I did not see it last time I checked. I would just call or email the board office and ask. If you get the green light, you can continue on with the courses you need and having all your info forwarded to the board.

      Please let me know what you find out. In the meantime, I will look for that list again.


  40. Carolyn says

    Hi Ivy –

    Thanks for a very informative website! I can apply “by endorsement” but it seems like everyone from out of state needs to take the FL courses “FL Massage Law”, “HIV/AIDS”, and “Preventing Medical Errors”. I thought that these courses needed to be taken in a classroom in FL but you have a link for online versions. Is the online version accepted?

    Also — I went to the FL DOH website to start the application process and on the first page it said my email was already in use; use a different account id. Huh?? Why do they have my email address? And if they do, why can’t I access it with a password reset?

    Finally, with 30K MTs in FL, is the market totally saturated?

    Thanks for all your help!

    • says

      Yes, These course can be taken online. This rule was changed a couple of years ago.

      As to why they have you email address, I do not know. You may need to ask the BOM about that.

      The job saturation in FL is a common concern for many moving to FL, but I firmly believe that setting up a massage business is hard work. If you know who you want to work with and how to reach them, you can build a business in Florida.


      • Carolyn says

        Hi Ivy —

        I found the information on your website after I emailed you. I took the courses you offered online and have applied for my FL massage license. Your online courses were terrific — easy to access, easy to learn. Thank you! Looking forward to my move.


  41. Rebekah Eccles says

    Hi Ivy,

    I currently live in Texas, and have had my state license since 2008. When I in school the requirement was only 300 hours in Texas at that time. Since then I have completed all of my CE hours, totaling 36 hours. We may be moving to FL next year. How is this going to affect me? Am I going to have to go back to school for another 164 hours in order to meet the 500 hours state requirement? Is there a different exam I can take to by pass having to complete the additional hours? Thanks for your help!

    • says

      Hi Rebekah, I always hate having to tell people this, but yes, you really have to go back and complete 200 hours and graduate from a 500 hour program (Your ceus will not count).

  42. Virginia says

    Hi Ivy,

    I currently have a MD massage license and an NCBTMB license. My NCBTMB license is going to expire by January. I plan to move to Florida by June 2016. Do I need to renew my NCBTMB in order to transfer license from Maryland to Florida?

    • Ivy says

      Hi Virginia,

      The NCBTMB credential is a voluntary certification and not a license, so having it valid or expired will have no impact on your ability to get a FL license. The only thing you need to do is contact the NCBTMB and have your exam scores forwarded to the FL board. Your exam scores do not expire, thankfully.

      Best wishes. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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