I have helped a lot (thousands) 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, the entire process takes 3-6 weeks.
This means you will need to contact your school, state, and exam administrators. They will need to forward all of your scores, transcripts, and certificates to the Board office without being lost. You will also have to complete a background check and a course on the laws and rules concerning massage in Florida. Lots of room for errors along the way.
In order to keep your massage income flowing and avoid delays, I suggest you start the process as soon as possible. Once you apply, you have an entire year to submit your supporting materials 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. It is going to be one of the first questions you are asked on your application and the one that creates the first feelings of confusion.
If you have a current/valid massage license which you obtained by completing 500 hours of education and you have passed a national licensing exam (MBLEx, NCETMB, NCETM, or NESL), you are an Endorsement candidate.
If you are not currently licensed, or have not yet passed a national licensing exam, you are an Examination candidate.
The routes are very similar. Both endorsement and examination candidates must complete 10 hours of Florida Law and Rules from a Florida Approved Continuing Education Provider.
10-hour Florida Massage Law and Rules Course
I offer the 10-hour Florida Massage Laws and Rules course online in a self-paced format. The course includes a step-by-step checklist and licensing guide to answers all of the frequently asked questions about massage licenses and massage establishment licenses.
After you complete the required course, send your completion certificate to the Florida board.
In 2016 and 2017, the Board of Massage removed two courses that were previously required to obtain a license, 3 Hours HIV/AIDS and Prevention of Medical Errors. Applicants are no longer are required to complete those two courses to obtain a license. Only 10 Hours of Florida Laws and Rules is required.
Verification 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, or NYS Exam) if you are applying as an endorsement candidate.
If you took the exam after you were licensed, you will need to contact the NCBTMB or FSMTB to have them forward your scores to the board.
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. This step is not always necessary, as in most cases the board of massage can find this information on the above state verification form. Which exams are accepted?
Florida Administrative Code 64B7-25.004 Endorsements says the following about those who have an active massage license and are applying by endorsement:
(4) Demonstrates that the out-of-state license was issued upon the satisfactory completion of an examination comparable to the examination approved by the Board or presents certification to the Board of successful completion of an approved examination for licensure subsequent to the issuance of the out-of-state license.
If you have not previously completed a required examination, you likely need to take the MBLEx in order to obtain a Florida massage license. If you are looking for a MBLEx study program, check out Massage Exam Academy for an up-to-date study guide and 4000+ practice questions.
Massage School Transcript
Provide the Florida Board of Massage with an official transcript from your 500-hour minimum massage training program. Your school must forward this information to the Board. Again, the state may be able to determine the completion of hours via your state license verification.
Since 2014, all new applicants have been required to complete a level 2 background screening. You can find board-approved vendors all over the United States here.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Arturo Donate