You have your massage license, and now you are moving to another state.
How do you obtain a new massage license in the state where you will be residing?
Will their massage board accept your school, your hours, or the licensing exam you took?
What about “Reciprocity”?
Reciprocity is a mutual exchange of privileges. An example of this is that the Board of Massage in the state you are moving to recognizes the validity of your current license, or the educational requirements/training in the state where you currently reside. Reciprocity allows massage therapists to obtain a new license and practice without a lot of extra paperwork, delays, and hassle.
But, reciprocity in the massage field is a little complicated.
The massage field has talked about license portability and reciprocity for years. But as of right now, no two states have identical massage licensing regulations. Most massage therapists have to navigate the licensing process in a new state, which is not always clear or without extra costs.
So, here are some tips to help make your career move less complicated.
Are you moving to Florida?
Click here. I will answer all of your questions about obtaining your Florida massage license, and then some.
As for the rest of you What do you need to do?
If you can, start preparing early. Your current massage license will likely be of no use once you move. The process of transferring a license can take time. So plan on it taking a few weeks, to a few months to get your new license in hand. Most people cannot afford to be without work for a few months while they wait for their license to arrive.
The first thing to do is look at the Massage Board’s website where you are moving. Most do a good job of explaining what new licensees that are transferring licenses need to do. Some states do a less than decent job of explaining their process. You can always email or call the state boards to find out what needs to be done for someone in your position if the website is unclear.
Do I need to take the NCETMB or MBLEx again, or maybe for the first time?
Luckily, one time is usually enough. Now if you are moving to one of the few states that have their own exam (Hawaii or New York), or only takes either the NCETMB (Connecticut) or MBLEx (Arkansas), then you may need to take the exam accepted in your new state.
Rarely you will have to complete a jurisprudence exam. This is a short exam about the massage laws in the state where you are moving. This test is nothing to lose any sleep over.
I have 500 hours of massage training, but the new state I am moving to requires 600-1000 hours. Do I need to go back to school?
It depends. Some states will accept your previous hands-on work experience. If you have been in practice since you graduated from massage school, those hours will often count towards the hours you are missing. However, this is not always the case. People transferring their licenses to Florida, need 500 hours. So, if you only have 300 hour and been in practice for years, you will need to return to school to make the remaining hours up.
Moving to an unregulated state?
Some of you may luck out. If you are moving to one of the few unregulated states, such as Minnesota, you will not need to obtain a license. But, do not forget to contact your local city/county governments. Some of these municipalities do regulate massage therapy within their jurisdictions.
If you have any questions about transferring your license, leave a comment below. I would be happy to help!
Suzie in S. Texas
Don’t know if the following link has been posted yet, but I just came across it after reading your post.
If anyone has experience with Canadian licensure/registry, I’d love to hear about it. I’ll be looking up the Canadian Board’s info next 😎👍🏽.
Be Well, All!
I just moved to Puerto Rico and I am SO lost! My current license is in Virginia, and I’ve been looking up the Puerto Rico massage board here and everything is in Spanish (which I do not speak) so I can’t even understand or read anything. Is there anything you know I’d need to do for sure?
I wish I had better advice than just use Google Translate for the page, but I do not right now. I would maybe contact their board office and see if they have anyone there that speaks English and could help you. Or possibly find a bilingual LMT in the area that can help you navigate the website and process. Best wishes!
Can I use Hawaii license to apply for Virginia license or Do I need to take Mblex exam only way to get a license?
I have been an LMT for 3 years in Texas but I also want to get Licensed in Oregon as well. What would that process look like any pointer?
I would look at the Oregon massage board website and see if they have any applications for endorsement. Read through that and it should give you a good idea of what you will need to do to get licensed there.
I very confusing about Virginia
My massage license from Hawaii with their own state exam.
But the question is Do I have to take Mblex exam to reside to Virginia or can I use Hawaii license to apply for licensing in Virginia.
I would contact the VA board office to see check on their endorsement requirements and if they accept the Hawaii exam.
Hi, if currently hold a Minnesota massage license but temporary live in South Carolina, can I still practice under my Minnesota license?
I am not aware of any states that allow you to work with another state license. They usually require you have a license in the state you are working in. You can contact the board in SC and ask though.
HI, I am Licensed in California for 3 years, but working as a Massage Therapist for 6 year. I am looking to move to the State of Kentucky. I called a few schools and they are down or limited hours due to covid. Do you have any advise on getting prepared for KY? Like you mentioned, I cannot afford to go without work for months. I was also wondering if anyone would hire me before being fully licensed in the state of Kentucky? You ever hear of Massage Companies with assistance for schooling?
I would contact the Kentucky board about the license requirements to see if you meet them since I am not sure how many hours you have completed or if you took a licensing exam yet. They should be able to help you get started.
I currently live in Oregon and want to become a massage therapist but I’m considering moving to South Carolina in a few months. Would it be easier to postpone my move to get my license in Oregon then transfer my license to South Carolina? Or move to SC and get my license there?
The smoothest way to get a license would be to get it in SC rather than get it in OR and endorse it. That is just my opinion.
Hello, my name is Crystal, I have been a massage therapist for 13 years. I’ve lived in Georgia most of my life but I currently reside in Kansas. I have been here for 3 years meanwhile I have let my license in Georgia lapse. I plan to move back to Georgia next month. Do I need to complete CE u’s 1st before being able to work in Georgia again? Can I just transfer the license in Kansas? I have taken the Mblex.
I would contact the board about the requirements you need to get your license back in good standing. Likely you will need to complete your CE requirements for the missed renewal and pay the renewal and any late renewal fees.
Thank you for responding. I actually decided to do just that.
Kansas only need local requirements
No need a state license exam!
I am a massage therapist in Virginia, graduated from Cayce/Reilly School of Massage. I have been a LMT for 3.5 yrs. I also have my certification as a CST and MMT. Am planning on moving to Puerto Rico. Does PR do LMT reciprocity? What do I need to do?
Information on PR massage regulation is not easy. Here is the only link I could find from the FSMTB member board website
Hello! I currently reside in California, and I have been a Certified Massage Therapist here for the past 13 1/2 years. I was also grandfathered in and did not have to take the state test (MBLEx, etc). I have 508 hours total. Due to my husband being in the military, we will be relocating to Great Lakes, Illinois for work this year. We are looking at buying a house in either Illinois, or Wisconsin.. or possibly living on the Naval Base Installation, depending on which is better for my work situation. I have heard living/working on a government installation means they do not require you to adhere to the specific state laws for work for whatever reason. So I guess my questions are if you know anything about that part, and if that isn’t a thing.. which state (Illinois or Wisconsin) would be easier to transfer my current license to, without having to go back to school or take the state test?
Thanks for the intro! I do not know anything about govt installations. At all. But I do find it interesting and it is likely worth looking into. I wonder if it is something like the VA hospitals? Being from Iowa, I will say that less bureaucratic states, like Wisconsin, would be easier, and likely cheaper than IL. But, I think both would require an exam for licensing. Most due. However, do look into military licenses for spouses. Most states have made it much easier and cheaper for military families to get licensed. I just do not know how each state does it. It is a lot to keep up with. Best wishes!
I have been working in NY as a LMT for 5 years and am curious as to what would be the requirements or insurance concerns for being a traveling LMT (going from NY to other states).
I do not have any concerns as far as the number of hours of training you have. NY requires more hours than most states. However, 40+ states use the MBLEx as their licensing exam. Some do still accept the NYS massage exam, but some do not. So, that would be my biggest concern or challenge.
Hello there, my name is Maribel. I have a question what do I need to transfer my Florida massage license to Puerto Rico.
I would contact the board office to see if you need to have your education reviewed. If you have not taken the MBLEx, you likely will need to do that in addition to the other licensing requirements (10 hour laws and rules and background check). Here is a page with a little more info- https://www.floridamassage.com/license/.
I did my traning in 2009 and graduated went to do my exam twice and on my second attempt I scored 298 and failed my test. I decided not to continue trying because I had a full time job besides becoming a licensed massage therapist. I have been thinking a lot and have been practicing massage and I want to get my license now. I completed a 800 hours program and I am still living in the same State . The school closed a few years after I graduated. What steps should I do if I want to become a licensed massage therapist?
Check this article out – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/mblex-years-after-school/
I think it will help you get started.
Good morning. I’m currently NYS licensed for 20 years and just moved to Connecticut. I took the NCTMB exam but my membership expired in 2012. CT requires the MBLEX or the NCTMB exam but as you know NY required their own exam, will I be required to take one of these exams even though I have been an active practicing therapist for 20 years? I have tried to contact the board but I only get an automatic response. Even wait time on verification forms from NY are at least 8 weeks to get to CT and I cannot get anyone on the phone. Shall I just move forward with taking one of these exams? If I need to get my transcripts from school to take these exams, I’m thinking it may be pretty difficult. I would be so grateful for any info you can provide. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!
I would not just yet. The exam scores for the NCETMB do not expire, even if your certification does. You just need to contact the NCB and have your scores sent to the appropriate board.
If I currently have been practicing in Florida since 2015 and am planning to temporarily live with my bf on a job site will I be able to obtain a Mississippi license?
Their website for endorsements is lacking. However, I would not anticipate any issues in getting a license there. I would contact them about getting an application whenever you are ready.
Hi Ivy! I’m currently finishing up a 500-hour program in Texas but I’ll be needing to move to Indiana soon after I am able to become licensed. I plan on getting licensed in TX in hopes that it helps my case.
Indiana requires 625 hours. The schools I’ve contacted in Indianapolis don’t offer pick-up hours for the remaining 125 needed (i.e I would have to take their entire program). I feel stuck between a rock and an impossible place. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you so much for this post and your help!!
Have you contacted their board about an endorsement. Meaning what would happen if you got your TX license first and then applied to the Indiana board. You may not need the additional education. Some states do require odd things like 500 hours and a minimum of one year being licensed. You just have to read, call and research sometimes.
I have a NYS massage license but will be moving to texas, do I need to take the mblex? Or will they accept NY license.. thank you for this article!
I am getting a post together just for people moving to Texas. But it is not quite ready. From what I understand on the board’s website,
“If the state where your license was issued uses a different licensing examination, please include as much information about the exam as you can, including your scores, and dates that you took the exam. Your credentials will be evaluated on an individual basis.” https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/mas/masstate.htm
Thank you so much! That’ll be very helpful. Thank you for your help!
Hello. I am about to take the mblex here in IL BUT planning to move to CO this fall. I can take the mblex here and just apply for license in CO, is that correct?
Yes. The MBLEx is not state specific. You can have the scores sent anywhere. If you chose to send the scores to CO, they will get sent there. If you did not do that when you signed up, you can fill out a score request form after you pass and have the scores sent to CO (for about $25).
I am moving from Florida to NY as a massage therapist for 2 years. I received my deficiency letter and I need 50 hours of oriental massage and 68 hours of Kinesiology. I can’t get straight answers of how I’m suppose to pick these classes up from an accredited college or massage school without redoing the whole program again? Any suggestions?
Thank you for your help.
My guess it is just those hours and not the whole program. My advice would be to contact a NY school that is familiar with helping transfers pick up deficient hours.
I’ve desperately been trying to get a hold of someone on the Colorado state website. I’m trying to start work at Massage Heights, my license is from Missouri. I can’t get hired until i have it, but due to COVID, no one answers the phone, or answers my emails. I don’t know what to do! Any way you can help?
Many people moving to new states are having the same problem. Hawaii licenses are taking forever right now. Keep calling and messaging DORA. Possibly reach out to the CO AMTA if you are a member for advice.
Hi Ivy! I’ve been massaging since 2015 here in NJ. i plan on moving to IL/WI boarder… the mblex wasn’t mandatory when i finished and was grandfathered in. Is there a way to just transfer my license or do i need to take this?
In my opinion, chances are that one of those states will require it. Check the applications for each board and call the board office to verify the requirements. Grandfathering rarely works/holds up when you leave your state.
who do we talk to about changing the rule of massage. I have been a massage therapist since 2012. I had to move due to covid and now I can’t do what I want to do. I have bending a massage therapist and I feel like they should grandfather people in that have been in massage for over 5 years. I don’t have the money to take the MBELX . I fell like we should start a poll.
Contact your massage board if it is a rule or local elected officials if it is in the laws. Also, ask if they allow people to apply with variances
Hi! I’m considering moving from Missouri to Tennessee. I attended and graduated with my certification with 950 hours, and passed my Mblex in 2013 – working ever since, and taking 24 hrs CEUs every 2 years (up until this year, which I’ll be doing a 12 hour online course/s by the end of Jan 21).
This seems like I should be covered, but am I missing something? Are there other requirements I’m missing?
TN has a laws and rules course requirement I believe. But other than that, it looks good to me.
Need Tennessee Law and Ethics. There is one Sunday online with Pam Dent. It’s like $25 and will cover you.
I am a licensed massage therapist. I would like to transfer to Hawaii.
Please suggest to me.
I am licensed in Illinois and planning to move to North Carolina. It seems like there are forms needed to be filled out but I don’t know where to get them from. I have called NC board but so far no one has returned my call. Can you please help?
Covid has made contacting board offices very difficult.
My best bet is to try here – http://www.bmbt.org/mtpages/Licensure_Info.html
Hello. I will be moving from CT to Marland next spring. How do I go about transferring licenses over? I have 720hrs and they only require 500, will that cover MD needing 60 college credits to obtain licensure?
Unsure. Each state is different. I would contact their board office.
I hold a CA state license but I want to find a job in NV, since my office is still closed due to the pandemic. I have no idea how to trasfer my license from CA to NV, after I check out the gov. website from both states. Or can I use my CA license in NV? NV has a form for people who want to transfer their license to another state, but CA. There’s no information about the transfer thing in CA website. So I’m so confusing. Could you help me to figure out? That will be a big help! Thank you.
Serena Marie Licastro
I spoke with you a few times over the years. I am finally in process of doing my license for Florida. Just to get that out of the way and want it to be active bc we are moving there in a few years. Hence… now. Live in New York, just to be safe I want to apply for my massage license for New Jersey. I am working in the city and not sure what will happen. Can I get Reprociety for having my nys massage license?
Good news! The NYS exam is now accepted and you can apply by endorsement as long as your NYS license is still active. Here is some information that will help you through the process and get your Florida massage license quickly and easily – https://www.floridamassage.com/license/.
Hello Serena and Ivy,
I also hold a New York state license but moved to New Jersey 3 years ago. My office is still closed due to the pandemic so I am inquiring about obtaining reciprocity for practicing in New Jersey. I contacted the New Jersey board about the application process but waiting for a reply. I also plan to obtain my license in Florida as well so this has been a helpful for reading through the requirements. Have you started the application process yet? I don’t think my school is open to send my transcripts over but I just want to get the application started now since the process will take some time. Thank you.
It is a strange time to be a massage therapist, isn’t it?
In most cases, the school does not need to send a transcript. Florida is often able to obtain a license verification from your state that has the education and exam requirements on it. NYS state is a very common transfer to Florida and Florida now accepts the NYS exam. Here is a little more on my other website all about transferring a massage license to Florida and the 10 hour Florida Laws and Rules course.
Serena Marie Licastro
Just a update!! Sorry for long wait!! I’ve been waiting for three weeks for my transcript. Bc they are closed still. They are Processing it at the moment it’s just taking a long time. But in the meantime I got fingerprinted. If that helps any.
Hello and happy 4th of July,
I am planning on moving to Texas next year and I acquired my New Jersey license in 2016 before Mblex was a requirement. Am I still able to transfer my license to a Texas license if I didn’t take the mblex but I have more than six months of licensure and more than enough schooling hours? Thanks
I looked at the website and clicked on the link with NJ listed (https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/mas/masstate.htm)
Here is something that was on the page: “Proof of successfully meeting all massage therapist examination requirements”
Here are the exam requirements – https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/mas/masexam.htm
It is just my opinion that it appears like you will need to take the MBLEx and Juris (state law) exams.
I would verify this with the board office in Texas.
If you need to study for the MBLEx, I do have a website that will help you pass your MBLEx (www.massageexamacademy.com).
I have a valid Massage License in Indiana. I live near Chicago and there are more job opportunities in IL than where I live in IN. I am wondering if it is possible to have 2 active state licenses?
Yes! I do.
Here is more about my two licenses – https://www.floridamassage.com/license-multiple-states/. Even though the states are different, it should give you some insight on how I make it work and answer some questions.
Hi. I’m a Licensed Massage Therapist in Michigan. I’ve been practicing since 2012. My school was an 800 hour program. I have never taken the MBLEX because it didn’t exist then. I never took the national certification because I was certified in NMT, MYO and sports in my school and was offered a job immediately after graduating. When Michigan started licensing I was grandfathered in.
I am now planning on relocating to the finger lakes in New York. I have read everything but am still unsure. I know they have their own test. However, it also says that with a combination of schooling, experience, CPR class and the MBLEX (or other national test) I could licensed by endorsement. My question is: Do you think it’s best to take MBLEX then apply or just take the NY exam? I feel like the national may be easier since NY requires more hours (1000) plus has their own test. Thoughts?
New York is annoying…. MBLEX doesn’t matter here. Go here and scroll all the way down under licensing requirements where it explains hw you could qualify, but I had a few people in my classes making up hours to get an NY license.
Hi, I’m practicing in NJ (500hr) since 2010 and was reading about that endorsement as well. I think that if you build a strong case (the more paperwork the better), you’ll be fine. Id try without nationals or NYS exam first. One of my friends succeeded years ago that way getting in from the foreign country education and experience (nurse, though)
I’d do Nationals. Just because it will do you more use in the future in case you need it ) as for NY I’m sure you will be eligible for endorsement with all of the above plus the nationals.
My friend that have done both said they were both very similar and NOT a piece of cake.
Comment back please, let me know how it goes ) ty
Why are some schools not accredited if so many states require your original hours come from an accredited school? This has been my greatest frustration. 20 years ago I completed a 570 hour program in California and since then have done over 800 hours of CEU’s. In 2004 the NCBTMB approved all my class hours and after passing their test I was granted an Arizona State license and have had it ever since. Now I’m thinking of relocating to OR or WA state, but the OR Massage Board says none of my hours will count because my initial school program was not from an accredited school. They said I would need to go back to school and start all over again to be licensed in their OR. I asked them if they had any grandfathering rules and they said no. This is ridiculous.
I am in a similar position, Lara. It is so frustrating that regulatory boards are screening out experienced professionals! Especially if you are licensed in AZ–they are very careful about their approval process! I also completed my initial training in CA (2009-2010), over 1000 hours. The MBLEx did not exist yet and the CAMTC was in its infancy. I did not choose to take the NCBTMB exam because CA did not require it. I was able to obtain a license in NC and practiced there for 5 years without having to take a national exam, but when I moved to MI, I was told I am not eligible to apply for licensure without sitting for the MBLEx and the FSMTB would not permit me to sit for the exam without proving my education was certified. It is ridiculous to tell certified, practicing, professional therapists they need to go back to school and start over because the regulatory rules have changed. Best of luck to you!!
Hi I got my license in MA but now live and practice is VT which is an unregulated state, because of this I let my MA license lapse. Can I still label myself as LMT?
I would not call myself licensed if I was not licensed as I would think it is misleading. But that is just my opinion.
Hello! maybe you know something about CA licence. I recently moved from CA to IL so do you know is it possible to transfer CA Massage Therapy licence to IL.
P.S. I passed the MBLEX .
This would depend on IL’s regulations more than CA. In CA, certification with the CAMTC is voluntary, so some states do not accept CA certification for licensure by reciprocity. NC accepted my education and certification from CA, but I have over 1000 hours on my transcript. I don’t know anything about IL. A little googling for IL state massage license requirements should help clarify things! Good luck!
hi there. I am a licensed massage therapist in the state of VA. I work with professional athletes and football teams. I just got a contract to work on a football team that is temporary located in MD during their season. They want me to come to their facility 2 times a week for 2 months. The md facility is 20 miles from me. Is there something I can get as a temporary license to be able to work on the team while they are in season?
You can contact the board office and ask if they have a temporary license. I am not aware of one. Some states also have exemptions if you are traveling on behalf of a sports team, so ask about that. Otherwise, I would just get a license.
I live in Massachusetts and held my MT license for years before it expired in 2011, due to life and other business to attend to. I’m ready to get back into it. My transcripts have a total of 612 hours and the state of Massachusetts now requires 650. I’m short 38 hours. Question: how would I retain those hours needed to reapply for a license renewal? Do I need to go to school/ online? can I work under a licensed therapist and log the hands on hours?
I would message the MASS board of massage and ask their opinion since I am sure they see people in your situation a lot. You may just need to reapply.
good day. i am a therapist in Colorado. i have been asked to participate in a colorado run company’s event that will take us to Arizona for 5 days to massage. do i need an arizona license even though the company is based in colorado, and this an out of town one time event?
Contact the AZ board of Massage and ask them about this special event.
Hi, I am a licensed massage therapist in Colorado who has been practicing for over 20 years. I was grandfathered in without having to take any exams because they were not required 20 years ago. If I move to a state that requires the MBLEX, do I have to take it? Or are there any states that would not require it?
More states required a licensing exam than don’t. There are maybe a handful left that would not require an exam (Minnesota, California, Wyoming, Kansas, Vermont).
Alicia F Crossley
Hi I recently got my license in SC but are moving to Oregon. How do I go about that. Ive looked this up to see if I have enough hours but am confused because one website says 500 hours and another says 625 so Im confused if Im on the right website. Do you happen to know what site I need to go on to get the right answers? Also can I have a license in both states or do I have to transfer my SC to OR?
When transferring, it is best to visit the state board website and look at their application and read over their FAQ and Rules. Don’t be afraid to contact their board office and ask questions after doing so. But many questions can be answered on their website first.
And, yes, you can have two massage licenses. I have since 2010. I pay both dues, complete my CEs, and follow the rules/scope of the state I am practicing in.
Hello! I’m a massage therapist living in Los Angeles. I’ve had my license for 5 consecutive years, but I’ve never taken the mblex. I want to move to Arizona, but I really don’t want to take an exam. I exceed the amount of hours AZ requires, but will I need to taken an exam regardless of my years being a massage therapist and exceeding hours needed? Thank you!
Most states require an entry-level licensing exam to judge minimum competency for public safety. California is a rare exception.
MBLEx Prep – http://www.massageexamacademy.com
Hello! I am a soon to be massage therapist. I graduated school in Colorado and am going to be taking my test in October for my license. My boyfriend and I plan to move back to his home which is in Nevada. CO requires 500 hours of massage when Nevada requires 550 hours. Do you think it would be possible to transfer my license to Nevada w/o going back to school to get those remaining hours?
I would contact the NV and ask their office. They would be able to answer that question pretty quickly since a majority of the schools around the US are around 500 hours.
Jessica Erinn Nicole Huren
I have a similar situation. Were you allowed to become licensed in Nevada with the 500 hours?
Hello! I am an LMT in Ohio (750 hours schooling) that has been practicing full-time since 2011. When I was in school there was some concern over which test would eventually be used for licensing- the old Ohio State Board Exam or MBlex so I took both and in 2018 also got my Kentucky massage license through the MBlex. I’m considering moving to Puerto Rico which requires 1000 hours of school. I was wondering if with both my Ohio State Exam, the Mblex, my Kentucky License and 8 years experience, I might not have to take an additional 250 hours of schooling to be compliant in PR? Thank you!
I am not familiar with the PR requirements. I would call their board office and see what they say. I am sure they are familiar with US transfers not having 1000 hours.
Hi Nicole! I am in a similar boat as you…I may be relocating to PR. Were you able to find out any information? And if so, where did you go? Who did you call? Thanks so much!
Hello! I am a massage therapist in Ohio and am moving to Michigan. However I am not currently practicing because my Ohio license expired July 1st 2019. Do I have to renew my Ohio before I can transfer to Michigan? And which medical board would I contact for transfer? Please and thank you for any info.
Here is their application – https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/Massage_Therapy_Endorsement_455391_7.pdf
I can understand the confusion between their endorsement and exam options for licensure. I would contact LARA and ask what is the best option. You may just apply by exam if your license is not current. It just is not clear.
This was very insightful and thank you for taking the time to write all of this. My case is a little different. I plan to take a 500 hour Certified Course in Maine and as soon as I am done with the program and examination process i will move to Hawaii and practice there. However their program requirement is 570 hours. and will be short. Do you know if one needs to still get licensed in the state of where the program exists even though they will not be practicing in that state? Will those extra 70hours need to be completed before i leave or can that be made up in the new state. Thank you very much in advance.
Here is some information I wrote (on a different website) about getting a massage license in Hawaii.
Since you will not have any more experience, this could be an issue. The best way to find out more, is to contact the Hawaii board office. They can provide more info on the subject. Many states only require 500 hours, so I am sure they are used to the question.
I graduated in 2006 with my Pennsylvania Massage Certification. Since then I have not regularly practiced on amyone other than family and friends for zero profitability. However, I was recently requestion to work in an actual Wellness Spa. Can I get my license? Is it pointless? I am not sure if I recieved 600 hours, the requirement use to be 500- the school has since shut down. I provide for a large family so I simply dont have time to go back to school 😓
I would start here and get a hold of your transcript – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/closed-school-transcript/
If you have enough hours, then take the next steps to apply for your PA license.
I am a massage therapist in Vietnam for 2 years. Just move to the United States for almost a Year for Chiropractic and acupuncture school. I had 1000 hours of training and license as Massage Therapy. I wonder if I could change my license to United State license. I’m in Connecticut.
Each state handles foreign transcripts differently. Have you contacted the CT Board of Massage? 1000 hours is a lot of education (more than most US therapists). Hopefully, it works out! They may require you to take the MBLEx.
MBLEX study program
I am enrolled in Monterey Peninsuala College for my Massage Certification.
Beginning January 1, 2019, and continuing until December 31, 2020, CAMTC will not require that applicants pass any test, such as the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx), before applying for certification. How do I get a license in Nevada since I live in both states and California doesn’t require passing a test anymore?
You will need to take an exam that approved in NV most likely, even though CA does not require one.
I have two licenses too. I just had to qualify for each and now I maintain each.
Here is my study website for the MBLEx -www.massageexamacadmy.com and the checklist for obtaining an NV massage license
This may relate to my question. I am downsizing to an RV, and I plan to travel around the southwest, doing massage as needed, out of my RV. I currently live in and am licensed in the state of NM, which will remain my permanent address. Is there a way to practice in other states, namely, TX and AZ, without having an address or license in those states?
I am not a lawyer, but – if you are working in a state that regulates massage therapy without a massage license then you are likely breaking the law. I would just have multiple states licenses and follow the rules of the state you are working in. Your permanent address being in another state should not be an issue.
Thanks so much!
Hi Ivy. To piggyback this question, mine is similar, as to looking at having a summer cabin in CO, while maintaining a permanent residence (and where I’m currently licensed) in TX. I wasn’t sure how you get dual state licensure and also thinking about how that works tax wise?
Follow the rules/laws of the state where you are practicing is the best advice I have. Have a license for each state you are working in and follow the laws (massage and tax) wherever you are currently practicing.
Ive been a massage therapist in the state of NY for 9 years and would like to move to illinois to be closer to my aging mom. I have about 6 months before my move and would love to know what I need to do to do be able to continue to do massage in Illinois. Is there reprocesity? NY has 1000 hours of schooling and there own state test. Nit sure what Illinois requires?
Some states do not accept NYS exam. You will need to call the IL board and ask. If they don’t, you likely will need to take the MBLEx. I talk to people every week that have to take an exam years out of school.
Here is my other website for preparing for that exam: http://www.massageexamacademy.com
Hey Ivy, So I’m currently a massage therapist in Oregon and I would like to move to and practice in Arizona within the next year or so. Can I hold another state’s license even If I’m not currently living in the state as long as I match the requirements? Also when I look at reciprocity for Arizona it says they only honor transfers if you have been licensed for 5 years or have an NCBTM certification but I took the Mblex, isn’t that the same thing or just as good?
Thanks for all your help Ivy!
Yes. You do not need to live in AZ to hold a license and you can have both the Oregon license and AZ license at the same time.
The MBLEx is an entry-level licensing exam and is required by most states. The ncetmb or bcetmb are certification exams and voluntary for most states. I wonder if that is for people that live in states where there is not massage licensing. You can always call the board office in AZ and ask.
Hello my name is Rachel and I live in New Jersey and I’m about to finish school in April. And I am hoping to move to California in a year or two so what I wanted to know if I would have to go back to school if I move to California or would my license still be good? I just want to figure out what I would have to do before deciding if I should move there or not.
You should not need to go back to school. Your education is not invalid when you move. Some states do require more hours than NJ and that CAN become a problem, but California is not one of those states.
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Pennsylvania and have been for 3 years now. I do not wish to alleviate my License here in Pa, nor have the intention to move. However, I currently work for a Medical Massage Practice, operate my own little mobile and in-house practice and work for a company called Soothe Inc, which is found in most states. This particular company requires that I travel from Lancaster Pa, to the Philadelphia Pa, area for clients via their mobile application. That location as well as Maryland are the closest to where I currently live. My question is this. I would like to be able to also provide massage for Soothe Inc, in the State of Maryland. How would I go about requesting reciprocity with them, but still maintaining my License here in Pennsylvania, if at all possible? In addition, I have been searching the web trying to find the application or the necessary website for the State of Maryland to begin the potential process, would this actually be the proper procedure, or must I request reciprocity through the State of Pennsylvania for Maryland? As you can see, I’m confused, about what it entails and how to properly go about everything, can you help?
You just need to apply for a license in every state you practice in. So, go to the board of Maryland and meet their requirements to get a license. Nothing says you cannot have two massage licenses. I do.
I’m moving to Florida from Missouri and keep hearing the procedure can be a bit of a pain. The course I took was a 750 hour course, I passed the MBLEx and have been practicing for 3 years. I’ve taken the Florida course that is required. My question is how easy is the process if you’ve done what’s required or more then required?
I didn’t see fingerprints on the list of things you have done.
Check out my other website for more information on getting your Florida Massage License: http://www.floridamassage.com
I’m not sure if this thread is still active. I just took the NYS test on Jan. 31st and am awaiting results before I can start practicing. I was considering taking the MBLEx as well just in case I should move to a state that requires it at some point in the future so that I’m testing when the material is freshest in my mind. I’m wondering if that is really necessary, in particular because I don’t expect to practice other than in NY, VT or MA, where the MBLEx is not needed/recognized. The only exception is that I wanted to be able to offer massage at retreats that might take place in other states and I’m not sure if I would need to be licensed in those states ahead of time. Are there exceptions made for short term work like that? Any help/advice you can give in that regard would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Even if the MBLEx is not needed, you need to check with licensing laws in each state and see if a license is needed to practice massage.
Hi there I am currently living in MN and planning to move to NYC next year. I have my own massage business in Minneapolis for two years and have been practicing for 3 years. I got a two-year degree which is equivalent to about 1600 hours so I meet the requirements of New York 1000 hour program. my question is since Minnesota is unregulated how do I transfer a license if I don’t technically have one just a business license? I have already looked at the link you posted I’m just curious on how I transfer a license that I don’t technically have
Your license really isn’t what transfers, it is your education. You will have your transcript sent and that is how you will qualify (if it meets the requirements) to take the exam.
Here is my page on getting and NYS license – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/new-york-massage-license/
I recently moved to Ohio from Texas and went through my application everything checked out except that I have 570 hours of curriculum and Ohio requires 750 hours. Also they have a regulation that one must have a license of a state 5 years before transferring to Ohio. They said due to that I’m likely to be denied but can hold a hearing or withdraw. Would you think that if I don’t withdraw and have a hearing that would somehow affect my license or future applications if I were to still be denied ?
If it was me, I would have the hearing and let them know that I am a safe and competent massage therapist that has completed nearly the same amount of hours, passed the same exam as Ohio licensees, and practiced safely after graduation. I do not see other boards having a problem with you getting denied because of low hours. That isn’t the same as getting denied because of harming the public or charges against you.
I’m moving from Fl to Mass
This whole process has been redic! Can you give me any advice or am I basically starting over ?
Which steps are holding you up?
Raphael St James
I’ve been an lmt in NY since 2005, and also nationally certified. I moved to CA and applied for certification late July. CAMTC stated they are still reviewing my educational requirement, and it’s been almost 90 days since I applied. They also said they are reviewing my records to see if I’ve ever had any complaints logged against me. Reviewing my education should be an absolutely easy process. I have a NY license, a State that has much stringent educational requirements than CA. The dept of ed in NY can easily verify I’ve never had any issues. Once I take the fingerprints, results should get back to them within a week, the latest.
My question is, who oversees that the CAMTC is doing an adequate, speedy job when it comes to processing licensees from a State with more stringent requirements? Having a NY license, and passing the National certification in 2004 should be extremely easy to do. And yet, reading online reviews shows that some people have taken much longer than 90 days to get their certification.
In 2018, these processes should be fairly QUICK. What recourse to therapists have in States like this?
Some boards and agencies work quickly, others don’t. In the case of CAMTC, I assume they handle more applications than any other state board. However, that is not an excuse for unnecessary delays in license processing. The Florida Dept of Professional Business and Regulations has one of my favorite sayings – “Regulate fairly. License Efficiently.”
For more info about CAMTC, here is a page with their board of directors and California law – http://camtc.org/information-about-camtc/
Hi I’m from Pennsylvania and want to move to Colorado. How would I go about transferring my massage license?
Here are some tips about transferring your massage license to Colorado.
Hi Ivy, I’m from Pennsylvania. I am a certified personal trainer and am looking to also attend a Massage Therapy School. I am planning to move to Hawaii within the next couple of years, I was going to go to school here in Pennsylvania. Would it be a waste to go to school here then move to Hawaii and have to go through all their hoops to become a massage therapist there?
Not at all. You will need to eventually take the Hawaii state exam. I have a post on Hawaii on my other website – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/hawaii-massage-license/
to be honest with you i moved back to chicago from hawaii and i would say take the school there. they have other classes like lomi lomi and some others that people are looking for so if you happen to move back you have those other styles under your belt
Hi Ivy, I hope you can give me some advice. I’ve been licensed massage therapist in Hawaii for over 10 years, recently was asked from my client to travel for one week to stay with her family during their vacation in another state. What is the requirement for me to perform massage them? Thanks!
Each state is different and has different laws and rules. I would contact the state board and ask them about your temporary travel.
Hello there my name is Renee. I have been a LMP in Washington since 2003, my husband is trying to retire and he wants to go to Arizona. Can I transfer my WA license to Arizona? AN who would I contact regarding this?
The Arizona Board Website would be the best place to start. It should contain their contact numbers or an email address for questions.
Hey Ivy. Thank you so much for taking your time to compile this page and explore options with people. A great resource. I have my CAMTC license in cali. I got in at the beginning. NO MBlex or national exam required. I have 900 hours on paper- and Im considering making a move to Colorado or New Mexico. Im less concerned about matching hours- I think wherever I consider going Ill be ok on that level- Im more confused by the fact that california doesnt have an official state license- and whether camtc as the governing body has the power to transfer/reciprocate my license. I suppose its also a big question since I was “grandfathered” in without requiring a test whether that is of issue to transfer the license.
If you have any ideas for me I would be so grateful.
Ivy did you not see my question? I notice you have responded to other people after me- but I see nothing to mine.
Thanks for checking up on me! I did miss it and will respond to it now. Sorry!
Since true reciprocity does not exist in massage, you really don’t “transfer” a license – you qualify. So in most cases, states require education AND and exam score, even from those that already have a license (or in your case a verification). This is most states, not all. You most likely will need to take the MBLEx. However, I always recommend reading the application and websites of the boards you want to apply to. Then, if you have questions, contact the state board office. Tell them about your situation and see what they know about the state laws and rules and if there are any exceptions or suggestions they have.
My question is: am I allowed to have two different state licenses at the same time?
Yes! I do. Just follow the rules of the state you are in.
Hi Ivy, I have just moved to Ohio. I have worked in California and Colorado as a massage therapist.
Ohio requires 750 hours. I have 721 hours from my original school 75 hours from a second school and more than 30ceu’s. I do not know how these hours will meet their curriculum.
They ask for more than 5 years in practice to be exempted from showing that my curriculum meet the requirements of Ohio Code. I have been in practice for 4.5 years.
Will these qualifications meet the requirements.
I wish I could say for sure! Sorry!
Hard to say. Some states are really strict about it, others can be more forgiving when a person is so close. I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but I just cannot in this situation. Go ahead and call the board office and ask them.
I am currently in school at NHI in California but am thinking of moving back home to Ohio. Please let me know how your transfer went, as I am confused about if I should finish schooling here or not.
Ooops, Gary rather. Waiting to here how it went for Gary.
Hello! Please help!
I have been a licensed massage therapist in Ohio since 2009. I have my associates degree and passed my Ohio state medical boards. I have been working under chiropractors ever since. I am now looking to move to San Diego, California. I can’t seem to find any solid answers. Some places say California is a no license state… but depends on the county. Also… do I need to take the mblex, or am I grandfathered in because the mblex wasn’t a thing when I graduated?!
Thank you for this amazing site and help!!
Even though California does not have statewide regulation, many cities require a license or require CAMTC certification, which now requires completion of an exam. I am not sure if they allow exceptions for the old OH Board Exam.
Hello! I am an LMT in TX (500 hour program) and am in the process of applying for a license in North Carolina (Also 500 hours). The curriculums look *slightly* different, but basically the same. Am applying by endorsement A (I have taken and passed the Mblex) Though the application is definitely filled with some “hoops” am trying to pre-empt any possible discordance with not having the appropriate qualifications. Do you know if TX and NC are easy transfer states? Anything I should be aware of/helpful tips for a smooth transition? I need to hit the ground running in terms of employment once I move. Thanks so much!
I can’t think of any particular issues for you to look out for NC. Just get to work on the paperwork, don’t be afraid to check in on the progress with your application, and be truthful on the application.
I am a practicing therapist in the State of Hawaii, originally certified in California in 2005. Licensed in Hawaii since 2009. I am considering moving out of state (unsure yet where, possibly NV or CO). While researching my options I am finding it may be a difficult journey for me take as my school has been closed since 2012 or so, once California started changing all their laws. Most boards I am finding need a sealed transcript sent directly from the school. I have tried contacting others I knew from my school who say there is no way to get these documents. One board I talked to said that the school should have transferred these documents to a government entity that I could then contact. Apparently my school did not do this.
I have never taken the NCTMB or MbLEX (I still dont understand the reasoning for these exams, it seems I still need to take state exams in certain places), and not sure if i am eligible now because of my transcript situation. This is an ongoing saga Ive been avoiding dealing with and I would be grateful for any insight you might have. I feel I may need to go back to school, which wouldnt be so bad. If you can recommend any higher education programs. I am interested and have background in Structural Integration and Visceral Manipulation.
Thank you for your time.
Yes, Your school most likely put someone in charge of all of the records. I have talked to many others with this problem, but most are eventually able to track down the records keeper. Many massage schools are private and do not have to submit them to a state public department of higher education when they close. Have you contacted your state board or the former owner, even the state AMTA chapter?
Yes, I did contact them, the President, she didn’t really have nothing for me and asked for me to keep her updated. I think if the school doesn’t help me by obtaining the free NCBTMB code, my only other resource is to maybe transfer into a GA MT school and pay to take some courses to obtain another certification. I really don’t know, what else to do.
I took the MBlex passed it, had my scores sent to Texas where i took it and to Georgia. I applied to both states simultaneously. Texas approved me but Georgia to four months to officially deny my application based on my school don’t have an active NCBTMB provider number. And I needed to have attended an accredited school, which it is. Also, I was told and I researched that NCBTMB has been closed for years.
I sent the clerk an email stating that while i was waiting for the board, the state of Texas granted me my license and sent proof. The clerk acted as if i was telling a lie, stated the State of Texas need to send them proof directly and that I can appeal. I’m like REALLY!!! This is so unnecessary and ridiculous. They need to switch these clueless people out and put in (like so many other states did) Cosmetology and barber licence people to do this. Too many people are gong through the same thing which is absurd. It’s like they REALLY don’t care to understand or to do any research themselves.
Do you know what I can do, I don’t know how to appeal. I searched but to no avail. My school has mailed them directly paperwork of their state approval and Board number. I’m so distraught I don’t even know if Texas Board will send anything other than telling me to send a copy of my license.
Thanks for anything you can tell me.
That is unfortunate! You are not the first person to have this problem. Have you contacted the GA AMTA? They may have some insight. The appeal is likely where you would appear personally before their state board. It seems daunting, but really can make a difference when they hear your case.
Hello, I had a very bad experience with Georgia board too because of the NCBTMB number. Communication with them was horrible all the time! I took me almost 1 year to receive a final denial. Luckily, we are moving to AZ where I graduated from. Hopefully I will be practicing massage there.
OH MY GOODNESS!!
Have you had any updates? I graduated in NC and have taken and passed the Mblex (did not apply for NC license) Ive turned in all my paperwork and after sometime of calling and inquiring finall got the answer that I am “ineligible for a GA license” due to my school not having the NCBTMB number! I just got the news today and I’m furious! If you have any more insight please let me know!
OMG, is correct, smh… Well I went on May 22 in front of the Board and bottom line, in order to have reciprocity from another state to happen in the state of GA. The issuing state has to have similar or higher standards than GA …. PLUS have and hold, and maintain, a current, unencumbered NCBTMB school code number; which is FREE to the school. I have contacted my school, Houston School of Massage for assistance in this matter. I am now just awaiting to see if they will help me or not. I am so praying for them to assist me, I do plan on taking the NCBTMB National Test at some time and with out the code, I can not take it.
Hey Ivy! Thank you so much for the post and for continuing to respond to comments.
When I graduated massage school, I applied for a dual license in Arizona and Wisconsin. I got my Arizona license with no issues because my school was already pre-approved by their educational board and on their Approved School list, but to my absolute disgust the Wisconsin license was denied (after a whopping 7 months of waiting!!) due to the fact that the same school is not accredited. I didn’t think that accreditation was a requirement in state licenses!
So now I’m wondering if it’s possible to transfer my Arizona license to Wisconsin by reciprocity? The state laws between AZ and WI are very similar (except for the Approved School List) and I even know someone who has transferred their license to WI before. At any other time I would have had no worries about the license transferring, but I’m worried that my previous denial will count against me in this case.
While I visit AZ often, my primary residence is in Wisconsin and moving permanently isn’t really an option for me at this time. I feel very helpless and frustrated due to the long wait and being unable to work.
You mean by endorsement? Is your AZ license still valid? If so, endorsement it could be an option, but they likely will still have an issue with your school. Have you challenged the denial? I would consider contacting the AMTA chapter in WI. They may be able to help you too.
I’m interested in moving from Boston, MA to NYC. I know NYC has higher requirements, but do you know all the details of what the transition would entail?
I would also like to live abroad at some point! I’ve been considering Montreal or other English speaking countries around the world. Do you know anything about how to get licensed in Canada, the UK or other English speaking countries world wide?
I’m trying to figure out where I want to be, and your feedback would be so helpful. Thank you!
Here is my post on NYS – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/new-york-massage-license/
It will be challenging if you are deficient in hours and you will need to take their exam.
Can you have two licenses’ in two different states at the same time?
Yes! I have and Iowa and Florida license. I just follow the rules of the state where I am practicing.
I have been licensed in Va.Md.west va and Dc and Fl
I did not pay to tenew in Fl since i was teaching In China then got licensed in DC. I returned to Fl. Renewed payed. They took the money for 2017 to 2019. I havent been able to work…so i need to pay another 12 live ce and. Then pay another 105. Or loose fl license. This is alot of money. And. Noone pays. I worked in other states. For seasonal work..also. Chiropractor assistamy when i worked for a Chiropractor
Do you have any additional information or insight about applying for licensure in Oregon? I have closely examined the requirements listed on the Oregon Board’s website, but I’m left with some important questions. I am close to completing a program in Arizona that is 700 hours, and is state-licensed and Board-certified by the state of AZ. However, it is not accredited or federally (DOE) approved. I am highly concerned that this will prevent me from obtaining a license in any state other than Arizona, and specifically in Oregon. Will I be able to successfully apply for an Oregon license either immediately or down the road with reciprocity? Any information or advice you have would be much appreciated! Thank you.
I do not see any immediate problems. I would look over the OR website and if you see any questions, do not hesitate to contact their OR state board.
It has been a total nightmare trying to get my license in Oregon. I have had my own practice in California for 10 years which has absolutely no effect on obtaining a license here. I moved because I have to take care of my mother. I checked with the board before I moved to make sure they accepted my schools accreditation…but a few months into the review they said the science classes didn’t match their criteria..such as structure and function of the human body were course names used for kinesiology … so I have had the dean of the college engage with them one on one and just got a letter still wanting more. We as therapist should be treated like others in the health care field that can move from state to state where the work is without this financial stressful parade of red tape … pretty sure the massage I give in CA does not change when I cross the state line.. IT IS UNFAIR .. now after moving here to help my mother, I am financially depleted and I have the stress of that along with the stress of my mom…there must be something that we can do collectively…
HI my name is Catarina I was wondering if I could transfer my ours to a different state I’m not license or certified yet but I took one year of class in Michigan l have 525 hours in Michigan .
I’m moving from Florida to Conn. possibly next year. Will I just need to transfer my license or will I have to re take the test?
Most likely not.
Which exam did you take? Most likely Conn will still accept that exam. You will just need to contact the FSMTB if you took the MBLEx or the NCBTMB if you took the NCETMB and have them send your score report to Conn. It usually costs about $25 to do that.
The only instance I could see where you would need to take an exam is if you took the very old Florida state exam and Conn would choose not accept it.
Hello Ivy, I would like to ask you I am certified MT in California state so if I decide to move to Chicago Illinois,I need to take MBLEx exam in Illinois state or I can to work with my CAMTC? Thank you
No. You just need to go to the FSMTB website and fill out a mobility form and they will send the scores to IL for $25. You need an IL license to work in IL.
I am moving from MA to VA. They have licensure by endorsement. I have been a massage therapist in MA since 1991, when individual towns licensed therapists and later became state licensed as soon as they began with that requirement. I took the Ncbmtb exam in 1996, grandfathering in with three different certifications from three different trainings: massage, cranial sacral and shiatsu. I am Board Certified when they began with that, which acknowledges over 750 hours training. And except when I went to acupuncture school and received a masters degree, I have worked steadily all these years at one of the country’s largest holist health centers, Kripalu Center. While there I have taken a myriad of CEU courses and have assisted teaching in two month long massage trainings, also recently assisted in a 200hr biodynamic cranial sacral training, however I do not have a 500 hr transcript from one “approved massage school.” Does all these years being in the field really not count for anything? And were there really “approved massage schools” back then? I don’t even know. I am just so frustrated that this “reciprocal” processs is looking like it is not reciprocal for me because I have been around too long. Starting before all the approved schools even started and these requirements came into play. But I have a question: Since one of the many styles of massage I am trained in is shiatsu why can’t my transcript for my masters degree in Acupuncture, from a ACCAOM school count?
These are some of the most frustrating situations I see in the massage field. Where we have people that have safely and ethically practiced massage for years and then cannot get a license when they move without going through lots of headaches. Has the board denied your license in VA or have you asked to speak about your license to the board?
Hello!! I currently live in Minnesota. I just enrolled in a 600 hour massage program here. Before I start I’m wondering if it would be a waste of time and money when I plan on moving to California shortly after completion? Would those hours transfer? Or would I then have to go to a school out there making going to school here pointless?!
You should not have an issue. Contact CAMTC if you have any questions about your school, but they likely will accept it. Massage therapists move all the time.
Just found your article, and it is the closest to the answer I’ve gotten, but not yet quite the answer. What I want to know is, can one work in another state without that state’s license for a short period of time (WITHOUT moving–your business remains in the state you still reside). An example is traveling to an event such as a camp, expo, retreat, that lasts less than 2 weeks.
I cannot think of very many times where that is an option. Most states require you have a state license no matter how long your practice there. A few have temp licenses, but you will need to research it.
Hi, Ivy. Thank you for your support by organizing your great site! I’m a bit confused about licensure in Oregon and I appreciate your thoughts…
I became a LMT in New York State, 2002 after I completed 1000 hour of massage therapy education. I had several years of work experience as LMT in NY.
I moved to Oregon in 2009 and never applied to be licensed here, but I reconsider to be LMT again.
I would truly appreciate what would be the first step to be licensed in Oregon board based on my situation…
Should I go back to school again or apply as a applicant same as people who studied in OR and passed the exam of MBLEX , NCBTMB, CESI? (I haven’t taken any of these exams)
My transcript from my previous massage school is always ready to send, and I’m CPR/ADE certified.
I see no reason to go back to school. I would contact the OR Board of Massage and ask about which exams they accept and then if they did not accept the NYS exam, then you know your next step.
I am currently NJ LMT and NCB Board approved. May be re-locating to Maryland and have been unable to get a response from them, and their website doesn’t seem to make it clear what is required. I have my Masters degree, so plenty of academia. Appreciate any information you might have. Thank you!
When websites are not clear, check out the application – https://health.maryland.gov/massage/Documents/app.pdf
It usually will break it down much better.
Hi i am licensed in SC and i want to get a license in GA, is there a way that i can freeze my SC license?
You cannot freeze a license. You can either keep it valid or let it expire. If you plan to move back, I would most certainly keep it valid. You can have two valid massage licenses. Many people think you can only have one state massage license at a time. That is just not true.
I have sort of a strange situation. l have completed schooling in Texas with 570 hours but I don’t plan on staying in Texas. Ultimately I’d like to travel state to state with my license and I’d heard somewhere that if you’re practicing in a state for less than 6 months you don’t need to update or transfer your license. I’d like some clarification on this if possible. Furthermore, I plan on moving back to Missouri which is where I’m from fairly soon after I take my MBLEx….should I schedule my MBLEx in the state I’ll be practicing in, or should I go ahead and take it here in Texas and transfer my license afterwards? Or is it possible to take the MBLEx here and request the license be applied to a different state. I’m very confused haha and I haven’t been able to find any answers. I’m just trying to avoid double the time, fees and paperwork. Any help would be super appreciated! Thanks!
You can take the MBLEx at ANY Pearson center. When you sign up to take the exam it will ask you which state you want the results sent to after you pass.
I have never heard of the 6 month rule. I would not chance it. Ever. Follow the rules of the state you practice in.
I have a CA massage license and .i was working about therapist in CA around 6years. Now I moved to SC and I wanna work about therapist again. So how can I transfer license from CA to SC.
Check out the application and requirements here – http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/MassageTherapy/
I’m currently licensed in FL my schooling was 750 hours. I’m looking to also get licensed in Puerto Rico. Do you know anything about their requirements or if my school hours and hands on time working will work to apply for a license there?
I speak “un poco” Spanish, so I do not understand all of the website regulations. But here are some links that may help you get started for finding out the rules and regulations.
I was a Licensed Massage Therapist in Florida; then moved to Pennsylvania. I now have a Pa. License and was wondering if a Massage Therapist can have a Dual Licensure in two states? My Husband and I plan on traveling back and forth from Pennsylvania to Florida; and I would like to still maintain my career since I can not retire for 15 years yet.
This is a VERY common question. As long as you pay your fees, complete the required hours for each state (some you can use for both), then yes! You can have licenses in multiple states. I have two and plan on one more in the future.
Texas/NC to NYS?
Getting conflicting information and responses to my education and license requirements questions:
I plan to practice 1/2 the year in NYS and half in Tx and/or NC. Moving to Tx/NC to complete a 6 month massage therapy school program during the winter. NYS is much more stringent so I’m concerned about getting licensed in NY after attending massage school out of state.
1-I’ve been told if I complete a program in Tx/NC, upon return to NY I’ll need to go back to school and start all over.
2-I’ve been told I’ll only need to work under a NY licensed therapist to make up the hours lacking and then apply to take the NY exam.
3-I’ve also been told that my previous work and edu experience (CPT, A&P, dissection labs, rec. therapy session facilitator, CPR & AHA instructor, etc) may help cover some of the lacking hours/components in order to apply for NY’s exam.
4-Also, I’m told may need to find a massage school in NY that will allow me to take the missing credit hours, not start all over with school.
Would it be worth staying in NY to complete a program rather than Tx/NC? I’m moving south for work/family, so staying in NY would be a hardship, but I can’t afford the debt of education twice for this. Plus, NY is just very expensive to attend school and live. I already have substantial undergrad+some grad debt in NY 🙁
NYS is very complicated. I just completed a post on their process here – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/new-york-massage-license/
If you know you want to work there, I think completing a course there would be best. The 600 hour programs elsewhere will not likely meet the NYS requirements.
Hello, I have quite an interesting situation and cannot find any answers even when calling the Boards myself. I hope you can have some insight. So I went to school in Florida and graduated, I took the Mblex and passed. The next step is to apply to get my license itself. But, I am moving to Kansas City. As you know, it is on the border of Kansas and Missouri. I will be living in Olathe, KS at first but don’t have a set job yet and don’t want to limit myself to just Olathe the city and their jurisdicion. Basically, I’m wondering where in the heck do I apply for my license and do I have to get 2? or is there such thing as having a license in more than one state at a time? Also, who do I go through to apply. Kansas is an unregulated state but each town/city is different. Please help!! I’m very confused and am moving in less than a month. I appreciate any feeback!!
You most certainly can have licenses in more than one state. I do. Just follow the rules of the state where you are practicing.
Now, as far as Kansas. People have a problem with the hoops of getting a state license. But do you know what is really annoying. Trying to obtain and pay for multiple city licenses for every city you want to practice in. Its a lot of hoops. California passed a voluntary certification to help with this problem. Kansas has tried a few times to pass massage regulation, but has yet been successful.
So you will need a MO license if you work there an one in each jurisdiction you practice in Kansas.
Yeah I was hoping that wasn’t the case. Alright, time to pull up my sleeves, start applying and cough up the cash. Thank you for your help eventhough I wish it was a different answer. I’m just glad I’m not confused anymore. Thank you!!
Good blog on Reciprocity for Massag Licensing when you move to another state. Some states make it more complicated than other. Call way ahead of time of moving to see what’s required. There is state boards for Massage everywhere. I would fo 3 months before you moved. Thankyou for sharing! 🙂
I am a LMT in Missouri and will be moving to Kentucky. I finished school with 600+ hours and passed the MBLEx.
With Kentucky being a reciprocity state, will I need to do anything more than just apply? Say KY requires more kines hours than I had, will I be required to take additional classes. Thanks!!
Each state is different how they handle deficient hours. You can talk to the board office and they should be able to tell you if you will require additional hours. Most often you will not. You may need to do a background check and have all of your transcripts and exam scores sent to the state, but that should be about it.
I have a massage License in RI and CT can I get a reciprocal license in Massachusetts?
Getting a license in another state depends on many factors, number of hours of training, if you took and exam, and sometimes experience. Look at the Massachusetts website to see if you meet their requirements.
If I’m in Tennessee and plan to move to California what all requirements would I need to have in order to obtain my license and work out there? I’ve been a massage therapist for 5 years. And still trying to understand some of the rules.
TN is pretty stringent. I would not expect any problems for you meeting Cali requirements. Here is a post I wrote about getting a California massage license.
Jane Frye Haefele
I am currently licensed in IN, however, I was grandfathered in and didn’t have to take any exams. I have 500 hours of training from an accredited school, but not in a “program”. I am looking to move away from IN, (although keep my license active in IN).
I am looking at TN and CO…. I have read so much information that I feel like my head is going to explode and I still don’t even know what my first step would be.
Can you please point me in the right direction? ANY help you give me would be greatly appreciated.
Jane Frye Haefele
Also, will my years of experience count as a plus when doing a license transfer? I have been a therapist since 2001.
Every state is different. Was it a massage training “program”? If so, you likely need to find who has the school records and get a transcript sent to whichever state you decide to go to. Both will require proof of your 500 hour training.
Both TN and CO have the 500 hour + MBLEx basic requirement. So you will most likely need to take the exam to get a license in either state.
Emailing the board is always a good place to start. If you think you meet the educational requirements, begin studying for the MBLEx.
I have a post on my MBLEx site for getting a CO license – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/colorado-massage-license/
The TN post will be done at the end of this month. It is slightly more complicated.
I’ve been a Massage Therapist for 6 years in Illinois and will be moving to Missouri and I am looking at how to transfer my license. I had about 750+ hours of class/clinic. Any information about what to do will be greatly appreciated!
I do not have any additional information other than looking over their application and seeing what they require. It is always the first step. Here is their application – http://pr.mo.gov/boards/massage/Application%20for%20Licensure.pdf
If you have questions after looking it over, send me an email.
i have a license in texas with 815 hours and i am wanting more hours to reach at least 1200. what should i do to obtain more hours?
My suggestion would be to find a 1200 hour program and see if you can transfer your 815 hours there and complete the rest. I think this is going to be tricky. There are very few 1200 hour courses, especially in states that only require 500 hours. You may need to look at surrounding states.
I’m a massage therapist in Minnesota and graduated in 2014 with a little more than 650 hours and have been working in a spa and my own at home practice since . I am thinking of moving to New York. I’m not sure what to do because MN doesn’t have a license – so transfer isn’t possible. I’ve looked everywhere and it seems I would have to return to school in NY. Would it be possible to do anything else? Like using my working hours to count towards missing hours? Also taking MBLEx (since NCETMB and NCETM are no longer options)? I just don’t really know where to start.
I wrote this a couple months ago for people trying to get a NYS license –> https://www.massageexamacademy.com/new-york-massage-license/
It will give you the contact info for their office and suggestions on what to ask them. From what you said, you may need to go to school, and you will likely need to take their exam. Their office is very good about replying to email. I hope this helps.
Georgeta G Tudor
hi I have been California certified 1200 hrs I would like to know if I want to move to Arizona state or Nevada what are the requirements?
Here is the AZ site for applicants – https://massagetherapy.az.gov/for-applicants
And one for Nevada
These are the best places to look for requirements.
It is hard for me to say if you meet the requirements. You have a lot of hours. But some states may require a licensing exam, such as the MBLEx too.
Moving to Alabama from Colorado
I graduated in 2009 and was grandfathered in to not have to take any of the exams
Will I need to take any exams now?
I was told when filling out my application I can be “licensed by endorsement ” however I am not finding that option on it.
Most people, even those that are grandfathered, typically will need to take a licensing exam when moving. But not all. Who told you that you could do the endorsement? Someone at the Alabama office?
I am a newly licensed LMT in CO but would really like to move to OR within the next year. I took my MBLEx, have a 600 hour certificate of completion from my school, and will also be attending a 24 hour training in April. Do you have any advice/insight for obtaining a license in OR as well as CO?? Thanks!
I am working making 12 posts this year about obtaining a license in those 12 states. I just got California done and am working on Colorado. In the meantime, look at each board website the application and requirements. Since you already have a CO license, you just need to pay the renewal fees to maintain it.
Here is the requirements for OR – http://www.oregon.gov/OBMT/Pages/licensing.aspx#How_to_obtain_a_License
It looks like you are 25 hours short. You may need to ask their board office if additional training will be required for you.
I’m a licensed massage therapist in Michigan and wanting to move to Oregon. I see the list of things to complete for licensing in Oregon under your link. My question is if I was grandfathered in Michigan and did not need to take the MBLEX would Oregon accept that? Or would I have to take the test again?
Most states that require an exam of their new graduates will require any new applicants, regardless if they are licensed elsewhere, to show they have completed an exam. Michigan would likely require it now of any new applicants too. I would contact the Oregon board of massage to verify this information. Best wishes!
Hey Elisa. Did you ever figure out if your grandfatherd in OR?
Residing in CA and looking to transfer to CO. I wasn’t able to find specific details regarding the need for Schooling or Testing through the CO state Massage Therapy site. Do you know if I need to take courses or tests again? Or will they only require me to submit an application? Thank you for your help.
The massage board is part of DORA in CO.
Here is the website – https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/Massage_Therapy
You should be able to see the requirements for eduCation and exams on the webpage under rules and regulations – https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/Massage_Therapy_Laws
I will have a post about getting a CO website on http://www.massageexamacademy.com at the end of the month. I just finished one on getting certified in California – https://www.massageexamacademy.com/california-massage-license-certification/.
Thanks for this info! I’m currently licensed in Colorado with 650 hours of schooling, I’m looking to move to Arizona which requires 700 hours. I called the board today and they said they would work with me if I passed the NCBTMB exam I could transfer my license under “reciprocity.” Turns out the school I went is not board certified so I cannot take the test…I’m only 50 hours short, any ideas?
Hmm. That is tough. Here is what they were talking about – RECIPROCITY applies to applicants who meet Provision 1 or Provision 2 as stated below:
Provision 1: An applicant who has been STATE licensed for at least five continuous years immediately before the application submission date, and the state has standards substantially equivalent to Arizona standards. Required: Licensure verification must be submitted directly to this Board from the licensing agency.
Provision 2: An applicant who holds current certification from the NCBTMB or another agency the Board recognizes as meeting equivalent educational and training standards.(Note: MBLEX does not certify) and graduated from a board-approved school* with at least 500 hours or more.
Did you take the MBLEx previously in CO? And how long have you been licensed?
If you must take the BCETMB, contact the NCBTMB to see if you may qualify with your education and experience.
Willa S Holiday
Hi, I currently have my license in the state of California but I just moved to Alabama. I checked their website but it only confused me more. What are the requirements to transfer my license?
Since Cali has had varying requirements and required 250 or 500 hours for different levels of certification, it is hard for me to say.
But, after looking around it costs $25 to REQUEST an application from Alabama. Odd, IMO.
Here are their listed requirements. I do not see an endorsement section yet. Also, the NCBTMB certification seems out of date. They do not specifically include the MBLEx in their laws as I see it, but does reference they may accept other approved exams.
The Massage Therapist License requirements are
a minimum of 650 hours from an accredited massage therapy school and be certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Each Massage Therapist applicant must also produce evidence of a $1,000,000 Personal Liability Insurance coverage along with certified transcripts and verification of their national certification.
I think I would call them and tell them your education and which exam you took and ask for some guidance.
I have the texas massage therapist license but i moved to maryland i contact with the massage board but they just give a link and didnt explain anything. do you think that i can transfer my license or i have to take all the process again start with the school ?
The problem I see with TX transfers is that many of them were under the old rules of only having 300 hours. Even in that event, you would not need to start school over, but you may need to meet the 500 hour requirement (by transferring your old 300 hours to a 500 hour program).
Let me know a little more about your education (as well as which exam you took -Texas, MBLEx, or NCETMB) and I can look into the requirements more.
Hi. I am really new to this. I am going to try to get my massage therapy license in Nevada, but afterwards I wanted to save up and move back home to California. Hoping to live either in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Anaheim, or Long Beach. Would I have to get a completely new license? Would my Nevada one be useless?
CAMTC certifies Cali massage therapists. It is a voluntary certification in CA, but I highly recommend it. Your past massage education and exam will help you meet the requirements. Your NV license will not be useless. Most states look at past licenses to see if you have any discipline in your history of being licensed.
Hi, I am currently a LMT in Florida for the past 4 years. I was recently offered an in home private massage position in Alaska. I’m trying to figure out what I need to do in order to aquire an Alaska license as quickly and easily as possible. I do not want to lose my FL license as the job is for 6 months. Alaska seems to be new on requiring license to practice, so I can’t find any info on how to go about this. Any suggestions other than just calling the Alaska board of massage?
I always think their website is the best place to start. If that does not give you all the information, then call their office. If that fails, see if you can find a AMTA chapter in Alaska that can help you.
Is it possible to hold several licenses in different states?
Yes. I have 2 licenses right now. I pay the fees and complete the CE requirements for each.
do you complete 48hour CE or only 24hours for both state?
Most of my hours overlap and I can use them for both. I do not need 24 for one and another 24 for the other.
Hi. I am currently licensed in Wisconsin and would like to obtain a dual license for Illinois as well. I’m having a hard time finding the right paperwork to carry both licenses. can you help me?
To get a second license, you need to apply to the board of Illinois. Here is their website – https://www.idfpr.com/profs/MassageTherapy.asp.
Here is their endorsement application- http://www.idfpr.com/Renewals/apply/FORMS/mt.pdf
You can look it over and see if you meet the requirements.
To maintain both license follow the renewal requirement in each state. Often your CE’s can be used for both renewals if you time it correctly and make sure a provider is accepted in both.
Let me know if you haver further questions.
I know someone who is a licensed massaged therapist in the Philippines. She has moved to this country and will soon be an American Citizen living in the state of Wisconsin. She wants to know if any of her training will transfer to this country or will she have to start from scratch?
Often states have a protocol for foreign transcripts. Contact the WI board of massage.
Hello, I am a Texas LMT and I am trying to relocate to Seattle, Washington. I have my check list of things I need to send in but i am stuck on who exactly I need to contact to get a Credential verification form filled out. The Washington website says contact your state but I can’t seem to find any information on the Texas website about a specific address. They don’t have much information about getting out, only information for those transferring their licenses in.
Secondly, it is asking for court documents to be sent in but I can’t figure out who exactly to talk to to get that information either.
any help is appreciated!
Yes, that is confusing. Often the state form you need filled out by your current state is found on the state board website of the state where you are going.
So, your form is on the Washington state board website – http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/676097.pdf
I did not see the court part you are referring to. This may be if you have any criminal history or flags on your background check. Tell me where that is and I can look at it.
I am licensed in Utah. My husband is military and we just got stationed in Hawaii. I know Hawaii has their own test, just wondering if any states have a military clause, or something that makes it easier to get a license since we move so much?
Many states do have some alternate methods of licensure to help out and remove barriers for military families. Hawaii is one of these states. The HI board is very good about getting back to people with questions.
Here is their legislation on this issue ->http://files.hawaii.gov/dcca/pvl/Act_247_248-SLH2012.pdf
I also am aware that HI has a separate state exam. My question about HI licensure is re: the apprenticeship. I have my licensure in both CA and FL. If I apply for HI licensure do I need to start with the apprenticeship? I have over 10 years of experience in massage. Thank you
An apprenticeship would be if you did not have previous massage education. Since you have a FL license, I am betting you do. How many hours of school did you have? If it is enough, you should move one with applying and getting your exam date set.
I am taking the massage apprenticeship in Florida to receive a FL license. Do you know if any other states will accept this?? I will not have a degree from any school.
Every state is different. Some will, some will not. You can contact the board of a state where you want to move to and see if they have more information about apprenticeships for you.
I have a quick question: I had a Florida license but it’s been 10 years since I let it expire. Now I’m settled in Utah and want to practice again. I sincerely hope I don’t have to go back to school and retake the board exam again. Can you give me advice on what to do, please. I’m so out of the loop!
Most of the time, you just need to get your transcript and exam scores sent to the state board and fill out the application and forms. I am not sure what your hours were in school and if that would meet Utah’s minimum requirement. Their (Utah) board website would be the best place to find out that information.
Thanks for your time. I am having an awful time trying to figure out how to obtain my massage license. Currently, I have my FL license for 20+ years. I recently moved to TN and cannot get anyone to call me back. I am ready to get back to doing what I do best. I had a national certification at one point but let it lapse because I never thought I was going to need it. Can you help?
Your old exam scores are still good, even though your credential expired. You only will need the exam scores for obtaining a new license. It is a common misconception for people to think their scores expired with the credential. I would keep contacting the TN board by phone or email if you have other questions.
Hi, I just recently passed the MBLEx in Alabama (yesterday) and graduate school this week. I am now waiting on my license. I am interested in moving to Tennessee to be with family, but I wasn’t thinking long term. Maybe for just a year to see how I like it up there. My question is, is it possible to have license in Alabama and Tennessee at the same time? im very new to this so I have no clue! Also, I have more than enough hours and requirements from my school to transfer from Alabama to Tennessee. I just don’t want to give up my Alabama license so soon, in case I end up moving back!
Yes, you can have licenses in as many states as you want. You just have to meet the requirements for each and pay the fees for each. Just follow the rules in the state where your practice. I have had two licenses for 6 years and know many other with 2+ licenses.
So just to clarify… Even though it’s called transferring a license, that doesn’t mean you are giving up your ability to work in the state you are moving away from?
Not as long as you pay the fees and complete the needed CEs in that state.
I am LMT in Florida for 9 years. Will be moving to Louisiana in 2017.
Do you know of their reciprocity rules and regs?
I believe I took the National exam- It’s been awhile. Can I find outwhich one I took?
Thanks for your response.
Clyde Knight- MA56699
The LA board of massage is very helpful. I have used it may times. I do not see any major problems you should have with getting a license there. Look over their current requirements and see how your education history and exam compares.
You can call the NCBTMB and ask them if you took their exam. If not, contact the FSMTB. If it was 9 years ago, it is likely the NCETMB.
The LA massage board should have all of the information you need – https://www.labmt.org/site414.php
Thank you for all the information in your blog. I am a LMBT in NC (1 year) and I am hoping to move to Oregon or Califronia. Do you know what the process is for reciprocity in those states?
OR and CA are different. CA is a voluntary license, which is mostly standard there now. If you have an NC license already, you should not have any major issues with those two states. NC has a very standard and respected licensing process in my opinion.
please i need help i just moved from illinois to Georgia , what do i need to work in Georgia? i have been a licensed massage therapist for 3 years
The Georgia massage website will have all of the forms you need.
I currently have an active massage license in FLorida and was interested in moving to another state that has the same requirments and don’t need to acquire extra state hours.same Do you happen to know which states are the same as FLORIDA so i can narrow down my choices of states to live and continue doing massage work? Thanks
I do not have a list. Every state is slightly different and every person has different education hours and exams taken.
NYS and HI have their own exam.
Ohio only accepts the MBLEx.
NYS and NE have 1000 hour requirements, but NE accepts the MBLEx and NYS has its own exam.
Cali has voluntary licensing.
MN has no licensing.
See, it can be difficult. I would look at the state websites of the states you are strongly considering and see what is closest to what you have completed.
I have ovee 500 hours of Ce hours and wwnt through thai achool of massage program and am certified. I desperately need to know how I can go about applying my credentials toward qualifying to take test. Who should I talk to. I live in Missouri. With all the money and time I have invested I don’t want to start over in a massage school
Contact the MO board of massage office. They can help you determine if you meet their requirements.
I’m wanting to make a career change into health and wellness begininning with becoming a massage therapist. I currently live in Ga, and would have to go to school here. However, my intention is to move to NC or NYC upon passing the MBLEX. Question, since you only need 500 hours in both GA and NC would that be an easy feat to get licensed in both states? But, since NYC or NYS requires 1000 hours would that require starting all over again once I move there and taking the MBLEX again? Also, who do I call to find out specifics like this–? I’m totally researching everything I can before I make this huge move as a single mommy….
HELLO….AFTER AN HOUR OF RESEARCH. ..GETTING NO WHERE. I am licensed in delaware…took Mblex….trying to apply for reciprocity in Nj. I know their requirements. ..for licensing….but can’t get advice for recip. Thanks for your time
Hi Christine, Some states do not have “transfers” or reciprocity. It may be that you just need to apply for a license and meet those requirements listed on the application.
I’m a 63 yr old MT who has been licensed in LA, and CA since they began licensing. Certified by NCBTMB since 2004, currently board certified. Trying to get my license here in CO since January and since in 1987 there was no 500 hr or sanctioned massage schools, I was assured there was an appeals process and to proceed with the application. Now, having filled out The application $85, and paid for transcripts, license and sanction certifications from CA, fingerprinting and background check, I get a standard rejection letter because I don’t have 500 hrs at a Colorado approved school, and they don’t feel the CA license is equivalent. I’ve been working for 30 yrs as an orthopedic MT, had more education (cadaver dissection, NMT, ART, etc) than you can image, even taught at our State Conference. Know any good lawyers?
Oh, no! I absolutely hate seeing experienced LMTS out of the profession! Why do we allow 500 hour new grads and not those with 30 years experience? It is beyond me. I do not know of a good LMT lawyer, but wish you the best in whatever you do with this situation. Please stop back and update me if you have a chance.
I have resently moved to Ga from Boston, where I’ve worked as an active full time professional therapist for over ten years now… Long story short… The Secretary of Sate for the Ga Baird of massage licensure has had me on hold for over 3 months now… The final hold up and denial of me receiving my Ga licence is a ridiculous hang-up they seem to be having regarding my schools break down of hours on my transcript. It is currently under review “once” again, to determine my vitrification to obtain my Ga licence. The funny thing is this, Ga only requires 500 hours from an accredited school… My school was fully accredited and graduated me with 900hours of massage study and practice. Even though I’m over by 400 hours of the sate of Ga min for a massage license, they are still denying me mine, due to the break down not being either understood by this said board (who’s job it totally is to understand these things), or (it’s just not exactly) the way Ga Secretary of State wants it to be? Simple bureaucratic bs and way-laying if you ask me… I’m either qualified or I’m not! In this case I happen to be “over” qualified for Ga, yet they seem to like to play games with folks income when you first move to this state.
Have we talked before? I think I had someone in GA or NC with the same problem. I do not understand these situations at all! What hours are they saying you are deficient in? Have you contacted the GA AMTA?
God, David please contact me or respond back here. I am going thru the exact same thing right now. They have had my application since June 2016 . I have been licensed by Fl for 19 years. I am losing my mind with this.
I am having the same problem I moved from Fl to GA and they have my application since Sept 2016. And they are denying me , I appealed with my school writing an appeal letter and they have denied me again. My school is accredited and I have enough hours.
What is the reason they are denying your license if you have hours from an accredited school?
Hi, I was wondering if you might have some input on my situation. I graduated in May of 2016 and have been interning with the same place in Illinois since October of 2015. (as it was a requirement for school). I have chosen to stay on with them. I applied for my state license in Illinois and Michigan. Illinois has been an utter mess and extremely difficult to work with. They recently have required me to reprint all of my CE certificates because each was in “DETAILED” enough in subject matter and not clear on actual site of course or if it was hands on. Initially they had sent me a list of 6 items that must be on each CE and all were on each CE. I have been going through this with them since May 24 and each time they send me additional requests. What they initially ask for is not good enough and on and on. It has been very difficult! They are not nice to deal with. During the process they also informed me that I could not intern at my facility. They have said it is illegal. Nowhere on the State page have we found anything stating such. I went from doing some hands on to only shadowing now with the fear of them getting in trouble. Is there any way around this? I have been unable to work and now it looks as though there is another hold up in the process. I have considered getting a lawyer to represent me, as I am at my wits end with requests that never seem to meet their requirements.
Is there a form I can fill out that allows me to do hands on work as an intern?
or when I receive my Michigan License, is there a way to still work on reciprocity or in interim as I wait on the Illinois process? I am at a loss and I relocated to Illinois based on working for the place I have been interning at.
I’d love any and all input and open to ideas. I am feeling a bit desperate. Thanks!
I am sorry to hear about all the hassle. I have heard IL can be a bit of a headache to get a license. Why do they need your CEs? Are you deficient in the core hours you need to get a license. I know the paperwork details are really hard for some people, but my suggestion to you and anyone else getting a license – details matter when getting a license. What they mean is illegal is working without a license. You cannot offer massage services without a license, and I do not believe they have a temporary license in IL. My recommendation is to contact them and make a checklist of exactly what you need to do. If you feel that they are not being fair, contact the IL AMTA and see if they can help you move this along.
I will be moving from IL to TN and have everything filled out and sent in, the only problem I am having is I cannot find out how to go about getting the TN law and Ethics hours or if the state has reciprocity. I have contacted the state – which was no help because the answer I received was along the lines of you cannot simply transfer your license but have to go thru this process and neglected to answer the question I posed.
If you have any Insight on how to go about receiving these hours I would be extremely grateful, this process has been a nightmare.
I am sorry I do not have all the details, but I am almost positive that the TN law must be done in person. The TN board of massage should be able to answer that question, I am sorry they didn’t. Try calling around to schools and see when they will be offering that class. They may be able to answer your other questions too.
I am literally filling out my paperwork for a TN and GA license tonight. TN’s idea of reciprocity is that you have a license in another state. Only if you have been licensed over 5 years does it cut out any of the paperwork from what I can tell.
You must have the 5 hour TN laws “Reciprocity” course before you can get your license. It is a course you have to be at the school for. Most of the schools have it once a month, or not at all here at the end of the year. There is a school in Memphis that offers this class EVERY week, 4 days a week (Monday- Thursday), and doesn’t require anyone else to be in there with you! YEP, pretty much unheard of. I just talked to David today and he was extremely nice. The school is Tennessee School of Massage- http://www.tsom.net/ceu-courses/
If you aren’t going to be near Memphis or are not interested in going there for the course, there are a few more options, just not nearly as flexible. Nashville School of Massage Therapy has their classes on Sundays. Chattanooga has Mind Body Institute, they have a class once a month- Fridays this year and Thursdays next year.
Have you done your stuff for the background check yet? I was wondering if this is much of a pain in the rear end or not.
Nashville’s school is also only once a month.
We Moved to Hawaii from Colorado where my girlfriend had her license and had been working for a couple of years. We had all the information from her school sent to the Board in Hawaii. but every time they tell her the information isn’t good enough. the school reworked everything and sent it again and they still said not of it was the information they wanted. its been months and they have no desire to help us, shes on hold for 40min every time she calls, and that’s if the call actually goes through. Is there an overseeing branch we can contact? the school has nothing else to send and the board refuses to talk to anyone from school administration. Thank you for your help
Have you contacted the Hawaii AMTA?
I’m moving to Missouri from Iowa. I don’t know where to start with this. I have the application but I don’t understand some of it. It asks about insurance and a notary public embosser…I have no clue what it is. Plus I was wondering if I got fingerprinted in a different state if I can just transfer that to Missouri. It’s all very confusing so the help would be great. Thanks!
I looked at the application – http://pr.mo.gov/boards/massage/Application%20for%20Licensure.pdf
You need to send a copy/proof of your insurance (your AMTA, ABMP or other) professional liability insurance. Most have a one page proof form that you get mailed every year after you renew.
Then, you need to sign the application in front of a notary public. I always go to my bank and they should have notary there for you to help you.
I know hundreds of people that get fingerprinted in other states when they move to FL. Unfortunately MO does not list out of state providers. You may need to call their board and ask how you can be fingerprinted out of state and get the results sent to the state.
Good luck with the move! Go Hawks!!!!!
I have a 500 hr. Massage Certification for the state of Ca. With several years work experience. Will I need to take a national exam such as MBLEx to practice in Missouri? Or just there state exam( they are 500 hrs. As well)? Would working for a Chiropractor (Doctor) make a difference? Could I work under the doctor I would be an employee under’s license?
I would contact the MO state board to verify their exam requirement as it is not clear under reciprocity- http://s1.sos.mo.gov/cmsimages/adrules/csr/current/20csr/20c2197-2.pdf
I would bet they would require an exam, but it looks like you can possibly look into getting a provisional (temporary license) if your exam is scheduled.
Hey I am moving to OREGON from NY, I am NYS licensed and it has been able to transfer to IDAHO state. Wondering if I need to take the MBLEX or if my NYS licensure would reciprocate.
I am also thinking of moving to Oregon from Texas…..have you found out any information as to if my license would be able to transfer, or if working hours will be considered as educational if they require more hours?
You license just need to apply to Texas. Licenses rarely “transfer”. You just need to meet the requirements for the state of Texas. Visit their board site and look over the application. Most of the time you need to fill out an application, have your school send a transcript, have the NCBTMB or FSMTB send your NCETMB or MBLEx scores, contact your state and have them send proof of your previous licenses (and there has been no discipline against you). I think Texas has a jurisprudence exam (over their laws and rules). Other states may have background checks or other CE courses you need to complete. Every state is different.
Hi Ivy. I am currently licensed in Nc. I took the mblex and my school was 648 hours. I am considering moving to az. I contacted them about the proper avenue to apply for a license. They are now saying they require 700 curriculum hours. How do I go about asking them how I can make up my 52 hour deficit ? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Two options are the most common – going back to a school and making up the hours where you are deficient. Or seeing if they will allow you to file a variance with the board of massage. This means your application would go before the board and get approved. I would contact the Board office in AZ and see what they suggest. Someone should be able to tell you what to do next. If not, contact the AMTA in AZ and see if they have any advice.
I’ve been thinking about going to school for massage therapy here in Louisiana my husband works on pipelines so we are always moving and never know where the next job is until at most a month in advance sometimes only days in advance, then only stay there for a few months. Would it be best if I just didn’t travel with him anymore or is there some way I could get licensed in multiple/all states?
It is hard to say. Most states you can get a license with a minimum number of hours (500-1000) and passing the MBLEx (the licensing exam for almost every state which you take and can reuse your passing scores for most states). But getting a license sometimes takes months in each state. I hope this helps a little with your decision.
I am a LMT in CO, but graduated from California. I will be moving to Georgia in the fall and was curious of what steps I need to take to transfer my license. I have over 800 hrs. And have been active in my field for 10 years. Being that I held a license before holding any massage board requirements was mandatory.
The best place to start is here –> http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/33
I happen to be moving back to Minnesota from Arizona in a few months. Here is my question, if I get my Arizona license back and MN only requires a permit from the city; is it worth it to get my AZ license back? Or is Minnesota one of those state who will not recognize my license as they are not regulated.
Your AZ license will likely be of no use to you in MN, or any other state. An AZ license is only valid in AZ. So, for MN, I would just focus on the requirements they have in your jurisdiction.
Hey so I’m confused as to what the voluntary licensing is in California exactly. I’m a currently licensed Therapist with a year of work experience in the state of Colorado but I’m looking to move to California in 4 months. Do I need to transfer my license? Or can I work in the state of California without needing to apply for a new license since I am certified and previously licensed? I am so confused. I’ve asked my fellow therapists at work and they all just shrug and tell me ‘I dunno google it’ like the helpful bunch they are.
It really depends on which city you live in for CA licenses. Most require some sort of license. The CA law was to make it so massage therapists did not have to pay to be licensed in several cities where they were working. I still think registering/licensing with http://www.camtc.org is the best way to go if you are planning to move to CA.
Hi Ivy. Thanks for being a resource. I do event marketing for a major hotelier. We want to bring our Florida-based masseuse along to help promote new spa treatments we’ve developed here to special events and festivals in other states.
Since the masseuse would be there 1-2 days max for a special event, what permit or reciprocity would exist in other states to allow this to happen?
I do have hotels in CA, TX, MS, IL and FL where we could perhaps have her as an extension of the hotel brand. Welcome your suggestions. Many thanks.
I would contact the state boards of massage in the states you plan to travel and see what their laws and rules say about special events.Florida has a rule that out of state athletic teams can bring their therapists, but that is about it for exemptions.
Hey there, so I am about to start a massage therapist 6 month course in Florida, I plan to move back to New York next year. I can’t find anything on license transfer, I do know the hours in New York are 1000 educational hours whereas Florida 650.
Could you possibly give me some insight in regards to this?
I live in TX and want to become a massage therapist. Texas does not require schools here to be accredited you just have to meet the 500 hour curriculum. I want to move to Colorado with in a year of graduating. I read Colorado require their schools to be accredited. The accredited schools in TX are at least $5000 more in tuition and don’t want to pay that if I don’t have to. Do you think if I attended a non accrediteds school in TX that met the same requirement with hours and curriculum that I would be able to obtain a Colorado license?
Most states will accept the curriculum if it is close to the requirements of their own. I would contact the CO Board (DORA) and ask this question just to be sure. They can give you a better answer than I can. Best of luck!
I am sitting for the State Test for Hawaii and we are here for about 3-5 years when we move back to the mainland will i be able to transfer my license of am i still required to take the MBLEX?
In most cases you will need to complete the MBLEx. It is a portable exam unlike the state exams that HI and NYS have. Some states may accept your HI exam. You will just need to contact the state board where you are moving to and ask. Sorry I do not have a better answer for you. Every state is different.
I went to school in NJ and an certified but I live in PA now how do I transfer my certification? Or should I get licensed?
Contact the state board in PA. You will need a PA LMT license to practice in PA. There website should help you get started and let you know if you meet the requirements. Do not be afraid to contact the PA board office and ask questions.
I am a massage therapist in arkansas but I am planning to move to alabama in 2016. I’ve had my own practice since 2006. Will my work experience count for anything there? The nationals require 750 hours. And I believe I have to take the national test to practice in alabama…. help.. I’ve gotten a lot of mixed info.
Contact the Alabama massage board office. You likely will need to show proof of education and a massage licensing exam to get your license there. The board office should be able to give you all the details on their licensing process.
Thank you Ivy for all of your helpful comments. I’m just getting into this world of massage therapy, and I had no idea how difficult moving around would be….I am a transient type….and was hoping for a career that would be easy to relocate….guess I picked the wrong one!
My question is, as I’m reading on state websites, I often see slight indications that there are some states that accept licenses from other states if the curriculum meets their own “minimum requirements.” I am wondering if there is a resource anywhere that outlines which states are meeting requirements for which other states. Does that make sense? Like a matchmaker type document that shows that if you want to get licensed in Maine, you’ll be AOK if you studied in NY, MA, or HI…..(this is totally inaccurate I’m sure, just making up a fake example). So, my question, is there something like that which matches the minimum requirements between different states nationwide. For example, what would be good states to consider moving to after going to school in NC?
Because I’m getting a headache!
And I’m sure you might be too!
Thanks for your kind & thoughtful answers. I imagine if this magical resource existed, you would have already pointed people there….but I figured it was worth asking, because you seem to know a bunch about this issue!
Such a database would be super! But, no, you will need to read into the rules of each state see how the minimum hours break down for education.
For most states if you went to an approved school then they will accept that education without too much of a fuss. Meaning if you are deficient 20 hours in one subject, they will still grant you a license if you meet the minimum hours. Some states, like FL, now require the hours to match at a minimum. This means if you only have 7 hours of hydrotherapy, they will make you make up the other 8 hours so you have 15 like all FL graduates do. I hope this makes sense.
Massage therapists are frequent transients. I think it is great if you can get through the red take in each states. I would avoid dreaming too much about certain states, like NYS, if you do not have 1000 hours or much experience.
Hi! I am planning on going to massage school in Florida this winter, but then I will be in Massachusetts (I spend my summers there and work there)
Florida massage school is 600 hours (with only 50 hours hands on where MA requires 100 hours hands on). They told me at school that they will provide me with extra 50 hours so I will have total of 650 hours for MA license
But other hours of study in Florida school is different from what MA requirements are (for example, MA requires 45 hours of pathology and Florida school doesn’t provide that).
My question is how hard is it to get my MA license with FL license and if I need to do extra work in MA?
I really need help with that and can’t find info anywhere. I’m just afraid of going to school and not be able to work in MA next summer if it’s not easy to transfer my FL license
I receive so many questions about hours matching up. Typically it is not a problem when moving state to state as long as you have enough hours total. But, some states (Florida) are getting more stringent in the breakdown of hours of those transferring in. I think it is great you are checking this out now. To many people wait until they are ready to move and then have to wait and wait to get their license. I would contact the MA massage board and ask them. They should be able to let you know if this will be a problem.
my original lic is from boston where i did 600 hrs and worked for a couple of yrs. Im currently seeking a Ga Lic i shouldnt have a problem correct? Ga requires 500hrs.
I would not think it would be a problem. I would contact the GA board if you have any specific questions about how your hours match up to theirs.
Hey there, I am living in Co and have a valid massage license here and I am thinking about moving to North Carolina. I wondered if my license will transfer over without having to do extra stuff?
In most cases, if you have enough hours and the breakdown of hours is close to the state you are moving to, you should be fine. Some states have more “stuff” than others. I have never heard any complaints about NC. There may be a background check, but that is getting to be pretty standard with most states now.
Hello, I was curious what needs to happen or what will most likely be required of me to transfer states to massage.
I will be moving from Michigan to Idaho, I do have a valid 600 hour massage diploma and a state license from Michigan.
I did massage during the grandfather period and so my license was given under the grandfather clause, so I have not taken the MBLEx.
Thank you for all your help and information
If you pay the renewal fees and meet all the renewal requirements you can keep your other licenses.
I’m licensed in MO and have been since 2009. I took the mBlex and have over 1000 hours plus CE hours. I moved to OH in 2011 and have been working at a spa up here ever since. I have an interview tomorrow for another spot but I’m wondering if it’s going to be a problem if I’m holding a MO license? My current place of employment has no issues with it and the owner herself is practicing with a NY license. Is this all legal?
As long as you have a valid license in the state you’re working in there should be no problem. It is perfectly legal to have more than one state license. I have an Iowa license and a Florida license. Just comply with state laws that your working in. Best of luck with the new job!!
This is the exact answer I was looking for! I don’t start school until Jan 2017 but I wanna be able to move between Texas and Louisiana.
I moved and transferred my license from Seattle, WA to Virginia… Now a year and a half later I am moving BACK to Seattle. My old Washington license is now expired. I am having a hard time figuring out how to get it back in good standing. Will I need to complete all the needed continuing education before getting it up and running again? Any help would be amazing. With this sudden move, I’m feeling overwhelmed.
The WA state board office should be able to give you specific instructions on what you need to do. Hopefully it is not too much. This is why I always recommend keeping those licenses valid. I have seen people let old licenses lapse and have to go back to school because they got their license years ago and were grandfathered in, moved and then moved back only to find they could not be re-grandfathered. Hopefully this is not one of those cases.
Hi I’m planning on moving from Texas to Massachusetts in the next year and I’m trying to find some information on requirements for transferring. Texas required 500 But also offered a 570 hr course, which I completed. I passed the mblex and have been licensed for 3 yrs now. MA requires 650 hrs but I can’t find anything about whether or not MA will accept my years of work as the extra hrs. Thanks for any help!
I would suggest calling their board office and asking them. I looked at their site and it was pretty basic information. They should be able to give you a better answer over the phone. Good luck!
So here is a good one for you. I am trying to move from Flodida to Washington. I complete a state approved apprenticeship program in Florida in 2006 and have been practicing ever since. Washington will not recognize my license because it was not obtained via an approved school. I passed the same exam as everyone else who has a Florida license, but no matter. I spoke to a “massage specialist” at the doh in WA, and was told to look for an approved school on their website and contact them about a transfer program. There is one school in the whole state of Florida listed. So I called them. They told me they cannot ethically transfer my liscense since I did not attend their school. When I inquired about enrolling in their school, I was told I could not enroll because I already had a license!! Catch 22, anyone??? Basically, ” you cannot get there from here”.
I will be calling WA again to inform them of my progress ( or lack thereof!) and ask for guidance. Right now, the only option I see is to attend school all over again in WA. This is crazy, expensive, and prohibitive since where I am trying to move is at least 2 hours away from any school at all.
Ivy, are you a magician? Can you help me out here?
I really do not know what to say about this situation. It is tough! I know I have helped many people get their Florida licenses. Lots of people from Texas have only 300 hours and have to go back to school to complete the other 200 hours and their exam. I know they lose some very good therapists with these kinds of rules.
I would suggest finding someone at the Washington board that can give you some advice. They have to have someone in your situation before and should help give you options for your next steps.
Sorry about not being a magician. I am a muggle.
I truly wish you the best and wish I had better ideas for you!
I’ve been trying to get repository from my Ohio licence to a Georgia license, it has been nothing but tears, lost appetites, and headaches.
I’ve been a licensed massage therapist since January 2010, moved to BE 32nd of May. My application started in July, and have been going back and forth… And just recently found up the hold up was that I never took MBLex. I took the test in December 2009 when it was still State Ohio Medical Board test… Which Georgia keeps saying they do not accept…
Ohio state board have been wonderful answering my questions, calming me down on the phone, but in the end… Cannot do anything on their end to get Georgia to change their mind… I find it obscenely unfair of them to not be making an exception for a therapist of 5 years with a clean background check, good test scores, letter of recommendation, etc over something I had no control of.
Paying nearly 200 for the MBLEX isn’t appealing to me, and GA keeps threatening to dismiss my case, which I will loose out on the application fee…. Not sure how much Nation test is, I’ve been trying to talk with MBLEX about some sort of transfer fee special case for my situation.
I think Ohio switched to the MBLEx shortly after you got your license. I know many others that have been in your situation and unfortunately I would not expect the Board of massage to budge on this one. I know they will likely lose a good massage therapist, but I understand that massage boards cannot make exceptions for everyone. Our profession is working towards better mobility (with creation of the MBLEx and minimum education standards), but unfortunately we are not there yet.
Please let me know how it turned out Melissa . I am sitting here waiting for Ga. To respond to me . It has been 7 months
I would recommend you take the Mblex test. It’s not difficult, it will save you from any future headache when should you need to relocate..
My biggest fear of the Mblex test was resolved when I took it, I knew all the information to pass.
Understand terminology was difficult, I seen words I did not recognize, I was able to understand what was being ask and new the answer.
GOOD LUCK, Do what you love
I went to MT school in FL at an accredited NCBTMB assigned school and graduated with 550 hours in Aug 2014. Two weeks after, we moved to GA, where I took and passed my NCBTMB test. I then applied to GA Secretary of State to receive a GA MT license. –I did not apply/hold for a license in FL or anywhere else–
It has been almost a year and I am still awaiting my license. They’ve told me I didnt meet the hour requirements, that my school didn’t have an active NCBTMB provider number (even though it did), I’ve had to turn in an affidavit so The Board could speak with my MT program director (which they did not do)…all sorts of issues.
Since then, several people in my class have become FL LMTs, so I know my school meets FL requirements at least.
My question is, how does the GA LMT hour requirements compare with FL LMT curriculum hour requirements?
Is there anything I can do?
I’ve been told by GA Board that I can’t apply for a FL LMT license until granted the GA LMT license.
It seems The GA LMT Board is confused about how my transcript translates. But I can’t possibly be the first MT to transfer from FL to GA.
The GA LMT Board meets Aug 28 to rule on my application, and I’ve been told if they decline my application this time, they will close my file.
Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I have not heard of anyone having too many problems with the GA Board. Rarely do people transferring from a FL school have many problems obtaining a license in another state. Florida has quite a few more regulations than other states, so usually it is just a matter of applying and sending your transcript.
I wish I had pieces of advice for you, but I do not. It seems like you have done everything I would do. The FL requirements breakdown like this:
The courses and the number of hours required in each subject are as follows:
Anatomy and Physiology – 150
Basic Massage Theory and History – 100
Clinical Practicum – 125
Allied Modalities – 76
Business – 15
Theory and Practice of Hydrotherapy – 15
Florida Laws and Rules – 10
(Chapters 456 and 480, F.S. and Chapter 64B7, F.A.C.)
Professional Ethics – 4
HIV/AIDS Education – 3
Medical Errors – 2
Rule 345-8-.01 Curriculum Requirements
In order to be a Georgia Board recognized massage therapy education program, the program must have a minimum curriculum of five-hundred (500) total clock hours of supervised classroom and supervised hands-on instruction. For purposes of this rule, “supervised” means the supervisor is physically on-site, qualified and immediately available. The minimum required subject matter and activities and the minimum required hours are as follows:
Here are Georgia’s:
(a) A minimum of one hundred twenty-five (125) hours of in-class supervised instruction in human anatomy, physiology and kinesiology;
(b) A minimum of forty (40) hours of in-class supervised instruction in pathology;
(c) A minimum of two-hundred hours (200) in massage therapy theory, technique and practice, which must include in-class supervised instruction of clinical techniques and hands-on clinical practice and must include, at a minimum, the following subject matters: effleurage/gliding; petrissage/kneading; compression; friction, tapotement/percussion; vibration; direct pressure; superficial warming techniques; pumping; stretching; jostling; shaking; rocking;
(d) A minimum of one hundred twenty-five (125) hours of in-class supervised instruction in contraindications, benefits, universal precautions, body mechanics, massage history, client data collection, documentation, and legalities of massage, professional standards including draping and modesty, therapeutic relationships and communications;
(e) A minimum of ten (10) hours of in-class supervised instruction in ethics and business (to include a minimum of six (6) hours in ethics); and
(f) Of the five hundred (500) total clock hours, the curriculum must include a minimum of fifty (50) hours in supervised student clinical practice, but no more than sixty (60) hours in hands on supervised student clinical practice. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to prohibit a massage therapy school that has a curriculum greater than five hundred (500) hours from having more hands on supervised student clinical practice so long as it has at least four hundred and forty (440) hours of in-class supervised instruction.
They are different, but generally endorsement candidates that come from a school that is approved in their state are accepted.
Please let me know how things go.
Thanks for your reply to my post!
The GA LMT Board has officially denied my application and closed my file. They once again stated that my school didn’t have an active NCBTMB provider number. The first time they cited this error, I immediately called my school’s program director and he assured me it was an active NCBTMB provider number. The school did switch to being mBlex accredited and did not reapply for NCBTMB accreditation, but that wasn’t until Aug 2015.
My school program director even sent the Board proof that it was NCBTMB approved at the time of my GA LMT application (Sept 2014). I found my school on FL MT.gov’s list of accredited schools and even sent the link to the Board.
Is there a difference in being an NCBTMB approved school and having an active NCBTMB school provider number?
Does the school have to stay NCBTMB approved for months after a license application?
It seems like I’m being penalized because the Board took so long to rule on my application. I don’t really want to take legal action, but I don’t feel like this was done correctly.
Should I look into taking legal action?
I think I can take the mBlex and apply and hopefully not have any issues, but that’s almost $400 at my cost because of the Board and that’s money I don’t have to waste on another year of waiting on the Board.
I just feel stuck and any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time and advice!!
I know many schools that have gone out of business (and obviously would not be NCB schools any longer) and have issued transcripts that have allowed people to get licenses in other states. I do not have any legal advice (since I am not a lawyer), but the issue does not seem to be with your NCETMB exam scores, Did you pass the NCETM exam? If so, I do not know if taking the MBLEx would really be that beneficial. It may be worth your time to talk to a lawyer. Then can read the Laws and Rules of the state and give you your options.
I have heard of many people complaining about GA. Board. ..I am one of them, I spoken with the agent with my file and she said I was one of many. I really would like someone with experience with Ga. Board to contact me.
I live in Texas and want to move to Indiana but IN’s website on licensing doesn’t explain anything about how to transfer or pay for a liscence there. So how do I do this and what is the cost? Thank you so much ms ivy
Click on “Application by Examination/Endorsement”
Here is a checklist too:
It says the fee is $100.
Best of luck!
I am currently licensed in the state of Ohio. I have been a massage therapist for 9 years and have over 750 credit hours. I am not nationally certified. I am moving to GA and I saw that you have to be nationally licensed. Do I have to take that exam? I was kind of hoping I would be grandfathered in since I’ve been in the field for so long and have well over 500 credit hours. I’ve called the goergia board and they seem to not really answer my questions or are unsure. Also, on their application there is a question asking if I was a massage therapist during a “grandfathering” period? And I’m not really sure if I was.
You likely took the old Ohio exam. You were not grandfathered. That means that you got your license during a time where a state was transitioning to licensing LMTS. This happens when people are practicing massage in states without licenses. Then the states starts licensing. Grandfathering allows those people without a formal education to get a license for a certain amount of time.
The real question would be if they accept that exam for GA licensure. I looked at their website. Under endorsements (which you are) it says, Applicant must meet licensure requirements of their current state, indicating on the application they have successfully passed a Board recognized approved National Examination and completed a minimum of 500 hours from a massage therapy program.” This means to me that you may need to take the MBLEx. GA accepts the MBLEx and NCETMB (though it is no longer given). I would first find out if your Ohio exam would be accepted, if not, I would think the MBLEx would be what you need to do to get your license.
Hi Ivy I am a licensed therpist in Pennsylvania but just moved to Illinois ( military move) but will eventually move back to Pa in a few years. My question is, if I take CEU’s for my new license in the state of Illinois, will they count towards my license in the state of Pa? the requirements are the same 24 CEU for the 2 years
If you CE provider is approved in both states, then most likely. I use my Iowa hours for my Florida license renewal and vice vera. I just make sure they meet the criteria in each state before I sign up for them. I also try to make sure I schedule them correctly. My Iowa and FL licenses renew in the same year, within a couple months of each other.
I have a GA massage license. I will move to VA I have to transfer my license to VA I want to check weather the school I had studied is approved by VA. I called and didn’t get exactly answer. would you tell me how would I do right now. I appreciate your help.
Schools are generally approved if they are approved by the Board in your current state. Out of state schools are not generally “approved” by an out of state Board. Boards rely on the other state boards to approve the schools. I assume the requirements for schools in VA is similar to the ones in GA. The VA Massage division is under the Nursing Board, which is unique, but I have not heard of any specific problems with the application process there.
Hello Ivy. Hopefully you can assist me. I am currently a therapist in New York considering moving to Washington State. Our education requirements are 1000 hours and I have been a therapist for five years. I have worked in highend hotels for the past 3 years. Recently I was sent to Thailand for training in Thai massage and I am New York State CPR and First Aide certified. I’m hoping that based upon my education and work experience that moving won’t be too much of an issue. Could you see any roadblocks? Please help me solidify this exciting decision with some of your guidance and knowledge so that I may plan accordingly. Many positives and blessings
The best advice is to contact the Wash State Board of Massage and explain you situation and training. I believe an board examination (may need the MBLEx since NYS has own exam) and a few state required courses may be required, but that is it.
I am currently enrolled in a school in Calif. Will I be able to get reciprosity for Idaho. I travel back and forth and will need to work in both states.
You will need a license in each state to practice in each state. Thousands of LMTS have multiple licenses. Just follow the rules of the state you are practicing in.
My mother currently holds an active Florida license and wants to know will they transfer to meet Georgia requirements. We are having trouble navigating the web sites.
I would call the GA board. I know of many GA and FL LMTs that go between states and have both GA and FL licenses. I do not think you will have too many problems getting a GA license (unless she has not taken a licensing exam). I am not sure if GA accepts the old FL licensing exam from way back.
I’m in RI massage school and plan on practicing in MA. RI requires 500 hours (including 150 practicum) and MA requires 650 (100 practicum). The school provides 650 hours so that is fine but the practicum needs to be done is RI, can it be done in MA instead? MA doesn’t require MBLEX but RI does, if I take RI Mblex and decide to practice in RI or MA, will that be ok?
Thank you in advance!
It is likely up to your school what they would accept for your practicum. I do not think it would need to be state specific, but that is a school decision. The MBLEx is all about mobility and the exam is not state specific, so you can take it anywhere and choose where you want your scores sent to.
I am licensed in SC and GA, took the mblex after completing 500 hrs. Can you advise me on reciprocity in ME and FL. Thanks
Here is my Florida License package with the courses you will need, That page also has a checklist with step by step instructions on getting your FL license.
Hi Ivy, I was a LMT in VA and passed the National Exam 6 years ago. My license lapsed as I wasn’t working as a LMT for the last 4 yrs(moved to a diff state). Now I live in CO and I am ready to be a therapist again. I can’t find what info I need to know before I call them..Any help is appreciated. Thx, Trish
You can call the VA board and ask your license dates and they likely have the information on your NCE exam. If not, call the NCBTMB and ask them about your exam date. They likely will have to send proof of your exam score to the CO board.
While I am here, a short PSA, I always advise massage therapists to keep copies of all their important documents (transcripts, licenses, exam scores CEUs, for instances like this. My folder has helped me out many times.
My wife has a state of NJ license. Has not taken any Nat’l exams. Did 600 hrs of school and NJ state exam.
Thinking of moving to SC or NC. Reciprocity?
I would directly contact the state boards of each state and verify the exam is required for each state (I believe it is for both). If you have any questions about preparing for the MBLEx, I have another website for preparing for the exam. Many people that have been out of school for years have used it to prepare (www.massageexamaacademy.com).
Hi! I’m currently licensed in the state of California and planning to move to Hawaii, do you know the requirements to practice MT In Hawaii? Thanks!
Hawaii has its own state licensing exam that you likely will need to complete. They also require 570 hours. I know these are for first time applicants. I would contact the Hawaiian Massage Board for exact directions according to your situation. California licensees have greatly varied educational backgrounds. Best of luck!
Did you end up moving to Hawaii yet? I’m a LMT here in Florida and wanting to move to Hawaii within the next few months.
I am currently licensed in Oregon. I am moving to Washington in July, ochre than the aids course will there be any additional hurdles.
Other than the CPR course, I can’t think of anything else.
I graduated in 2009 and obtained the NESL license before graduation. I never did get it converted. We are thinking about moving to Kansas City so now I’m wondering if I will need to retake the exam to work in MO. Last I heard KS didn’t require a license but I’m not too sure if that’s still the case.
Kansas House Bill 2187 died in committee this year, so it is still up to local govt to regulate massage. You will need to contact them and ask what is required of you. As far as Missouri, they do not list the NESL as an accepted exam, but I would contact the Board and ask them if it is accepted before thinking about taking the MBLEx (the NCETMB, NCETM, and NESL are no longer offered).
Who trumps? City or State? For massage laws?
This is a great question.
From what I understand a local law can make something illegal that the state says is okay. But a local govt can not make something that is illegal by state standards legal in their town. States typically have the upperhand and most power. They create the local cities and usually win out in a battle.
Perhaps you may be able to help me… I can’t find much information for the State of Hawaii. My spouse was a massage therapist in Pennsylvania (before licensing was required) and we recently moved to Hawaii. He’s currently in massage school in Hawaii (since know the education portion will not transfer), but do you know if his previous work experience as a massage therapist will satisfy the required 400-clinical hours?
Contact the HI board of massage for the best information on this matter. Each state is so different! Best wishes.
Can you tell me if your spouse was able to transfer anything over to Hawaii? I’m a LMT here in Florida but wanting to move to Hawaii within the next few months.
Diana M. Araiza
I currently hold my license in the state of Florida. I have been a therapist since 2004.
I am considering moving either to Colorado or the state of Washington.
could you tell me what I need to do in order to assure that I am “workable” in either of these states?
I could deeply appreciate it.
Thank you in advance,
Diana M. Araiza, L.M.T.
I would visit the board websites for each state and look at their requirements. If you have any specific questions, call the Board Office. They should be able to help you with specific questions. I would not think you should run into too many roadblocks. You may need a couple of courses for WA State (HIV and CPR certfication). FL licensees do not generally have too many issues moving elsewhere. Keep your FL license valid in the meantime before you move. It often makes things a little easier.
Wash State: http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/MassageTherapist/LicenseRequirements
I am much better at helping people move to FL then the other way around :). Best of luck!
Hi I’m thinking of moving from Colorado to Louisiana I am a RMT in CO I took the MBLEX, but I’m not understanding the regulations for Louisiana does it just transfer or do I have to do more testing?
The LA massage board accepts MBLEx. Just contact the FSMTB and ask them to forward your scores to the LA board. Best wishes!
Hi I’m thinking of moving from Colorado to Louisiana I am a RMT in CO I took the MBLEX, but I’m not understanding the regulations for Louisiana does it just transfer or do I have to do more testing?
Hi Leann! Louisiana does accept the MBLEx. There is no need for more testing. You can go to the LA Board site to see if you meet the educational requirement and apply. https://www.labmt.org/site.php
I am licensed in Missouri. I am moving to Wyoming, there is no license needed where I am moving. That is the easy part. I am double checking on local laws, but I am fairly sure there is none. But my question is, if I move back to Missouri in the future, what has happened to my status of being licensed?
If you think you may move back, I would just keep up your CE requirements and license fees to remain licensed in MO. It will be far less of a hassle if you move back. You can be licensed in more than one state at the same time (I am). If you let your MO license lapse, you will need to reapply, show what you have been doing while not licensed, likely show proof of completing CE courses before having your license reactivated. Or if the laws change while you are not licensed (lets say they up the hours requirement) you would need to go back to school too. If you are not moving back (for sure) then let it expire. This is just my opinion ;). Best wishes.
This is my question and dilemma. I am currently enrolled in distance learning at an institution in colorado( acredited and I reside in Louisiana). They offered 400 hours of academics online and 200 hours hands on at the institution which I plan on finishing the hands on there.
I was planning to relocate to North Carolina. I read there statement of endorsement and requirements but there course curriculum stated 500 hours of supervise instructor training and it could take up to 6 months just for approval.
My question am I misinterpreting the information set forth by the board? Could you explain to me what I need to do? I would want to be out of work waiting on an answer.
Entry level correspondence training is the massage industry something that is very new. The number of states that allow people to use this type of training for obtaining a license is very low and really do not see it becoming widely accepted. Dealing directly with the board where you want to move is the best place to start. Ask if they allow this type of training or what exactly you need to do to get your training approved. It will not be easy, but it is what you will need to do to get your license.
Aloha, I am curios on the transfer of Hawaii LMT to Colorado ? I have been licensed for 8 years.
DORA is in charge of regulating massage therapy in Colorado. Look at their “endorsement checklist” (meaning HI endorses you as a massage therapist) and and application to get your license in Colorado.
Does HI still have its own exam? If so you likely will need to take the MBLEx or NCETMB
“In order to qualify to be licensed as a Massage Therapist in Colorado you must have
completed an approved course that consists of at least 500 hours of course and clinical work AND passed
either the Massage Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) OR the National Certification Examination for
Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB/NCETM).”
I would verify this with DORA. If you need help studying, I have a site to help people prepare for their licensing exam (www.massageexamacademy.com)
Cheryl Crain Gentry
I have been a practicing massage therapist since 1972. When licensure became required in 2005 I obtained a license in KY. I am moving to Arizona which recognizes reciprocity. I submitted all necessary documentation. Today I received a notice that I must submit transcripts from the school in which I studied. I interned for 2 years with a therapist before starting my own practice. What is the next step I should take.
Hello Ivy, I am writing to find out more about a reciprocity that I did a year ago to move from PA to Az and now I am moving back to PA. Do you know if my license in PA is still active? or what the best thing to do to obtain that license back? Thank you Bev
You can call the board in PA or see if PA has an online database of active licensees. Typically the database will tell you when the person’s license expires. Best wishes on you move!
Hi, so I’m one of the unlucky ones who are licensed in Hawaii but have now moved to virginia. What is the first thing I need to do to go about getting my Virginia license? Thank you for your help:)
The VA massage board is within the Nursing board. Weird. Here is their website:http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_forms.htm
You will have to scroll down to see the information on the page about the massage requirements. Contact their office if you have any specific questions.
Hello I saw you wrote about apply license in VA and move from Hawaii to Virginia
Did you find out? Can you please let me know also
My question is this. I have my massage license in Washington State. I don’t necessarily want to move, but to travel thru Oregon and California. I would like to make massage money on the road. Will I need to get licensed for all three states? Can a person hold a license in more than one state? This is my first stop on this research, thought I’d stop and ask the question. Thank you for your time.
You would need a license in all three states (well, California has a voluntary license – which I would suggest looking into getting). You can have licenses in multiple states, and should have one in any state you practice. I have both an Iowa license and Florida license. The trickiest part is keeping all of your renewal dates and requirements straight in your head.
Hi, so I am currently a massage student in Virginia. I am not currently licensed but definetly intend on being within the next six months or so. My mother wants to move back to Texas as she is getting older and wants to be with family. The question is, how will the state of Texas receive my licensure from the state of Virginia? I don’t intend on moving for at least the next three years, so I still have time to gain more experience, as well as get my ducks & finances in a row to make my move & transition as smooth as possible. Any help &/or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Typically you would (a few months before you move) contact the Massage Board in VA and have them send proof of your current license to TX. Texas has a form on their application for you to give to the state of VA: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/massage/mt_forms.shtm. VA will forward that (usually there is a small fee) to TX.
You will also need to contact your school and have them send a transcript to TX as proof of your education.
Texas does a fairly good job in their app of explaining what you need to do. They have a short, online jurisprudence exam which covers the massage laws of their state. It is easy (I have taken it) – so do not worry about that.
Hope this helps! Good luck with your move!
Thank you much Ivy.
I am a massage therapist in Texas thinking about moving to Ohio.I have been a therapist for 20 years what will I need to transfer. .
Here is the requirements-
Without knowing the specific hours and if you’ve passed the MBLEx, it is hard for me to say. Contact the Ohio board with your specific information about those requiremen’s and if your Texas license is in good standing. They can best determine if you qualify for a license and what you need to do next.