Massage Therapy Licensing Program FAQs - Application Questions

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How do I know if the classes I have taken in college or at an out of state massage school will count towards licensure?

A transcript evaluation is helpful if you are not sure whether or not we will accept your out of state school or specific classes you took in college. You may send us an original transcript (or a copy notarized as an exact copy of the original); course descriptions for the classes you wish us to consider for credit; and a written request for a transcript evaluation. There is no charge for this service. We will send you back a form showing the hours we will accept, which you can then take to a Texas massage school to enroll as a transfer student and take only the hours you lack for licensure.

Here's the address:

Massage Therapy Licensing Program
Texas Department of State Health Services
Mail Code 1982
P.O. Box 149347
Austin , Texas 78714-9347

May I use continuing education classes to earn the 500 hours required for licensure?

No. All 500 hours must be submitted on a transcript, either from a massage school, a university or college, or another appropriately accredited training program (e.g. chiropractic).

May I complete the academic portion of the 500 hours through an online massage school and just do the 50 hours of internship at a Texas school?

No. Online schools are not accepted for initial licensure.

I am moving to Texas from another state where I hold a license to practice massage therapy. Can I transfer my license? Is there reciprocity? How do I get a Texas license?

Here's the webpage with the application for licensure: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/massage/mt_forms.shtm

It includes instructions for applicants who are licensed in another state (at the end of the packet).

Can I work in Texas with just my national certification from NCBTMB?

No. You need a Texas license to advertise or practice massage therapy. Here's the webpage with the application for licensure: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/massage/mt_forms.shtm

Why do I need a Texas license as a massage therapist if I have a national license?

Your national certification from NCBTMB is a voluntary certification, and not a license. Licenses are issued by government entities and provide licensed professionals with specific authority (e.g. use of a protected title and/or a specific scope of practice). In Texas, a state license is required to advertise or practice massage therapy.

Do I have to take the Texas state exam to get a license?

No. Texas accepts national examinations now. All applicants who have satisfactorily completed massage therapy studies in an accepted course of instruction must pass an examination administered by either:

Examination fees, locations of test sites, and information on disability accommodations are available through the websites listed above.

I recently applied for a license and was told my license has been issued. Can I work now, or do I have to wait until I get my license in the mail?

You may print a license verification here: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/massage/mt_search.shtm and start working while you wait for your wall certificate and card to arrive by mail.

Will my criminal history make me ineligible for licensure?

Here are the convictions that make a person ineligible (license would be denied/revoked).

Sec. 455.152. INELIGIBILITY FOR LICENSE. (a) A person is not eligible for a license as a massage establishment, massage school, massage therapist, or massage therapy instructor if the person is an individual and has been convicted of, entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, or received deferred adjudication for an offense involving prostitution or another sexual offense.
(b) A person convicted of a violation of this chapter is ineligible for a license as a massage establishment, massage school, massage therapist, or massage therapy instructor until the fifth anniversary of the date of the conviction.

Sec. 455.1525. CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS.
(b) An applicant is not eligible for a license under this chapter if the applicant, in the five years preceding the date of the application, has been finally convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a felony.

There are other convictions which might make a person ineligible if we believe licensing you would create a danger to the public. We will be happy to discuss the specific issues with you by telephone, you may also request a Criminal History Evaluaton Letter.

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Last updated September 24, 2012