If you are a licensed massage therapist looking to also get licensed in Florida but are feeling overwhelmed by government websites, special situations like grandfathering, deciphering laws and statutes, and the paperwork (who needs to send what and where??), you are in the right spot. Let’s cover the Florida massage license application process, step by step.
Simplifying the Florida Massage License Application Process
There are five (5) basic requirements you need to complete in order to obtain your license. Let’s discuss each of those steps so you can get started on the process today.
Step 1: Complete Your 10-hour Florida Laws and Rules Course
All applicants must complete a Board-approved 10-Hour Law and Rules course. The Board allows the course to be taken online from either a Florida board-approved school or continuing education provider.
The reason I suggest people start with this course is simple. During the Florida application process, each applicant is asked if they completed an approved 10-hour Florida Laws and Rules course. Taking this course first will allow you to check “yes” and move on with the rest of the application.
Our Florida board-approved course is self-paced and does not need to be completed in one sitting. The exam is open book. Your completion certificate will be ready to print or download immediately after completion.
If you already applied, no problem! You can still take the course and send/email your completion certificate to the Board office any time after you apply so it can be added to your application file.
Still Need Your 10-hour FL Laws and Rules Course?
A Few Notes about the Course
If You Need This Course for Board Discipline
This course is also approved for current licensees that are required to complete ten (10) hours of Florida Law and Rules for Board disciplinary/penalty reasons. Please include your Florida license number when taking your exam so that I can report your completed hours to CE Broker.
If You Previously Held a Florida Massage License
If you had a Florida massage therapist license years ago but it is now null and void, there is a chance you only completed four (4) hours of Laws and Rules before the requirement changed to ten (10) hours. You now will need to take a 10-hour course if you are applying for a new license.
If You Are Looking for the Other Courses Previously Required for Initial Licensure
Two (2) hours of Prevention of Medical Errors and three (3) hours of HIV/AIDS are no longer required for obtaining a Florida massage therapy license for those moving to Florida. Yes, they are still on the application, but that is because those who go to school in Florida and apprentices still need to complete them. If you are moving to Florida, the only course you only need to complete a 10-hour Florida Laws and Rules course.
This Course is Not a Substitute for Massage Therapy Training
Applicants for a massage license need to show that they have completed a 500-hour massage training program. If you have not completed a 500 massage training program yet, you need to start there.
Step 2: Fill Out Your Florida Massage Therapy License Application
The second step is to complete the application and pay the required fees. You can complete the application online or print one and mail it.
In our licensing guide and checklist that comes with our 10-hour Florida Laws and Rules course, we will help you determine if you are an endorsement or examination candidate.
Once you submit your application and pay your fee, you will get a file number. You have one (1) year to complete all of the requirements, or you will need to start a new application.
Step 3: Request a State Verification
On your application, you will need to list all health care related licenses you have held. If needed, you must request an official license verification(s) from all state licensing boards where you hold, or have held, any health-related professional license (e.g. massage, nursing, physical therapy assistant). These verifications provide the board with important information about your license.
From what I have been told, the board is able to “pull” license information on many applicants without official verification. However, they cannot pull from every state. If they cannot pull license information from your state, they will send you a deficiency letter requesting you contact the boards where you were licensed and have them forward the Florida board an official license verification.
A verification form is included with the Florida Board of Massage License application. This request often has a fee of up to $50.
To obtain a state verification, you will need to contact the board, or boards, where you were licensed and request the verification be submitted to the Florida board directly from the other licensing board or agency.
If you have never held a massage or health-related license, you can skip to Step 4.
Step 4: Fingerprinting/ Background Screening
Florida requires a Level 2 background screening for all new applicants. A Level 2 background check typically includes fingerprint-based searches of records maintained by all local courts, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and FBI. Fingerprints must be by a Florida Board of Massage-approved Livescan provider.
Fingerprints are submitted electronically (no fingerprint cards) to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). This will trigger a search for any Florida and national criminal history records that may pertain to the applicant.
Fingerprint scans can be completed in Florida or outside the state by a Florida Board of Massage-approved Livescan provider. Previous fingerprints used in other states for other licenses will not be accepted.
Step 5: Finish Any Additional Requirements (School Transcript or Exam Score)
It is possible you will need to submit materials in addition to the ones listed above.
I used to recommend people submit their school transcripts and exam scores in all cases. However, the Board office has updated their process, and sometimes they can make an application decision based on your state license verification.
Unfortunately, a complete list of which state licenses need to submit additional information is not available, as license verification comes in many forms and states sometimes change what they provide with a verification.
Once an application has been received, it will be reviewed by Board staff. Upon review, it may be necessary for Board staff to request the additional information below.
In some cases, the Board office can make the determination of completion of 500 hours without a transcript through the state verification. However, if this education equivalency cannot be determined, Board staff will request a change of application method (from endorsement to examination) and request documentation of education.
As with school transcripts, if proof of exam cannot be determined through your license verification, the Board staff will request your licensing exam scores. If you took an exam to get your current license, or sometime after you got your license, you can most likely use those scores for your Florida license.
An exam is required to obtain a massage license in Florida. From what I have seen this means you need to take an exam even if you were grandfathered into licensure without an exam.
64B7-25.004 Endorsements. says the following about those who have an active license and are applying by endorsement:
(4) Demonstrates that the out-of-state license was issued upon the satisfactory completion of an examination comparable to the examination approved by the Board or presents certification to the Board of successful completion of an approved examination for licensure subsequent to the issuance of the out-of-state license
If you need to submit exam scores from the NCBTMB or FSMTB (MBLEx), my checklist will help you make that request. New York exam scores are included on the State’s license verification/certification.
If you are no longer NCBTMB certified, do not worry about it. Your exam scores never expire!
If you have not taken an exam yet, you will need to take the MBLEx before getting licensed. Again, this is true even if you were grandfathered into licensure without taking an exam. The MBLEx is currently the only Board-approved exam that is administered nationwide. (I also provide an MBLEx study program if you need one.)
Once all requirements for licensure are met, a Florida massage therapy license will be issued and should be received in the mail within 7-10 working days.