FAQ for the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions related to the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy
O.C.G.A. § 36-60-6(c) states that before any county or municipal corporation issues a business license to any person engaged in a profession or business required to be licensed by the state under Title 43, the person must provide evidence of such licensure to the appropriate agency of the county or municipal corporation that issues business licenses. No business license shall be issued to any person subject to licensure under Title 43 without evidence of such licensure being presented.
In furtherance of this requirement, O.C.G.A. § 43-24A-30(a)(8) & (9) stipulates that the county, municipality, or other local jurisdiction may by ordinance or resolution require that a licensed massage therapist is present on the premises of a massage therapy business at any time when massage therapy is being performed for a client of the massage therapy business; and, that there is evidence of license to practice massage therapy.
The requirements outlined within the laws and rules must be met to be considered eligible for licensure in this state. Please refer to the Laws, Policies, & Rules section of the website to access links to the Georgia Massage Therapy Practice Act and Board Rules. Forms and applications can be found via the "Application/Form Downloads" link on the right hand side, above the quick links.
- The massage therapy education program you attend must meet the requirements of the law as well as those indicated in the Board Rules under Chapter 345-8 to be recognized by the Board. If the program you complete is within the state of Georgia and is not on the list of recognized programs, you will not be eligible for licensure. If the program you complete is outside of the state of Georgia and does not meet the requirements of Board Rules Chapter 345-8, you will not be eligible for licensure.
- The program must have a minimum curriculum of 500 total clock hours of supervised classroom and supervised hands-on instruction. "Supervised" means the supervisor is physically on-site, qualified, and immediately available. Online courses whereby the instructor is not physically on-site, qualified, and immediately available are not acceptable.
- If credits for the program were not recorded in clock hours, applicants must submit transcripts on which the credits have been converted to clock hours by the program or institution attended. The Board nor Board staff are not responsible for making such conversions and will not accept transcripts that have not been converted.
ONLY for NON-RESIDENTS OF GEORGIA are eligible for provisional permits. See the Board Rule 345-3-.01 and Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 43-24A) for details regarding eligibility and requirements.
Board recognized massage therapy educational program is defined in O.C.G.A. § 43‐24A‐3(4) [needs hyperlink]. An applicant residing within the state of Georgia must have graduated from a board recognized massage therapy educational program to be licensed in this state. Refer to the Board Rules under Chapter 345-8 on the website for the curriculum and faculty requirements and documentation required for a massage therapy education program to be considered for recognition by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy. Links to Board rules may be found here.
Programs located outside of the state of Georgia must have requirements substantially equal to or greater than those required of a Georgia based program pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 43‐24A‐3(4) and Board Rule under Chapter 345-8. It is the responsibility of the applicant to request and cause the submission of their massage therapy program's certification, regulatory Board, or other entity recognition and/or any other criteria requested by the Georgia Board. Not all massage therapy educational programs will be acceptable to the Georgia Board.
In addition, you must complete a program with one transcript stating all the hours earned and in what subject areas or curriculum, even hours transferred in from another program or school. Multiple, incomplete transcripts will not be accepted.
Select the "Licensure Search" button to the right of this page. On the web page that follows select the option that says click "here to search for a Facility." Type in the name of the school in the "Business/Company Name" field then click "Search" to receive a list of search results. Recognized massage therapy educational programs will be identified in the search results by name, license number (that begins with RMP- followed by a six-digit number), and the profession under which the program is recognized.
To identify out of state massage therapy educational programs that may be accepted by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy you are encouraged to visit the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) website to determine if the school had an assigned school code at the time you attended and graduated from the program. If it did, you must then ensure that the program meets the requirements of Board Rules Chapter 345-8 (three rules) and is approved by the U. S. Department of Education in the state where it is located. If the aforementioned requirements are met, you may be eligible for licensure in Georgia.
Fees are subject to change at the Boards discretion. Please refer to the "Fee Schedule" on the home page to view the current fees.
- All application fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Application processing may take up to twenty-five (25) business days from the receipt of the application in the Board Office. Should there be any information associated with the application which causes it to fall outside of the administrative guidelines established by the Board (i.e., criminal history, disciplinary history, incomplete application, etc.), processing times may be extended and/or Board review may be required.
- Applications submitted for licensure must be complete and correct, including submission of all required documents, prior to review by the Board or issuance of authority to test. Board staff will notify the applicant of any application deficiencies. Applicants will have 60 days from the date of the notification to correct the deficiencies and submit requirements to the board office. Failure to comply within the 60-day window will result in the administrative withdrawal of the application. When an incomplete application is withdrawn, and further consideration is desired, a new application with all appropriate fees and documents will be required.
Applicants may check the status of their application via the "Licensing Services" section on the Board website or by calling the Board office @ (404) 424-9966 for information.
Yes. The Board will accept a passing score on any one of the following exams as having met one of the requirements for licensure to practice massage therapy in this state:
- From the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB):
- National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM); or,
- National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB): or,
- National Examination for State Licensure (NESL)
- From the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB):
- Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx)
NOTE: If your scores have been invalidated or nullified for any reason, you will not be eligible for licensure in the state of Georgia
No, there is no requirement to pass a Georgia Law Exam. Licensees are required, and expected, to be familiar with the laws and rules regulating the practice on massage therapy in the state of Georgia.
Yes, you must hold an active license issued by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy to practice as a massage therapist in Georgia.
No. You must hold an active license issued by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy to practice as a massage therapist in Georgia.
Applicants must use the GAPS Applicant Processing Service (gemalto.com) to obtain a criminal background check.
For more information, download these Instructions for Applicants to Obtain Fingerprints for a Background Check >>
An "Official School Transcript" is an ORIGINAL, CERTIFIED OR NOTARIZED school transcript submitted from your massage therapy educational program registrar or other school official to the Board. The transcript must be on school or program letterhead, contain the name and contact information of the school or program official certifying the document, the curriculum (courses) taken and clock hours obtained, the start and completion or graduation dates and the applicant's name and date of birth. The applicant must request the school or program to mail the document directly to: Georgia Board of Massage Therapy, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217-3858.
- In addition, the transcript must reflect ALL the hours earned and credited, the associated subject areas or curriculum courses, and if applicable identify the hours transferred in from another program or school. Multiple, incomplete transcripts will not be accepted. If your massage therapy school was located in Georgia and has closed or discontinued operation, you must contact the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) to request that a copy of your official student record, to include the transcript, be forwarded to the Board. If you require a copy of your transcript to be licensed in another state, you will need to attempt to obtain it from NPEC. If you receive official notification from NPEC that the record no longer exists, you may submit a request to the Board. Please note that a fee may be assessed should the Board provide the documentation.
- Applicants educated outside of the United States must provide an ORIGINAL credential evaluation report, in English, completed by International Consultants of Delaware, Inc. (ICD). The evaluation must include a certified copy of the school transcript which has been translated into English. For instructions on the credentialing process and fees you may contact ICD. Their contact information is as follows: International Consultants of Delaware, Inc., P.O. Box 8629, Philadelphia, PA 19101-8629, Contact Number: (215) 222-8454 x 603; Web Address: www.icdeval.com.
- NO COPIES WILL BE ACCEPTED; ORIGINALS ONLY
In accordance with O.C.G.A. § 20-3-250.17, the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) is the designated authority to maintain student records for private postsecondary schools that have discontinued operation in Georgia. To request a copy of your official transcript or program records, you may do so online by visiting the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission website. You may also submit your request in writing along with their fee to the following address:
Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
2082 East Exchange Place
Tucker, GA 30084
If you attended a postsecondary education program that was offered through the technical college system of Georgia and the program is now discontinued, you may wish to contact the Technical College System of Georgia at 404.679.1600 for assistance.
Applicants not educated within the state of Georgia are encouraged to contact the massage therapy licensing board in the state where your massage therapy education was received if you need to identify the entity which has been the designated authority to maintain student records for the private or public post-secondary schools that have discontinued operations in that state.
Applicants and licensees must submit proof of liability insurance coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and professional liability. The coverage and amounts must be no less than $1 million per occurrence, with not less than a minimum annual aggregate of $3 million for all occurrences, as determined by the Board [O.C.G.A. § 43‐24A‐8(b)(8) & 43-24A-14(c)].
A license cannot be issued until all required documentation has been received, reviewed with no deficiencies noted, and the application is deemed complete.
- Please allow up to 25 business days for applications and all required supporting documents to be fully processed. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that a current application and all required documentation is submitted in the format that is required for licensure in this state (i.e., clock hours, certified, etc.). Documentation which is not received at the time the application is submitted will be processed within 15 business days of receipt which may cause additional delays in processing time.
- You will be notified in writing, via the email address provided on the application, of any deficiencies noted with your application or other supporting documents. It is important that you monitor your email account, to include the inbox, spam or junk mail folders for any correspondence forwarded to you from the Board.
- Additionally, applicants with "yes" responses to questions regarding arrests, criminal convictions or charges, sanctions/actions taken by any state licensing board, any academic disciplinary action, denials of licensure, treatment for chemical dependence or substance or alcohol abuse and/or there are deficiencies and questions concerning whether or not the applicant meets educational requirements shall expect that their application will require Board review. As a result, processing time for those applications will be extended. Applications which fall within this category will be prepared for presentation to the Board at the next scheduled bi-monthly (every 2 month) meeting once it can be determined that the application is complete.
Effective July 1, 2012, the Professional Licensing Boards Division stopped printing and/or mailing courtesy hard copies of blue wall licenses and pocket cards to licensees free of charge. Massage Therapists must post a copy of their license at their place of business for inspection. To meet this requirement, the division will provide free of charge an electronic version of the professional license for the individual or business to obtain from our website. This change will apply to all license types and to the issuance of new, renewed, and reinstated licenses.
Once the license has been issued, you may print a copy of the license via the Print License link of the home page. You will be required to enter a user ID and password to print the license.
Yes, “the licensee shall display the license certificate or a photocopy thereof in an appropriate and public manner at each location at which he or she practices” - O.C.G.A. § 43-24A-14(a).
An Identification Card is perhaps the most visible and recognizable symbol of your profession. The Georgia Board of Massage Therapy is offering licensed Massage Therapists the opportunity to purchase a durable plastic Identification Card for $50.
On the renewal application you may be asked a series of questions regarding continuing education, arrests or criminal history, disciplinary action, impairment, drug and alcohol treatment and citizenship. Please read the questions carefully and answer honestly. Inaccurate or erroneous responses will delay and/or cause the denial of the renewal of your license.
- NOTE: By answering "yes" to the CE on the renewal application, you are attesting that you have completed ALL CE requirements at the time you submitted your renewal application. As a result, it is recommended that you complete all CE prior to submitting your renewal application to avoid disciplinary action by the Board.
- Each licensee is required to obtain twenty-four (24) Contact Hours of Continuing Education (CE) which is acceptable to the Board prior to the expiration date of the license (October 31st of every even numbered year).
- Of the 24 hours, 12 must be obtained from direct, hands-on supervised instruction. The remaining 12 may include direct hands on supervised instruction or other massage therapy related hours. For the purpose of this requirement "hands on" means direct hands on placement or movement on the physical body.
- There are some exemptions for meeting CE requirements noted within the Board Rule 345-4-.02. You are encouraged to review the rule carefully to determine if any apply to you. Georgia Massage Therapists are also required to register the name of the course and record a certificate of completion of their CE activities into CE Broker®. A transcript of courses is not acceptable.
Continuing education is to be recorded within CE Broker, the online tracking system selected by the Board. Please follow these simple step-by-step instructions to establish your account:
- Go to https://www.cebroker.com and click "Account Options."
- Select "Georgia" for this state and register for the account of your choosing. You can register for the No Cost, Basic Limited Access Account with just your license number. The Basic Account will allow you to report continuing education activities, see your current Compliance Status, and search for courses. You may opt to use CE Broker's paid Concierge and Professional Account services, but those services are voluntary and not required by this Board.
- Once you have created your account and logged into the system, click "Report CE", and locate the option that is most applicable to what you are recording. You will need to answer a few questions and then attach the documentation that the Board requires. If you are using the mobile application to submit your documentation into the system, you may take a picture of your documentation and upload it via your phone or tablet.
YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT FOR THE COURSES YOU LIST OR RECORD IF YOU DO NOT LOAD THE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS WHICH REPRESENT YOUR PARTICIPATION AND COMPLETION OF THE COURSE.
Please note that registration and recording of continuing education activities after the date of application may delay the renewal of your license. Additionally, a failure to complete CE requirements before the expiration date of the license constitutes a failure to demonstrate the qualifications or standards for the license, in which case, the Board may deny renewal of the license [O.C.G.A. § 43-1-19(a)(1)].
Before attempting to open a massage therapy educational program in the state of Georgia, you are encouraged to review the Georgia Massage Therapy Practice Act, specifically O.C.G.A. § 43‐24A‐3(4) and Board Rules Chapter 345-8 to understand that which is required before the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy could consider recognizing and licensing your massage therapy educational program. First, you will need to visit the website of the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) to review their requirements for obtaining an assigned school code and submit an application (https://www.ncbtmb.org/schools-students/). Next, you must visit the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission’s (GNPEC) website to review the minimum standards and criteria necessary to establish an educational institution (https://gnpec.georgia.gov/authorization/authorization-application/minimum-standards) and submit an application to them.
Please note that all massage therapy educational programs seeking board approval must submit a complete application, to include all supplemental documents, the necessary fee and proof of the following:
1) A current, unencumbered National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) School Provider Code; and,
2) A current, unencumbered Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) Authorization number, be a postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or be a postsecondary institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency equivalent to GNPEC.
O.C.G.A. § 50-13-9.1 Allows for an applicant, a licensee and/or entity to petition the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy to vary (modify) or waive (not apply) all or part of a rule requirement in their particular situation. For a rule or portion thereof to be varied or waived, the petitioner must be able to demonstrate strict application of rule can lead to unreasonable, uneconomical, and unintended results in the petitioner’s particular instance. The statute also allows for the Board to grant a variance or waiver when the petitioner is able to demonstrate that the purpose of the underlying statute upon which the rule is based can be or has been achieved by other specific means which are agreeable to the person seeking the variance or waiver and that strict application of the rule would create a substantial hardship to such person.
If an applicant, a licensee and/or entity desires to make such a petition, you must download and complete a Petition for Rule Variance or Waiver form and submit it along with any supporting documentation to the Board for consideration. You may download the instructions and form by visiting the Application/Form Downloads section on the home page of the Board website.
Please be aware that a failure to properly complete the form and submit the documentation supporting your statements within the petition may result in the denial of the request based on insufficient evidence to substantiate that the application of the rule in your circumstance will cause a hardship.
The petition will be posted for a minimum of fifteen (15 days) on the GeorgiaNet Public Registry and petitioners may conduct a search for their petition. Please note that any member of the public, including interested parties, shall have the opportunity to submit written comments in support of or against proposed variances or waivers prior to the Board decision. The Board has up to sixty (60) days from receipt of the petition to render a decision to either grant or deny the petition. The petitioner will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision and the written statement will include relevant facts and the reasons for the Board’s action.
The Georgia Board of Massage Therapy does not issue letters of good standing. If another licensing authority or employer requires an official statement about the status of a license in this state, the licensee may submit an Online License Verification request, which can be found on the home page of the Board website.
Please note that a $35 fee is required before the verification will be issued. The license verification request will be processed and forwarded to the entity you indicated on the online form. If you have multiple licenses and/or you need the license verification sent to multiple locations, you will be required to submit a new order and fee each time.
If you do not have access to a credit or debit card for payment of the fee, you may submit your request by mail using a check or money order. Download the Order Form >>
Address changes will be accepted via USPS Mail Service or fax to 866-888-1308 if the appropriate information is submitted on the Name and Address Change Request Form. Licensees may also use the Online Services tab of the home page of the Board website to update their own address and email address online by logging into your account using our User ID and Password.
O.C.G.A. § 43-24A-14(c) requires licensees notify the Board of any address change within thirty (30) days.
Submit a copy of a marriage license, divorce decree or court order via USPS mail service to 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, GA 31217 or by fax to 866-888-1308 using the Name and Address Change Request Form. A copy of your driver’s license or social security card is not acceptable. You can print a copy of your license form the link on the website. Please do not send original documents as they cannot be returned.
Thank you for your interest in the process for becoming a board member. You are encouraged to visit the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy Rules and Laws page to review the rules and laws of the Georgia Massage Therapy Practice Act, specifically O.C.G.A. §§ 43‐24A‐4, 43‐24A‐5, 43‐24A‐6 and 43‐24A‐7, the Code of Conduct Code of Ethics and Conflicts of Interest (O.C.G.A. § 43-10-3), Code of Ethics for Government Service (O.C.G.A. § 45-10-1), and the Open and Public Meetings Act (O.C.G.A. §50-14-1 et. seq.), to get a basic understanding of the minimum requirements.
Should you desire to apply to become a board member, you are encouraged to visit the official website of the Georgia Office of the Governor at https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/appointments to apply.
Please submit any requests to speak or appear and/or add any topics or items for discussion to the Board office in writing a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date to: Georgia Board of Massage Therapy, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217. If the request or item for discussion is received according to the specified time frame, it will be considered for an agenda item. If the item is not received accordingly, it may be held until the next scheduled in-person meeting of the Board.
***NOTE*** If a request is relative to an incomplete application or complaint case which has not yet been considered by the Board, the request to appear may be tabled until the Board has rendered an initial decision on the complete application or complaint case.
The Georgia Board of Massage Therapy does not have regulatory authority over massage establishments and therefore does not issue licenses to businesses. Additionally, the Board does not have the authority to shut down businesses that advertise massage services while offering illicit activities. Such authority resides with county and municipal (city) authorities who provide permits for these businesses to exist and have the ability enforce other laws relating to illicit activities or health code violations. Complaints against massage businesses should be forwarded to the local county and municipal (city) authorities of domicile to the business. A business’s domicile is the county, city, or town where the business is located.
Complaints against licensed massage therapists who appear to be in violation of the laws governing massage therapy practice should be submitted to the Board via the Online Complaint button on the Board’s website.