In February, I got VERY excited about a law that was finally completely approved. Technically, the Massage Therapy Act passed Oklahoma state legislation in December of 2016. However, there was one more item needed from the Governor in order applications to be accepted by the newly formed massage therapy board. To be honest, I have been waiting for that kind of law in the state since I received my degree in massage therapy in 2006.
It has been exhausting trying to keep up with the various city licenses, fees, and testing methods needed to legitimately do massage and bodywork in the state. Finally having ONE regulating body is quite the relief. Additionally, it does feel good to know that the work in school actually has significance. Prior, it seemed like anyone could get started as long as they had liability insurance and a business license. That is very frustrating to those of us that followed the procedures laid out to us by official education.
The Governor completed the last needed item, "Emergency Massage Therapy Rules", on the last week of January 2017. I filed for my state license on Feb 9th. So, what exactly does one need to file for a license in Oklahoma? Well, between January 23-April 30, 2017 it was slightly different before converting to what we have now. This timeframe was known as the "Grandfathering Period". Here is what was could be submitted,
(for Licensure submitted Before May 1st 2017)
- Must be 18 years of Age
Birth Certificate or Driver's License
- Citizenship Affidavit
- Have one or more of the following:
Pass the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx)
5 year affidavit of work in Oklahoma
Certificate of Completion from Massage school with 500 hours or more
- Proof of Current Liability Insurance
- Full Disclosure with Background check (all 3)
Mary Rippy Violent Offender
After the application is accepted, the end product will look something like this, 🙂
As of May 1, 2017, the following is required to make application for a Massage Therapy License
- A complete application form (form is available under Forms section of the OSBCB website)
- Citizenship affidavit of I-94 affidavit (form is available under Forms section of this website)
- Copy of birth certificate, driver's license or other government -issued identification that the person is at least eighteen (18) years of age.
- Copy of current liability insurance for practice as a massage therapist (copy of current professional liability policy is acceptable)
- Copy of a certificate and transcript of completion from a state licensed massage school showing completion of at least 500 hours of formal education in a massage therapy school.
- Certified copy of test scores showing completion and passing the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx)
- Current criminal history information report obtained from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation. A criminal history background information report shall be current if dated no more than thirty (30) days prior to the date on which the applicant submits a completed application to the Board. The OSBI criminal history background report shall include a search of the Department of Corrections Name, Sex Offender Database and Violent Offender Database. All fees required for the criminal history background report shall be paid by the applicant.
According to the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB),
"The regulation of massage therapy is done on a state-by-state basis. Currently, 49 states and territories regulate the massage therapy profession in some form to ensure that safe and competent practitioners are the only legal massage therapy professionals practicing on the public. To identify whether your state regulates the massage profession, please see the list and visit your own state board or agency. In the absence of state regulation, county or municipal ordinances and regulations could be in place. Verify with your city or county prior to making an appointment with a massage therapist."
Currently, the states of California, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wyoming do not have a state license. Note: California and Indiana have a state certification for regulation. California is a voluntary certification.
Want more information on standards for legal massage therapy operations? Download and print a copy of the Massage State Regulation Guide.
If you are a consumer, hopefully you now have a better idea of what it takes to actually attain a license. Unfortunately, the rigors of background is needed due to certain illegal activities that can occur using massage therapy as a front.
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