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Division of
Professional Regulation

Frequently Asked Questions



  1. What do I have to do to practice massage in Delaware?
  2. What is the difference between what a Certified Massage Technician and a Licensed Massage Therapist can do?
  3. How do I get licensed or certified?
  4. What examinations do I have to take?
  5. What are the fees to get a license?
  6. How long does it take to get licensed or certified?
  7. Can I get a temporary license?
  8. What is the continuing education requirement?
  9. How do I upgrade from a Certified Massage Technician to Licensed Massage Therapist?
  10. I give massages in a client’s home. Do I need an establishment license?
  11. I give massages in my home. Do I need an establishment license?
  12. I give massages in a beauty shop. Do I need a Massage Establishment license?
  13. I rent space and provide massage therapy services in two different locations. Do I need a separate Massage Establishment license for each location?
  14. I rent space (co-op) with three other massage therapists, and we each pay rent to the landlord separately. Do each of us need a Massage Establishment license or do we need only one? Are we each the “person in charge?”

Answers

 

What do I have to do to practice massage in Delaware?

Answer: If any modality(ies) you practice is considered to be massage/bodywork, you must be licensed or certified by the Delaware Board of Massage and Bodywork before working in Delaware. This is true even if you have received a massage diploma or if you are already “certified” by a professional association such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. It is also true even if you are already licensed or certified to practice massage in another state or country. The modalities that are considered massage/bodywork are listed in Section 2.0 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations.

 

What is the difference between what a Certified Massage Technician and a Licensed Massage Therapist can do?

Answer: Only a Licensed Massage Therapist can work on medically diagnosed conditions. A Certified Massage Technician is prohibited from working on medically diagnosed conditions and from working on referrals from a physician or chiropractor.  Also, the Certified Massage Technician may neither call himself or herself a “therapist” nor use the word “therapy” in describing his or her profession nor in any way imply that he or she is certified to practice massage therapy.

 

How do I get licensed or certified?

Answer: The procedure differs according to whether you are applying for Certified Massage Technician or Licensed Massage Therapist. It also makes a difference whether you are applying by “initial application” or “by reciprocity.” To apply by reciprocity, you must be currently licensed by another jurisdiction where you have been licensed and practiced continually for two years. Refer to the detailed procedures of applying for Massage Technician Certification or Massage Therapist Licensure.

 

What examinations do I have to take?

Answer: To be licensed as a Massage Therapist, you must pass the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) MBLEx examination.  For information about the exam, see www.fsmtb.org. There is no examination for Certified Massage Technician.

 

What are the fees to get a license?

Answer: See Fee Schedule.

 

How long does it take to get licensed or certified?

Answer: This depends on how long it takes for the Board office to receive all the required documentation. Once all of the required documents are received, your application is placed on the agenda for the next Board meeting. If the Board approves your application at that meeting and no further documentation is needed, the Board office will issue your license number and certificate. If all documents are received timely, processing time is between one and two months.

 

Can I get a temporary license?

Answer: See Temporary Massage Technician.

 

What is the continuing education requirement?

Answer: Generally, you are required to complete 24 hours of acceptable continuing education to renew your license every two years.  There are exceptions for the first renewal after you are licensed or certified and for the first renewal after you upgrade from Certified Massage Technician to Licensed Massage Therapist. See Section 9.0 of the Board’s  Rules and Regulations for more information.

 

How do I upgrade from a Certified Massage Technician to Licensed Massage Therapist?

Answer: If the Board has already certified you as a Massage Technician and you later complete the requirements for a Licensed Massage Therapist, you must do all of the following:

When your application is complete and approved,  the Board office will issue your license number and certificate.

 

I give massages in a client’s home. Do I need a Massage Establishment license?

Answer: No. Since the client’s home is an out-call location that you do not own or rent, a Massage Establishment license is not required (24 Del. C. §5302 (4)).

 

I give massages in my home. Do I need a Massage Establishment license?

Answer: If you advertise the home as a place of business—such as by signage, business card, or other means—it meets the definition of a massage establishment in the law (24 Del. C. §5302 (4)). A Massage Establishment license is required.

 

I give massages in a beauty shop. Do I need a Massage Establishment license?

Answer: No. If the facility where you give the massages is required to have a professional license, such as a Cosmetology/Barbering Establishment license, the facility does not need a Massage Establishment license. For more information, see 24 Del. C. §5302 (4)

 

I rent space and provide massage therapy services in two different locations. Do I need a separate Massage Establishment license for each location?

Answer: Yes. Each location requires a license.

 

I rent space (co-op) with three other massage therapists, and we each pay rent to the landlord separately. Do each of us need a Massage Establishment license or do we need only one? Are we each the “person in charge”?

Answer: The answer would depend on the individual circumstances such as business arrangements and physical premises. For example, each therapist would need a separate license if each of you has a separate treatment room with a door, act as your own professional-in-charge and operate as a separate business from the others. However, if you share space (e.g., one big room), it would depend on whether or not you are in business together. If each of you is a separate business, you would each need a license. For example, if each of you has a separate address (e.g., 10A Main Street, 10B Main Street, 10C Main Street), advertises separately, files business taxes separately, etc., you would be considered separate businesses and need four separate licenses. On the other hand, if you file an application together, identifying all four of you as the business owners, and share a single professional-in-charge, all of you would be a single business and need only one license. See Section 12.2.3 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations.


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