After helping over 2000 people obtain their Florida massage license, I have put together a few tips to help you minimize delays and avoid notifications of missing items from the Florida Board of Massage.
Complete 10 Hours of Florida Massage Laws and Rules
Before you do anything else, complete the required 10 hours of Florida Massage Laws and Rules course. When you apply for your license (which is the next step), you will need to check that completed the course. If you have not completed the course, you will then need to send in the certificate at a later date.
Apply for your license
When you apply to the Florida Board of Massage, a file is opened for you at the board office. This file provides the best place for all of your important documents (official transcripts and exams scores) when they arrive at the board office.
Without an open file, there is a greater likelihood of those important documents, that you are paying to have sent, could get misplaced. Your file remains open for one year. If you do not complete the application process within a year, you will need to reapply.
After you apply, you will receive a file number. Include this number on all correspondence sent to the Florida Board.
You can apply online here. But before you do this, you need to determine if you are an endorsement or examination candidate. If you check the wrong box on the application, you may experience a significant delay in the licensing process. Let’s tackle that question now.
License by Endorsement or Examination?
One of the first things you will be asked on the application is if you are applying by endorsement or examination. Do not assume you are an endorsement candidate just because you have a massage license in another state.
One of the most common mistakes I see is when people apply as an endorsement candidate when they are really an examination candidate. If you happen to check the wrong box on the application you will get a letter informing you to go back to your online application and change to an examination candidate.
You are an endorsement candidate only if you meet all of the below criteria:
- You have completed a 500 hour massage program.
- You have taken (and passed) the NCETMB, NCETM, NESL or MBLEx to get your current license.
- – If your State has its own licensing exam (New Your State or Hawaii), you are an examination candidate.
- – If you took and passed your licensing exam after you obtained your current massage license, you are an examination candidate.
- Your massage license is still Clear/Active/Valid.
If you do not meet all three of the above criteria, you are an examination candidate.
Send your information to the correct address.
There are two addresses listed on the Board website. One address is for paper applications and fees, the other address is for everything else.
This address is for applications and fees only:
Department of Health
Board of Massage Therapy
P.O. Box 6330
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6330
All supporting documents and communications go to another address:
This includes: transcripts, fingerprinting info, exam scores, continuing education certificates, state verification.
Department of Health
Board of Massage Therapy
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3257
Have your school send your transcript directly to the Board of Massage.
Do not request to have your transcript to you first. Your transcript must be sent directly from your school to the Board of Massage. They will not accept the transcript if it is sent from you.
Side note: If your school has closed and no keeper of the records can be found, a transcript that you have on hand may possibly be used to prove your education. If you are in this situation, read this article for further instructions.
Make sure your 3 hour HIV course is from a Florida Board-Approved Provider
**Update** 3 Hour HIV is no longer required for initial Florida licensure!
This primarily applies to Maryland licensees. Maryland requires 3 CE hours of HIV for every license renewal. I have talked to some Maryland to Florida applicants that assumed they could use a course they had taken previously to satisfy this Florida requirement. Most Maryland approved providers are not Florida Board of Massage Approved and the Board will not accept courses that are not from Board-Approved Providers.
File a fingerprinting form.
Fill out and send this piece of paper to the board of massage. It is often overlooked. Truthfully, this item seems to have as hard of a time making to the Board offices as school transcripts. Sending an item to the Board of Massage via certified mail is not a bad idea, in my opinion.
Use a Florida Board Approved fingerprinting provider.
I have had a few people send in fingerprints they had done at their local sheriff’s office to the Board and then wonder why their fingerprints were rejected. Only Board Approved fingerprinting providers are acceptable.
Here is a list of Board of Massage approved fingerprinting providers.
Fieldprint is a company I have used and recommend to transferring massage therapists. They have many locations in Florida and out of state. You can look up locations near you here.
Be persistent and patient.
It is tough to be patient while waiting for your license, especially if you are waiting to make money again or have a job being held for you. Do not be afraid to contact the board and check on the status of your application. If you have an account set up from your online application you can login here to see what information the board has in your file.
If something you sent recently does not show up, give it a couple days, then check again. After a few days, call or email your case worker and let them know something sent has not appeared in your account. If you have a job waiting for you, or are pressed for time, let your caseworker know about your situation and ask if they think it is at the board office waiting to be found, or if it is something that should be re-sent.
I hope these tips help you obtain your license quickly and with as few delays as possible.
Have more questions about getting your Florida license? Check out the Florida Massage License FAQ.
You may also leave a question in the comments below, or contact me for further assistance.