As of July 1st, 2014, all newly licensed massage therapists and establishment owners will be required to submit digital fingerprints before being issued a license.
Currently Licensed Massage Therapists and Massage Establishment owners should have received a notice in the mail notifying them about the requirements to have fingerprints submitted by January 31st, 2015.
Here is what you need to do to comply with this new law whether you are applying for a license, or are currently licensed in Florida:
Find a Digital Fingerprint Provider
The first thing you need to do is find a Board-Approved LiveScan Provider.
LiveScan is an ink-less digital fingerprint used throughout the country by law enforcement, state agencies, and employers. You can use any Board-Approved Livescan service provider to submit fingerprints. Your Livescan provider will electronically send your fingerprints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
Live Out of State?
Find a Florida Board of Massage Livescan Service Provider. The provider MUST be approved by the Florida Board of Massage. I have referred many out-of-state applicants to Fieldprint. They have locations in all 50 states and are Board-Approved.
How Much Does it Cost?
This varies by location. Mine was $87.
What Information Do I Need to Bring?
This also varies by location.
More information about what applicants will need to provide can be found on the Board website.
Along with the information you need to provide about yourself, you will also need the Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number. This number is quite important. Make sure you have it correct on your form.
To obtain the correct ORI number, the Board FAQ says: “If you apply online, there is a form that you can print out that will have your ORI number pre-populated. In the paper application, you can locate your ORI number in the instructions.”
If you got one in the mail, it will look like this:
After the FLDE receives the fingerprints, they will go through a background screening “clearinghouse.”
What is the purpose of this new requirement?
Many other MQA licensed health care provider boards in Florida have required fingerprints for some time (Doctors, Nurses, Chiropractors, Dentists). The Massage Practice Act in Florida was not established to protect massage therapists, it is designed to protect the public.
This is not all about prostitution, but more about sex-related crimes and human trafficking.
A Florida news source found there were five registered sex offenders with massage licenses in Florida, three had active licenses. Fingerprints could have prevented these people from obtaining or keeping their massage licenses active.
Also, Florida is known to have a problem with human trafficking. We all know about those massage businesses that are holding human trafficking victims. If this fingerprinting law helps one person get out of the miserable life human trafficking creates or protects one person from a sex-related crime, it is worth it in my opinion.
Questions or Comments?
Any thoughts about this new requirement?
Any places you recommend for fingerprinting?
As always, if you have any questions about this new law, getting your Florida massage license, or the 2015 renewal, let me know in the comments below.
I will be adding a few more Fingerprinting FAQs below:
Does an LMT (MA license) that is also an establishment owner (MM license) need to be fingerprinted twice?
No. Just one time.
Here is what that form looks like:
Make sure you mail this form to the Board so they can retrieve your prints.
How often do we need to be fingerprinted?
I emailed the Board office about this one. I had a fingerprinting company tell me that most boards under the MQA require people to be fingerprinted every five years. This is not the case with massage therapists. But keep reading, because there is a fee to keep your fingerprints.
The response from the Massage Board Office in 2014:
“If you include a photo with your livescan fingerprints then it will stay in our database, however, if there is no photo included then it will need to be repeated every two years.”
Make sure you have a picture taken at your fingerprinting appointment (which I believe is a requirement for Board-Approved providers). This picture does not replace the requirement for you to post a 2×2 photo with your massage license.
What this response did not tell me about was the FINGERPAINTING RETAINMENT FEE.
I assume this is because it was something they did not know at the time.
There IS a fee for retaining fingerprints for massage therapists, and other licensed professions under the MQA. The cost of this is $42. If you do not pay this fee, you will need to be fingerprinted AGAIN. There should be a notice sent to you to let you know when you need to pay this fee.
This retainment fee will need to be paid every five years.
Want to check and see if the Board has received your prints so you can practice legally after 1/31/2015?
Go to this page. There link at the top of the page that says “Massage Therapist Fingerprint Results”. Open the file that is downloaded. If your name is on this list the board has your prints. If you have an establishment license too, you will need to check the other link too. They are updating this file regularly. If you are not on the list now, and just got fingerprinting, download the list in a day or two to see the updated lists.
Ready for the 2023 renewal deadline? Find your renewal courses on Floridamassage.com.
This seems all about making more money for the State of Florida so sad, having more people jump through hoops. As for massage sex offenders, if they were to do any questionable acts or violate any of their clients they would be reported to authorities. I frankly do not believe they would do any harm to others to compromise their jobs. Please note I am in no way defending sex offenders, I just feel this is more about generating more money for Florida…..
I have heard a few others say the same. The MQA or BOM will not be making any more money from this change. Florida law enforcement may make a little with the background check fee. Really, private Livescan providers will be the ones seeing the increase in income.
This rule catches us up with other health care professions under the MQA. I do understand that criminals are criminals. This will not get rid of all the criminals in the massage profession.
I am really happy to see establishment owners included in this rule. I think this is where we will see some real benefits to our profession and for the public.
I have massage license in florida and New York, I wish New York follow Florida rules, in New York no body cares, who have a license who Doesn’t, any one can just drop a business card, and they are ready to do the business, people who does have license in New York, many times don’t have job, but the ones who never went to school are out there playing as a massage therapist, and making money, shame on New York !!!! it is good that Florida cares, make sense, every thing to avoid people who do not have the education on that profession to be involve.
John P. Havelin
I just wanted to clarify the BOM’s ORI # It looks like the third character is the letter “O”, while the seventh and eighth ones are zeroes. Is that correct ?
The Board office has changed their website, so I made changes to reflect their change. They no longer list that number. It now says “If you apply online, there is a form that you can print out that will have your ORI number prepopulated. In the paper application, you can locate your ORI number in the instructions.”
I would check those two spots to make sure nothing has changed.
Is this a one time thing or will we have to renew this along with license every two years?
This should be a one time thing if you have a picture taken at the time of your fingerprinting appointment.
I have been fingerprinted electronically for the school system three years ago; but I consulted the Board if Massage Therapy and was told I had to do it Again for massage. Ridiculous!! Its not about the money? Really??
Why does the state need multiple copies if my fingerprints for every agency? If its not for the money, it makes NO sense at all!
I do not think this is all about money. This sounds like inefficient communication between government boards and agencies. Did you have a picture taken with the prints?
I have to agree with the “all about the money” comments. In order to receive our licenses it is required to not only provide your personal information such as DL#, SSN, full name, address… but also submit letters for any criminal indiscretions that you may of had in the past 10 years. So, supposedly the state is already doing background checks when people are applying for their licenses. Some of these places are charging $90 and up, which is just absurd. I also find it interesting that, for a state that just diminished the importance of massage therapy for medical purposes is placing the same requirements on us as doctors, chiropractors etc…
I am failing to see how this is going to help to be honest. Having a hard time wrapping my head around this because i keep wondering what is next? Blood samples?
I’m pretty sure I submitted electronic fingerprints a few years ago to be an RN. how can I check and since it is the same board of health, shouldn’t that handle it?
You would need to find out if the place you went to is approved by the FL Board of Massage too. If you picture was taken when you got your prints then and the place is approved by the FL BOM, your prints *may* be timeless. If the place was not approved and you did not have a photo taken at the time, you likely will need new prints.
If a news channel could figure out that there were 5 sex offenders with massage licenses, and no fingerprint requirement existed, why can’t the BOM figure it out with a fingerprint requirement.
So if u took your fingerprints before taking your test you have to take your finger prints before transferring to a different state?
Hi Nancy, I somehow missed your second comment here. Sorry! I have not heard of anyone successfully “transferring” fingerprints that they have used for a previous license or job. I used fieldprint for my fingerprints and they has this on their website FAQ:
“I have been fingerprinted several times in the past. Are you able to use those prints?”
No. Any fingerprints that you had collected in the past are not retrievable or transferable from other state or federal agencies.
Note: This does not mean that you cannot be fingerprinted in another state and have your fingerprints sent to FL. This is also on the FAQ
“I am not currently in the state of Florida. Am I able to be fingerprinted in another state?”
Yes, applicants may be printed in another state for a Florida license or program. Simply click “Schedule an Appointment“ to find the most convenient collection site.
So we have to pay them almost 90 bucks to get fingerprinted again? Really? Does it have anything to do with having no picture on file? Woulden”t make more sense to ask me to send them a picture and add it to the file?
If your fingerprinting location took a picture of you at the the time of your prints, your background check is timeless and will not need to be repeated.
If I am not practicing massage anymore but still keeping my massage license updated do I need to renew my fingerprints?
I would assume part of having a valid/active massage license is having your fingerprints renewed whether you are practicing or not.