California Massage Therapy Council
One Capitol Mall, Suite 320
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-669-5336
Fax: 916-669-5337

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Voluntary Certification
Title: Certified Massage Therapist
Requirement: 500 hours, and MBLEx or NCBTMB
Renewal: no CEU requirement/2 years

Regulation Type: 
State Certification

CAMTC Eliminates Exam Options

At its meeting on February 15, 2012, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) voted to eliminate the National Exam for State Licensing (NESL), offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and  the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) from the list of approved exams for the Portable G pathway to CAMTC certification. Applicants will only be able to apply for CAMTC certification by becoming certified by NCBTMB if applying by Portal G.

If you currently have less than 250 hours of massage education and you intend to become certified by the California Massage Therapy Council, you need to act now.

After January 1, 2012 you will need proof of at least 250 hours of massage education in order to apply for statewide certification. Between now and the end of the year you can still apply with only 100 hours or by taking an exam*. More and more cities, counties, employers and clients are requiring CAMTC's certification, so you do not want to miss the deadline for this opportunity to get certified.
  • You will have the freedom to practice anywhere in California without the need to obtain local massage permits from cities or counties where you provide massage.

Technical Changes Made to Statewide Voluntary Certification Law

On August 1, 2011, Governor Brown signed into law the ABMP-supported Assembly Bill 619 that makes some changes to the existing voluntary certification statute. These changes, mostly technical in nature, do not change the rules on how you can obtain your statewide certification, which allows you to practice massage therapy anywhere in California without worrying about compliance with local massage therapy laws. The changes made by AB 619 include:

    CA Bill Would Make Technical Changes to Law

    Assembly Bill 619 seeks technical changes to the existing law. In 2008, Senate Bill 731 (Oropeza, Chapter 384) was passed and created a statewide voluntary certification program for massage professionals and a non-profit massage therapy organization to administer the program. The primary benefit of its passage was to provide massage therapists some financial relief from restrictive and discriminatory local ordinances and from having duplicative processes to practice in multiple locations.

    Changes are coming that may affect your ability to practice in California!

    Yes, you know that voluntary certification has now been available for 21 months. And that certification, for which you pay $150, allows you to practice anywhere in California. However, according to our information, you have so far not chosen to be among the 28,000 massage therapists to apply for CAMTC certification. What you may not realize are two things:
    • Some cities are now requiring CAMTC certification
    • For several thousand ABMP members, your window of eligibility to apply for certification will close on December 31, 2011

    California Members, Now Is A Great Time To Apply For CAMTC Certification

    ABMP recently sent a postcard to members on behalf of the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). This is a great time to apply for CAMTC certification for several reasons:
    • The initial rush of applicants is over. Application processing is efficient; you can expect your certification approximately 60 days after submitting your application (provided there are no issues with your school records and background check report).

    Governor Schwarzenegger to Consider AB 1822

    For the last few months AB 1822 has been making its way through the legislative process. In its original form, the bill would have significantly gutted the authority of the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) and the certification process enacted under SB 731 (Oropeza) in 2008. In its current form, the bill would provide both the California Police Chiefs Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association with the ability to appoint a person to the CAMTC board of directors. The bill has passed the General Assembly.

    ABMP Opposes California AB 1822

    For several months, ABMP has worked (primarily through its role in CAMTC) with the sponsor of California Assembly Bill 1822 to effect several changes that would make AB 1822 more logical and supportive of the massage therapy profession. Unfortunately, the sponsor has stripped out the constructive clean-up language agreed upon, leaving only provisions for two more CAMTC board seats for specified law enforcement organizations.

    Amendments to California AB 1822 are Expected

    California is in the process of redefining the regulation of massage therapy. It is considering AB 1822 which would, if passed, severely alter the regulatory powers of the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). AB 1822, heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 19, 2010, was referred to the suspense file until amendments to the bill could be made. ABMP expects the amendment to be drafted this week and for the Appropriations Committee to vote on Friday, May 28. Should the bill pass in committee, it will be referred to the Assembly Floor.


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