Department of Health Professions
Virginia Board of Nursing
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463
Phone: 804-367-4614
Fax: 804-527-4455

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Title: Licensed Massage Therapist
Requirement: 500 hours and MBLEx
Renewal: 24 hours/2 years

Regulation Type: 
State License

Virginia Bill Proposes Mandatory Licensure for Massage Therapists

HB 562, introduced in the Virginia legislature this session, proposes to change Virginia's massage therapy regulation system from certification, also known as "title protection," to mandatory licensure. Under the current certification system, any person who claims to be a massage therapist, or uses any title or designation tending to imply that he or she is a massage therapist, must obtain the state massage therapy certification.

Current Virginia Massage Certification Law

Our last Virginia Legislative Update discussed 2012 HB 543, which initially proposed a new mandatory state license requirement for Virginia massage therapists.   The bill was substantially amended during the legislative process, and the final version of the bill made only minor changes to the existing law which did not include a mandatory licensing provision.   The amended bill became law in April 2012, and is codified at

VA Bill Would Change Regulation of Massage Therapists

House Bill 543 was introduced on January 11, 2012. As proposed, the bill would amend several different Virginia laws, including the regulation of massage therapists. Massage therapy is currently a certified profession under the Board of Nursing. The certification includes title protection but not a well-defined scope of practice. HB 543 would define the scope of practice for massage therapists and create a mandatory practice act. Anyone practicing massage therapy would have to be licensed by the State Board of Nursing.
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