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Colorado State Registration Update


On Monday, November 17, 2008, the Rules and Regulation Hearing was completed at the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). The applications for state registration will be available on 12/1/2008 at:

All massage therapists must be state registered by April 1, 2009 in order to continue practicing. Some people have confused the grandfathering provision, which only relates to qualifications for registration, with the April 1, 2009, date by which massage therapists need to be state registered in order to practice. Do not delay applying! All massage therapists must be state registered by April 1, 2009.

Fingerprinting and Background
In order to qualify for state registration, applicants will have to be fingerprinted, and have background checks completed. All applicants are required to submit fingerprints for a new background check, even if you have previously completed this process for your local license. Unless you are able to have your fingerprinting done electronically (as described below), this will be a 2-step process. First, get your fingerprints taken; next send the fingerprint card to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Start this process immediately. Background checks can take up to 12 weeks to be processed.

You may be fingerprinted by any of the following agencies:

  1. DORA recommends electronic fingerprinting because it is the most accurate method and can be transmitted directly to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Some local law enforcement agencies may be able to submit fingerprints electronically and it can also be done at:Arapahoe Community College
    5900 South Santa Fe Drive, 2nd Floor, Room M-2600
    Littleton, CO
    ph. 303-797-5800Hours: Monday – Thursday 8 AM – 6 PM, Friday 8 AM – 4 PM (no appointment necessary); call before you go to be sure they are up and running. It is a new program. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted ($62, this includes the background check fee of $39.50 for CBI).
  2. Manual fingerprinting at :Colorado Correctional Industries
    4999 Oakland Street (Two blocks west of Peoria)
    Denver, CO 80239
    ph. 303-370-2165Hours: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 4 PM (no appointment necessary)
    Cash only ($10)
  3. Manual fingerprinting at your local law enforcement agency. We have provided a list of agencies (attachment), but you will need to confirm the information.Contact the agency you will use to find out (a) if they use the electronic (preferred) or manual method for fingerprinting; (b) if they supply the appropriate Fingerprint Card (Form FD258) or if you need to obtain the card; and (c) residency requirements, hours of operation, and cost.

Regardless of the method you choose, you will need the following information:

Employer and Address Reason Fingerprinted OCA ORI (if not already completed as follows)
Massage Therapist Registration
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202
Box #4 on fingerprint form FD258
Massage Therapist Registration
CRS 12-35.5-101
Box #5 on form FD258
Box #10 on form FD258
Denver, CO

You will then send your completed fingerprint cards, along with a $39.50 background check fee, to:

Colorado Bureau of Investigation
690 Kipling
Lakewood, CO 80215
Phone: 303-239-4208

CBI accepts cash, money order, cashiers check, company check or credit card. They do not accept personal checks. Note that CBI will return the card and payment requiring re-submittal for an additional fee if: (1) fingerprints are not readable, due to low quality of print characteristics; (2) payment is not made in the exact amount ($39.50); or (3) the wrong fingerprint card is used (you must use Form FD 258).

CBI will complete the background check and submit it directly to DORA. Please do not call DORA repeatedly to check on the status. This part of the process may take up to 12 weeks. DORA will hold the background check on file (for up to a year) until the rest of your application is received.

Registration application
The application for state registration will be available December 1, 2008 at:

An application is considered complete by DORA when:

  • The original application form (no photocopies, no fax), and all questions are filled out completely and accurately;
  • The appropriate fee ($90) has been remitted;
  • Fingerprint card has been submitted to CBI and the background check has been received;
  • The original (no photocopies) Affidavit of Eligibility form is complete;
  • Any additional information requested by the director (i.e. explanation addressing screening questions) has been received;
  • Any additional requirements listed in the application's instructions and checklist are complete, including an affidavit stating that you have, and will maintain, professional liability insurance. ABMP Professional, Practitioner, and Certified levels of membership include professional liability insurance and meet this qualification.

DORA expects to issue registration within 14 days of receipt of completed applications. You will be able to check the progress of your application on the DORA website. It has been reported that up to 40% of applicants to the Division of Registration submit incomplete applications. This only causes a delay in processing. Check your application twice before sending it in. DORA has made this process extremely easy by not requiring applicant to document eligibility by providing transcripts or test scores. If everyone double-checks their applications prior to sending them in, there should be no problem receiving your registration by 4/1/2009.
Avoid common mistakes:

  • If you have changed your name because of a marriage or divorce and the name on the application is different than the name you used in school, send a copy of your marriage or divorce documentation along with your application.
  • Don't lie on the screening questions. An arrest, criminal conviction, or disciplinary action will not automatically disqualify a candidate for registration. Lying on the application will not help your cause and could be considered a violation of ABMP's Code of Ethics.
  • Don't skip any lines on the application.

Qualifications for Registration
Registration will begin 12/1/08 and the grandfathering period will end 12/31/09. Until 12/31/2009, applicants can meet EITHER the education or exam requirement or demonstrate that they have practiced for 5 years and have had 300 hours massage education. DORA will accept an attestation for proof of education or experience during the initial registration process.

Anyone applying after 12/31/2009 will need to meet both the entry-level education requirements (500 hours) and exam requirement (MBLEX or NCBTMB exam). Future applicants will have to submit their transcripts and exam scores.


This initial state registration will be effective for two years. The renewal date will be 1/31/11. There is no background check or continuing education required for renewal and a fee has not been set at this time. Renewal notices will be sent by DORA as a courtesy. However, it is the responsibility of the massage therapist to renew. You are also required to keep your address current with DORA.

Contact information
All information related to the registration of massage therapists can be found at:
Department of Regulatory Agencies
Division of Registrations
Office of Licensing – Massage Therapists Registration
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 303.894.7800


Exempt professions
Professions exempt from obtaining state registration, as long as practitioners do not practice or advertise that they practice massage therapy, include: reflexology, movement educators (Feldenkrais, Trager, and Body-Mind Centering), energy work (reiki, shiatsu, asian bodywork, polarity), structural integrators (Rolfing and Hellerwork), and the process of muscle activation techniques.

Local Licenses

You must comply with your city's requirements since they have regulatory jurisdiction until 3/31/09. The State has sent a notice to the municipal clerks regarding the change in jurisdiction but has no authority to compel cities or local jurisdictions to waive the renewal fee if you are required to renew your license before April 1, 2009.