Indiana Bill Proposes Mandatory Licensure with No Grandfathering for Certified MT's


Indiana is currently a "title protection" state, which means that you must hold a state massage therapy certification if you "profess to be a massage therapist" or use the titles "Certified Massage Therapist" or "Massage Therapist, or the abbreviation "CMT" or "MT," to imply that you are a massage therapist. Recently introduced Indiana House Bill 1289 proposes to change the state's system to one of mandatory licensure, meaning that anyone performing massage therapy must hold a state license, no matter what title the person is using or what he or she is calling him or herself.

ABMP supports a system of mandatory licensure, which is consistent with the systems used by almost every other state. Title protection is confusing and does not address the purpose of professional regulation, which is public safety.

However, HB 1289, as currently drafted, does not allow Indiana MT's who currently hold a state certification to "grandfather" in to a license. The bill provides that everyone, including currently certified MT's, must apply for a new license, and everyone, including currently certified MT's, must meet the licensure requirements, which include having completed 500 hours of massage education and passing a national massage exam.

The bill must be amended to add a provision allowing all currently certified MT's to "roll over" their certification into a license without any further requirements. This is what was done in the state of Virginia when that state changed from title protection to mandatory licensure. ABMP is working to correct this issue, and we should know more by then end of next week. If this problem is not corrected, we will work to defeat the bill, and will look to a future bill allowing certified practitioners to move seamlessly into licensure.

ABMP opposes other aspects of HB 1289 as well, such as the proposal to remove Board member term limits and provisions concerning Board approval of massage schools. ABMP will address these issues if the bill moves forward.