Indiana Mandatory Licensure Bill Signed into Law


We previously notified you about Indiana House Bill 1289, changing the state's massage therapist regulation system from "title protection" to mandatory licensure. The bill passed in the legislature, and has now been signed into law by the governor.

There is nothing you need to do now. We are providing the information below just so that you can be informed of what the process of transitioning to mandatory licensure will be like.

Until now, a person was required to hold an Indiana state massage therapy certification only if he or she "profess[ed] to be a massage therapist" or used the titles "Certified Massage Therapist" or "Massage Therapist," or the abbreviation "CMT" or "MT," to imply that he or she was a massage therapist. The new law changes the state's system to one of mandatory licensure, meaning that anyone practicing massage therapy for compensation, offering to provide massage therapy, or advertising that he or she provides 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. "Massage therapy" is defined in the new law at section 4. Certain modalities are exempt from the license requirement; please refer to Section 5 of the law for the modality exemptions list.

The next step is for the State Board of Massage Therapy to write and adopt rules filling in the details of the new law. We do not know when the rules will be issued, but we will keep you informed. The Board will continue to issue certifications until it adopts rules.

If you hold an Indiana state massage therapy certification as of the date that the Board adopts its rules, then the state will simply treat your certification as a license. There is nothing you will need to do other than keep it current, and renew it on time every four years.

If you do not hold an Indiana state massage therapy certification as of the date that the Board adopts its rules, then you can practice massage therapy without a license for 183 days after the Board issues the rules, but after that 183-day period you will need a license to practice massage therapy in Indiana. In order to qualify for a license, you will need to provide either:

  1. Documentation that you have passed a national massage exam and you have worked for at least 5 years in the state, or
  2. A transcript of completion from a massage therapy program or school showing at least 500 hours of education

The state will also be requiring licensees to pass a criminal background check, and will be requiring 24 hours of continuing education for each renewal period. Licensees will additionally need to hold liability insurance. More details will be provided in the Board's rules once they are issued, and we will share those details with you in a follow-up email.

There is no license application available yet. You can, however, apply for a state certification from now until the time the Board adopts its rules.

Please email us at with any questions you may have.