New Jersey License Applications are Now Available

Applications for New Jersey licensing are now available. This is not voluntary. All massage therapists and those who practice Asian Bodywork must now have a state license in order to practice. We recommend that you begin the license application process as soon you can. The application process is entirely on-line; there are no paper applications available. We also recommend that you have access to a printer so you can print a copy of the receipt, and any other pages for your records.

To be clear – the term “grandfathering” relates to the qualifications required to obtain a license. Grandfathering does not mean you don’t have to apply. Everyone must submit an application if they plan to practice massage therapy or energy work in the state of New Jersey.

You will need to pay by credit card, debit card, Visa gift card or Mastercard gift card. You cannot pay by check or money order. If you do not possess a credit or debit card, you may purchase a Visa or Mastercard gift card at most grocery stores. Preparing to Apply  There are 6 different ways to qualify for a license. You will need to meet ONE of the following: 1. If you are currently a NJ state-certified massage and bodywork therapist, you do not need to apply for a license but you will need to renew as scheduled in November 2012.  The State will consider your certificate as a license until your renewal date.  When you renew your state certification, pay the fee, and verify that you have completed your continuing education requirements, you will then be issued a license rather than a certification. 2. If you have 500 hours of massage education from a school accredited or approved by the state of New Jersey or by another state, you will apply for License by Education: You will be required to contact your school and have it send a copy of your transcript directly to the Massage Board. If your school is closed, you will need to contact the custodian of records for that school.  To find the contact information for the custodian of records, call 609-984-5262 or email 3. If you took and passed a written national exam, you will apply for License by Examination: You will be required to have verification of passing the exam sent to the NJ Board directly from the exam provider. This can usually be accomplished by submitting an online form. Current certification by either the NCBTMB or NCCAOM is not required –passing the exam meets this requirement. If you passed the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (MBLEx:, submit the MBLEx Mobility Form ; OR If you passed the national certification exam offered by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB:, submit the Official Score Report Request ; OR If you passed the Asian Bodywork Therapy Exam offered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM:, Exam Results and Certification Verification Form. 4. If you are currently licensed in another state, you will be able to apply for License by Endorsement. You will be required to submit two items: Official verification of licensure in good standing from the state in which you are licensed sent directly from that state’s massage board to the NJ Board; AND A copy of the current statutes and regulations regarding massage and bodywork for the state you are currently licensed in. You will apply by License Without Meeting Full Education Requirements if you meet one of the following: 5. You have 200-499 hours of massage education from an approved or accredited school or providers, and you have practiced full time for the past 2 years (which means 500 hours per year, or an average of 9 massages per week); OR 6. You have 200-499 hours of massage education from an approved or accredited school or providers, and you have worked part-time for the past 5 years (which means 250 hours per year, or an average of 5 massages per week). You will be required to submit documentary evidence that shows that you completed the 200 hours of education, which could include a copy of a transcript or a diploma.  The Board will review this documentation prior to issuing a license. You will have to attest to the fact that you have worked full or part time for the number of years required. Be prepared to document this fact if you’re chosen by random audit by the Board. Begin the application process To get started, please click on the link: On the left side menu, choose 'Register a Person'. In the section titled 'Other Registration', enter your Last Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth. Click on Search. This will bring you to the Initial Registration page, where you will enter your personal information onto the page. This process will ask you to create a User ID and Password (similar to many sites such as EBAY or Amazon, etc.). After your User ID and Password are created sign on to the login page and choose Initial Application. The instructions say to save each page as you go, you don’t need to do this. Your information is automatically saved. If you want to stop and finish your application later, click “Save and Finish Later.”  All applicants will be required to submit the following: Complete and submit the on-line application. Pay the $75 application fee online by credit card. When your license is approved, you will receive it by US Mail along with a bill for $120 for the initial license fee. A full face passport size (2inx2in) photograph of your head taken within the past 6 months with your name printed on the back of the photo. Most chain drug stores, copy shops like Kinko’s, and many post offices provide this service. Provide proof that the applicant has current certifications in CPR, first aid, and AED (automated external defibrillator) from courses offered by the American Heart Association, or courses approved or offered by the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council, Coyne First Aid, Inc., the American Safety and Health Institute, or EMP International, Inc. If you do not possess current certification in CPR, first aid, and AED, contact one of the approved providers immediately and register for a class. We have provided a link to each providers website (click the name). You are not required to be certified in the courses for healthcare providers, the courses designed for community members or lay people are accepted by the NJ Massage Board. Confirm that the course you register for offers all three requirements (CPR, first aid, and AED) so you don’t have to take multiple courses. The background check After you complete the online application, the state will mail you the required fingerprint card and instructions to obtain your fingerprints and begin the background check. You will have to pay a fingerprint fee of $67.00, or $22.50 if you have already had fingerprinting done in NJ for another license, or for some other reason. If you would like to plan ahead, view this link to find a fingerprint location near you. The following people are not required to obtain massage licenses in NJ: People who are licensed in NJ to practice another profession and are performing massage as part of that profession, using the title of that other profession.  For example, a NJ-licensed nurse may perform massage as part of his or her profession as a nurse, as long as he or she uses the title of nurse and not massage therapist. People who perform only manipulation of the soft tissue of the body contained on hands, feet, or ears, as long as the client does not remove any clothing other than shoes or socks. People whose practice involves solely the use of touch, words, and directed movement to deepen awareness of existing patterns of movement in the body, or to suggest new possibilities of movement, provided that these services are not designated or implied to be massage and bodywork therapies, and the client remains fully clothed. Avoid Common Mistakes If you have changed your name since you graduated from school, send documentation of all name changes (copy of marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order). Don’t lie on the application.  The information you submit is easily verifiable, and you are likely to get caught.  A past arrest, criminal conviction, or disciplinary action will not automatically disqualify you.  Lying will. Don’t skip any portion of the application. Answer all questions completely. It will now be a criminal violation of the law to practice massage therapy or energy work without a Board issued license. Don’t let anyone convince you that it is “okay” to practice with only NCBTMB or NCCOAM certification. It is not okay. Do not panic It will now be a criminal violation of the law to practice massage therapy or energy work without a Board issued license. This does not mean the state enforcement unit will be out tomorrow banging on doors writing violations. The applications were just made available. The state will not enforce the law until a reasonable time frame has passed to allow individuals to apply for licensure. This statement is not an excuse to procrastinate! The sooner you apply, the sooner you will complete the process. Fees There are 3 different fees that will be paid at different times throughout the process. The application fee ($75) that you pay when you submit the online application; The background check fee ($67.50) you will submit at the fingerprinting location; The initial license fee ($120) that you will be billed for when the Board sends your license to you. Employer registration An individual or entity that employs another person (or persons) to provide massage and bodywork therapies must register with the Board. State approved schools and health care institutions licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services do not have to register.