Vermont passed Senate Bill 220 last year, which requires registration of massage therapists. Massage therapists, bodyworkers, and touch professionals must register with the state of Vermont by April 1, 2021.
Use the Online Services System found on the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) website to register with the state. The documents on this page will help guide applicants and licensees through initial application or renewal. For additional help, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.
To apply, simply fill out the application, pay the nonrefundable application fee, and, if applicable, provide proof of your original state license along with the license from your most recent state of employment. This process will register you as a massage therapist, bodyworker, or touch professional in Vermont. It does not constitute licensure; there is still currently no licensing requirement in Vermont.
Individuals licensed in certain professions do not need to register to continue to practice massage therapy, nor do they need tell the public that they are doing so. The exemptions include the following professions:
- Athletic trainers
- Naturopathic physicians
- Nurses, including advanced practice registered nurses
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Physician assistants
- Respiratory care practitioners
Massage therapists who are licensed through one of the exemptions who do not register with the state will not be included in the state registry of massage therapists. Massage therapists, bodywork therapists, and touch therapists not licensed by another profession in Vermont must register with the state or face potential penalties of up to $5,000.
In addition, the law requires a one-time disclosure be made to new clients during your first meeting. Registrants are required to disclose the following:
- Their professional qualifications and experience
- Actions that constitute unprofessional conduct
- How to file a complaint with OPR
- How to get more information about the profession and registered professionals from OPR
My name is Jane Smith, and I am a professional massage therapist/bodyworker/touch professional. Here is a list of my qualifications and experience. (This is an opportunity to list your education, continuing education, years of experience, and any other information that proves your professional competency.)
Complaints can be filed with OPR using their online platform: https://sos.vermont.gov/opr/complaints-conduct-discipline/. Complainants may file as a guest, registered user, or licensee—no registration is required. Complainants will be required to provide the name, address, and phone number of the person they are filing the complaint against; submit a complaint description; upload documents; and provide their contact information, witness information, and a summary of the complaint. More information on how to file a complaint is found at the following link: https://sos.vermont.gov/opr/complaints-conduct-discipline/. What happens after a complaint is filed is explained at this link: https://sos.vermont.gov/media/rddhuuuw/life-of-a-complaint.pdf.
For more information about our profession, or to find a massage therapist, bodyworker, or touch professional, visit the following link: https://sos.vermont.gov/massage-therapists-bodyworkers-and-touch-professionals/.
There was some confusion in the initial days of registration in Vermont as to whether a state-created disclosure form is required, or if it was a guideline. We have received communication from an OPR staff attorney that the form we created above is acceptable—massage therapists do not have to use the state form, as it was a guideline. Here is more information from the staff attorney’s communication with ABMP:
“. . . The purpose of this disclosure is to allow the public to have sufficient information to choose their massage therapist, bodyworker, or touch professional. Some may wish to have a professional with more education or experience, others may not. The disclosure provides the public with the opportunity and information to make this choice. Additionally, the disclosure gives the public information about what constitutes unprofessional conduct and how to contact OPR in the event a professional engages in unprofessional conduct (e.g., sexual harassment). Thus, this disclosure is a key consumer protection element of the new law.
The form provided to you was a sample and just meant to be used as guidance, not as a requirement. I am sorry this has created concern and confusion. Currently, there are no laws requiring that information be delivered in a specific form (e.g., electronically or paper) or that clients sign the disclosure. You may send this information to clients electronically. Sending a link to where the information can be found may or may not be sufficient, depending on the context in which the link is presented (e.g., is it just a link in an email or is there an explanation about the information that can be found in the link?). No client signature is required at this time.
The statute does require that the disclosure be made to “each new client.” Providing the disclosure before the third visit is a suggestion (i.e., to provide an example of what OPR may consider a “new client” to be) but no attestation is required.
I should emphasize that the above is the current state of the law. Rulemaking on disclosures will begin soon and the law may change. These rules will provide more information about the nature, format, timing and other matters pertaining to the disclosure. The rulemaking process will include at least one public hearing and members of the public are welcome to provide comments on the rules at any time. Information about the draft rules, meetings, and the rulemaking process will be available here: https://sos.vermont.gov/massage-therapists-bodyworkers-and-touch-professionals/statutes-rules-resources/. (Check back frequently for updates!)
We would love it if you and your colleagues take the time to participate in this rulemaking process—at the hearings, by providing comments, or both. It is how we at OPR get insight into the profession and adopt rules that are practical and useful for all parties . . .”
This is a new process in Vermont, and it is rapidly changing. Check back here for the latest information, and email email@example.com with any questions.