Massage Therapist (MT)

Licensing requirements for massage therapists

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MT Application


  • Be at least eighteen years of age 

  • Submit criminal record checks (FBI & Ohio BCI)

  • Have attained high school graduation or its equivalent

  • Hold one of the following:

    • A diploma or certificate from a school, college or institution in good standing as determined by the board, showing the completion of the required courses of instruction

    • A diploma or certificate from a school, college or institution in another state or jurisdiction showing completion of a course of instruction meeting the requirements of Ohio Revised Code 4731.19(A)(3)(a)Note: House Bill 442, passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by Governor DeWine, became effective April 12, 2021. The new law changes the massage therapy course of instruction requirements in Ohio. The legislature amended R.C. 4713.19(A)(3)(a) to require 600 education hours.

    • For not less than five years preceding application, a current license, registration or certificate in good standing in another state for massage therapy

  • Have passed the MBLEx (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam).

Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements at the time an application is submitted. Applications submitted by individuals who do not meet eligibility requirements are subject to denial by the board. Application fees are not refundable and an applicant will be required to reapply once eligibility requirements can be met.

Approved Massage Therapy Schools

Approved schools, colleges, or institutions determined to be in good standing and having the massage therapy curriculum required for successful course completion: List of Approved Schools



eLicense application portal:


Criminal Offenses

Q: What must be disclosed on the application regarding arrest/criminal history?

A: If you have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony you must disclose the incident(s) on the application, regardless of whether the criminal records were subsequently sealed or expunged.  This includes serious traffic offenses such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, hit and run, evading a peace officer, failure to appear, and driving under suspension. Matters in which you were diverted, deferred, pardoned, or pled nolo contendere must also be disclosed.  If you are in doubt as to how to respond to the application questions, full and honest disclosure is recommended.

To verify your criminal history, the Board requires submission of fingerprints for a criminal records check completed by both the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Both entities maintain records, often beyond the time that courts keep them, and these records will be reported to the Board as a result of the criminal records check.

Failure to provide truthful responses to the questions on the application may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, permanent denial of your application.

Explanatory Statement Disqualifying Offense List 

Disqualifying Offense List 


Initial Application Fees

Application $150.00

Transaction fee $3.50

Total due at submission $153.50


Before Completing an Application

Applicants will be required to complete the application in its entirety and pay a non-refundable fee. Applicants will be required to upload any required documents as a result of an affirmative answer provided in the Questions portion of the application, license specific certifications and to have a valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover).


Criminal Records Check

The board strongly encourages prospective applicants to complete their background checks as soon as they know that they will be applying for Ohio licensure. There is no need to wait until an application is submitted to start the background check process. The board will retain the background check results for up to one year upon receiving them. Once an application has been submitted to the board, its status will be updated to reflect receipt of the results.

  • All applicants for licensure are required to complete an FBI and Ohio BCI criminal records check. View instructions in the background check packet or by watching the instructional video below.

  • Results MUST be sent directly from the vendor to the State Medical Board of Ohio; the Board will not accept results from the applicant or a third party.


Required Documents to Be Uploaded

  • Evidence of successful completion of the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).

  • Education transcript from a school, college or institution in good standing as determined by the Board, showing the completion of the required courses of instruction; or an educational transcript from a school, college or institution in another state or jurisdiction showing completion of a course of instruction meeting the requirements of Ohio Revised Code 4731.19(A)(3)(a).

  • Documentation related to affirmative answers provided in the Questions portion of the application. Examples of required documentation may include:

    • Your detailed explanation including the date, location, reason and disposition to the question and any supporting documentation

    • Documentation related to action taken by another state or entity

    • Documentation related to arrests/criminal actions


Documentation That Should be Sent Directly to the Board

  • Certificate of Education Form. This form should be completed by your educational institution.

  • Criminal Record Check (FBI & Ohio BCI) results.


After You Apply

Following submission and payment for your application you will receive an email confirming initial application submission and payment. If you need to contact the Board, please email

Please note: the Medical Board is unable to confirm receipt of background checks or other supporting documents prior to an application being submitted. 

Once an application has been submitted, any documents that have been previously received will be attached to the application. In order to efficiently process your application, please do not submit or email documents to the board that are not specifically required as part of the application. Board staff will contact you directly in the event that further information or additional documentation is necessary to process your application. Please allow the board 10 business days to perform an initial review of your application. After that time, you may check the status of your application by logging into eLicense and navigating to your license application. Select the Options tab and the Review Status option. Any outstanding items will be listed in the ‘Comments’ section at the bottom of the page.


Forms and Helpful Links