Several amendments to the North Carolina Massage and Bodywork Therapy Practice Act were enacted by the North Carolina Legislature in July 2017.

The highlights of the amendments are:

  • Removes massage and massage business from adult entertainment statutes and provides no person shall permit the practice of massage and bodywork therapy in an adult establishment
  • Requires that all applicants for a LMBT license shall demonstrate proof of English proficiency
  • Adds massage and bodywork therapy to the list of professions that require an Art of Healing privilege license from the NC Department of Revenue, effective for taxable years beginning July 1, 2018 and provides counties and cities may not levy any license tax on the business or professions taxed under the Art of Healing
  • Authorizes the Board to license and establish rules for establishments that provide massage and bodywork therapy services
  • The effective date for most of bill is October 1, 2017.

In 2018, the Board developed rules to implement licensing of establishments.  The rules were approved by the Rules Review Commission at its September and October 2018 meetings.  Due to receiving 10 or more letters of objections to the proposed rules, the rules were required to be reported to the North Carolina Legislature in 2019 for review.  The Legislature adjourned on November 15, 2019 without disapproving any of the Board’s proposed rules and the rules regarding licensure of establishments were effective that day.

The Board will be seeking to identify and contact all establishments in North Carolina that offer massage or massage and bodywork therapy to make sure they apply to  become licensed by the Board.  The Board will be asking LMBTs in North Carolina for assistance in identifying establishments in their communities that may be providing massage or massage and bodywork therapy services.  Within the next few months you will be receiving email notification from the Board regarding how you can assist the Board in the process of identifying establishments that should be licensed.  The Board estimates licensing of establishments will begin shortly after July 1 2020 will begin shortly after July 1 2020 and it will take six months to a year to complete the initial process.