NC Massage and Bodywork Therapy Board

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    How can I get an application for licensure?

2.    How long will it take to get my license once I send in the application?

3.    Can I call the Board office to find out about the status of my licensure application?

4.    What will I receive from the Board when my license is issued?

5.    Can I make copies of the licensure application package and pass them along to my colleagues who also want to apply?

6.    If I lose the application package, can I get another from the Board office?

7.    I have a massage license from another state. Can I get a North Carolina license by reciprocity?

8.    When and where does the Board meet? Are the meetings open to the public?

9.    What happens if I don't want to get licensed?

10.   I graduated from a school which is not on the NC Board-Approved School List or an exempt program from a North Carolina Community College. Can I still qualify for a REGULAR license?

11.   What practitioners are exempt from licensure?

12.   Do I have to obtain malpractice insurance in order to be licensed?

13.   How long is a license good?

14.   Why are there so many forms to fill out and why is there so much documentation required in this application process?

15.   What will I have to do to renew my license?

16.   Once I'm licensed, will I be able to submit insurance claims for third-party reimbursement for massage and bodywork therapy services?

17.   Do practitioners who massage horses or other animals need to get licensed by this Board?

18.   Is colonic therapy included under the Practice Act?

19.   Does the Board publish a directory of licensees? How can I get a copy?

20.   Are mailing lists available and how do I obtain the list?

21.   What happens to the application and license fees?

22.   How do I report a complaint or grievance to the Board?

23.   How are Board members selected, and how long do they serve?

24.   How can I contact the Board?

25.  What is the correct and legal form of advertising for NC massage therapist?

 

Answers...

1. How can I get an application for licensure?
You must make a written request, and pay a $20.00 fee to receive the application package. Click the link for Licensure Information for more details on the process, or click the link for Application Request for a printable version of this form.

2. How long will it take to get my license once I send in the application?
Once the application is deemed to be complete and all required documentation has been received from other parties, it will take approximately 60 business days for the Board to issue a new license.

 Licensure by Endorsement takes 3 to 6 months to process a license.

3. Can I call the Board office to find out about the status of my licensure application?
Please do not call the Board Office to inquire about the status of your application. The Board will notify you by email if the application is incomplete in any way. 

4. What will I receive from the Board when my license is issued?
You will receive a certificate of licensure to display in your place of practice, along with an orientation handbook to inform you of your responsibilities as a licensee.

5. Can I make copies of the licensure application package and pass them along to my colleagues who also want to apply?
No. Each applicant must request and pay for their own application package, and use only the original forms contained in it. You can assist your colleagues by making them aware of the licensure process and encouraging them to send their own request for an application package to the Board.

6. If I lose the application package, can I get another from the Board office?
To receive another application package, you must make another written request and pay another $20.00 application fee.

7. I have a massage license from another state. Can I get a North Carolina license by reciprocity?
No. However, you may be eligible for Licensure by Endorsement.

8. When and where does the Board meet? Are the meetings open to the public?
The Board meets every other month in Raleigh.  All meetings are open to the public. Click the link for Meeting Schedule for a list of the upcoming meeting dates, as well as a printable map and directions to the meeting location.

9. What happens if I don't want to get licensed?
Licensure is a legal requirement in the State of North Carolina. Those who are practicing massage and bodywork therapy without a license after January 1, 2001 will be in violation of G.S. 90-634 of the Practice Act, and may be subject to disciplinary action or prosecution.

10. I graduated from a school which is not on the NC Board-Approved School List or an exempt program from a North Carolina Community College.  Can I still qualify for a license?
Although you did not graduate from a NC board-Approved School, you may still qualify for a license.  You must submit additional documentation which is listed in License by Endorsement, for review on a case-by-case basis.

11. What practitioners are exempt from licensure?
Pursuant to Rule Section .0203, the Board considers persons who are utilizing certain Therapeutic techniques may claim exemption from licensure if they meet the following criteria:  1)  such persons are practicing techniques that are defined by national organizations that meet the criteria for exemption set forth in either  G.S. 90-624 (6) or (7); or 2) such persons are practicing techniques that do not involve any contact with the body of the client; or 3) such persons are practicing techniques that involves resting the hands on the surface of the clients body without delivering pressure to or manipulation of the soft tissues.  Services such as herbal body wraps, skin exfoliation treatments or the topical application of products to the skin for beautification purposes are not considered to be the practice of massage and bodywork therapy, as long as such services do not involve direct manipulation of the soft tissues of the body.  Anyone who is utilizing exempt techniques or treatments along with the practice of massage or bodywork therapy is not considered exempt and will be required to be licensed.

12. Do I have to obtain malpractice insurance in order to be licensed?
No. It is not required by the Practice Act. It is a business decision left up to each licensee.

13. How long is a license good?
The expiration date of your liscense is listed on your certificate of licensure.  Although your license will expire on December 31 of a given year, you must send your renewal application to the Board office by November 1 of that same given year.

14. Why are there so many forms to fill out and why is there so much documentation required in this application process?
The application process is dictated by the requirements for licensure specified in G.S. 90-629 of the Practice Act, and accompanying Rules. Because the Board has a legal mandate to protect the public, applicants for licensure must demonstrate that they meet all requirements.

15. What will I have to do to renew my license?
Licensees will have to submit a renewal form, pay a $100 renewal fee, and submit documentation of required continuing education. Once you are licensed, you will receive information from the Board on the guidelines for approved continuing education courses and providers.

16. Once I'm licensed, will I be able to submit insurance claims for third-party reimbursement for massage and bodywork therapy services?
The Practice Act does not require insurance companies or other managed care organizations to provide coverage for massage and bodywork therapy services. That is left up to each company or organization to determine.

17. Do practitioners who massage horses or other animals need to get licensed by this Board?
No, as long as their work is limited solely to animals. The legal definition of massage and bodywork therapy in the Practice Act refers to systems of activity applied to the human body for therapeutic, educational or relaxation purposes.

18. Is colonic therapy included under the Practice Act?
No. The Board will not regulate the practice of that modality. The legal definition of massage and bodywork therapy in the Practice Act refers to: complementary methods, including the external application of water, heat, cold, lubricants, and other topical preparations.  You may review the document List of modalities requiring a licensure in North Carolina located in the Document Center for a list of modalities that the Board has determined is within the scope of practice of a licensed massage and bodywork therapist.

19. Does the Board publish a directory of licensees? How can I get a copy?
The Board does not currently publish a directory.

20. Are mailing lists available and how do I obtain the list?
Mailing lists are currently available in electronic form only.  More information and a mailing list request form can be obtained on the mailing lists page.

21. What happens to the application and license fees?
This is a "self-funded" regulatory program. All costs involved with operating the Board Office, paying professional staff, and carrying out the licensure program must come from fees collected for this purpose. No State, County or Municipal money may be provided to support this program.

22. How do I report a complaint or grievance to the Board?
Complaints about licensees, approved schools, or persons practicing massage and bodywork therapy without a license must be submitted in writing to the Board Office, and must include the name, address and phone number of the person submitting the grievance. These reports will be investigated by the Board pursuant to a formal disciplinary procedure established to address violations of the Laws and Rules. Click the link for Complaints for more details.

Once you become a licensee, it is your ethical responsibility to assist the Board in policing the profession to assure quality services and care to the public. If you have knowledge of or observe a possible infraction of the Laws and Rules, you should report it to the Board.

23. How are Board members selected, and how long do they serve?
There are seven members on the Board, five therapist members, one public member and one physician. The General Assembly appoints four of the therapist members; the Governor appoints one therapist member, the public member and the physician. Board members serve three-year terms, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. There is a Board Member Code of Conduct which serves as a guide for the proper discharge of duties. Click the link for Board Structure for more details.

24. How can I contact the Board?
All inquiries should be directed to the Board Office, rather than to individual Board members. The office is located in Suite 1900 of the Wachovia Capitol Center, at 150 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh NC 27601. The phone number is 919-546-0050; the fax number is 919-833-1059; the e-mail address is admin@bmbt.org, and the Board's mailing address is: Post Office Box 2539, Raleigh NC 27602.

The hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm. Bonnie L Kennedy is the Administrative Director, and Charles P. Wilkins and Benjamin E. Thompson are the Legal Counsel to the Board.

25.  What is the correct and legal form of advertising for NC massage therapist?

As specified in Rule .0404, there are three basic elements which you are required to include in all advertising and promotion of your professional services:

1.  Your First and Last Name; 

(You may use a nickname or initials for your first name, as long as the last name is consistent with your license.)

2.  Your Professional designation, using either the initials LMBT, or the full version - Licensed

Massage and Bodywork Therapist;

3.  Your North Carolina License Number.

Use one of these formats;

Allan R. Campbell

Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (NC #395)

 

Diane Martinez, LMBT

NC License #2810

About Trade Names or Assumed Names:

If you are using any other name to promote your professional services other than the name on your license, you are using what is known as a TRADE NAME.  Examples of this would be Midtown Massage Therapy Center, or Bobs Bodywork Studio.  North Carolina General Statute    66-68 requires you to register all assumed names with the Register of Deeds in the county in which you are doing business.  You are also required by Rule .0402 to send the Board a photocopy of all assumed name certificates you have filed with the Register of Deeds.  

A Business Advertising on Your Behalf; Group Advertising:

A business which employs or contracts with a licensee may advertise massage and bodywork therapy services on their behalf - as long as the above requirements are met.  That means the full name, North Carolina license number, and professional designation for all licensees working in such a facility MUST appear in all advertisements and promotional materials.

As an Alternative, the business may use the exact phrase: Services provided by North Carolina  Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapists if the names and license numbers of each practitioner are not included.  Group advertisements or promotional materials which include the services of more than one licensee may also use this alternative phrase.

Additional Notes:

You are allowed to identify and promote areas of clinical speciality in your practice, but this must be in addition to your primary identification as an LMBT.

You may not use any other letters or abbreviations after your name when promoting yourself as a licensee, except those credentials granted by: 1) accredited academic degree programs, 2) other occupational licensing boards, or 3)the National Certification Board.

Consistent with Rule .0502, you may offer and promote only those services your are qualified to perform.  You are responsible for ensuring that you have achieved a professional level of knowledge and skill in every area of practice which you promote to the public.  You must be able to provide documentation of professional training for any speciality or service offered.

The abbreviation LMBT can be used with or without periods, at your discretion.  Extra zeros in front of your North Carolina license number are not necessary.  Use #693, rather than #00693.