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How to Become a Massage Therapist in District of Columbia - Washington DC

Washington DC massage therapy certification for licensure candidates must take and pass the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB.) They must have scores sent directly from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) to the DC Board of Massage Therapy. The NCBTMB’s contact information for DC applicants is as follows:

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, Inc.
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300
McLean, VA 22102
Phone: 800-296-0664


Steps to Becoming a Massage Therapist in Washington D.C.

  • Massage therapy license candidates in the District of Columbia must be at least 18 years old and cannot have been convicted of a crime. They must display good moral conduct. The DC Board of Massage Therapy requires applicants to provide certain items along with their completed and signed application, including:
  • 2 recent and identical front facing passport-type photos, between 2”x2” and 3”x3” in size
  • A clear copy of a form of government issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of passing the NCETMB exam
  • Washington DC massage therapy certification for licensure candidates must also arrange to have their transcripts sent from their US accredited massage therapy educational institution directly to the DC Board of Massage Therapy and provide verification of other state licenses, if applicable.
  • Those who wish to become a massage therapist in Washington DC must also provide a social security number, legal name and all aliases and previous names, home and business addresses and a list of professional schools attended. Plus, applicants are required to complete certain screening questions and explanations if necessary, as directed on the application. If a name change has occurred due to marriage, divorce or for any other reason, proof of such must be provided.
  • If a social security number cannot be provided, a sworn affidavit may suffice.
  • If an individual who wants to become a massage therapist in Washington DC has been educated in a country other than the United States, he or she must meet most of the same requirements. They must also prove that their education, training and experience qualify them to practice massage therapy by the Board’s standards by arranging to have their education and practical skills evaluated by a board approved source. Also, if any of the documents required by the board aren’t in English, the applicant is responsible for arranging to have them translated into English. This must be done through an approved agency and signed by the translator to ensure accuracy.
  • Washington DC massage therapy certification for licensure applicants must include a check or money order in the amount of $262.00. This will include the application fee of $85.00 along with the license fee of $177.00. Renewal fees are $177 every two years, with an additional $85 added for late renewals. If a massage therapist wants an additional copy or copies of his license, he can send along an additional $34.00 for each certified copy. If a therapist allows his license to lapse, he will pay an additional reinstatement fee of $229.00.
  • For those massage therapists who practice out of their homes, a special permit is needed in addition to a standard license. Candidates must apply for a Home Occupancy Permit in person at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. The initial cost of the permit is $50.00--$25 for the application fee and $25 for the cost of the permit and providers must show their licenses to obtain it. The permit won’t need renewing, though, as it’s good for life once obtained.

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