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How to Become a Massage Therapist in South Dakota - SD

Since July 2005, the South Dakota has required that all Massage Therapists in their state be licensed. Under the South Dakota Department of Health, The Board of Massage Therapy (the “Board”) regulates this profession and mandates South Dakota Massage Therapy Certification for licensure.   They can be found on the worldwide web at http://doh.sd.gov/Boards/massage.

To obtain a license to practice in South Dakota, applicants must meet the following requisites:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age and of good moral character
  2. Have earned a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  3. Be insured against professional liability, meeting the coverage requirements set by the Board (currently, a minimum of $250,000 liability insurance coverage is mandated)
  4. Have completed 500 hours of related education and training from a facility recognized by the Board
  5. Achieved a passing score on one of the tests listed below:
    1. National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB)
    2. National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM)
    3. National Examination of State Licensing (NESL)
    4. Massage Therapy Certification Exam, National Board Certification Agency (NBCA) of the American Medical Massage Association (AMMA)

After obtaining an application form (“Initial License Application”) from the Board’s website, complete and return it with any needed support documents and fees to:

South Dakota Board of Massage Therapy
P.O. Box 1062
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1062

If you hold a valid Massage Therapy License from another U.S. state, it may be possible to waive many of the requirements for initial South Dakota massage therapy certification for licensure by meeting the criteria specified on the state’s “License by Endorsement” application (for example, verification of completion of certain courses and for passage of one of the national certification exams). This form can be downloaded from the Board’s website.

A South Dakota Massage Therapy license is valid for one year following the original date of issue. Your license must be renewed at least 30 days prior to the license expiration date. For example, if your original license issue date is August 15, 2009, the renewal must be completed and recorded by the Board no later than July 15, 2010 to avoid paying a late fee in addition to the renewal cost.

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