- How will I apply for a state massage license?
You apply to the State of Illinois on forms they will provide, but you must print them off the DFPR web site or request to have them sent to you. You pay the required fee and provide whatever documentation is required by the form for the licensing category under which you are applying. You also must submit an electronic scan of your fingerprints with the application so that the state can do a criminal background check on you. The state will give you a list of approved vendors where you must go to have the scanning done.
- How much will the license cost?
The fee is $175 every 2 years. Fingerprinting and criminal background check costs around $50, but that is a one-time cost for the initial license. There are additional fees for late renewal, etc.
- What happens after I apply?
The DFPR will review your application and documentation and decide to issue a license to you or to refer your application for consideration by the Massage Licensing Board. The Board considers applications where the credentials presented are not clear-cut and require some discretion to decide whether the person meets the qualifications under the law. The Board makes a recommendation to the DFPR Director, who then decides the fate of those applicants.
- How often will I have to renew the license?
Every 2 years. All massage therapists will need to renew in the last quarter of each even-numbered year.
- How much continuing education (CE) do I have to take?
The law requires 24 hours during each renewal period starting with the licensees second renewal. The 24 hours must be earned in the current renewal period, and excess hours cannot be used to meet the next renewal period requirement.
- Will my courses taken for AMTA renewal or NCBTMB recertification apply?
Yes. The DFPR adopted rules for continuing education that accepts all courses taken from a NCBTMB-approved provider.
- I am a student now. How do I know if my school is approved so that I will be eligible for a license when I graduate?
DFPR has adopted Rules of Practice for Massage Therapy which set forth requirements for approved massage programs. These include at least 500 hours on subjects including anatomy, physiology, hygiene, sanitation, ethics, technical theory, and application of techniques. If your school’s program is at least 500 hours, chances are pretty good that the owners or administrators are making sure it includes the appropriate subjects so that their graduates will have no problem getting licensed. Ask them about it.
- The school I am enrolled in now has only a 250-hour program. Can I still get licensed?
No. You must complete at least 500 hours of training and pass the national certification exam (for which you wouldn’t be eligible with only 250 hours of training).
- The spa/salon in which I work has a hydromassage room, which I use for some clients. Can I do this under my license?
Yes, the law allows massage therapists to incorporate hydromassage into their work.
- Can I use other tools that I now incorporate in my work when I am licensed?
Yes, the definition of massage includes the possible use of massage devices that mimic or enhance the actions possible by human hands