Apply for a license
- Apply online
The Washington State Department of Health requires that only the applicant or licensee may complete an attestation for an application, or for continuing education. This is a legal attestation. Completion of the attestation by anyone other than the applicant may constitute a reportable felony offense. The Department of Health can take action against people for perjury or for making a false statement they know to be false.
For further information please see:
Washington State law authorizes the Department of Health to obtain fingerprint-based background checks for licensing purposes. This check may be through the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We may require this if you have lived in another state or if you have a criminal record in Washington State. This would be at your own expense.
You must pay the application fee at the time you apply. You may use a credit or debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo, or pay by ACH/E-Check. Please make sure your address on the payment information screen matches the address your financial institution has on file for you. This fee is non-refundable. There is a convenience fee to apply online.
If we need additional documentation, we'll notify you by email.
There are additional items you may need, in addition to your application:
If you have questions, contact our Customer Service staff members at 360-236-4700.
Online Application Instructions
Online application instructions are on our website. Online applications are accessed through SecureAccess Washington (SAW) security portal. You'll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you'll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver's license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren't currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you'll need to submit a paper application, as you won't be able to access the Online Application Portal.
Once you have completed the process you will receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork.
- Apply on paper
The following forms are required for completing the application process. Please download and print forms.
Expired and reactivation of licensure
Massage school approval information
Please note: Any school requesting approval for a massage program or transfer program must submit three copies of its application and supporting documentation. Please see the education requirements for more information.
- See fee information below
Type of non-refundable fee Fee amount Application and initial license $226* Renewal $166* Late renewal penalty $75 Expired license reissuance $50 Inactive license renewal $66* Expired inactive license reissuance $50 Verification of license $10 Duplicate license $10 Intraoral massage endorsement $25
* Includes the $16 fee to access the University of Washington HEAL-WA health resources website.
- See licensing requirements below
Applicants for a massage therapist license must meet one of the following options for licensure:
- Complete a massage program approved by the Washington State Board of Massage, or
- Hold an active and unrestricted massage license in a state or foreign jurisdiction with substantially equivalent education and training requirements as Washington State (WAC 246-830-035)
State license verification
Applicants for a massage therapist license must list all states where credentials are or were held, including where applicant has applied but a credential was not granted. A verification form (PDF) must be completed and submitted by the jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed. The jurisdiction must send the completed form directly to the department.
Personal data questions
Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If pending, applicant must indicate status.
Additional information/documents required
- If the applicant meets the education requirement for option number one (see above), they must have their school or program complete, sign, and submit the school completion form.
- If the applicant meets the education requirement for option number two (see above), they must have their school or program complete, sign, and submit the education endorsement form.
- Successful completion of an examination administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). The NCBTMB or the FSMTB must send verification of the exam score report directly to the department.
- First aid and CPR cards. CPR must be in person, but a hybrid course is acceptable as well.
Process for approving/denying applications
We finish final review for approval after a credentialing specialist verifies that the application is fully complete, and complies with requirements in chapter 18.108 RCW and chapter 246-830 WAC. We complete background checks and make sure applicants have submitted required fees. Credentialing supervisors and lead workers have the authority to approve routine applications. The disciplining authority may conduct further review if the credentialing supervisor can't verify the applicant meets all requirements. We'll formally notify applicants of a denial. Those applicants may request a hearing to appeal the decision.
Massage therapists must renew their license every year. Credentials expire on the therapist's birthday and may be renewed within 90 days prior to the expiration date.
Continuing education requirements
Twenty-four hours of continuing education is due every two years on or before the practitioner's birthday. Requirements are outlined in WAC 246-830-475.