How to Reinstate or Reactivate Your Expired Massage License

The easiest way to keep your massage license active is to not let it expire in the first place. For massage license holders, you must take the necessary continuing education each year and submit the evidence to the board in your state to maintain your license. Each state has a different requirement in terms of the number of continuing education credits you need each year.

That said, it is simply not reasonable for many non practicing massage therapists to continue to keep their license active, but that’s ok. Renewing or reinstating an expired massage license is easier than it seems.

In a nutshell, you take the continuing education courses you need, you pay a renewal fee, provide evidence of continuing education and you are back in business. There may be slight nuances from one state board to another, but the requirements and procedures are generally the same across the country.

The number of continuing education credits you need are listed on the state board’s website. In most cases, you will NOT have to retake the massage certification exam in your state, unless a significant amount of time has passed since your massage license was last active. Another exception could be if the state board change’s its rules for maintaining certification.

Here is what you do to reactivate your massage license:

Go to your state board’s website and see if there is a place where you can type in your massage license number. Many state board websites allow you to find out the status of your license by simply typing in the number.

This step will confirm the status of your license. Do not automatically assume that your license is expired just because you haven’t renewed it in recent years. Remember that rules can change at any time, and sometimes you benefit from such changes.

Next, determine how many continuing education courses you need and obtain them.  This information is also on the state board’s website.

Finally, prepare and send the evidence of continuing education along with the renewal fee to the address listed on the state board. Some states may require a form to be filled out as well, which will also be available on the state board’s website.

That’s it. Wait for the state board’s reply back and act accordingly. In most cases, these steps will suffice in reinstating your massage license. In rare instances, states may require that you take the licensing exam again. Some other exceptions include a blemish on your personal record (hopefully you don’t have anything serious on your record).

If you are an aspiring massage therapist and wondering if you will lose all the time and money you’ve invested in your education and profession, fret not. Renewing a massage license is not very difficult. Simply follow the process outlined above and you’ll be back in business in no time.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Certification
40 comments on “How to Reinstate or Reactivate Your Expired Massage License
  1. April says:

    I am currently a PTA and have been for 11 years, that is when I let met massage license lapse. Would any of the continuing Ed. Or field work as a PTA help to get re-instated?

  2. April says:

    O was wondering if my co to using education and maybe fieldwork for me being a PTA for the past 10 years would help to get my license reinstated since I let it lapse?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      April, some states will accept some of it when they do the evaluation. It’s a case by case (state by state) basis. Contact the State board and ask for an evaluation.

  3. Kelly says:

    This is great information to know! I wonder if this would work for the situation I’m in. I was certified and licensed in SC (now living in FL). My license expired in 2007. Am I past the point where my license can be reinstated? Or would I have to go back to school, be re-certified again, take the exam again and be licensed again? Any advice or help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Kelly – we have seen many States lenient enough to let you bypass the entire process and instead reactivate through CPEs. With that said, the State boards are very dynamic and it is best to check current requirement. We are certain that at least parts of your previous curriculum would qualify – for example, human anatomy has not changed much since the beginning of time!

  4. Samantha says:

    Quick question! I had just graduated and passed my test, the school sent in their portion of the paper work and I had my portion all ready to go. Some things so had happened and I never sent my part in. It has been over the 6 month period where my paper work needs redone. Do I just have redo everything and send it in or will I have to take the test and everything again?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Samantha – give your state board a call and let them know you will be sending it all now. they may accept it as is as not that much time has passed.

  5. Kiah says:

    I passed my national exam years ago 2006 -2007 and never took the jurisprudence exam for the state of Maryland, unfortunately the school i attended didnt provide the support needed after I took my exam. Never the less it was an accredited school which has now relocated and changed their name but i do have my information showing i attended school and passed the national exam. Since i never took the jurisprudence or obtained licensure at that time do i need to start over go back to school?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Kiah – you will most likely have to sit for an exam to demonstrate the knowledge is still fresh in your mind. you will likely not have to go to school again. however, it is prudent to check with your State’s board before proceeding. if you already have, please share with us what you learned and what you are doing now days?

  6. Dawn Pak says:

    Question,
    I went to school and held a license in Florida about 10 years ago. I now live in PA. Is there Any way I can get a PA license? Do I have to go to school all over again? Or somehow get my florida license active again then transfer? Please advise! Thank you.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      You may not have to go to school all over again. The state board of PA can do an analysis for you based on previous education and guide you as to what else you need to do to “bridge the gap” and meet the PA requirements to be able to get licensed there and start practicing.

  7. Sheena Davis says:

    I graduated with my certification of completion in 2005 (Massage Therapy), but never got licensed in the State of Il.
    Will I need to do the program all over again to get a license? PLEASE HELP! Thank you

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Sheena, every state has a period within which past education can be acceptable. 2005 may be too far back but it never hurts to check directly with the state board. please let us know what you are told

  8. Lisa Burden says:

    I’m having a hard time finding any information in Arizona’s state board website. My license expired in 2012. Can you help me?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Lisa, happy to help. What specific information are you trying to locate on the AZ state board website?

      • Lisa Burden says:

        I’m trying to get a better idea of exactly what I need to do to get my license reinstated. So far, I’ve only going really basic information that barely even touches on expired licenses and doesn’t say anything about long expired ones.

  9. Tina says:

    Neal, I’m confused about the massage licensing requirements in Texas for a therapist whose license has expired (2008). I’ve read and reread the state’s page, but I was still confused, so I called the state licensing agency. The woman in that department said that she wasn’t permitted to answer any questions about this and that all the information I need is clearly written on their site. This is simply not the case. Would you happen to know the answers to these questions(?):

    1.) Is a jurisprudence exam required for licensure?
    2.) Am I absolutely required to take the MBLEx?
    3.) How do I actually attain my license, if these exams are taken and passed?
    4.) Are there requirements, in addition to submitting my school transcript, to become licensed in Texas?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Hi Tina, given that it has been 5 years since your license expiry, we understand that the MBLEx is necessary. Once you pass, you have to apply for the license via the State board. these requirements are on their website. the additional requirements along with your school records are laid out on our website under the TX requirements page. have you read that? please let us know what is missing. we will check on whether the jurisprudence exam is required and get back with you, but we are surprised the call rep was not able to answer this.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Tina – may we also ask how/why did you let your license expire? what’s the back story?

      • Tina says:

        Neal, thank you so much for making the time to look up and clarify this part for me. Sure, I’ll share the reason: I became pregnant with my second child while I was in massage school, and after I gave birth, having a baby, a 10-year-old, and an ended marriage left me with far too much to manage.

  10. ROBYN S says:

    Hi
    I unfortunately allowed my license to lapse. It now needs to be reinstated. Who do i talk to regarding MY specific license. I am in GA and it seems like i cant find this information.

    • ROBYN S says:

      I has been since 2014

    • Neal Lyons says:

      You have to contact the State board in the State you wish to practice, which we assume is the State where your license was originally granted from, correct? Have you tried this? Many are able to reinstate depending on circumstances such as the time it has been lapsed

    • Monique says:

      I am in the same boat. I am so lost on getting the required supervised hands-on credits hours satisfied.

      • Neal Lyons says:

        what exactly are you struggling with? contact schools near you (use our search box to find them) and ask them whether they offer the hands on portion of the training

  11. Kimberly says:

    I’m so confused. I went to my state’s site (IL) and it says that I will be charged a late renewal fee (expired 2016) and that if it’s my 1st renewal I won’t have to take the CE for now. But I don’t know where to click from there, what and where to fill out and if its correct that I don’t have to complete my credits (CE) right away…? Please help.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Kimberly – you will have to get in touch with the state board. we have an article coming up focused on each state and how you can renew or reinstate a license in each state. stay tuned.

      • Kimberly says:

        Thank you Neal Lyons.
        I called IDFPR and the rep said to complete my 24 hr CE before I do anything else, 2 hrs in ethics, half can be completed on-line.
        Then I would have to write a letter stating renewal of MT license and if child support applies (dated & signed), include copies of 24 CE completion, m/o payable to IDFPR ($225) and mail it to their office in Springfield.

        Wish they would just put the steps on their site.
        If it helps anyone I’m from Illinois,my MTL expired 2016,
        * letter should include;
        full name
        Field (massage therapist)
        MT license no.
        S.S.N.

        Body of letter> I would like to renew my license.
        Second statement> Do you pay child support?
        Sign & date.

        Call your states dfpr and ask what steps to take and what fees to pay.

        I definitely look forward to your updates on the matter,thanks again.

        Best wishes to everyone.

        • Neal Lyons says:

          excellent Kim – wish you all the best and thx for the update. the reason many don’t post this on their site is because the requirements change every so often. their IT budgets and staffing isn’t robust enough to update in real time.

  12. Leona says:

    Hello and Afternoon,
    I recently had my daughter 3 months ago, though I wasn’t aware of my certification expired. We’ve been busy, with our daughter and just recently moved. I graduated in 2013, and was told it was already expired by November 2016. Please, what do I do now to reinstate my certification to continue working? Do I pay fees, continue my education?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Leona, if you can wait just a few days we have a huge article releasing on this topic. we will also show how to renew or reinstate in every state. stay tuned!

  13. Denise says:

    Hello I graduate massage therapy in 2010 i havent got my state license is it to late?
    Even to become a massage therapis?

  14. Hello I have let my license lapse over 10 years I am a nurse, but would love to return to doing massages, the Texas website is very general, I am wondering if I should just send in application and fees, my transcripts that were given to me got damaged due to a flood and the school has closed and gone bankrupt ugh what can I do?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      No we do not recommend spending time and money with the application w/o speaking to someone at the state board first. Why don’t you start with a conversation and let them tell you what they’d like to see specifically.

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