Time Limit to Renew or Reinstate an Expired Massage License

The table below provides the time window within which you must renew your licensed massage therapist designation.

In some states, a massage license does not expire. In others, renewal or reinstatement is not allowed once your license is expired and thus you must reapply.

Six months appears to be the shortest duration you can go without renewing your license in some states such as Florida.

So while five years appears to be the longest in some states such as Colorado.

Some states have complex nuances. For example, in Kentucky, you have 90 days.

And also, you can only reinstate after 90 days if you can prove to the board that the circumstances were beyond your control.

On the other hand, licenses in New York are for life but must be registered in order to practice.

In Tennessee, there is a 60-day reinstatement window at the discretion of the state board of massage therapy.

You will have to tell them why it wasn’t renewed on time and meet all other renewal requirements and pay late fees.

Stay out of trouble.  Find your state below and understand what’s required of you to ensure you are able to legally practice massage therapy.

StateTime Allowed for Non-renewed Licensee to Reinstate License
Alabama5 years
AlaskaNothing found in state rules or laws regarding late renewals or reinstatement.  Licenses were first required in 2015.  First renewals September 2017.
Arizona5 years
ArkansasNot allowed – must reapply
CaliforniaNo state license
Colorado5 years; requirements increase after 2 years
ConnecticutNot allowed – must reapply
Delaware1 year
Florida6 months
Georgia1 month late renewal; after that at discretion of board
Hawaii1 year
Idaho5 years
Illinois5 years; after 5 years under some circumstances
IndianaAllowed; nothing in laws and rules to indicate a time limit
IowaCan be reactivated at any time, requirements increase after 5 years
KansasNo state license
Kentucky90 days; can only reinstate after 90 days if you can prove to the board that the circumstances were beyond your control
Louisiana2 years
Maine90 days
Maryland2 years
Massachusetts5 years; after 5 years under some circumstances
Michigan3 years – after 3 years, have to submit proof of competence
MinnesotaNo state license
Mississippi3 years
Missouri2 years
MontanaNothing found in state rules or laws regarding late renewals or reinstatement.
NebraskaAllowed; no time limit found in law and rules
Nevada2 years
New HampshireNo reactivation;  Reapply for license – if more than 2 years, also retake tests
New Jersey5 years
New Mexico2 years
New YorkLicenses in New York are for life, but must be registered in order to practice
North Carolina2 years
North Dakota1 year
Ohio2 years; after that increased requirements
Oklahoma1 year
Oregon3 years
Pennsylvania5 years
Rhode IslandNot allowed – must reapply
South Carolina4 years
South DakotaNot allowed – must reapply
Tennessee60 days; reinstatement at discretion of the board – must tell them why it wasn’t renewed on time and meet all other renewal requirements and pay late fees
Texas1 year
Utah2 years
VermontNo state license
VirginiaIncreased requirements after 2 years
WashingtonRequirements increase after 1 year and again after 3 years
West Virginia30 days for late renewal; after that considered lapsed;  May be reinstated by appearing before the board, explaining circumstances to their satisfaction and paying reinstatement fee
WisconsinIncreased requirements after 5 years
WyomingNo state license


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+

20 comments on “Time Limit to Renew or Reinstate an Expired Massage License
  1. Elizabeth Washnock Butler says:

    I need to find my expired license. Can you help me with that? I got it in 1994/1995/1996

  2. Reneda Bailey says:

    I moved from Tennessee after getting my massage license in the year 2000.went to Louisiana and got a Medical Assisting degree in 2003. Now I’m in Ohio and want to do massage.

  3. Jill says:

    Hello! I live in Colorado. It has been 10+ years since I graduated and practiced massage. Is there a way to reinstate my license by studying and taking the exam plus continued Ed? Or, would I need to complete the training all over again?

  4. MaryHelen Flores says:

    Hi! Hopefully there is an answer for me, but I was wondering what I need to do to get my license back in AZ if I haven’t had it since 2009? Thank you!

  5. Gabriella says:

    how do you maintain a certification?

  6. Michele says:

    What if when you became certified at a later date the state in which you lived changed to licensure?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      most states have grandfather clauses. for states that do not, you simply have to convert to licensing. the requirements are not that strenuous. usually just an application process

  7. Jinaan Jawad says:

    As I understand from above — in Illinois — if the license expired in 2016 It IS still valid to practice Massage Therapy under the expired license? It is being renewed now though.

  8. Misty Chu says:

    Hi. I was licensed in 1999 and practiced until 2011. I was licensed in Florida and was Nationally certified as well. I was married to someone in the military and with moving so much I had my license expire and it was hard to keep up with the ceu’s. I did freeze my license. I am now in Virginia and I want to activate my license again. I just want to make sure my license is able to activate again before I pay the nonrefundable fee to activate it with the time it has been inactive. I am working on ceu’s and was told I need to do 48 but I feel like I need more. I would like to reinstate my nationally certfication as well. If I could get any help I would appreciate it. I am kind of lost and I want to do everything right. Thank You!

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Misty – we have an article on how to reinstate and expired license. Have you read it? Highly recommend you do and follow the step by step process. It is easier than you think! Let us know if you have specific questions after reading the article.

  9. Kay Frances Taylor says:

    Can I reinstate a license in the state of Texas. That has been expired since 2012. Without taking the course all over again.

  10. Durinda Orr says:

    In Georgia I applied for reinstatement . I had completed CE’s but did not pay -unintentionally.
    I’ve sent everything they asked me to send . They received last documents 10/2/19. I have a job and boss waiting on my reinstatement. It has been 15 business days but they haven’t released my license . I do not wish to lose my job . Do I need legal help?

  11. Melinda Pupillo says:

    My license in Illinois was put on hold back in 2008 because I was going to stay home and raise my kids. Back then they never told me there was a 5 year limit or I would have tried and kept it up. What do I have to do to get my license reinstated. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

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