Apply for a New Massage School License

Unless exempt, an individual or entity who provides at a minimum the course of instruction required for licensure to one or more students constitutes a massage therapy educational program and must obtain a massage school license.


Initial Licensure Requirements

To obtain a massage school license, you must apply by mail. Submit a completed Massage School License Application (PDF) with the required application fee of $1,500.

Required Documentation

In addition to the completed application form, you must also include the following documentation with your application materials:

  • Proof of ownership of the building, or a lease agreement for at least the first 12 months of operation
  • Detailed floor plan
  • Inventory list detailing equipment in the facility
  • Financial statements or documents to sufficiently demonstrate financial stability and a capability to fulfill the training commitments (in accordance with the Massage Therapy Administrative Rules 117.50(b)(3)).

Send your completed application form and additional documentation to:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711-2157

Documents submitted with your application will not be returned. Keep a copy of your completed application, all attachments, and your check or money order. Do not send cash.

A massage school license is valid for two years. A license holder must renew the license biennially.


Pre-License Inspection

TDLR must conduct a pre-license inspection of a massage school before the school can begin operation. No massage school may be operated, instruction given, or student solicited or enrolled at any location which has not been approved by TDLR.

Please see the Massage Establishment Inspections page for detailed information on what criteria inspectors will review.


Fingerprinting Requirement

All massage therapy applicants must be fingerprinted for a national criminal history record review. Applicants must submit fingerprints as part of the initial license application and again for each renewal application.

Once your completed renewal application is received by TDLR, you will receive instructions on how to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. The instructions will be emailed to you.

Please see the Fingerprinting Instructions for New Massage Applicants page for detailed instructions on the fingerprinting process, including any fees you will be responsible for.

Be sure the email address provided on your renewal application form is current and legible to receive the fingerprinting information.

You will be responsible for paying the fee associated with this review to the fingerprint service vendor used by Texas Department of Public Safety. This requirement became effective September 1, 2019.


Operating Requirements

Health and Sanitation

Each massage school location must comply with the sanitation requirements in Section 117.83 of the Massage Therapy Administrative Rules as well as with any local regulations.

Display of License

The massage school license must be displayed in an appropriate and public manner at the school.

Student Hours

A massage school must properly account for the hours granted to each student.

A school may not directly or indirectly grant or approves student hours that were not accrued in accordance with the Massage Therapy Administrative Rules.


Requirement to Notify That Criminal History May Prevent Licensure

Section 53.152 of the Occupations Code requires that all entities providing educational or instructional programs that prepare a student for an occupation or vocation requiring a TDLR license to:

  1. Inform the student or program participant that eligibility for a TDLR license could be affected by the person’s criminal history;
  2. Notify students and participants that TDLR is responsible for having in place guidelines regarding a license applicant's criminal history, and to include information on an applicant's ability to be licensed under those guidelines;
  3. Provide students with information on other state or local restrictions that would affect the student’s eligibility for an occupational license issued by TDLR;
  4. Inform students of the student's right to request a criminal history evaluation letterfrom TDLR;
  5. Provide all persons who enroll in their program with notice of the requirements as described above, regardless of whether or not the person has been convicted of a criminal offense.

Each entity or school required to provide notice is responsible for determining how best to provide the notice information to applicants and enrollees. TDLR has developed a suggested notice and acknowledgement form to provide guidance on how to provide this information. The Notice of Potential Ineligibility For License Form (PDF) is available for download.

An educational entity or training program operator who fails to provide this information to a person who is enrolled in their course may be liable for tuition or application fees paid by any student who is denied a TDLR license due to the existence of a criminal conviction.


Applicants with Criminal Convictions

If you have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than a minor traffic violation) or pleaded guilty or no contest (resulting in a deferred adjudication) to any in-state, out-of-state or federal criminal offense, you must provide a completed Criminal History Questionnaire (PDF) along with your application materials.

The department will conduct a criminal history background check, including fingerprinting, on all persons who apply for or renew a massage license. Criminal convictions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Licenses may be denied based on the nature of the conviction and how long prior to the application the conviction occurred. Depending on your criminal history, a review can take from one to six weeks to complete.

Individuals may request TDLR review their criminal background before actually applying for a license. TDLR uses the same process for this pre-application evaluation as the process described below. See the Criminal History Evaluation Letter page for more information.

Please see the Guidelines for License Applicants with Criminal Convictions, which describe the process that TDLR uses to determine whether a criminal conviction renders an applicant an unsuitable candidate for the license, or whether a conviction warrants revocation or suspension of a license previously granted.