Massage Therapy: Licensing, Registration, and Renewal
IMPORTANT: Effective March 13, 2023
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department has implemented an online licensing system for Massage Therapist and Massage Therapy School applications and license renewals. This investment will simplify the licensing process, making it easier for applicants and licensees to apply for and renew licenses in New Mexico.
Applications for initial licensure and renewal must be submitted through the online portal.
Please note, you may be required to upload additional documents which will be determined by the pathway in which you submit your application or renewal application.
Click here to apply or renew.
License and registration attachments required for online application
Massage Therapist – may require the following forms depending on your education, graduation date, and completed training.
Form A: if the massage school you attended is outside of New Mexico.
Form B: Verification of license in another state or jurisdiction
Form C: verification of work experience
Massage Therapy School– Please review 16.7.5 NMAC for a detailed list of all required documentation. Applicants will be required to submit the following forms to the board office by mail or email.
- Curriculum and Syllabi
- Admissions Application
- Enrollment Agreement/Contract
- Course/Advertising Catalogue
- Policies and Procedures
- Instructor Qualifications and Résumés/CVs
- Teach-Out Policy
Requirements for Licensure by Examination
188.8.131.52 GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR LICENSURE BY EXAMINATION:
- Age: The applicant must be 18 years of age or older on the date the application is submitted.
- Prerequisite education: The applicant must have completed high school or its equivalent.
- Application fee: The applicant must pay the required application-processing fee as set forth in Subsection D of 184.108.40.206 NMAC of the board’s regulations.
- Application form: The applicant must complete the application on an approved form; incomplete applications will not be accepted or will be returned to the applicant.
- First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): The applicant must have completed four contact course hours of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to include automatic external defibrillator (CPR/AED) and four contact course hours of first aid and must provide proof, with the application, of current certification in basic life support. No online courses will be accepted. Courses must be maintained in current standing.
Massage Therapy Training/Program Requirements:
- A minimum of 650 hours of Massage Therapy programming to include:
- 165 hours minimum of anatomy and physiology, to include:
- kinesiology; and
- 40 hours minimum of pathology.
- 150 hours minimum of training in massage therapy as defined in 220.127.116.11 NMAC.
- the massage therapy training shall include contraindications of massage therapy;
- a minimum of 100 hours of hands on training must be completed before the student is allowed to begin a clinical practicum as defined in 18.104.22.168 NMAC.
- 75 hours minimum of general instruction to include:
- business; effective October 31, 2021, minimum of 20 hours;
- hydrotherapy; effective October 31, 2021, minimum of 8 hours;
- 30 hours minimum of professional ethics;
- 4 hours of first aid; and
- 4 hours of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to include automatic external defibrillation (CPR/AED).
- Electives may include:
- additional massage therapy;
- related hands-on modalities;
- additional anatomy and physiology;
- clinical practicum (not to exceed 150 hours);
- breathing and stretching techniques;
- theory; and
- other courses with prior board approval. See 22.214.171.124 NMAC for instructions.
- 165 hours minimum of anatomy and physiology, to include:
126.96.36.199 NMAC – MINIMUM CURRICULA OF MASSAGE THERAPY TRAINING
F. If an applicant is missing a core curriculum course or is missing a small portion of the core curriculum to complete the 650 hour requirement, the applicant may obtain the training course(s) from a continuing education provider, or from a massage therapy school that meets the requirements in 188.8.131.52 NMAC.
G. The board will accept professional work experience (not to exceed 150 hours) from applicants with documented proof accounting for all hours by completing Form C. These hours must have been performed legally and the applicant must provide proof of licensure or registration during the time the work was performed.
184.108.40.206 NMAC – FORM “A” FROM MASSAGE SCHOOL REQUIREMENT:
A. The following circumstances require that the applicant’s massage school(s) submit a completed “form A for massage school” to the board office along with an official transcript and proof that the massage therapy school(s) is/was approved to operate as a private post-secondary educational institution or its equivalent at the time the applicant attended the school(s):
(1) if the applicant attended a massage school that is located out-of-state; or
(2) if the applicant has attended more than one massage therapy school whether in-state or out-of-state; or
(3) if the applicant graduated from a massage therapy school more than two years ago.
B. The “form A for massage school” contains four sections corresponding to Subsections A, B, C, and D of 220.127.116.11 NMAC, and each section must be completed correctly to prevent delays in the applicant’s licensure process.
(1) an hourly breakdown must be provided for each course/category/subject listed that the school provided in the curriculum that the applicant completed. If a subject is taught within another subject, the school should provide a written explanation on school letterhead and attached to the form “A”;
(2) If there are no hours specified next to a course/category/subject, it will be an indication to the board that the course/category/subject was not part of the school’s curriculum.
18.104.22.168 SPECIFIC PROVISIONS FOR A TEMPORARY LICENSE: A license issued one time only for a maximum period of three months to practice massage therapy while the application for permanent license is in process, and which may only be issued to applicants who have never sat for a licensing examination.
A. Qualifications for temporary license:
(1) the applicant for temporary license must meet all the requirements set forth in 22.214.171.124 through 126.96.36.199 NMAC;
(2) the applicant for temporary license must not have previously sat for a certification examination for therapeutic massage and bodywork (NCETMB), the national certification examination for therapeutic massage (NCETM), the massage board licensing examination (MBLEx), or other examining or certification agency approved by the board;
(3) the applicant may obtain a temporary license while waiting to sit for the national examination;
(4) upon submitting the application for licensure, the applicant for a temporary license must submit a temporary license fee, as set forth in Subsection D of 188.8.131.52 NMAC;
(5) the board may deny issuance of a temporary license for the same reasons a permanent license may be denied.
B. Issuance of the temporary license:
(1) the applicant for temporary license may not begin work until the temporary license has been issued by the board, has been received by the licensee, and has been publicly posted in principal place of practice;
(2) the temporary licensee may not advertise in the yellow pages or other similar advertising book;
(3) the temporary licensee must keep the board informed at all times of any change in address and contact phone number(s).
C. Surrender of temporary license required:
(1) if a temporary license holder fails the national examination, the temporary license immediately becomes null and void and must be surrendered directly to the board office within 15 days of the examination date; and the privileges to practice authorized by the temporary license are no longer valid;
(2) expired or null and void temporary licenses shall be surrendered to the board;
(3) if an applicant, who holds a temporary license that must be surrendered, has misplaced or lost the temporary license and cannot return it to the board as required, the applicant must provide the board with an affidavit attesting that the license has been lost or misplaced and that the applicant is no longer practicing massage therapy.
Requirements for Expedited Licensure by Credentials
184.108.40.206 EXPEDITED LICENSURE APPLICATION:
A. A candidate for expedited licensure under Section 61-1-31.1 NMSA 1978 must submit to the board a complete application containing all of the following:
(1) a completed and signed application form;
(2) proof of current licensure in an eligible jurisdiction as defined in these rules;
(3) certificate of good standing for the license held by the applicant in an eligible jurisdiction; and
(4) payment of the required application fee.
Pursuant to 16.7.8 NMAC, “Applicants licensed in the following states and territories of the United States shall not be eligible for expedited licensure under Section 61-12C-16 NMSA 1978 of the Massage Therapy Practice Act:
- S. Virgin Islands
- American Samoa
- Northern Mariana Islands
220.127.116.11 EXPEDITED LICENSE DURATION AND RENEWAL:
A. An expedited license shall be valid for the same length of time as a regular initial license issued by the board.
B. A licensee holding an expedited license may apply for license renewal in the manner provided by the board’s rules, provided that, upon renewal, the licensee must also satisfy the following examination requirements:
(1) The licensee shall be required to pass the New Mexico jurisprudence examination.
(2) If the licensee holding an expedited license was not required by the licensee’s original jurisdiction outside of New Mexico to pass the MBLEx, NCETM, or NCETMB, the licensee shall be required to pass one of these three examinations as a prerequisite to license renewal.
C. Upon renewal, the board shall issue a regular license to a licensee holding an expedited license issued pursuant to these rules.
Requirements for Expedited Licensure for Military Service Members and Veterans
18.104.22.168 EXPEDITED LICENSURE APPLICATION FOR MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS:
A. A candidate for expedited licensure under Section 61-1-34 NMSA 1978 must submit to the board a complete application containing all of the following:
(1) a completed and signed application form;
(2) proof of current licensure in another jurisdiction;
(3) certificate of good standing for the license held by the applicant in another jurisdiction, including a branch of the United States armed forces;
(4) submission of the following documentation:
(a) for military service member: a copy of military orders;
(b) for spouse of military service members: copy of military service member’s military orders, and copy of marriage license;
(c) for spouses of deceased military service members: copy of decedent’s DD 214 and copy of marriage license;
(d) for dependent children of military service members: a copy of military service member’s orders listing dependent child, or a copy of military orders and one of the following: a copy of birth certificate, military service member’s federal tax return or other governmental or judicial documentation establishing dependency.
(e) for veterans (retired or separated), proof of honorable discharge such as a copy of DD Form 214, DD Form 215, DD Form 256, DD Form 257, NGB Form 22, military ID card, a driver’s license or state ID card with a veteran’s designation, or other documentation verifying honorable discharge.
B. An expedited license application shall not be deemed complete until the applicant has submitted, and the board’s staff is in receipt of, all of the materials required by subsection A, including documentation from third parties.
C. Upon receipt of a complete application, the board’s staff shall process the application and issue the expedited license to a qualified applicant within 30 days.
- If the applicant has a disqualifying criminal conviction or the board may have other cause to deny the application pursuant to Section 61-12C-24.1 NMSA 1978:
(1) the matter of the applicant’s application shall be submitted to the board for consideration and action at its next available regular meeting;
(2) the license may not be issued within 30 days of submission of the complete application; and
(3) the board may vote to grant the application or refer the matter to its administrative prosecutor for denial of the application as provided by the board’s rules.
E. A military service member or veteran who is issued an expedited license shall not be charged a licensing fee for the first three years of licensure with the board.
Requirements for Renewal
22.214.171.124 GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ALL LICENSEES AND REGISTRANTS:
A. Administrative provisions relative to the renewal process:
(1) Licenses and registrations expire on an annual or biennial basis on October 31. The specific annual or biennial schedule for each license or registration type is further detailed in 126.96.36.199 NMAC.
(2) A current license or registration renewal form shall be mailed to the last known address on file with the board.
(3) Each licensee and registrant must inform the board in writing, within 30 days of any change in contact information, such as address or telephone number.
(4) Failure to receive the renewal notice shall not relieve the licensee or registrant from the responsibility of renewing the license or registration by the renewal date.
(5) The licensee or registrant shall complete the renewal application form in the manner stated on the form. The form must be submitted with the requested documentation and required fee(s) as set forth in 16.7.3 NMAC.
(6) Incomplete renewal applications will be returned to the licensee or registrant for completion, which might result in the assessment of late penalty fees.
B. Grace period provisions:
(1) Renewal applications for licenses or registrations postmarked or hand-delivered after October 31 must also be accompanied by the late renewal penalty fee established in 16.7.3 NMAC. If October 31 falls on a weekend, a renewal postmarked or hand-delivered on the next business day will be considered timely.
(2) After the renewal date of October 31, there is a 60-day grace period ending December 30 of the same year during which the license or registration may still be renewed, and during which the licensee or registrant may still practice or provide the services authorized by the license or registration.
(3) Massage therapists who have not renewed their licenses with a postmark date of December 30, or the next business day if December 30 falls on a weekend, will automatically be placed on inactive status as of December 31 of that year.
(4) Massage therapy schools that have not renewed their registrations with a postmark date of December 30, or the next business day if December 30 falls on a weekend, will automatically expire and become null and void immediately.
- Visit https://nmrldlpi.my.site.com/bcd/s/login/ and click on the “Self Register” link.
1. Fill out the presented form and click “Register.”
2. Once you successfully complete your registration form, you will receive an email (at the email address you entered) from firstname.lastname@example.org that will allow you to set your password (if you do not see the email, please check your inbox or spam/junk folder to ensure you received this important email).
3. After setting your password, you can then enter the portal and renew your license. Once renewed, please print the electronic copy of your license which you may use until your official license is received from the board office.
** Please note, if you have completed the steps above, and upon entering the portal, if you do not see your license information, you will need to email the RLD IT Support Team with the following information:
Email to: mailto:email@example.com
Subject Line: Registration Complete
Within the body of the email, please also include your name and license number.
Thank you for your patience as we modernize our licensing platforms to better serve you!
Address Change Form — You may also email address changes to Massage.firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail your changes to the address on the form. Include your license number, old address and phone number, new address and phone number, and date and sign your request.