Licensure and Exams

As a graduate of the Center for Massage & Natural Health's Massage & Bodywork Therapy Certification Program, you qualify to apply for; N.C. State Licensure through the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy and the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

Please note that there are some states that require no exam whatsoever, or those who require their own State Board exam. These requirements change often, so please check with your state before enrolling in any school so that you are certain of the educational requirements for practicing in your state. For a current listing of individual state requirements, click HERE.  


North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy
P.O. Box 2539
Raleigh, NC 27602
Phone: 919-546-0050
Fax: 919-833-1059
Website: www.bmbt.org
Email: admin@bmbt.org
Application Request Form
Orientation Handbook for Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapists in NC


All therapists in the State who fall under the scope of practice definition in the Massage and Bodywork Therapy Practice Act will be required to apply for a license. This is legally defined as: Systems of activity applied to the soft tissues of the human body for therapeutic, educational or relaxation purposes. This includes anyone who is practicing massage and bodywork therapy for compensation, whether you are working full-time or part-time, self-employed or working for someone else. The only exceptions are practitioners of certain energy-based and movement repatterining techniques whose work meets specific criteria for exemption set forth in the Rules and Regulations.

Steps for Licensure in NC: 
• First, take and pass the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) (instructions below.)
• You must contact the Board Office in writing to request an official licensure application package, which will include all required forms and complete instructions. There is a $20.00 application fee for this package which must accompany your written request. This must be in the form of a money order or certified (bank) check. No cash, personal checks or credit cards will be accepted. The Application Request Form can be downloaded in PDF format from the Document Center. (Adobe Acrobat Required). After completing the form, it may be sent directly to the Board with the application fee.
• Once you receive the application package, follow the enclosed General Instructions and use the Application Checklist to ensure that you are sending in a complete application.
You are required to:     
   • Meet the requirements for licensure;
   • Complete the Application Form and submit it with all required documentation;
   • Enclose one original passport-size photo of yourself; and
   • Enclose the $150.00 Licensure Fee in the form of a certified check or money order.
   • Enclose the $40.00 SBI Criminal History Report fee. Executed fingerprint card.
   • Signed and dated consent form.
   • Other documents and information as requested.
• Once all of the above is received at the Board Office, your application will be reviewed by Board staff to determine that it is complete in form and content.


For graduates of Board-Approved schools and exempted North Carolina Community College programs: Once your application is deemed to be complete, it will take approximately 30 business days for the Board to issue a new license.

For an applicant who did not graduate from a Board-Approved school: Once the Board staff determines that your application is complete, it will be forwarded to the Board's Licensure Review Committee. This committee makes recommendations to the full Board, where final action on such applications is made at a regularly scheduled Board meeting. On average, it will take 60 business days for the Board to issue a license once the application is complete.  


Each application is date-stamped when received in the Board office. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. Once an application is complete and correct, it will be processed and approved in no more than thirty (30) business days for applicants who graduated from an in state massage program and sixty (60) business days for applicants who graduated from an out of state massage program. Applying for Licensure by Endorsement takes 3 to 6 months.

Applications must be complete and correct before they are processed. A checklist is provided on the last page of the application booklet to help you in submitting a complete application. You will be notified in writing by the Board office of any missing, incomplete, or incorrect items. If you are required to submit additional or corrected documents, your processing period will restart when all documents are received and correct. 

To ensure that all the required documents are received promptly, you may wish to send all the documents together with your application. By doing this, you will know when the documents are sent. If you must have a transcript, moral character form, or out of state verification form mailed to the Board separately from your application, that information will be filed with you application when it arrives. Processing will begin when all documentation has been received.

Please do not call the Board office to find out your license processing status during the 30 business days necessary for processing. The Board staff will not be able to confirm that your application has or has not been received. You may purchase delivery confirmation from the US Postal Service or tracking service from a commercial mailing company.

The Board staff updates the webpage weekly with the names of new licensees. If you have been issued a license number, it will be on the website, www.bmbt.org, under Look up a Licensee.  


• Fill out the Application for License Renewal. This document is available on this website in the Document Center.
• Attach documentation of approved continuing education you have completed during this licensure period. For courses taken with NCBTMB-approved providers include a photocopy of each              certificate of completion. For courses taken at accredited colleges or universities include a photocopy of certificate of completion or school transcript which lists credits and grades earned.
• Submit the application and documentation with the $100.00 renewal fee (for two years) made payable to the North Carolina Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy. Payment is non-refundable,    and may ONLY be made in the form of a certified check, money order, or personal check. Cash and credit cards are not accepted.

Your application must be received in the Board Office or postmarked by November 1, preceding the December 31st expiration date listed on your license. If you want confirmation that your application has been received by the Board, you must request that service from the Post Office or private carrier. 

Licensees who do not meet this deadline will be assessed a $75.00 late renewal fee and will receive a Letter of Reprimand, and may also be subject to disciplinary action. It is essential that you meet all requirements in order to keep your license in force. Thank you in advance for your attention to this process.

If a license has been expired for more than 24 months, it cannot be renewed. The holder of such a license must apply for a new license, according to the requirements in place at the time they apply. The first step in re-applying is to download the Application Request Form from the Document Center, follow the instructions and submit the form to the Board.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE MBLEx (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam)

Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam Office
150 4th Ave. North, Suite 800
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: 866.962.3926
Website: www.fsmtb.org
Email: mblex@fsmtb.org


Most states have migrated towards using the MBLEx offered through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, including North Carolina, as part of their licensure requirements.

The mission of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) is to support its Member Boards in their work to ensure that the practice of massage therapy is provided to the public in a safe and effective manner. In carrying out this mission, the Federation ensures the provision of a valid, reliable licensing examination to determine entry-level competence. 

The examination developed by the FSMTB on behalf of its Member Boards is the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). To ensure the examination reflects current practice, a Job Task Analysis Survey was developed with contributions by over 50 content experts under the guidance of 15 testing and psychometric experts. The Job Task Analysis was further validated by input from 7,646 massage, bodywork and somatic professionals representing every state in the USA. The MBLEx is administered through Pearson VUE at high-security test centers across the United States.

To apply for the MBLEx exam ONLINE. The fee for this exam is $195.