Several new laws passed during the 2019 Legislative Session affecting the regulation of massage therapist licensing have taken effect. Here are the important changes that hotel spa managers should be aware of.
Fingerprinting for massage therapists (updated January 21, 2020):
Effective September 1, 2019, Texas state law now requires that all licensed massage therapists submit fingerprints to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) for a criminal background check when the massage therapist is applying for a new license or applying for the renewal of an existing license.
All initial massage therapist license applications and all applications for renewal of a massage therapist license must submit fingerprints for criminal history record review. According to the TDLR, once the license application is received by TDLR, a TDLR staff member will email the applicant with instructions on how to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting.
As of the time of this update (Jan. 21, 2020), TDLR is utilizing a third party company known as “IdentoGO” for fingerprinting. However, the applicant must first get a “service code” from TDLR before scheduling a fingerprinting appointment with IdentoGO.
If you have questions about TDLR application and obtaining your fingerprinting appointment service code, please contact a TDLR staff member. TDLR’s phone number is 512-463-6599.
Posting of massage therapist licenses and photo of the licensed therapist:
Under existing law, all licensed massage therapists are required to post their license at their primary office and at any licensed massage establishment where the therapist provides services. This includes a hotel spa that is a licensed massage establishment.
Additionally, effective January 1, 2020, a photo of the individual massage therapist must be attached to the front of the license. The photo can be either in color or in black and white, but the individual cannot be wearing sunglasses, caps, or hats in the photo.
Licensed massage establishments must post human trafficking signage.
Under longstanding law, a place of business that advertises or offers massage therapy or other massage services must be licensed by TDLR as a “massage establishment.”
Effective April 1, 2020, licensed massage establishments must post required signage concerning services and assistance available to victims of human trafficking.
If you are a hotel owner or employee with questions about massage therapy regulations, do not hesitate to contact a THLA attorney at 512-474-2996.
Additionally, this TDLR page contains information on licensing, including how to apply for or renew a license.
I renewed my license on 01/06/2020, have a copy of my $75.00 payment. It states that TDLR will email me with instructions on how to schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted. Waited for that email which never arrived, I checked my spam. I called TDLR on 01/16/2020 and talked to ——, who stated she would inform her case manager. Still no reply, no email whatsoever. What should I do now?
Sorry to hear this, Irma. We’ve been hearing from a few folks who are experiencing delays in their application renewals. Our understanding is that TDLR has been experiencing a high volume of applications, and the fingerprinting requirement is a new part of the program. Our best advice is to keep calling them and being persistent.
But why after many many years ate they required to submit to fingerprinting? I could logically reason with the coming soon part of the article about human trafficking. But other than that it seems like another means to gain funds without raising taxes.
Thanks for the comment, James. We’re generally not fans of new government mandates and fees, either. However, the TDLR did reduce the renewal application fee from $106 to $75. As for the fingerprinting requirement, reducing human trafficking was one of the reasons cited by the Legislature when HB 1865 was passed last year.
How do you submit the fingerprints to associated licenses??
Kacie, according to the TDLR, you should first submit your license application to the TDLR. Then, the TDLR will email you with instructions on how to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. If you have specific questions about your application and the instructions for fingerprinting, we suggest contacting a TDLR staff member: 512-463-6599.
Can we make our own arrangements for fingerprinting and submit those?
Laura, at this time, the information we are getting from TDLR indicates the answer is no. As of now, once you submit your application, TDLR will supposedly send you an email with instructions and a code on how and where to get fingerprinted.