Several new laws passed during the 2019 Legislative Session affecting the regulation of massage therapist licensing have taken effect or will take effect in 2020. Here are the important changes that hotel spa managers should be aware of.

Fingerprinting for massage therapists:

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.

At the time of applying for a license renewal or when applying for an initial license, TDLR will provide the massage therapist with instructions on how to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting.

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 include 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.

Coming soon: 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. TDLR is still formulating the rules and the required signs, and they are expected to be released in 2020.

More information:

If you have 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.

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