How to Get a Massage Therapy License in Los Angeles

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Getting a massage therapist license in Los Angeles is a cumbersome process, but necessary if you want the license that any serious massage therapist must possess to do business. The Los Angeles Massage License is a way of proving professionalism to the client, as it tests both massage knowledge and practical skills.

Obtaining a Los Angeles City Massage Therapist License

Obtain massage therapist information packet and all forms. You will need to go to Los Angeles City Hall downtown or a local Los Angeles City Finance Office to pick them up.

Decide which licenses you need and fill out the proper form. There are different kinds of permits available for massage therapists in Los Angeles: massage therapist (on site at your employer's location), massage therapist off-premise (when your employer sends you on house calls) and massage business--off premises (business license as an independent contractor for off-premises work). If you wish to give massages at your residential address, there is an additional license for that.

Bring completed forms to the Office of Finance, where you will be fingerprinted (additional fee for this, currently $32) and you also must submit three passport-size photos.

Pay associated fees at the Office of Finance location. Currently the original fees for the two massage therapist licenses are $522 and the annual police permit is $131. There is a change of location fee of $361, if applicable. The current original fee for the massage therapist business--off premises is $478 and the annual police permit is $100. The change-of-location fee for that license, if applicable, is $478.

Take the written multiple-choice exam and the practical exam on the date that will be assigned to you by the Office of Finance. Bring a friend for the practical skills part of the exam. After you pass the tests, a background check will be conducted, and you will receive your license and permits in the mail.


Make sure you are getting the appropriate license for where you want to work. Los Angeles County has about 88 cities in it, many (such as West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, in addition to the city of Los Angeles) with licensing requirements of their own. To avoid delays in your application, make sure the address on the license forms matches the address on file with the California DMV. Make sure to comply with current license-renewal regulations and continuing-education requirements.