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Texas Law on Massage Therapist Eligibility

Updated on October 25, 2010


Massage therapy by a licensed massage therapist is considered a health care service and is governed by Chapter 455 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. Violation of the code can result in criminal and civil penalties.


A license is required to perform massage therapy or operate a massage school or massage establishment. Licensing requires completion of an accredited massage therapy program and successful application to the Texas Department of State Health Services.


Criminal background checks are mandatory. A person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving a crime of moral turpitude in the previous five years is ineligible for a license. A person convicted of or receiving a deferred adjudication for a sexual offense or violation of Chapter 455 is ineligible for a license.

Criminal Penalties

Receiving compensation for massage services without a valid license or operating a massage school or establishment without a valid license is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, as of 2010. Repeated violations could result in enhancement to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $4,000 fine, as of 2010, or a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine, as of 2010.

Civil Penalties

Anyone in violation of Chapter 455 or anyone who appears to be in danger of violation of Chapter 455 can be fined from $1,000 to $10,000 for each day a violation occurs.


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