To practice massage therapy in Arlington County, Virginia, applicants must submit the following:
- A completed Massage Therapist application signed by the applicant and notarized;
- Cash or certified check or money order (made payable to Treasurer, Arlington County) for $50 to cover the initial investigation fee, or $20 for renewals;
- The physician certification form signed by a medical doctor stating that he or she has examined the applicant within 30 days of the application date and has found the applicant to be free of any identifiable disease which would create a significant medical risk to the massage subject;
- A diploma or certificate of graduation from a recognized school or other recognized institution of learning that has as its purpose the teaching of the theory, method, profession, and work of massage therapists;
- Two front facing photographs, passport size, taken within 90 days of the application date;
- A copy of the State of Virginia Certification to practice as a Massage Therapist (note that a State Massage Therapist License is prerequisite for an Arlington County license). To obtain the State Application for Certification, including Virginia State Board of Nursing Regulations governing certification of massage therapists, contact the Arlington County Environmental Health offices at the address above.
- FBI Record Check- Fingerprints may be obtained from the Arlington County Sheriff's Department, 1425 North Courthouse Road, 9th Floor, between the hours of 1:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Fee for fingerprints is $10 for first card; $5 for each additional card. If you have any questions regarding the fingerprint process, please contact the department at (703) 228-4460. Please note that the FBI record check can take 12 weeks or longer to process.
According to Arl Now, the county is considering abandoning these requirements (which were initially adopted in order to weed out prostitution outfits), and allowing anyone who damn well pleases to open up a massage shop:
The County Board is expected to vote in October on a request to advertise an ordinance change that would no longer require massage therapists to obtain a permit from the county's health department. Instead, local massage therapists will only have to be certified by the state.
"The whole field of massage has evolved and changed incredibly in the past couple of decades, such that there are a lot of very legitimate medical practitioners out there using massage for all kinds of health reasons," Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier told ARLnow.com. "In a way, it's kind of an archaic law that we're getting rid of… the old way of looking at massage therapists really does have to change."
"If there are illegal activities going on — that is, prostitution — that it needs to be treated as a police matter," Allgeier said. "That's the way to deal with the illegal activity that's going on, not by requiring all massage professionals to go through an unnecessary… bureaucratic licensure process."