Massage License Requirements in Hawaii

Massage License Requirements in Hawaii

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 at 6:10 am

To practice massage in Hawaii legally you will need a Hawaii Massage License. You can get a Hawaii Massage License by contacting the Department of Commerce and Consumers Affairs.   click here for list of resources

List of Requirements:

  • 570 hrs of education certified by AMTA or Rolf Institute
  • Current CPR certificate of completion for both infant and adult issues by ARC or AHA
  • Submit your complete application signed and dated.  download application here
  • Non refundable application fee of $50
  • copy of transcripts, school brochure, course descriptions, CPR card, proof the school is licensed, etc. (see application for details)
  • Once your application has been accepted and approved you will need to then file an application to take the  written exam administered by the state.  Information will be provided on how to apply and where to get preparation materials once you are approved.
  • The written exam is only given 4 times a year and walk-ins are available for an extra fee of $50  Click Here to download 2010 exam schedule
  • Once you receive notice that you have passed your example it is $120 for 2 years (for license)
  • Apprenticeship permits are available.
  • Massage Therapists who advertise their business must also include their business license number in advertising.

The State of Hawaii defines Massage:

“Massage”, “massage therapy”, and “Hawaiian massage” commonly known as lomilomi, means any method of treatment of the superficial soft parts of the body, consisting of rubbing, stroking,tapotement, pressing, shaking, or kneading with the hands, feet, elbow, or arms, and whether or not aided by any mechanical or electrical apparatus, appliances, or supplementary aids such as rubbing Amended 6972

alcohol, liniments, antiseptics, oils, powder, creams, lotions, ointments, or other similar preparations commonly used in this practice. Any mechanical or electrical apparatus used as described in this chapter shall be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Contact Information for Licensing

RICO Consumer Resource Center
(808) 587-3295 or (808) 587-3222

* Verify if a person is licensed
* Request prior complaints history on a licensee
* File a complaint on a licensee

Business Registration Division
(808) 586-2727

* For information to register a business

Professional and Vocational Licensing
(808) 586-3000

* Request an application
* Inquire about licensing requirements
* Applicants can check on the status of an application
* Inquire about licensee maintenance requirements

Executive Officer

Lee Ann Teshima

(808) 586-2694

Residents on the neighbor islands may call by dialing the following toll free numbers followed by the last 5 digits of the phone numbers above and the # sign:
Kauai 274-3141
Maui 984-2400
Hawaii 974-4000
Lanai & Molokai 1-800-468-4644

Att: Massage
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

License Categories

* Massage Therapist
* Massage Establishment
* Massage Apprentice


Biennial June 30 every even numbered year.

Failure to timely renew by the renewal date will result in the forfeiture of the license. After the renewal date, the forfeited license may be restored within 1 year and subject to meeting restoration requirements. Failure to restore a forfeited license within 1 year after the renewal date will result in the termination of the license and the person must apply as a new applicant and meet current license requirements.

Pursuant to Section 436B-14.5, HRS, any license held by a member of the armed forces, National Guard, or a reserve component that expires, is forfeited, or deemed delinquent while the member is on active duty and deployed during a state or national crisis shall be restored if certain restoration requirements are met. Click here to access the “Military Renewal and Restoration Information Sheet”.
Regulating Body

Board of Massage Therapy

Board Composition
5 Members

3 Massage Therapists
2 Public


Leave a Comment

19 Responses to “Massage License Requirements in Hawaii”

  1. Bephany says:

    Hey thanks so much for this info. I was having trouble finding my way around the state website and there was like 20 different places to go for info, thanks for putting it all right here. One thing I would love to see is more info about the schools. I know that some schools aren’t accredited in a way that you can go out of state and they don’t tell you when you are thinking of signing up. I would like to know what school is the best and which one would allow me to go to other states since we are only going to be in Hawaii for a few years.

  2. Zeke says:

    My partner and I are considering relocating to Maui but we must first find out if she will be able to obtain a license to practice massage there. It seems that Hawaii has several different requirements than the state of California. So far we haven’t been able to get great information from the state office. She has been a CMT in California for 8 year, with around 500+ hours of training/school. We would like to find out if her credits will transfer but our very first step in this process is to find out if she will be able to obtain the Massage Apprentice status, if all of her credits/hours will not transfer. The most important bit of info we need to know is, do Massage Apprentice get paid or is this typically a non-paid position? Forgive me for any poor terminology but I think you’ll get my point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  3. Most apprenticeships you have to pay for but you are allowed to make money while working. For instance Monty White of Windward Community Massage puts you on the schedule and allows you to keep what you make. However your friend would only require apprenticeship IF her school accreditation is not compatible with Hawaii State requirements. For instance my school in Denver was compatible so all I had to do what get my CPR certification and send that in with my application and payment. Once you get approved you can take the examination. If you pas you get licensed in Hawaii and do not need to apprentice. So your first step is to see find out if the school she attended will be accepted. The school should be able to answer that, if not ask them what their accreditation is and compare that with what is accepted by Hawaii. You really don’t want to take anymore steps until you know that answer. Hopefully it is approved, then you can schedule your CPR class and start getting your application together. NOW, passing the state exam is another story! Good luck and feel free to come back if you have more questions! :)

  4. Dionne says:

    I’m currently finishing a massage school program in the state of Ohio and am about to take my state board exam in June, along with the National Massage exam. I’m planning on moving to the island of Kauai in 2 years and would like to take the Hawaii state exam about the same time I’m taking these other licensing exams. Is there any way to take the Hawaii State Exam on the mainland? It would be a very expensive trip for me to just to get licensed, knowing that I won’t be moving for awhile…Also I haven’t been able to find out what the requirements are to renew a Hawaii license. Chances are I will have to renew before I even get to use the license. I wanted to gauge whether money-wise it would be smarter to just take the exam around the time that I move. Thanks!


  5. There is no way to do it from the mainland, you have to be here sorry! You will have to wait until you come. There are things you can do to prepare and make it cheaper, be sure to read this post and follow that, you can make sure you do it right the first time and avoid unnecessary costs. Good luck!

  6. EVA says:

    I am currently in the process of going to test for a massage exam in HI. Wow this is a crazy process. There is only one test every six month, but you have to begin the application process at least two months prior to the exam date or you might miss your chance (I did because of holiday closures and such). The process broken down for you (and yes you can start the process from the mainland, but you have to be in Hawaii to test).
    First go to the hawaii dept of commerce website link above and submit your application cost $50
    If you don’t have a CPR-First Aid card that includes infant/child and is issued by American Red Cross or American Heart Association that will add about another $110
    Test fee submitted next $90 + $50 if you are on Oahu and need to do a walk-in test.
    Next you will receive a letter either stating the things you missed in your application (i.e. you forgot to convert your transcripts into hours or prove your school is accredited, ect.) OR you will receive a letter of approval and another application. This letter includes test dates and application deadlines ( example: Application deadline= 11/07 Test date= 12/06) The testing office must have your application by this date or you will not get in.
    Walk-in Testing is only available on Oahu and only if your special circumstance is approved. Don’t expect to get into a test in Hilo if you miss the Kona date they are on the same day.
    Also a note on moving from the mainland: Competition here is abundant and stiff, don’t expect to get rich off any tourists by moving to Hawaii, its not going to happen.

    I hope this information helps someone. Good Luck out there folks.

  7. yes its a very specific process and not very convenient. I was told they are looking to make this better soon but have not heard what that entails. Thanks for sharing the info, good luck!

  8. p. claire says:

    i have sent in my paper work to take the exam in hawaii. i am currently licensed in ny, so i have the hours. i was wondering if there was a study guide of any kind or recommendations in that area?

    i am going back over my anatomy books and studying the systems.


  9. p. claire says:

    i have been ok’ed to take the test in hawaii. i would love to know if there is a study guide. does the test cover eastern modalities?

  10. Ashley says:

    I’m a licensed massage therapist in the State of Hawaii for over 12 years now with a great private practice. I’m wanting to start running some massage workshops and possibly opening a school. What protocol do I need to go about to get licensed as a teacher so that I can train therapists.


  11. @Bephany, the thing about Hawaii is the requirements are way less then most of the mainland license requirements. (as far as hours) So either way you are more than likely going to have to get more schooling when you go back, unless you find out what the requirements are now and be sure to take add on courses to get the hours you need.

  12. Claire, its been a while since I did this. But when you register for your test, they either send you a book or they direct you to where you can buy one. I remember there being something to study from.

  13. Ashley, contact Monty White at Windward Community Massage. He has been doing this for years and he is also currently looking for someone to team up with. But either way he can tell you the steps which includes getting an establishment license.

  14. Alaina says:

    @ p. claire: Did you ever find a study book or best way to study for this? Did you already take it? I am also licensed in NY & preparing to take Hawaiia LMT exam.

  15. Mary Ann says:

    Id like to know if I can be accepted to transfer my New York license for Massage Therapy and my National certification for a Hawaii license? or what else I would need?

  16. Rita says:

    I’d like to know what you recommend once someone has passed his/her HI state exam. In your opinion,would you recommend searching the web and sending out resumes from the mainland or would you only recommend flying out there for a few weeks and spend most of the day with job search and not leave the island ’til you have a job offer? I’d not move without landing a job but I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to finding a job via the internet, I prefer personal meetings and giving my resume out in person.
    Thank you for your opinion in advance,

  17. @Marry Ann NO Hawaii does not allow transfers. You have to apply and meet the standards and take the exam. If your school was properly accredited for Hawaii requirements and you have met the hour requirements, then you just have to go through the application process and take the exam. If you don’t meet the hour requirements or your school did not have the correct accreditation then you will have to start over unfortunately or consider apprenticing.

  18. @Rita You will be better to come here. Jobs are hard to come by and you will not even be considered if you can’t come in to interview on request. The fact that you aren’t a resident will make it hard as it is. Unless you can work with a hotel chain or spa that has locations here, where you can ask for help transferring. You have 2 choices here, be an independent and rent a space, and run your own business which takes time to build a practice, or go to a hotel or spa. There is a Massage Envy opening here soon which is another option. I would start reaching out to wellness centers and clinics to get to know people here. Good luck!

  19. Rita says:

    I’m trying to find information on massage license renewal requirements in HI but can’t seem to find any info other than the date . Are there any CEU requirements? Live or online courses to take for renewal?
    Thank you!

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