Board of Massage Therapy Licensing Requirements

Anyone who is 18 years of age or older, can practice massage therapy in South Dakota. They also need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent and have completed at least 500 of specified education and training in massage therapy from a recognized facility and passed an examination by an approved national certification board. In addition to meeting the educational requirements, the person must also provide proof of at least $250,000 in malpractice insurance with an absence of professional misconduct. (SDCL 36-35-12)


Download Application for License Download Verification of Education Form

License Renewal

(Please note online renewal does not work on all cell phones.)

  • The license renewal fee is $65
  • An email reminder was sent detailing the renewal process. The email address used was the email that you provided to the Board. If you do not have an email address on file, a letter will be mailed to you.
  • All licenses that expire on 09/30/2024 are to be renewed from 08/01/2024 to 09/30/2024.
  • Application for Inactive License (if you choose to inactive your license instead of renew)
  • Application to Reactivate License (if license is currently in inactive status)

Temporary Permit

Download Application for Temporary Permit Download Application for 2nd Temporary Permit Download Application for License After Temporary Permit

Change of Name and/or Address

Download Change Name and/or Address Form

Licensing Requirements FAQs

Once a completed application is submitted to the Board of Massage Therapy, the Board has up to 6 months to approve the application. (ARSD 20:76:01:03) An application is considered complete when all of the necessary documentation is provided to the Board.

If all of the requirements of licensure are met and all of the required documentation is provided, this time period can be substantially reduced and your license can be issued without action by the full Board. However, if your application requires full Board review because of unique circumstances, it may take longer for your application to be acted on.

An applicant for licensure is required to show verification of education from a recognized training facility that includes at least: (ARSD 20:76:01:06)

  • One hundred twenty-five hours of training in the body’s systems and anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology;
  • Two hundred hours of training in massage and bodywork assessment, theory, and application;
  • Forty hours of training in pathology;
  • Ten hours total of training in business and ethics, with a minimum of six hours in ethics, and
  • One hundred twenty-five hours of additional training in the area or related field that theoretically completes a massage program of study.

An applicant must submit a Verification of Education Form as part of the initial application. This form should be completed by an official at the school where the education was received. Transcripts from the school should also be submitted with your application.

There is a non-refundable fee of $100 to process your initial application for licensure. Your annual licensure fee is $65. When you submit your application, you may submit both the non-refundable fee of $100 to process the application and the $65 annual licensure fee. If your application is denied, the $65 licensure fee will be returned. If your application is approved, your $65 licensure fee allows the Board to send your license to you upon approval.

No. You are not licensed to practice massage therapy until you are officially notified by the Board and provided with a license. If your application is denied, the $65 licensure fee will be returned to you. The Board allows you to submit the annual licensure fee with an application for licensure to reduce the time it takes to get you your license.

The Board will recognize other proof of education from an institution that has closed. If you have copies of your transcript, curriculum information, or other evidence of attendance, the Board will consider that in assessing your application for licensure.

South Dakota does not have a reciprocity application at this time. Please locate and complete the “Application for Licensure” form under the Applications & Documents section. Please remember that in order to become licensed in South Dakota, you will be required to have the school you attended provide us with a Verification of Education form; you will need to have passed a national exam, and the state where you are currently licensed will need to provide us with verification of that licensure. If you attended a school that is now closed, please contact the Department of Education or Massage Therapy Board in the state where you attended school or the school’s parent company to see if you can locate your records. Remember you must hold a valid South Dakota Massage Therapy license before you can practice in South Dakota, even if you have a valid license in another state.

Beginning July 1, 2013, all licenses were reset to a universal renewal/expiration date. Your current license is valid through September 30. You will need to renew your license before September 30th each year.

There is no charge for a duplicate license.

To obtain a new copy of your license please contact the Board at 605-295-8590 or via e-mail at and request a replacement copy. Please be sure to include your name and current address information in the e-mail so that it is sure to reach you.

To update your name please submit the Name and/or Address Change Form. With this form, you will provide proof of the name change to the Board so your massage license can be issued in your legal name. Proof of your name change can be provided by a copy of your marriage license, divorce decree, or other legal documents noting the change.