New Colorado Massage Law

On June 2, 2008 Senate Bill SB-219 (or 08-219) was signed into law. Colorado is the 39th state to regulate the massage therapy profession. The law signed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter took effect July 1, 2008. Massage therapists were required to register with the state by April 1, 2009. Please see disclaimer at bottom regarding legal advice.

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This bill was supported by religious/conservative media KOAA in El Paso county, and two agencies which are now earning considerable fees for providing the massage therapist testing and training required by the new Colorado massage law (the AMTA and the ABMP).

The new massage law serves as a taxation (see note, below) on the practice of massage therapy, significantly raising the price of massage to consumers by imposing an bi-annual license fee, an application fee, and quite substantial fees paid to those profit-making enterprises for required coursework and certification mandated by the new law. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA - link below) is responsible for establishing and implementing the registration process, which is now in full effect. Local police will enforce the law, collecting additional fees for non-compliance via citations and court fees when necessary.

Note: In a 4/29/09 communication entitled "Inaccurate information on your website", a spokesperson for the Colorado AMTA suggested that this is not a tax. However, it exactly fits the definition of a tax according to wikipedia "levy upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a state or the functional equivalent of a state". Wikipedia also notes that "The method of taxation and the government expenditure of taxes raised is often highly debated in politics and economics." which seems to be the case here.

Important Notes on Colorado Massage License Requirements

***It takes 12 weeks to process your Colorado Massage Therapist License. April 1, 2009 is the due date for proper massage therapist licensing under the new Colorado law. However, the Governor has relaxed the advertising restriction enforcement to allow some time to update existing signs and published ads. There is also a grace period for licensing (PDF document)for the first three months, since the state has been overwhelmed with applications and has beenunable to process them in a timely fashion. Visit the DORA website massage updates page to follow these specific details.

Restrictions on Massage Practice in the State of Colorado

The new Colorado Massage Law restricts the use of the titles:

  • massage therapist
  • registered massage therapist
  • massage practitioner
  • masseuse
  • masseur
  • the suffixes "M.T." and "R.M.T." and other generally accepted terms, letters or figures that indicate that the person is a massage therapist

The law defines a massage therapy scope of practice, provides a channel for consumer complaints, and overrides local ordinances such as the Denver massage therapist license and Colorado Springs massage license.

Colorado Massage Regulation Websites