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Massage Today
October, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 10

Illinois Amends Massage Licensing Act: State to Conduct Background Checks, Issue Licenses in January 2005

By Editorial Staff

In January 2003, Massage Today reported that Illinois had passed legislation to regulate the massage profession (

Now, a year and half after the Illinois Massage Licensing Act was signed into law, an amendment to the act, vis-a-vis House Bill (HB) 5891, will require massage therapists to submit to criminal background checks as a condition for licensure.1,2

The bill, which was signed by Gov.

Rod R. Blagojevich in August, takes effect on Jan. 1, 2005; the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will begin issuing massage licenses from that point forward, superseding massage regulation at the local level.1,2

"By signing this law, we are raising the bar on licensing requirements to protect the public from criminal elements posing as legitimate businesses," said Gov. Blagojevich in a press release issued by his office. "This bill protects both the consumer and the integrity of the industry."1

Specifically, HB 5891 amends sections 15 and 20 of the Massage Licensing Act, adding the following (excerpted) text:

"(b) Each applicant for licensure as a massage therapist shall have his or her fingerprintes submitted to the Department of State Police in an electronic format that complies with the form and manner for requesting and furnishing criminal history record information as prescribed...These fingerprints shall be checked against...criminal history record databases now and hereafter filed."3

As of July 2004, proposed licensing application rules and instructions had been filed with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), although applications for licensure were still unavailable at press time.2

Although the Massage Licensing Act contains a grandfathering provision that will allow veteran massage therapists meeting specific criteria to receive licenses, all massage therapists will be required to adhere to the provisions set forth by HB 5891. For more information, contact the IDFPR.1,2,3

Updates are available on IDFPR's Web site at


  1. Press release. Office of the Governor (Illinois). Governor signs law requiring background checks for massage therapists. Aug. 11, 2004.
  2. Update notice regarding the licensing of massage therapists. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation. July 12, 2004.
  3. HB 5891, enrolled. Aug. 11, 2004.


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