Texas law now requires people who are applying for or renewing a massage therapist, massage instructor, or massage establishment license to submit fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining the applicant's criminal conviction history. Tex. Occ. Code §455.1525.
The amended legislation is pursuant to House Bill 1865 and became effective on September 1. 2019. The bill deletes the previous barrier for licensure that precluded people with criminal convictions within the past five years from receiving a massage therapist license. Further, HB 1865 created the requirement that applicants for massage therapy licensure submit fingerprints and have a criminal background check completed.
The Texas Massage Therapy program is regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Applicant fingerprints are to be submitted to the TDLR, which will conduct a criminal history record check using information made available to it by the Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any other allowable criminal justice agency. Tex. Occ. Code §455.1525(c)(2). The TDLR may not issue a license to a person who does not comply with the fingerprint requirement. Tex. Occ. Code §455.1525(b).
Under the amended statute, an applicant for a license from the TDLR Massage Therapy program who is an entity is required to submit fingerprints for each individual who:
- Owns at least 10 percent of the entity's outstanding stock;
- Owns more than $25,000 of the fair market value of the entity;
- Has the controlling interest in the entity;
- Has a direct or indirect participating interest through shares or stock of more than 10 percent of the profits or capital gains of the entity;
- Is a member of the board of directors or other governing bodies of the entity; or
- Serves as a general manager of the entity or as an elected officer of the entity.
Tex. Occ. Code §455.1525(e). Under this subsection, a business organization applying for or renewing a massage establishment license may be required to submit fingerprints for numerous individuals associated with the business.
All renewing licensees must comply with the fingerprint requirement no later than September 1, 2021. By this date, the TDLR is required to obtain criminal history record information on each person who was previously licensed and did not undergo a criminal history record information check based on the licensee's fingerprints on initial application for the license. HB 1865 Sec. 8(b).
Hire an Experienced License Defense Attorney
If you have problems obtaining or renewing your license with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, or if you've been notified of a complaint filed against you, BERTOLINO LLP can help.
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BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.