Massage License Expiration Extension Ending on September 30

August 28, 2020
AMTA-WA Members,

You should have recently received an email from the Department of Health (DOH) concerning licensure renewals. As you may recall the Secretary of Health extended expiration dates for licenses up for renewal between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. These renewals are now due by September 30. All late fees are waived during this period.

While the email from DOH contained some important information, it was a little confusing because it was not specific to licensed massage therapists (LMTs). Below is the information we believe you need.

Please let us know if you have any general questions, and we’ll work on getting answers. For specific questions concerning your renewal, if you don’t see the information you need below, please contact DOH’s Call Center. The phone number is 360-236-4700. These folks are very competent, and they are trained to help.

What does this mean for you as an LMT? If you took advantage of this extension (meaning you didn’t renew by your birthdate), you will NOT be able to renew online. That’s because LMTs pay HEAL-WA fees, and the online system is not configured to handle this combination. So, even if you’ve renewed online before, you can’t if you took advantage of this extension. If you try to renew online, the DOH web site will say that your license has expired. It has not. It will only expire if you don’t renew by September 30. You can double check that by looking up your name in the DOH Provider Credential Search. It should show your license as active.

You have two options:

(1) Submit your renewal fee and renewal card (if you have one) by mail to:

Department of Health
PO Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099

If you no longer have your renewal notice be sure to write your license number on your check or attach a letter or sticky note with the information. Also, note that it is a renewal.

(2) Contact the DOH Call Center and request to pay by credit card. Note, this option is not available to all professions, but it is available to LMTs if your renewal occurs after your birthday.

What is the deadline to submit? To avoid late fees and an expired status, you must postmark your renewal fee or make a payment through the DOH Call Center no later than September 30, 2020. If your renewal fee is paid after September 30, 2020, your license will go into expired status and you will need to pay a $75 late fee. Your license will remain in expired status until all applicable fees are received and processed. Please allow 10 business days for your renewal to be processed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). DOH created a list of FAQs. We would like to add four more to the list:

  • I don’t know how much to pay for my renewal. You have two choices. You can contact the DOH Call Center, or you can review the LMT fee WAC. Note, there is no late penalty if you renew by September 30. So, the most common fee would be $150 for the renewal and $16 for HEAL-WA for a total of $166.
  • I need to attest to my CE credits. How do I do that? You need to fill out DOH’s Continuing Education Attestation Note that the form gives you two options for mailing, one with a check or money order, and one without. In addition, you could also send it to the email address at the bottom of the form. Please remember that DOH audits CE. So, even though LMTs don’t need to list their CE, if audited, DOH will request your records.
  • My license expires on my birthday on September 10. How does this impact me? Again, you have two choices. If you renew on time on or before your birthday on September 10, you can renew online as usual. If you wait to renew until after your birthday, then the information above applies to you.
  • What are the consequences of not renewing by the September 30 deadline? As noted above, your license will go into an expired status, and when you do renew your license you will be charged a late fee of $75. In addition, if you practice while your license is expired, you could be charged with the unlicensed practice of massage.

Again, please let us know if you have any general questions, and we’ll work on getting answers. For specific questions concerning your renewal, if you don’t see the information you need above, please contact DOH’s Call Center. The phone number is 360-236-4700.

Diana Thompson, LMT, Government Relations Co-Chair soapsage@comcast.net

Susan Sherman, LMT, Government Relations Co-Chair s_sherman@earthlink.net