City of Alexandria, VA
The Alexandria Health Department, Division of Environmental Health regulates and issues permits for most massage therapy services provided in the City of Alexandria. The Alexandria Police Department regulates and issues permits for therapist who provide home massage therapy services.
All therapists applying for a local massage therapist permit must already have their license issued by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Visit www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing for more information. The Health Department does not accept the national license in place of the Virginia license.
Renewing Existing Permits
Submit your non-refundable renewal fee with a completed application to the Health Department. If you mail your application, your new permit will be returned via mail. If you submit your application in person at the Health Department, your new permit will be issued to you on the spot. We do not accept credit card payments at this time.
If your permit has been expired for over one month, you will be notified by a certified letter at the last known home address provided. Failure to respond to this letter within 15 days will result in your permit being considered surrendered. At that time, you will need to apply for a permit as if you were a new therapist.
Remember, it is the permit holder's responsibility to renew his/her permit. The Health Department is not required to notify you that your permit is expiring.
Updating/Adding Your Establishment Location
If you would like to add or change the location where you work, submit a new application to the Health Department. No new fee is required so long as your current permit is active; however, your new permit will retain the original expiration date of the old permit. Bring your hire or contract letter with you.
If you mail your application to the Health Department, your new permit will be mailed back to your listed home address. If you visit the Health Department in person, your new permit will be issued to you on the spot. Bring your hire or contract letter with you.
To obtain a massage establishment permit, review our Establishment Permit Guide.
All new massage establishment facilities in the City require that a plan review be conducted before the permit application is submitted. A 'new massage establishment facility' is a space or room that does not hold an active massage establishment permit by the Health Department. Facilities that currently have a massage establishment permit, but are undergoing a change of ownership, may or may not require a plan review. Call 703.746.4910 for more information.
Submit your non-refundable renewal fee with a completed application to the Health Department. If you mail your application in, your new permit will be mailed back to your preferred address. If you submit your application in person at the Health Department, your new permit will be issued to you on the spot. We do not accept credit card payments at this time.
Remember, it is the permit holder's responsibility to renew its permit. The Health Department is not required to notify you that your permit is expiring.
Hotels may be exempt from obtaining a massage establishment permit for in-room massages. For specific details, call the Health Department at 703.746.4910.
The Alexandria City Police Department, Vice and Narcotics Section, issues and regulates all home massage therapy permits in the City. These permits are designed specifically to allow certified massage therapists to provide massage services to city residents who are not physically or otherwise able to obtain massage therapy services at a traditional, permitted establishment. These permits do not allow massage services to be rendered at the residence of the massage therapist, but rather at the client's home, after the address has been pre-approved by the Police Department.
Please note that the home massage therapy permit is different from, and is not interchangeable with, the massage therapy permit issued by the Alexandria Health Department. A separate application, fee, and approval is required for each permit.For more information about home massage therapy permits, contact Sergeant Jose Garcia at 703.746.6277.
The following fees were accurate as of July 1, 2012.
Environmental Health regulates and issues permits for massage therapists and establishments within the City. Alexandria Police Department regulates and issues permits for massage therapists who would like to provide massage services in the home of their clients. For specifics on who regulates what, what the requirements for establishments are, or what the requirements for therapists are, you can access the Alexandria City Code from http://library.municode.com/HTML/10349/level3/PTIITHCOGEOR_TIT11HEENSARE_CH4.2MARE.html#TOPTITLE.
Please note that the City has a very broad definition of the term "Massage." Therefore, services not considered 'Massage Therapy' in other jurisdictions still may be considered 'Massage Therapy' in Alexandria.
The Health Department hosted a public meeting on October 22, 2010 to discuss its proposed administrative changes to the existing massage code. During this hearing, numerous concerns were raised about the proposal and existing code in general, so it was decided that before any additional changes were considered, the Health Dept., Police Dept, City Attorney and Industry representatives (who signed up at the October 22 meeting) should discuss in greater detail concerns about the existing code and what direction any future changes should take. To that end, a small, representative committee made up of the four stakeholders will meet to evaluate and address concerns raised about the the current massage code at the October 22 meeting. This committee will modify the existing health department proposal and represent it to the public at a later date. Only after this 2nd public meeting will a proposal be submitted to the City Council to revise any existing code changes.