The California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) was created by an act of the California Legislature and began accepting applications for certification in 2009. In 2019, CAMTC was re-authorized, with legislative changes becoming effective as of January 1, 2019. The text of the Massage Therapy Act is codified at California Business and Professions Code sections 460, 4600-4621, and Government Code section 51034. And it is available here.
Overview of California law pertaining to certified massage professionals and applicants:
The Massage Therapy Act, codified in California Business and Professions Code sections 460, 4600-4621, and Government Code section 51034, applies to all CAMTC applicants and certified massage professionals. Business and Professions Code section 460(a) generally provides that no city or county shall prohibit a person or group of persons certified by CAMTC from engaging in their business, occupation, or profession, or any portion of that business, occupation, or profession. Business and Professions Code section 460(b) generally provides that no city or county shall prohibit a person certified by CAMTC from engaging in any act or performing any procedure that falls within their professionally recognized scope of practice.
Business and Professions Code sections 4600 - 4621 generally provide for the establishment of a private nonprofit organization to oversee the voluntary certification of massage professionals in California. CAMTC certification allows certified massage professionals to provide massage for compensation in any or multiple California location(s) without the need to obtain multiple local permits and pay multiple permit fees. This California law has also established educational and background criteria for certification as a CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist (CMT), and limits the use of the title of Certified Massage Therapist, CMT, Certified Massage Practitioner, CMP, licensed, and certified to those who are certified by CAMTC.
Government Code section 51034 generally identifies regulations that cities and counties may not impose on massage businesses, including but not limited to defining or regulating massage businesses as adult entertainment. It also generally provides, among other things, that cities and counties may not require a CAMTC certified individual to: take any test, medical exam, background or criminal background check, or comply with educational requirements beyond what is required for CAMTC certification; obtain any other license, permit, certificate, or other authorization to provide massage for compensation; comply with a dress code requirement beyond what is specified in Business and Professions Code section 4609(a)(10); or prohibit massage of the gluteal muscles or other massage techniques identified by CAMTC as legitimate.] Cities and counties cannot require showers or tubs in any massage establishment.