State Licensure

Board certification is voluntary, although it is required in the following states for licensure, state certification or state registries:

California:  Beginning July 31, 2019, An individual who provides music therapy shall not refer to oneself using the title of “Board Certified Music Therapist” unless the individual is an MT-BC.

Connecticut: As of October 2016, music therapy services can only be provided by those who hold the MT-BC credential, and only an MT-BC can call themselves a music therapist or a Certified Music Therapist.

Georgia: Music therapists are required to be licensed in the state of Georgia. Visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s website for more information and an application. Contact info@cbmt.org to have verification of your MT-BC certification electronically sent to the Georgia Professional Licensing Board.

New York: For Music Therapists to practice Creative Arts Therapy and use the titles, Creative Arts Therapist, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist or any derivative thereof within New York State, they must obtain licensure as a Creative Arts Therapist, unless otherwise exempt under the law. Visit their website for an application. To apply for the music therapy board examination for NY State Licensure or to have your examination scores mailed to the NY State Education Department of the Professions, contact the CBMT Exam Coordinator at KH@cbmt.org or by telephone at 800.765.2268, ext. 3.

Nevada: Music therapists are required to be licensed according to the Nevada State Health Division, Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance. Obtain an application from their website.

North Dakota: A bill to license music therapists was passed into law on April 26, 2011 under the State Board of Integrative Health Care. Music Therapists are required to be licensed. Obtain an application from their website.

Oklahoma: As of November 2016, music therapy licensure is managed under the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision. An application is available from their website.

Oregon: Music therapy licensure in Oregon is managed through the Health Licensing Office. More information is available on their website, including the application.

Rhode Island: A State License for music therapists was signed into law in 2014. Obtain an application.

Utah: State Certification was signed into law in 2014. Obtain an application.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin requires Music Therapists to be registered with the Wisconsin Department of Regulations and Licensing. Obtain an application.

State Licensure FAQs

A national certification is not enough in most states. This is the result of a policy shift over the past 10-15 years as the federal government moved towards deregulation and allocated more regulatory control to state governments.

In addition, many existing state regulations require that education and healthcare providers hold a state license. As a result, many current and potential clients have difficulty accessing music therapy services within educational and healthcare facilities. Communication with most state education and healthcare agencies emphasize that service provision procedures require official state recognition—often in the form of a state license—in order for state citizens to access music therapy services.

Title protection prohibits an individual from saying he or she is providing music therapy services or is a music therapist unless he or she is a board certified music therapist. A registry is a list of professionals who have met predetermined education, clinical training, and certification requirements. It offers the same benefits of title protection plus a mechanism through which consumers can search for a qualified professional. State certification functions like a registry in that it offers a state maintained list of professionals who have met certain education, clinical training, and certification requirements. However, this program is often voluntary and, depending on the state, may or may not offer title protection. A license outlines specific education, clinical training, and continuing education requirements and provides title protection, practice protection (also called scope of practice protection), and public protection.

Fee structures vary significantly state by state. They can range from $50.00 every two years to $200.00 every year.

Yes. If a state passes music therapy licensure legislation, then any MT-BC who practices in that state (part-time or full-time) will have to apply for the license in order to legally practice music therapy.

We are asking states to pass legislation that recognizes the current MT-BC credentialing process as the measure of competent practice and continuing education requirements. As a result, there are no additional training requirements at this time. Sometimes states require a background check; if so it is often required for all professions registered or licensed in that state. This background check may be required only with the initial application or maybe with every renewal of license. There is usually a fee of $25.00-$50.00 for this background check. Some states may also require a short ethics course, which as of 2010 is also a requirement to renew your MT-BC credential.

No. It is customary for state licensing laws to exempt federal employees from the license requirements as long as they are employed by the federal government.

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