Massage Registration

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Massage Services

The City of Redwood City adopted Redwood City Municipal Code Chapter 18A, “Massage Services” to provide for the orderly and consistent regulation of massage services, to enable consumers to identify legitimate massage workers and businesses, and additionally to establish minimum health and safety standards, thus protecting the public interest, health, safety and welfare of the City.

In California individual Massage Practitioners are licensed by the state through the California Massage and Therapy Council (CAMTC).  This license is required by all individuals who practice massage for compensation within the City.  Further, it shall be unlawful for any business to provide massage services within the City unless all individuals employed by the massage business to perform massage, whether as an employee or independent contractor, are Certified Massage Practitioners.  In addition to state certification it shall be unlawful for any person, association, partnership or corporation to engage in, conduct or carry on, or permit to be engaged in, conducted or carried on in or upon any premises within the City, the operation of a Certified Massage Business or the function of a Massage Practitioner without first obtaining a valid Certificate of Registration from the Police Department unless they are subject to an exemption in RCMC Section 18A.9.

Certificate of Registration Process

To obtain a Certificate of Registration to operate a Certified Massage Business or function as a Massage Practitioner in Redwood City the applicant will adhere to the following procedure:

  1. Read and Understand RCMC Chapter 18A:
  2. Obtain an application packet for Massage Establishment Registration from one of the following:
    1. On line [PDF]
    2. The front desk of the Police Department, 1301 Maple St., Redwood City Ca 94063.
  3. Before turning in an application to the Police Department the applicant will need two pieces of documentation from City Hall:
    1. a. A written Zoning Consistency Check with the Community Development Department.
    2. A Certificate of Compliance with the City Health Officer.
      • The City Health Officer will use the following checklist [PDF] when inspecting your massage establishment. 
  4. Once the application is complete, to include the necessary documents from City Hall, the applicant will submit the application to the police department.
    1. Applicants who are CAMTC certified will not be charged a registration fee and further LIVESCAN fingerprinting/background checks will not be necessary.
    2. Applicants and any person who has a five percent (5%) or greater ownership interest in said business, who are not CAMTC certified, will each have a background check conducted by the police department and each such person will be charged a $400 Registration fee which includes background check,  LIVESCAN and associated State fees.
    3. The Police Department will require, by appointment only, the owner/applicant of a Certified Sole Proprietorship or a Certified Massage Business to produce a valid and current driver's license and/or identification card issued by a state or federal governmental agency or other photographic identification bearing a bona fide seal by a foreign government; and further will require the Massage Practitioners whom the owner/applicant has identified as employees to personally appear and produce valid and current State Certificates, a valid and current driver's license and/or identification card issued by a state or federal governmental agency or other photographic identification bearing a bona fide seal by a foreign government.
  5. Upon receipt of a valid Registration Certificate from the Police Department the applicant will then present the Registration Certificate at City Hall in order to obtain an Business License.  No business license shall be issued until the Certificate of Registration has been issued.