Massage Establishments

image of person getting neck massage


The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors recently amended the existing Massage Establishment Ordinance.

The Massage Establishment Ordinance, Title 5, Chapter 5.44 and 5.64, now has several important changes that impact these facilities.  The ordinance sets forth specific requirements for owners/operators as well as massage practitioners.

  • All massage establishments in the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County must obtain a registration certificate from the office of Environmental Health to continue operating lawfully.  The certificates are valid for two years when information remains current. 
  • Owners must provide the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) a registration number for all practitioners working at their facilities, and ensure that it is worn and clearly visible at all times during working hours.
  • Owners will notify this Department in writing of any staffing changes (addition or termination of practitioners) within 30 days.
  • New owners applying for massage establishment registration certificates must submit to a background check by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office (650) 363-4874, or provide CAMTC registration numbers for confirmation.
  • Owners are required to maintain written procedure records for all clients on the premises for two (2) years, open to inspection.
  • Owners are responsible for meeting the structural and maintenance requirements set forth in the ordinance.
  • Establishments are subject to routine inspections during the regular business hours between 7:00 a.m. and 9: p.m.

As members of the massage establishment community, please familiarize yourself with the revised ordinance you are responsible for complying with.  To help you navigate through the registration process and understand the relevant requirements, we provide the following resources:

Environmental Health is responsible for verifying compliance of all unincorporated massage establishments through the registration and inspection process.  The establishments will be inspected and billed annually.  We believe that adhering to the San Mateo County Massage Establishment Ordinance will provide safer, more lawful work environment, and contribute to a safer, healthier community.  If you have additional questions regarding Environmental Health's Massage Establishment Inspection Program, please contact Brian Martinez at (650) 372-6231 or email at bmartinez@smcgov.org.