A written test designed to separate legitimate massage therapists from sex workers won final approval this week.
A city-issued exam on local requirements, technique, anatomy, physiology and ethics would stop prostitutes who forged their credentials from operating under the guise of legality, supporters said.
A split City Council passed the new regulations Monday and will base the test on Newport Beach's.
Under the guidelines, practitioners licensed in Newport can practice in Costa Mesa.
Many therapists attended the meeting to voice support and disapproval. Some argued that a test would improve a public image soiled by prostitutes and adult entertainers.
Saying they are unfairly paying the price for the prostitutes' behavior, many therapists said an exam adds more steps in an already difficult credentialing process and differs from the national exam.