Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Apply for membership
Join the Guild - Tour Guide Membership
Share |

Established in 1985, the Guild is a not-for-profit organization of approximately 530 licensed tour guides and tour-related entities. The Guild works to promote the common interests of our members in the District of Columbia and the greater metropolitan area.

DC-Licensed Tour Guides are invited to apply for membership as Guild Guide Members.

As a Member of the Guild, your benefits include but are not limited to the following:

  • Participate in continuing education and special tours
  • Network with colleagues at business meetings
  • Explore business opportunities at our Biennial Showcase/Job Fair
  • Utilize our 24-hour update line and the "members only" portion of our web site
  • Join our online discussion groups
  • Participate in our group liability insurance plan.
  • Receive our newsletter and membership directory
  • Have an opportunity to publicize your specialty tours and foreign language skills.
  • Eligible to apply for an Arlington National Cemetery Access Control Pass for expedited security screening for Guild tour guides.

Upon joining the Guild, the new Guild Guide is enrolled in the Professional Development Program (PDP), which focuses on enhancing the skills of tour guides. The Program consists of workshops and classes in communications, group management, motor coach routing, and tour guide/motor coach operator relations. 


The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC welcomes any applicant who has been granted a Tour Guide license issued by the DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Because of the June 27, 2014 Court of Appeals ruling, DCRA no longer requires applicants to take a written/computerized exam. Please note that anyone wishing to become a Washington, DC Tour Guide still must obtain a Tour Guide license issued by the DCRA.

All applicants interested in joining the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC must complete a Guild Assessment which includes questions about history, government, coach routing, DOT regulations concerning coach hours, dropping off/picking up passengers, and parking restrictions. 

To join the Guild, the following procedures should be followed after obtaining your DCRA Tour Guide license:

A. Contact Heidi Watson, Test Administrator, to take the Guild Assessment.  Ms. Watson may be reached at

    You will be given the Website, Login and Password information to take the Assessment.
    You will have one hour to complete the Assessment.
    Results will be immediately e-mailed to you and to the Membership Committee Co-Chairs.

       Note: You may only retake the Assessment three times within one year.

B. After you have received a passing score on the Assessment, complete the online application process.


As you complete the online ( Click here ) Member Profile pages, please have the following 3 documents ready to be uploaded to support your completed online application/profile:

  • A copy of your current DCRA License
  • Certification of examination passage, as notified by Heidi Watson
  • Your resume
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

These documents must be uploaded before you complete your profile and before you hit save.  Your account will remain in a pending approval status until the application process has been completed.


 Please e-mail the co-chair that corresponds to your last name’s initial:

A – L

Mr. Bill Harris, Guild Membership Co-Chair

M – Z
Mr. Corky Rainey, Guild Membership Co-Chair

Your respective co-chair will be in contact with you to complete the membership application process.

Note Concerning Letters of Reference: Reference letters should be written by someone who has first-hand knowledge of the applicants’ skills as a Guide (e.g., personal knowledge and direct observation and not what someone else has told them). Examples of good letters of reference include: (1) if the applicant took a course in guiding, a reference letter from the instructor describing the applicants’ skills first hand; (2) if the applicant has some guiding experience, a reference letter from the employer on business letterhead; (3) if a seasoned guide has observed the applicant guiding a tour group, a reference letter from the seasoned guide describing the applicants’ speaking and people skills; and (4) if the applicant has no guiding experience and has not taken courses in guiding, a reference letter from a former employer on business letterhead describing the applicants’ speaking and people skills.
The Guild Board considers applications for membership at their monthly meetings held January through March and again at their monthly meetings held July through December. The Board does not meet April through June and no applications for membership are reviewed during that time.  If your application package is to be considered for the July Board meeting, Membership Co-Chairs request that you mail your application after June 1, 2016 and ensure it arrives to the Co-Chair no later than June 20, 2016.

You can expect favorable consideration if your application package meets the criteria outlined above. Once the Board has acted on new member applications, acceptance letters and membership materials are sent to each approved applicant.

Questions concerning the application process should be addressed to:

Bill Harris at (last names that begin with A – L) or

Corky Rainey at (last names that begin with M – Z).