Join the Guild - Tour Guide Membership

Applying as a Guild Guide is a multi-step process.


1. Become a DC Licensed Tour Guide


You must obtain a DC Tour Guide License from the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration by clicking here.

2. Apply Online for Guild Membership and Pay Dues


IMPORTANT:  The application is to be completed in one sitting -- once you start the application, the site does not allow you to leave and return to add files. 

Before starting the application, please make sure to have the following scanned documents ready to upload:

  • DC Tour Guide License
  • 3 References+ (must be combined into one document)
  • Current Resume


+Note: Reference letters must be signed, dated, and written by someone who has first-hand knowledge of an applicant’s skills as a guide (e.g., personal knowledge and direct observation, instead of what someone else has told them).

Examples of good reference letters include:

(1) if the applicant took a course in guiding, a letter from the instructor describing direct knowledge of the applicant’s skills;

(2) if the applicant has some guiding experience, a letter from an employer on business letterhead;

(3) if a seasoned guide has observed the applicant guiding a tour group, a letter from the seasoned guide describing the applicant’s speaking and people skills; and

(4) if the applicant has no guiding experience and has not taken courses in guiding, a letter from a former employer on business letterhead describing the applicant’s speaking and people skills.


Membership dues are to be paid when you submit the application. Dues are pro-rated depending on the month you join the Guild. Membership Dues for one full year January - December are currently $90. Guides approved for membership in February pay dues of $80; March dues $70; July dues $60; August dues $50; September dues $40; October dues $30; November dues $20; December dues $10 plus the following year's dues.


Apply for Guild Membership


3. Pass the Guild Tour Guide Exam


When steps 1 and 2 are complete, Guild Membership Committee Co-Chairs receive notification of the application and review it for completeness.  If the application is complete, you’ll receive the “Resource Handbook for Guild Guide Candidates," and guidance for contacting the Guild’s Test Administrator to take a one-hour assessment of DC Knowledge.  The study guide is provided free of charge and can help prepare for the exam.

When you are ready to take the assessment, the Test Administrator will send instructions and login credentials. You have one hour to complete the exam. Results will be sent to you and the Membership Committee Co-Chairs.

If not successful the first time taking the assessment, a 30-day interval is required to allow for additional study and review before taking it again. You may take the exam three times within a one-year period.


4. Be Approved by the Board of Directors

The Guild Board of Directors considers membership applications at their monthly meetings, normally held January through March and again in July through December.

Your completed membership application will be presented at the next Board of Directors meeting after you pass the assessment.

You can expect favorable consideration if your application package meets the criteria outlined in steps 1, 2, and 3.  Approved applicants are sent acceptance notifications and additional membership materials.

Questions concerning the application process should be directed as follows:
  • Last names beginning A – L: e-mail Debra Wiley or by phone 202-302-5701
  • Last names beginning M – Z: e-mail Barbara Longneckeror by phone 703-984-9193