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Join the Guild - Tour Guide Membership
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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 annual Showcase/Job Fair
  • Access the "members only" portion of our website
  • 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 (“Guild”) welcomes any applicant who has been granted a Tour Guide license issued by the DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). To join the Guild, after obtaining your DCRA Tour Guide License, please proceed as follows:


1.    Contact the Guild Test Administrator, Heidi Watson at to take the Guild Assessment. All applicants interested in joining the Guild must complete a Guild Assessment which includes questions about history, government, coach routing, Department of Transportation regulations concerning coach hours, dropping off/picking up passengers, and parking restrictions. 


2.    You will be given the website, Login and Password to take the



·      You will have one hour to complete the assessment.

·      Results will be e-mailed to you and the Membership Committee Co-chairs.


Note: If your first attempt is unsuccessful, there is a required 30 day interval between retakes of the test to allow for study and review.  You may only take the Assessment three times within one year.


3.    After you have received a passing score on the Assessment, complete the application process by logging into the Guild website for new applicants and completing the applicant profile. This will include a box to check regarding the Code of Ethics and Business Practice. Additionally, you must have all of the following documents available for uploading at the time of submitting your online application and once it has been submitted, the application cannot be added to or edited by the applicant. If the documents described below are not available or you have difficulty in uploading all the required documents, you should contact one of the Guild Membership co-chairs for further guidance.  They will provide assistance in insuring the application package is complete before presentation to the Board for approval of your application. 


·      Test Administrator’s e-mailed response with the results of your Assessment;

·      Photocopy of your DCRA issued Tour Guide license;

·      Recent Resume;

·      Recent photo (which will be included in the Capital Guide Online newsletter, in your Profile section for the Guild online membership directory, and can be printed for your Guild ID card).

·      Three (3) signed professional Letters of Reference.

Note:  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.

Guild Dues.  Dues for membership applications received between March – December 2017 is $140 and membership will expire on December 31, 2018.  

Your dues payment must be received before the Membership Committee can present your application to the Guild Board of Directors. You can either pay online by credit card at the time your application is submitted or you can mail a check made payable to GPTG-WDC and mailed to

Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington DC
        ATTN: Guild Administrator
        PO Box 242
        Washington, DC 20044-0242


Following submission of the above, the applicant should be in touch with the Membership Committee Co-chair (see names/contacts below) to insure your documentation is complete and the application package is ready for Guild Board of Directors review.


Applications should be submitted online by the 20th of the month (June-February) to be reviewed by Membership Co-chairs for presentation at the next month’s Board of Directors meeting. Incomplete application packages will not be considered. 


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 after the first Monday in March through June which is “high season” 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 complete your application after June 1st of the current year using the procedures described above. 


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


Questions concerning the application process should be directed as follows:

(Last names beginning with A – L) to Bill Harris at or by phone to 301 972-5377

(Last names beginning with M – Z) Corky Rainey at or by phone to 703 425-6896