Tour Guide Registration Process

In 2015, City Council approved a series of revisions to the Tour Service for Hire Ordinance. ChWalking Touranges included eliminating permitting requirements like the tour guide test, background check, licensing fee and physical. In its place, tour service companies are required to obtain a business tax certificate and register their tour guides with the City.

According to Section 6-1509, “A tour service company shall register a tour guide with the city prior to the tour guide working as an employee or independent contractor of the tour service company. The tour service company shall provide to the City in person, by mail or online, on forms which may be provided by the tourism management and ambassadorship department, the name of the tour guide, and the tour service company name and contact information. It shall be voluntary for a tour service company to provide a photograph of the tour guide. Registration shall be had annually. There shall be no fee for registration.” The City will be contacting you to verify this information next week.

Tour guides are required to display an identification badge when conducting tours. Section 6-1512 reads, “A tour service company shall provide a tour guide working as its employee or independent contractor an identification badge with a minimum size of three (3) inches by two and one-half (2.5) inches, which badge shall be worn by the tour guide during tours in a way to be clearly visible to the public. The badge shall contain in the upper left hand corner an identification photograph of the tour guide, which photograph shall be no smaller than one (1) inch by one (1) inch, and on the bottom half of the badge the tour guide’s name and the name of the tour service company.”

All tour guides and tour service companies are prohibited from operating in these areas:

  • The 400 and 500 blocks of East St. Julian Street and Washington Square from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. (November 1st through February 28th) and 9:30 p.m. to10 a.m. (March 1st through October 31st); and
  • South of Liberty Street and east of the western-most curb line of Lincoln Street from Midnight to 8 a.m. year-round.