SIGHTSEEING GUIDE (021)
DCA Licensing Center
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
For more information, call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside of New York City).
You must have a Sightseeing Guide license to guide or direct people to any place or point of public interest.
This description is only a general explanation of which individuals need to have a Sightseeing Guide license.
Note: New York City businesses must comply with all relevant federal, state, and City laws and rules. All laws and rules of the City of New York, including the Consumer Protection Law and Rules, are accessible using the Public Access Portal. For convenience, sections of the New York City Licensing Law (and Rules, if enacted) are available as a downloadable handout.
Please note that businesses are responsible for knowing and complying with the most current laws, including any City Council amendments. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is not responsible for errors or omissions in the handout. The information is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.
When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application:
- Basic Individual License Application
Applying for the license online does not mean the license is automatically approved. A major credit card is required to submit applications online. Convenience fees apply. After reviewing application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of this Web page to submit your application online.
For in-person application submission, applicants can download the Basic Individual License Application (in PDF)
- Photo Identification (ID) of License Applicant
Acceptable forms of ID include:
- driver’s license or a non-driver’s license identification issued by a State Department of Motor Vehicles
- license or permit issued by a government agency
- alien card/green card
- a City, State, or Federal employee ID card
- Sightseeing Guide Exam and Exam Fee
Applicants must take the Sightseeing Guide exam. Download a Study Reference to help prepare for the exam. The exam consists of 150 questions. You must answer a minimum of 97 questions correctly to pass. The exam is given between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the DCA Licensing Center. The fee is $50. The exam fee is separate from the license fee and is non-refundable. If you fail the exam twice, you must pay the exam fee again in order to retake the exam.
Please note that you will be required to pay the exam and license fees as one total fee payment if you submit your license application online.
- Current color passport-size photograph of License Applicant
License Applicants can be photographed in the DCA Licensing Center at no cost.
Please note that you can upload an image file if you submit your license application online.
- Child Support Certification Form (download)
- License Fee
For in-person application submissions, the License Fee must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed. Note: An odd year is any year ending in an odd digit; for example, 2009, 2011, etc. An even year is any year ending in an even digit; for example, 2010, 2012, etc.
Please note that convenience fees apply if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.
Sightseeing Guide License
License Expiration Date
If You File Your Application
Between These Dates:
Your License Fee is:
From April 1 in an even year
to September 30 in an even year
From October 1 in an even year
to March 31 in an odd year
From April 1 in an odd year
to September 30 in an odd year
From October 1 in an odd year
to March 31 in an even year
*Note: If you are applying for the license between October 1 in an odd year and March 31 in an even year, you can pay the prorated fee for the license period about to end ($13) PLUS the fee for the new two-year license period ($50), for a total of $63. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until March 31 of the next even year.
Online Applicants: If you submit your license application online between October 1 in an odd year and March 31 in an even year, you will be required to pay the combined fee totaling $63. You will not need to renew the license until March 31 of the next even year.
APPLICATION FILING PROCESS:
Please make sure that you have reviewed and recorded the information required to submit a license application online before clicking the button below. Note: After successfully filing the application form online, Sightseeing Guide applicants must visit the DCA Licensing Center within five (5) business days to take the Sightseeing Guide Exam. As outlined in the “When You File” section, applicants must submit a photograph. Please note that the image file you upload must be digital passport photo quality. A digital camera with a resolution of 1 mega-pixel will be more than adequate. If you do not upload the photograph as part of the application form submission, you must e-mail the photograph or visit the DCA Licensing Center to be photographed at no cost within five (5) business days after successfully filing the application form online. Applicants should follow instructions on the printed confirmation page. Your license application will not be complete without these requirements.
You will be routed to NYC Business Express.
Applications may be filed in person at the DCA Licensing Center at the address above between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.