Tour guides win appeals court ruling against D.C.

BY Associated Press  June 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM EDT
Tour guides do not need special certification from the city of Washington, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. Photo by Flickr user woodleywonderworks

Tour guides do not need special certification from the city of Washington, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. Photo by Flickr user woodleywonderworks

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of tour guides in the nation’s capital who challenged city rules that require guides to pay the government $200 and to pass a 100-question multiple-choice exam.

In Washington, operating as a paid, unlicensed tour guide is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine.

According to the city, the licensing requirement ensures that prospective guides are who they say they are and have at least a minimal grasp of the city’s history and geography.

In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the city failed to present any evidence the problems it sought to stop actually exist.