Code of Federal Regulations

36 CFR, Chapter 1, Part 25


The authority for licensing individuals to conduct tours in the National Military Parks stems from the War Department’s efforts in the pre-World War I period to both regulate the quality of tours given, specifically at Gettysburg, and to regulate the fee charged for those services. Accordingly, Congress granted the War Department the authority to establish guide forces at any Military Park. Their successor, the National Park Service, operates under these 1915 regulations, now codifed in the Code of Federal Regulations as 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Part 25.

Part 25 – National Military Parks: Licensed Guide Service Regulations

Sec. 25.1 Scope
25.2 License
25.3 Supervision; Suspensions
25.4 Schedule of Rates
25.5 Badges and Uniforms

Authority: Secs. 1-3, 39 Stat. 535, as amended, sec 1, 47 Stat. 1420, secs 1, 2, 67 Stat. 495, 496; 16 U.S.C. 1, 1b, 1c, 2, 3, 9a E.O. 6166, June 10, 1933. Source: 24 FR 11060, dec. 30, 1959, unless otherwise noted.

25.1 Scope

The regulations in this part are made prescribed and published for the regulation and maintenance of licensed guide service at all national military parks where such service has been established or hereafter may be authorized in the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior upon the recommendation of the Director of the National Park service.

25.2  License.

(a) No person shall be permitted to offer his services or to act as a guide unless licensed for that purpose by the superintendent. Any person desiring to become a licensed guide shall make application to the superintendent in writing for authority to take the examination for a license as guide.

(b) Guides shall be of good character, in good physical condition, honest, intelligent, tactful, and of good repute. They must be thoroughly familiar with the history of the events which the park commemorates and with the location of all memorials. It is their duty to escort visitors to the various parts of the park and point out different historical features. The story of the guides shall be limited to the historical outlines approved by the superintendent and shall be free from praise or censure.

(c) Examinations will be held at parks where a licensed guide service is authorized, at times to be designated by the Director of the National Park Service, for the purpose of securing a list of eligibles for such service. The examination will consist of an investigation of the character, reputation, intelligence, and ability of the applicants, and of questions designed to test their knowledge of the history of the battle, or features of historical interest, the markings of the park, the rules and regulations promulgated for the government of the park, and the regulations governing the guide service. Examination questions will be prepared under the direction of the Director of the National Park Service, who will likewise supervise the marking of examination papers and the rating of applicants.

(d) The names of applicants who successfully pass the examination will be placed on a list of eligibles and selected in accordance with their relative standing.

(e) Each person licensed to act as a full-time guide will be issued a license in the following form:


_______________________, having successfully passed the examination prescribed for license, is hereby licensed to offer his service as a guide to visitors. This license is issued subject to the condition that the licensee shall comply with all the rules and regulations prescribed for guide service by the Secretary of the Interior and with the prescribed schedule of rates, copies of all of which have been furnished to him.

This license will be renewed at the expiration of one year from the date of issue, provided the rules above-mentioned have been fully complied with and services rendered satisfactorily.

Failure to act as a guide for any period exceeding 30 days between June 1 and August 31 automatically suspends this license. Renewal under these conditions will only be made following proper application to and approval by the park superintendent. During other times of heavy visitation, and especially on week ends and holidays, any and all guides are subject to call for duty unless excused by the park superintendent or his representative.

National Military Park.

(f) Each person licensed to act as a temporary or part-time guide, during periods of heavy visitation, will be issued a license in the following


_________________________, having successfully passed the examination prescribed for license, is hereby licensed to offer service as a guide to visitors. This license is issued subject to the condition that the licensee shall comply with all the rules and regulations prescribed for guide service by the Secretary of the Interior, copies of which have been furnished to him. This license shall continue in effect for a period of _______ days beginning ________ unless revoked prior to the expiration of such period for failure to comply with the condition set out herein.

National Military Park.

(g) Before being issued a license to act as a guide, each applicant will be required to subscribe to the following agreement:



To Superintendent, ________________ National Military Park. For and in consideration of the issuance to me a license to act as guide, I hereby accept and agree to observe fully the following conditions:

1. To abide by and observe the laws and all rules and regulations promulgated for the government of the park and for the regulation of guide service.

2. In case of difference of opinion as to the interpretation of any law, rule, or regulation, to accept the decision of the superintendent.

3. To accord proper respect to the park rangers in their enforcement of the rules and regulations.

4. To require drivers of all vehicles, while under my conduct, to observe the park rules and regulations.

5. To be watchful to prevent damage to, or destruction of, park property or acts of vandalism affecting monuments, buildings, fences, or natural features of the park, to report any such damage, destruction, or vandalism which I may observe to the nearest available ranger without delay, and to furnish him with all information in my possession tending to identify the offenders and assist in their apprehension and punishment.

6. To demand of visitors not more than the authorized fees for guide service and, when employed, to render service to the best of my ability.

7. To advise visitors who employ me, in advance, the length of time needed for a trip and its cost and, if visitors desire a shortened tour, to arrange for such service as may suit their convenience.

8. (a) Not to operate for hire any passenger vehicle or other vehicle of any kind, while pursuing the vocation of guide or wearing a guide’s badge or uniform.

(b) Not to operate a visitor’s motor vehicle unless I hold a valid motor vehicle operator’s license issued by the State in which the national military park is located.

(c) Not to charge an extra fee for operating a visitor’s motor vehicle.

9. In the event my license should be suspended or revoked by the superintendent, to refrain from offering my services or pursuing the vocation of guide, pending appeal to and decision of the Director of the National Park Service.

10. To return the license and official badge without delay to the superintendent should my license be revoked or suspended for more than 5 days or upon abandoning the occupation of guide.

11. While wearing the badge of a guide or any uniform or part of a uniform indicating me to be a guide, I will not act as agent, solicitor, representative, or runner for any business or enterprise whatever (except in offering my services as a guide to visitors), nor solicit nor accept from any person, firm, association, or corporation any fee, commission, or gratuity for recommending their goods, wares, or services.

(Signed) (80 Stat. 383; 5 U.S.C. 553) (24 FR
11060, Dec. 30, 1959, as amended at 30 FR 8222, June26, 1965)

25.3. Supervision; suspensions.

(a) The guide service will operate under the direction of the superintendent or his designated representative. Records will be kept of the efficiency of the guides and of all matters pertaining to the service.

(b) Superintendents are authorized to suspend any guide for violation of the regulations or for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Government. A full report of the facts attending each suspension will be made to the Director of the National Park Service. The license of a guide who has been suspended indefinitely will not be renewed without the approval of the Director of the National Park Service.

25.4. Schedule of rates.

As the conditions of each park differ with respect to the proper charge for the service rendered to the public, the schedule of rates for observance by the licensed guides at each separate park will be submitted to the Director of the National Park Service for approval. The superintendent will prepare itineraries arranged so as best to observe the different features of the battlefield and submit them with recommendations as to schedule of rates to the Director of the National Park Service for approval.

25.5. Badges and uniforms.

Licensed guides will be furnished with official badges as evidence of their authority, which shall remain the property of the Government and be returned to the superintendent upon relinquishment or revocation of the license as a guide. Where conditions warrant it and its purchase would not prove a hardship on the guides, they may be required to adopt a standard uniform, to be procured at their own expense.