License to Describe: Defeating Washington D.C.'s Tour Guide Licensing Scheme


This video was produced by the Institute for Justice. In Washington, D.C., talking without a license can land you in jail for 90 days.

Tonia Edwards and Bill Main are lawbreakers. Nearly every day, they teach a group of people how to ride Segways, and then take them around Washington, D.C., to talk about local sights and attractions. Their business is located near the National Archives, so one of the things they tell their costumers is where the Bill of Rights is located. For this, the city government could throw Tonia and Bill in prison for three months. In Washington, D.C., it is illegal for anyone to give a tour of the city for compensation without first obtaining a special license-quite literally, a license to describe.