Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions. If you do not see your question below, email us or call the office (912) 232-1223, and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Click on the question to navigate to the answers below.

Certification
Why do I need to be certified?
Will my City certification transfer?
What is included in certification?
How long does the certification last?
How much does it cost?

Testing
When do you offer the test?
Where do you offer the test?
Do I need an appointment to take the test?
How do you test?
How long does it take to take the test?
What is considered passing?
What if I don’t pass the test?
Is there someplace to help study?
How do you grade the test?

Background
Do I need a background for certification?
What are you looking for in the background check?
Will you accept criminal histories from other organizations?
How much does the background check cost?
How do I get my criminal history from SCMPD?
For SCMPD, do I have to take it to a notary before I submit the form?
For SCMPD, where do I drop off my form for a criminal history?
Why do I need a background check?
Will I need to get a background check every time that I seek certification?

Badges
Will I receive a badge as part of my certification?
What are the City’s requirements?
What if I work for more than one tour service company?
So, if I work for 5 different tour service companies, how many badges will I need?
Will I need a picture for my badge?
How long will it take to get my badge?

Certification

Why do I need to be certified?
After the City stopped certifying tour guides, industry stakeholders and tour guides approached the Tourism Leadership Council about taking up the charge. The consensus was that those who recommend tours to the guest, want tour guides to have proved their basic knowledge of history for our community.

Will my City certification transfer?
No. We updated the tour guide manual with the help of Armstrong State University and the Georgia Historical Society. As we discover new information about our rich history, we will keep our tour guide manual and subsequent test updated. 

What is included in certification?
After you pass the test and submit your background check from the SCMPD, you will receive a laminated badge that fulfills the City’s requirements. The badge will also bear the certification emblem. Additionally, you will be listed on the website, www.SavannahTourGuides.com.

How long does the certification last?
The certification will be good for two years from the day you receive your certification.

How much does it cost?
For $50, you will receive two attempts to pass the test. If you need additional attempts, you may take the test again for $20, per attempt within the calendar year of the first attempt. After that, you will have to test again starting at $50.

Testing

When do you offer the test?
The test is offered three times a day on the Mondays and Tuesdays the staff is working at the Tourism Leadership Council office. On those days, you can take the test starting at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 3:00 pm. We encourage you to arrive early. If you are arrive after the test start time, you will have to wait until the next test starts.

Where do you offer the test?
The test is offered at the Tourism Leadership Council office located within the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center’s Administration offices. Generally, there is parking available on the west side of the building in Tomochichi Square. If there is an event at the trade center, you can inform the security guard that you are parking to have a meeting at the TLC office.

Do I need an appointment to take the test?
While an appointment is not necessary, there are generally only 6 times the test is offered per week. Most Mondays and Tuesdays the TLC office is open for testing; however, there are some days the staff will be called away on other events or closed for holidays. We recommend that you call the office (912)232-1223 to make sure that the office is open for testing on the Monday or Tuesday you wish to take the test.

How do you test?
You will be given a 100-question test that will be made up of multiple choice questions based on the material provided free of charge in the tour guide manual. You will choose the best answer and mark the coordinating bubble next to the letter of the best answer.

How long does it take to take the test?
We allow two hours for you to complete the 100-question test.

What is considered passing?
You must answer 80 questions correct or score 80% in order to pass the test.

What if I don’t pass the test?
The $50 registration fee gets you two attempts at the test. If you pass the first time, great. If you need additional attempts, you can take the test once more at no additional cost. Should you need more, you can take the test again for $20 per test as many times as you need within the calendar year of the first attempt.

Is there someplace to help study?
We do not offer any classes. If you want additional help with the test, there are places that will help get you prepared. Check out www.TourGuideInstitute.com.

How do you grade the test?
We have technology in place that will allow us to grade the test immediately. However, this is subject to how many take the test at one given time and what TLC staff member is proctoring the test. We will make every effort to give you your grade as soon as possible.

Background

Do I need a background for certification?
Yes, everyone who is certified must have a background check through a local law enforcement agency.

What are you looking for in the background check?
The background check is looking for Part 1 Crimes and some felonies. If you have a record that includes a Part 1 crime and some felonies, you may not be allowed to be certified.

Will you accept criminal histories from other organizations?
Yes, we accept criminal histories from all local law enforcement agencies as long as they are no more than a year older than the day you are seeking to be certified.

How much does the background check cost?
The cost of the background check ranges from $14 to $20 depending on where you get the background check. This fee is not included in the $50 for testing, badge and marketing.

How do I get my criminal history from SCMPD?
You can download a form, print it and fill it out. When you’re filling out the form, make note that YOU are requesting the background check. There is no need to fill in the ID of a requesting business because you will be the one to pick up the report when it is complete. That way you can see your record before we do.

The city’s form requires it to be notarized. Do I have to take it to a notary before I submit the form?
The SCMPD has notaries at both drop off locations. Wait to sign your form until you arrive at the police department.

Where do I drop off my form for a criminal history?
You can drop off the form at one of two locations: (201 Habersham Street or 295 Police Memorial Drive***Please note that the only place to pick up the criminal history is at the SCMPD Annex Building at 295 Police Memorial Drive.

Why do I need a background check?
The people who recommend tour guides have asked that we include a person’s background in the certification process.

Will I need to get a background check every time that I seek certification?
Yes. We ask that every 2 years when you renew your certification, you bring in a renewed copy of your background check from the SCMPD.

Badges

Will I receive a badge as part of my certification?
Yes, after all items have been successfully submitted to the TLC, we will provide you with one badge that fulfills the requirements laid out by the City.

What are the City’s requirements?
According to Section 6-1512 of the City’s Tour Service Ordinance, 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.

What if I work for more than one tour service company?
You will need more than one badge. We will print one badge after you pass the certification. If you need more than one badge, it will be an additional $5 per badge.

So, if I work for 5 different tour service companies, how many badges will I need?
You will need 5 badges. The City has asked that we only print one tour company on one badge.

Will I need a picture for my badge?
Yes, the ordinance requires that you have a picture on your badge. It must be more than one square inch. You can provide your own picture if your picture looks like you. If it doesn’t look like you or you don’t have a picture, we’ll take one at the office upon successful completion of the test.

How long will it take to get my badge?
If you bring everything you need to the TLC office when you take the test, we will endeavor to get the badge ready while you wait.