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For Release: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

DEC Announces 2022 Exam Dates for Licensed Guides Program

Exams to be Held Online

The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that examinations are scheduled for individuals seeking to become licensed guides in New York State. The exams being offered are for guiding in the following categories: camping; fishing; hiking; hunting; whitewater; rock climbing; ice climbing; and certified skilled with boats and canoes.

A guide is a person at least 18 years of age who offers services for hire, part or all of which include directing, instructing, or aiding another individual in fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, whitewater rafting/canoeing/kayaking, or rock and ice climbing.

DEC's Special Licenses Unit administers licensing of outdoor guides. Applicants need not be a resident of New York State to receive a guide's license.

To provide enhanced access to examinations for applicants, DEC is offering licensed guide examinations online in 2022. Exam dates and application deadlines are:

  • Feb. 4, 2022 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Registration must be received by Jan. 28, 2022)
  • March 5, 2022 - New York State Outdoor Guides Association (NYSOGA) meeting only (Registration must be received by Feb. 26, 2022). In addition, in-person examinations will be offered at the NYSOGA winter rendezvous on Mar. 5, 2022.
  • April 8, 2022 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Registration must be received by April 1, 2022)
  • May 13, 2022 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Registration must be received by May 6, 2022)
  • June 17, 2022 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Registration must be received by June 10, 2022)
  • Sept. 16, 2022 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Registration must be received by Sept. 9, 2022)
  • Oct. 14, 2022 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Registration must be received by Oct. 7, 2022)

The registration deadline for exams is seven days before the examination. Instructions and registration information about the exams can be found on DEC's Licensed Guide Program webpage.

To register, visit the 2022 Licensed Guide Exams Registration website (leaves DEC's website) and follow the directions. Applicants will receive an email acknowledging registration, and an additional one-time link for use to access the website on the date of the exam. Upon successful completion of the exam(s), applicants will receive information on applying for the appropriate guide license, including an application form. Please do not send applications or fees prior to passing the examination(s).

An outline of exam content and a study guide can be found on the DEC Licensed Guide Program webpage. The Fieldbook, a reference book published by the Boy Scouts of America, is also recommended and can be found at a local library or bookstore. A list of current New York State Licensed Guides is available online.

For questions or assistance, contact the Special Licenses Unit at NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; Phone: 518-402-8985, Fax: 518-402-8925; Email:

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