The State of Maine requires that all paid guides be licensed by the state. This involves a state administered testing process. Licensing and testing are handled by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. The Sea Kayaking classification is one of 5 specialized classifications of guide licenses. Effective January 1, 2019, guide licenses will be valid for five years instead of three years. The testing process for new applicants normally takes from 6 months to one year.
As of November 1, 2017, guides are required to complete a criminal history record check, before a new or renewal guide license will be processed.
To obtain a Sea Kayaking Guide License, you must file the Guide License Application with the state along with the testing fee. All new applicants must be currently certified in standard first-aid or have completed a first-aid course that meets the criteria established by rule of the commissioner.
Once your application has been approved, you will be notified of your test date. The test consists of both oral and written sections. The oral section of the exam typically includes chart and compass, a catastrophic event scenario, and a question and answer portion. As of July 2015, the oral testing process also includes a practical examination that requires a hands-on demonstration of skills.
More information on becoming a Maine Guide is available from the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.