That's the take of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which ruled Friday that a Segway tour operator's guides shouldn't be required to pass a multiple-choice test and pay $200 in licensing fees to offer guided tours of the city's monuments, museums and other points of interest.
Paid tour guides who fail to meet these requirements could face both a $300 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Business owners Tonia Edwards and Bill Main, who operate Segs in the City, a company that offers guided Segway tours of the city, objected to the test requirement and filed suit.
A U.S. district court initially upheld the licensing law on the grounds that the city held a compelling interest in regulating its tourism industry.
But a panel of three circuit court judges reversed that decision, finding that the exam and licensing fees violated the business owners' right to free speech and conduct.