Interior Design legislation helps establish and maintain professional standards that protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.


IIDA firmly believes that legal recognition, achieved through licensing, registration, and certification brings uniformity to the profession, defines responsibility, and encourages excellence in the Interior Design industry.

The state of California has “self-certification”, which is essentially a Title Act. It regulates and protects the use of the title “Certified Interior Designer”. This law was passed in 1990 and amended in 1991. The Interior Design Examination (IDEX) allows an individual to call themselves a certified interior designer.

Practice Acts regulate who may call themselves interior designers as well as require licensing. To become licensed, an individual must take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. California does not yet require interior designers to become licensed.

To see the differences between the NCIDQ and IDEX, download this chart.


Welcome to Elevate, the first semi-annual publication from IIDA’s Northern and Southern California joint committee to elevate the commercial interior design profession in California. Elevate is your resource to learn how IIDA connects commercial interior designers with the public, local jurisdictions, and state legislators to increase awareness and understanding of our work and the impact we make in our communities.

This first edition looks back at the history of legislation in California and explains our current efforts to secure consistent acceptance of stamp and seal privileges for Certified Interior Designers (CIDs) throughout California.


We want to hear about your involvement with the interior design profession in California. Share your experience by completing this 5-10 minute survey. Each survey participant will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 2 $100 gift cards from Heath Ceramics as a thank you for their time and input.

IIDA Design Professional Survey

Get Involved

State Board:
California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC)
1605 Grand Avenue, Suite 4
San Marcos, CA 92069-2440
T: (760) 761-4734 F: (760) 761-4736

State Coalition:
Interior Design Coalition of California (IDCC)

Membership application


Design Legalese: Distinguishing fact from fiction with help from IIDA

Vice President: Nick Steele


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