Asked Questions



Current State :

What kind of recognition do Commercial Interior Designers in the state of California have now?

Commercial Interior Designers are not included in the definition of “design professionals” as our architect, engineering, and landscape architect colleagues are.

What kind of regulation is in place now in the state of California?

Since 1992, the title Certified Interior Designer has been the only title recognized by the State of California. While the codification of this title is a great start, the qualifying exam, regulating body, and privileges associated with the current CID law are not ideal. Because the interior design industry is ever-evolving, the legislation that regulates the industry must also evolve. IIDA’s advocates are committed to the modernization of past law to reflect the landscape of the profession today.

What is the current qualifying exam a Certified Interior Designer has to pass to achieve certification in California?

The IDEX exam, which is not recognized by the industry at large and is considered a less-rigorous exam than the NCIDQ.

What regulating body oversees the current certification of interior designers?

An independent, private organization called the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC). It is very unusual to be regulated by a private board, which has broad authority over the certification assessment that is adopted. State boards tend to receive greater state oversight, require more rigorous application processes for board members, and set more limited term lengths for board members. California is the only state in the U.S. that employs a private board to oversee certification of interior designers and every design profession in the state of California with stamping privileges is overseen by a state board.

What privileges do current CIDs possess?

While CCIDC issues a stamp to CIDs upon certification, the scope CIDs can practice and the recognition of their stamp is not codified in California state law and CIDs have inconsistent experiences at building departments across California. CCIDC recently introduced a “Commercial” designation to its certification which is also not codified and does not grant additional or expanded privileges to Commercial CIDs when submitting drawings to building departments.

Future State :

What kind of recognition would IIDA like to see for Commercial Interior Designers in the state of California?

Commercial Interior Designers should be included in the definition of “design professionals” as our architect, engineering, and landscape architect colleagues are.

What kind of regulation would IIDA like to see in the state of California?

A voluntary registration recognizing a title like “Registered Interior Designer” or “Certified Interior Designer”

What is the ideal qualifying exam a Registered Interior Designer should have to pass to achieve registration?

The NCIDQ exam is the industry’s standard exam for the United States and Canada. We also recommend instituting a supplemental California-specific exam, following the model of registration for architects in the state of California

What regulating body should oversee the regulation of interior designers?

A state board or department, which is typical for occupational licensure.

What privileges would IIDA like to see interior designers achieve through registration?

The ability to stamp & seal drawings within a defined scope and for the acceptance of that stamp to be codified in state law to ensure consistent acceptance at building departments throughout California.

How much are the dues for each type of membership, when are they due, and starting on which month, for what duration?

Costs are by membership type, are due on January 1st of each year, and are good for a full calendar year. Dues are prorated for any time after January (Join).

Is there an application fee?

Yes, $75 is due at time of application as a first-time member.

How long do I have after January 1st to pay my membership dues?

3 months (March 31st). Afterwards, your membership will be revoked & you may need to rejoin as a new member again. If your membership lapsed, it’s not too late to renew your membership online. Please email or call 888.799.4432 and a member services representative will assist you in reinstating your membership. Membership can also be renewed here:

As an Associate member, why do my membership dues increase over time?

An Associate member is one who has a minimum of two-year formal design degree with proof of transcripts or diploma and is not NCIDQ-certified. The incentive is by 6 years of IIDA membership to become NCIDQ-certified.

What is EZ Pay?

EZ Pay is a payment option that allows you to pay your IIDA membership dues in easy monthly installments. Any IIDA Professional, Associate, Educator, or Industry Individual Member qualifies for EZ Pay. At this time, we cannot accept student or manufacturer/ dealer members under this program. Application form Here.

To remain in good standing, what are the number of CEU hours needed and how often is this necessary to fulfill?

Ten CEU hours are required every 2 years to maintain Professional or Associate level membership. The other membership levels do not require CEUs.

What types of CEU credits does IIDA accept?

All IDCEC courses are approved. Non-IDCEC courses can be submitted to IIDA for review & approval. For more information, email

How do I renew my Membership?

Membership can be renewed here:



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