FAQs about Joining ICMA

Following are some common questions about ICMA and its membership application process.

Membership Categories

Who can be a member of ICMA?

Any individual with an interest in local government leadership and management can become a member of ICMA. Your employer and position determine your membership category, dues rate, and eligibility for certain benefits.

What are ICMA's membership categories?

Full (voting) membership is for chief administrative officers (CAOs) whose scope of responsibility meets these six criteria: appointment, policy formulation, budget, appointing authority, organizational relationships, and qualifications; assistant/deputy chief administrative officers; and other senior-level staff in local government who have significant administrative duties and report to a CAO whose position meets the six criteria for joining.

Affiliate (non-voting) membership is for any person who does not meet the qualifications for the above full membership category, including entry- to mid-level local government employees, professors, private and nonprofit sector employees, federal/state government employees, and full-time students and interns.

Membership Dues

  • New memberships will not be established without dues payment in full.
  • ICMA encourages renewing members to pay in full; renewing members in local government may opt to pay in 2, 3, or 4 installments.
  • All payments must be made in U.S. currency.
  • Purchase orders are not considered payment. ICMA recognizes that many employers require a signed purchase order to process payment. Send purchase order requests to ICMA headquarters for signature.
  • Membership may not be transferred from one person to another. ICMA is a professional association and ICMA membership belongs to the individual, not the employer.
  • ICMA will not provide a dues refund if a member leaves current employment; membership travels with the individual to his or her next position.

How are annual dues calculated?

United States

  • Local Government Professionals
    • Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs), assistant/deputy CAOs, and other senior-level staff in local government: annual salary × 0.008, up to $1,400
    • Entry-level to mid-management staff in local government: $150 the first year, $175 the second year, and (effective October 1, 2011, for the January 2012 membership cycle) $200 for years three and beyond.
    • Department heads in local government: $200 (effective April 1, 2015, for the July 2015 membership cycle)
    • Full-time interns or fellows in local government: $25
  • Academics
    • Full-time students (whose primary occupation is going to school) and who do not work full-time for a local government, non-profit, or private sector: $25 (or join for free through a participating student chapter)
    • Full-time college or university professors: $165
  • Others
    • Private sector, nonprofit, federal and state employees: $200
    • Retired: $50
    • Life  (may not join at this level): FREE e-membership, with the option of paying a $25 annual service charge to receive Public Management magazine in hard copy
    • All others: $200

Outside the United States (International Membership)

Dues below apply regardless of member category:

  • Canada
    • CAMA Member: US$135
    • Non-CAMA Member: U.S. Fees
  • United Kingdom
    • SOLACE Member: US$105
    • Non-SOLACE Member: US$135
  • High Income Countries: US$135
  • Low and Middle Income Countries: US$70
  • Full-time students/local government interns: US$25
  • Retired: US$50
  • Life (may not join at this level): FREE

What about dues refunds?

Since membership is not transferable, ICMA will not provide a dues refund if a member leaves current employment.

What are the payment options?

  • Check or money order: Download a member application from icma.org/join. Mail the completed application and payment in U.S. currency to: ICMA Membership Payments, PO Box 79403, Baltimore, MD 21279-0403. This address is a bank lockbox and should be used for membership dues and renewal payments only. Mailed payments should include your membership application.
  • Credit card (American Express, Visa, or MasterCard): You can join or renew online with a credit card at icma.org/join.
  • Purchase orders are not considered payment. ICMA recognizes that many local governments require a signed purchase order to process payment. Send purchase order requests to the ICMA headquarters address.

If you want to mail any other type of information to ICMA, send it to ICMA's headquarters address ATTN: Finance.

Who Does ICMA Membership Belong To?

As a professional association, ICMA membership belongs to you as an individual, not your employing organization. Membership is not transferable. Your ICMA membership travels with you throughout your career advancements, between jobs, and into retirement.

MY Membership Lapsed - How do I reinstate my membership?

To rejoin ICMA after a lapse in membership, complete the Member Reinstatement application and send with check payment to ICMA.

Professional History

Can I attach a resume in place of listing my employment history?

Yes, you can attach your resume to your application instead of listing your employment history. Positions should be in reverse chronological order, starting with your current employer. Be sure to include start and end dates, including the year, month, and day for each position listed. These dates are used to determine eligibility for ICMA service awards and to ensure a complete and accurate listing in Who's Who, our online directory. You can also update your job history through your "My Account" of icma.org.

Personal Information

Will my membership information be kept confidential?

Each member’s professional and educational history, birth date, home telephone number, and partner’s name are published in the Who’s Who online directory. Any demographic statistics regarding ICMA members are published in aggregate form. You may opt to hide your birth date from public view.

Signature/Code of Ethics

What is the significance of the ICMA Code of Ethics?

By signing the membership application, you agree to abide by the ICMA Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Enforcement. The Code has governed members' professional and personal conduct since 1924 and is a foundation of the association and the local government management profession. ICMA provides ongoing education regarding the Code of Ethics, which is aggressively enforced by a peer review process that involves investigating complaints and recommending sanctions for Code violations.

Do I have to endorse the ICMA Code of Ethics?

ICMA encourages all members to actively endorse the Code of Ethics by providing an endorsing signature on their membership application. However, all members are bound to the Code of Ethics and the Rules of Procedure for Enforcement. Members working for local government in appointed positions are subject to the provisions of Tenets 1 through 12; members working outside of local government are subject to the provisions of Tenets 1 and 3.

Effective Date

When will I receive my new member kit and other membership material?

Expect membership mailings two to four weeks after ICMA receives your application with payment. Applicants for voting membership will be listed in Leadership Matters (Member Edition), ICMA's membership newsletter, and if no written objection has been received after 60 days, the applicant will be formally admitted to membership.

Contact Us!


ICMA Membership Payments, PO Box 79403, Baltimore, MD 21279-0403


777 N Capitol Street, NE, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20002-4201


202-962-3680 (in Washington D.C. and outside the United States)