Permits

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General Information

A Special Park Use permit is required for any activity that provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than to the park or the public at large. Many of the events that require permits also require some degree of oversight from National Park Service staff.

To learn more about applying for a Special Use Permit, read the instructions and requirements

 

Application Process

To apply for a permit, complete and submit the appropriate application below along with a non-refundable application fee of $50. Application fees (check or money order only at this time) can be sent to:

ATTN: Special Use Permits Coordinator

Manhattan Sites
26 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005

Please make check or money order payable to the "National Park Service." Please note that this is only an application form. A permit form will be sent to you as soon as we approve your proposed activity. No Special Use Permit is valid until signed by the Superintendent or other authorized federal official. Please be advised that additional fees may be assessed, depending upon the nature of the activity.

 

First Amendment Activities

We encourage citizens to exercise rights guaranteed by the Constitution. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect the public and park resources. Therefore, such First Amendment activities involving over 25 participants require special use permits, and National Park Service staff may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted. Some examples are:

  • Distribution and/or sale of printed matter
  • Religious services
  • Public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.
  • Collecting signatures for petitions


View First Amendment permit instructions

View and print the application for a First Amendment special park use permit

 
Picture of model next to a car during a photoshoot
In most cases, a permit is not necessary for casual visitor activities. There are some circumstances when a permit is needed for still photography and filming

NPS

Still Photography

When is a permit needed?

Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only when:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

What fees will I have to pay?

The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/day

Are there other permit requirements?

You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.

What about photography workshops?

If you are planning a photography workshop, you may need a commercial use authorization. See the commercial use authorization page for more information.

View and print the still photography permit instructions

View and print a still photography permit application

 

Filming

Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land

On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CFR Part 5.5 are unconstitutional. In response to the decision, the National Park Service issued interim guidance on February 22, 2021, to manage filming activities. Under the interim guidance, filming activities may require a permit if they would impact park resources or the visitor experience. The National Park Service intends to update regulations addressing filming activities that are consistent with the outcome of Price v. Barr. Once effective, those regulations will replace and supersede the interim guidance.

Do I need a permit to film?

Under the interim guidance, the National Park Service is not distinguishing between types of filming, such as commercial, non-commercial, or news gathering. Low-impact filming activities will not require a special use permit, but non-low-impact filming activities may require a permit to address their potential impacts on park resources and visitor activities.

Low-Impact Filming

“Low-impact filming" is defined as outdoor filming activities in areas open to the public, except areas managed as wilderness, involving five people or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras. Those participating in low-impact filming activities do not need a permit and are not required to contact the park in advance. If low-impact filmers have questions about areas where they want to film, they should contact the park directly.

Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, news and other staff associated with filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors, including park hours and closed areas, still apply to filming activities even if a permit is not required. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.

Non-Low-Impact Filming

Filming activities that do not meet the description of low-impact filming require at least ten days advance notice to the National Park Service by contacting the park directly in writing. The park’s superintendent will determine whether the filming activities will require a special use permit for filming. Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:

  • maintain public health and safety;

  • protect environmental or scenic values;

  • protect natural or cultural resources;

  • allow for equitable allocation or use of facilities; or

  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

Examples of requests that may require a permit include, but are not limited to: entering a sensitive resource area, filming in areas that require tickets to enter, or filming in visitor centers, campgrounds, or other visitor areas. The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.

View and print the Application for a filming permit

 

Further Information and to Contact Us

For more information regarding special uses, commercial filming, and/or short term leasing at Federal Hall National Memorial, contact the Special Use Permits Coordinator at (212) 825-6990.

Inquiries can also be made via email by clicking here.

Last updated: January 10, 2022

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26 Wall Street
New York , NY 10005

Phone:

212 825-6990

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