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
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:
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:
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:
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:
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
Last updated: January 10, 2022