Filming and Still Photography

Still Photography Application

2/4/2021 - Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land

Note: These changes do not currently apply to still photography. Scroll down for more information or use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.

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 are unconstitutional. The National Park Service is currently determining how this decision will be implemented.

For more information on this change see the NPS national web page on Commercial Filming

Following the recent court decision, the National Park Service will not be implementing or enforcing the commercial filming portions of 43 CFR Part 5 until further notice, including accepting applications, issuing permits, enforcing the terms and conditions of permits, issuing citations related to permits, or collecting cost recovery and location fees for commercial filming activities.

As regulations regarding commercial filming permits are being reassessed, those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.

Do I need a permit to film?

Currently, the National Park Service is not issuing commercial filming permits, but is in the process of evaluating how best to regulate filming activities that affect visitors and park resources. All applicable laws and regulations governing activities and public use in parks still apply, including park hours and areas open and closed to the public. Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, and other staff associated with commercial filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors still apply to filming activities even if no permit is needed for their activity. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.

Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?

As of January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is no longer collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming.

Special Use Permits

See the Special Use Permits page for additional information on permits.


General Information


Video shot by news agencies for breaking news or traditional visitor use do not generally require a permit. However, advanced approval is required by the Office of Communications by calling 702-293-8691.

Still photography activities require a permit only when:

  • The activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed;
  • 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
  • The park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity;
  • The park needs to provide management and oversight to:
    • Avoid impairment or incompatible use of the resources and values of the park, or
    • Limit resource damage, or
    • Minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public.

All still photography permits are subject to cost recovery and a location fee per 54 USC §103104 and 54 USC § 100905 and proof of liability insurance naming the United States of America as also insured. The location fee is calculated per day and must be based on the following schedule and is determined by the type of activity and the number of people on park lands associated with the permitted activity. There is no deviation from the schedule.

Cost of recovery (54 U.S.C. § 100905). The NPS shall recover from the permittee all agency costs incurred in processing the application and monitoring the permitted activity if the request is approved. Applicants shall be responsible for reimbursing the park for all costs incurred by the park in processing the application (even if the application is denied) and monitoring the permitted activity and subsequent site restoration if necessary.

Follow the directions found in the application form then mail the completed form to the park headquarters address. Forms will be accepted via U.S. mail or email once confirmation of payment is received.

You must allow no less than 10 business days, excluding weekends and holidays (no exception), for the park to process your request.

All permit applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable permit application fee. This fee is non-refundable even if your application is denied, so please contact the office prior to sending in paperwork.

The permit office accepts payment by credit card only and cannot accept personal or business checks. Please contact the permit office before making payment on Pay.Gov.

Submitting an application with the fee does not guarantee your activity or the date requested will be approved. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance. We will let you know within 4 business days that we have received your application, but approval or denial of your activity can range from days to weeks.

Some activities are required to go through full environmental or historic compliance review.


Permit Fees


Still Photography Application and Permit Fees

Application Fee Permit Cost Total Cost
1-4 people $150 $0 + Cost Recovery* $150**
More than 4 people $150 $150 + Cost Recovery* $300**

*Plus applicable Location Fee **Does not include cost recovery charges

Still Photography Location Fees

1-10 people $50/day
11-30 people $150/day
More than 30 people $250/day

Additional administrative costs, cost recovery or facilities use cost may also be charged.


Frequently Asked Questions

We do not expedite applications as we process all applications in the order we receive them. Film and photography permit applications must be submitted no later than two-weeks in advance of your proposed shoot date.
It is important to remember that a permit is a legally binding document between the permitted applicant and the United States of America. Because of this, liability insurance is required with all special park use permits.



If you are unsure if your event will need a special park use permit, please contact the Park Use Coordinator:

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Special Park Use Office
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
(702) 293-8931


Last updated: August 22, 2022

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601 Nevada Way
Boulder City , NV 89005


702 293-8990

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