Special Use Permits

The Special Use Permit (SUP) program authorizes activities that provide benefit to an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large, and that require written authorization and some management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Examples include parking, special events, commercial filming/still photography, weddings, scattering of ashes, group camping, First Amendment activities, and constructing a temporary Duck Blind.

Businesses seeking to operate commercial visitor services within the park should refer to the Doing Business with the Park webpage.

Special Use Permits are granted for specific periods of time and specific locations. Certain cost recovery, fees, and insurance requirements may apply.

All though some permits, such as parking, can be completed quickly, most permits need time to be evaluated, processed, completed, and signed by both parties. Allow at least two weeks (10 business days) for processing. Requests which involve multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 15 working days to process. Projects which require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted not less than 30 days before the start of proposed activities.

Application Forms * Cost Recovery and Fees * Application Procedure


Special Use Permit (SUP) Applications and Forms

Special Use Permit Application (Form 10-930) (pdf, 86 KB)

Long-Term Parking Permit Application 2015 (pdf, 28 KB) Please read and initial all conditions pages.
Permit for Long-Term Parking 2015 (pdf, 74 KB) PLEASE NOTE: Permit is not valid until signed by NPS official.

Duck Blind Permit Application (2013/14 season) (pdf, 31 KB)
Duck Blind Registration (2013/14 season) (pdf, 15 KB)

Commercial Filming/Still Photography Permit Application - short form (Form 10-931) (pdf, 59 KB)
Commercial Filming/Still Photography Permit Application - long form (Form 10-932) (pdf, 128 KB)

Supplemental Statement for Non-Profit Organizations (pdf, 34 KB)


Special Use Permit (SUP) Information Links

Learn more about the general conditions for each of these common types of SUP. Note: these are guidelines only; the conditions may vary for your event.

Camping (Groups of 25 and Larger)

Commercial Filming/Still Photography Information

Cremains (Scattering of Human Ashes) Information

Duck Blind Information

First Amendment Activity Information

Long-Term Parking Information

Wedding Information

Non-Profit Organizations

When engaging in activities on park area lands, a non-profit organization is required to obtain a Special Use Permit or other appropriate authorization as may otherwise be required by National Park Service policies and regulations. Certain cost recovery, fees and insurance requirements may apply.

A non-profit organization is an organization that has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt from Federal income taxation as a nonprofit or not-for-profit organization under the terms of the Internal Revenue Code.

Scientific Research & Collections

A Scientific Research and Collecting Permit is required for most scientific activities pertaining to natural resources or social science studies in National Park System areas that involve fieldwork, specimen collection, and/or have the potential to disturb resources or visitors.

Long-Term Parking

Permit applications for the 2015 season can be submitted on or after Monday, February 14. North and South Core Banks will open to vehicles from March 16, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Learn more on the Long-Term Parking Information page.

Download the long-term parking permit and permit application (both must submitted when applying for a permit) from the Applications section above.

Duck Blinds

The Duck Blind lottery for the 2013-2014 season will be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM. After the lottery is complete, the remaining duck blind spaces will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Learn more on the Temporary Duck Blind Information page.

Download the temporary duck blind permit application from the Applications section above.


Special Park Use Cost Recovery and Fees

The authority for the National Park Service to recover and retain costs associated with managing special park uses is found at 16 U.S.C. 3a, 16 U.S.C. 460l-6d, and 31 U.S.C. 9701. Charges established for a Special Park Use under this authority are intended to recover costs associated with managing that activity and not to generate revenue beyond actual cost.

Special Use Permit for:
Application Fee
Administrative Fee
Event/Service with 49 persons or less
$50 $50 $100
Event/Service with 50 persons or more
$50 $100 $150
Camping with 24 persons or less No Permit Required
Camping with 25 to 49 persons $50 No Fee $100
Camping with 50 or more persons $50 $50 $100
Commercial Film / Photography*
$100 $100 $200
First Amendment
No Fee
No Fee
No Fee
Recurring Permits
(Example: Annual Fishing Tournaments*)
No Fee
Long-Term Parking
$0 $15 per week
$15 per week
Off-Season Lighthouse Climbs $50 No Fee $50

* Other fees may apply

Special Use Permit for:
First Blind
Second Blind
Duck Blind (starting in the 2012-2013 season)
$50 $25 $50-$75

Application Cost: Must be submitted at the time of the initial application. This is a non-refundable payment.

Administration Cost: Payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. This is a non-refundable payment.

Monitoring Cost: If the event requires NPS supervision for resource protection or the health or safety of visitors, the cost* will be estimated and payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. The scope and complexity of the permit activity will determine the level and type of supervision. The fee includes employee travel time to and from the event location.

*Generally a $50.00 per hour per monitor charge is the rate for monitoring.

Commercial Film/Still Photography Location Fee: Required by Public Law 106-206 payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning filming.

Commercial Filming / Video Fees
Still Photography Fees
1 to 2 people with camera and tripod only
$0 per day
1 to 10 people
$150 per day
1 to 10 people
$50 per day
11 to 30 people
$250 per day
11 to 30 people
$150 per day
31 to 49 people
$500 per day
31 or more people
$250 per day
50 or more people
$750 per day

Federal procedures (31 USC 7701) requires your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number on the back of all checks accepted for deposit. You must supply your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number in order for your check to be accepted and your application to be processed.


Permit Application Procedure

Requests for a permit application may be made in person at park headquarters, via telephone, email or letter. The application form may be downloaded from the park website. A completed application and the non-refundable application fee are required before an application can be processed.

For information on any Special Use Permit or to submit an application, contact the park at:

Special Use Permits
Phone: 252-728-2250 ext. 3020
Cape Lookout National Seashore
FAX: 252-728-2160
131 Charles Street
Website: www.nps.gov/calo
Harkers Island, NC 28531
Email: e-mail us

Did You Know?