Vehicle Testing

Death Valley National Park has issued special use permits to the automobile industry for a number of years to allow heat testing in its unique climate. All applications must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of testing. If you have tested in the past, please read the information below carefully as our requirements for application have changed. If you would like to apply for a permit to test vehicles you must submit an application along with the following materials:

Company Umbrella Permit

An application package must be submitted by any company planning to send trip leaders into Death Valley National Park to test vehicles. The resultant permit will cover all trip leaders with bond and liability insurance. It will be valid for one year. Please submit the following items

  • An application.
  • An application processing/monitoring fee of $300.00 ($210.00 application processing fee + $90.00 monitoring fee). Please make checks payable to NATIONAL PARK SERVICE or if paying by credit card, e-mail completed application and request information to pay by credit card.
  • A $5,000.00 bond. The bond should be issued by a bonding company and valid through 12/31/2015. The original signed bond will be held on file in the Death Office of Special Park Uses and must be signed by an officer of the company. A list of eligible bonding companies may be found on Treasury Circular 570
  • Liability Insurance Certificate listing the United States; National Park Service; as "Additional Insured" with a minimum of $1,000,000 of liability coverage.
  • Each trip leader may bring no more than 8 vehicles into the park for each test trip - this is a change from the 2013 application process.
  • Please call 760-786-3241 for a current e-mail address to send the completed application package to.

Trip Leader Application Package

Vehicle testing permits and addendums will require at least 2 weeks to process beginning August 1, 2015 and will only be processed on Mondays and Wednesdays each week. Plan ahead—we will not be able to process emergency requests.

An application package must also be submitted by each trip leader. The resultant addendum will cover only the trips that individual leads into the park during the testing season. It will be valid for one calendar year only. For Individual Trip Leader Permit please submit:
  • A signed Addendum
  • Leave No Trace Certification
  • An application processing fee of $100.00. Please make checks payable to NATIONAL PARK SERVICE or submit application by e-mail and request credit card payment information (your company representative--generally the person who signs the umbrella permit--should have the information to pay by credit card).

For a Testing Trip

  • Faxed test trip data sheets will no longer be accepted.
  • Each trip leader must e-mail a Vehicle Test Trip Data Sheet (VTTDS) to the Office of Special Park Uses. The VTTDS must be e-mailed the Office of Special Park Use (call 760-786-3241 for current email address) at least 7 days prior to the trip. This will ensure that your test trip is included in the weekly law enforcement update and that the visitor center will be prepared for your arrival when you check in.
  • Visitor Center/Fee Sticker: Teams are required to get a colored window sticker for each vehicle at the visitor center when they arrive in the park.
  • To begin testing each test vehicle must have a paper copy of the fully-executed umbrella permit with a trip leader addendum attached (unless the trip leader is the signer of the umbrella permit) and a window sticker. If each vehicle does not have these items, you will not be permitted to test. Arriving in the park without the proper documentation may result in an adverse notation being placed in your corporate file.The visitor center will not make copies of these documents. Trip leaders may have to travel as far as 60 miles one way to make necessary copies if these are not printed in advance. To obtain a window sticker you must present the proper paper documentation as described above to the front desk at the visitor center along with your driver's license for identification.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Special Park Use at 760-786-3241.

Our mailing address is:
Death Valley National Park
ATTN: Office of Special Park Uses
PO Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328

Our courrier services address:
Death Valley National Park
ATTN: Office of Special Park Uses
271 Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328

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