Permits for Filming and Photography
A permit is generally not required for personal, noncommercial filming and photography activities within normal visitation areas and hours. However, filming outside normal visitation areas and hours and all commercial filming will require a special permit.
For the purposes of NPS policy, filming and photography encompass any technology that may be used for recording images or the sound tracks associated with them.
Commercial media coverage of breaking news never requires a permit, but is subject to the restrictions and conditions necessary to protect park resources from unacceptable impacts.
Filming and Photography permit applications will generally be approved provided that the requested activities:
Unacceptable impacts are impacts that, individually or cumulatively, would:
Permission to film or videotape in a historic park building can be granted by the Superintendent only when:
The same considerations as those which apply to building interiors will be applied by the Superintendent in granting permission for exterior motion picture or television productions on Independence Square. The Superintendent may choose not to apply the criteria of a meaningful association with the historic resource or that it would contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of the historic resource to video production in other areas of the park. Unless co-sponsored by the NPS, video production on Washington Square is limited to productions involving no more than 15 cast and crew on site at any one time.
Commercial Filming Fee Schedule
If you're unsure if you need a permit for filming or any other special use, please feel free to contact our Special Park Uses Office:
Our Special Park Uses Office can also provide guidance to help you complete this form:
Did You Know?
In the summer of 1793 “ten thousand people in the streets of Philadelphia … threatened to drag Washington out of his house, and effect a Revolution in Government” but an outbreak of yellow fever dispersed the mob and saved the national government. (J Adams to T Jefferson, June 30, 1813)