Film, Photography and Sound Recording Permits


Filming in Yellowstone

Filming, photography and sound recording permits are considered in the order they are received. All applications must be completed in detail and returned with the permit application and non-refundable application fee. A minimum of two weeks is required to process an application and issue a permit.

For questions please contact:

Rachel Cudmore
Commercial Film Permits Coordinator
307-344-2722 or e-mail us
Tammy Wert
Fee & Film program Manager
307-344-2115 or e-mail us

Who Needs a Permit?

  • Commercial,* non-profit, documentary, promotional, or educational films, including entertainment broadcasts and some student projects
  • Filming for stock footage REGARDLESS OF EQUIPMENT
  • Commercial still photography using models**, sets or props
  • Time-lapse photography if the final sequence will be used in a motion picture format for commercial purposes
  • Sound recording projects that require more than handheld equipment, more than one person or NPS oversight
  • Wedding/ portrait photography if final product will be used for advertisement
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant NPS oversight
*Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Under P.L. 106-206, all commercial filming requires a permit and is subject to a location fee and cost recovery charges.
**Model means a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purposes of promoting sales or use of a product or service. Models include but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects such as vehicles, boats articles of clothing, and food and beverage products.

Permits are NOT Generally Required When
  • Visitors are engaged in filming/photography intended for their personal use and enjoyment.
  • Filming for a News organization. (Contact Yellowstone Public Affairs Office 307-344-2010)

Permit Types and Fees

The application fee covers up to three hours of administrative time involved in such things as phone calls, correspondence, application review, project consultation, scheduling park staff, issuing a filming permit (when appropriate), and providing follow-up and billing. Administrative time over three hours will be billed at a rate of $65/hour.

Production FILM permit: $200
(valid for a single production/project)

Student FILM or PHOTOGRAPHY Permit*: $150
(valid for a single production OR annual stock permit only for students with proof of current enrollment of an accredited school)

Stock FILM footage (Annual Permit): $200
(valid for a crew of 2 with minimal equipment for 12 months. Note: this permit is subject to change as location fee schedule changes)

Sound Recording: $200

Still Photography Permits: $200

NPS Monitors

Yellowstone National Park staff will be required to monitor certain filming, photography and sound recording activities. Crews are responsible for paying daily location fees and for monitors as well as any staff costs associated with the project (at $65/hour). This fee will be paid before the permit is issued. Some of the activities that require a monitor include but are not limited to: filming or photography in thermal areas (filming in most backcountry thermal areas is prohibited) and when filming "talent" along the roadway or in developed areas. A monitor may not be required when filming talent out of the view of general public or >50yds away from groups of visitors. Monitors are generally required for large crews or projects with extensive equipment, or when there is potential for impacts to visitor use or resource damage

Current Location fees**

Motion Pictures/Videos
3-10 people $150/day
11 - 30 people $250/day
31 - 49 people $500/day
Over 50 people $750/day
Commercial Still Photography
3-10 people $50/day
11 - 30 people $150/day
Over 30 people $250/day

**2015 Location Fee schedule pending.

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