Special Park Uses
A special park use is defined as a short-term activity that takes place in a park area, and that:
Commercial Filming & Still Photography
Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land
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.
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.
When is a permit needed?
Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only when:
If none of these conditions exist, a permit is not required. We request that photographers contact the park anyway so that we are aware of their activities and can provide them with the appropriate park information. Photography that poses a visitor use conflict will be considered for permitting outside of regular park visitation hours only.
How to Apply for a Permit
Permit applications are linked below or you can obtain them through the permit office by calling (843) 883-3123 x225 or sending an e-mail. You should submit a completed application along with the application fee as far in advance of your planned date as possible. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the submitted application in a timely manner.
Organized groups such as schools, scouts, churches, etc. should call ahead and make a reservation. E-mail or call (843) 881-5516 for more information.
Last updated: February 10, 2021