CUA Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

View frequently asked questions about Commercial Use Authorizations below.

A Commercial Use Authorization is a business permit with the National Park Service which authorizes an individual, group, company or other for profit entity to provide specific visitor services and operate within a National Park area.

The law requires that CUAs:

  • Are accomplished in a manner consistent to the highest practicable degree with the preservation and conservation of park resources and values.

  • Are consistent with the purpose for which the Park was established.

  • Ensure compliance with all applicable management plans, park policies and regulations.

  • Establish conditions for the protection (safety) of visitors and appropriate visitor services.

  • Limit the liability of the United States Government.

  • Require payment of a reasonable fee for issuance of an authorization and recover associated management and administrative costs.

Yes. The National Park Service is in the process of drafting final regulations, at the national level, that cover appropriate operations under the CUA process.

A permit is required if you as an individual, organization or corporation provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients or the public which takes place at least in part of the National Park, uses Park resources and results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit.

A commercial tour or service consists of one or more persons traveling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold for leisure/recreational purposes by an organization that realizes financial gain through the provision of the service.

Yes. Per Public Law 105-391, section 418, the superintendent cannot issue more CUA permits than are consistent with the preservation and proper management of park resources and values. It may be necessary for the superintendent to establish limits on the number of private individuals, institutional use and commercial use. One tool is to limit the number of commercial operators. Other tools may include limiting use of all types by time period, area, number of trips, user days, party size or other parameters.

Yes. In order to help further close the gap in our efforts to build and sustain a solid CUA program moving forward, CUA application fees for the following season, calendar year 2021, will be set at a flat fee of $850. We will stay at that number for the foreseeable future as we work to strengthen our program. The increase was set to begin in 2020 but due to the damage the Coronavirus caused to businesses, the park has decided to postpone the increase for one year.

CUA application instructions and packets may be downloaded from the Park website.

Please read the application instructions and review all necessary supporting documentation before applying for a CUA. Completed application packets must be mailed or emailed to the park. All items listed on the Application Packet Checklist must be included in order to qualify for a CUA.

To retain the CUA, the operator must submit monthly visitation statistics. An annual report is also required. Commercial Operators who do not submit monthly visitation statistics and annual reports may be subject to denial during the following application period.

Yes. Authority to revoke an authorization is provided for via the signed statement on the authorization. Failure on the part of the CUA holder to abide by the provisions of the authorization is citable under 36 CFR Section 1.6(g) and Section 5.3 and may result in denial, suspension, or revocation. For the policy on denial, suspension, and revocation to be sent via email, please email us.

Looking for more information on CUAs? Visit the Commercial Use Authorizations page here.

Last updated: January 12, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034


(305) 242-7700

Contact Us