Permits and Commercial Use Authorizations

Special Use Permits

National parks are great places to celebrate historic events and family milestones. The types of activities that take place in national parks are diverse, such as sporting events, pageants, celebrations, public spectator attractions, entertainment, ceremonies, historical reenactments, fairs, festivals, family reunions, and picnics.

Depending on the size and complexity of the planned event, the park may require you obtain a special use permit (SUP). If issued, the permit will include terms and conditions that protect park resources while allowing you to enjoy the park without interfering with other park visitors.
A band playing in the star fort parade ground for Armistice Day.

Special Use Permit Defined

More information on what is a special use permit and what the National Park Service permits.

A band and a group of visitors holding a big 15 star 15 stripe flag in the star fort parade ground.

Special Use Permit FAQs

Here is a link to a few answers for typical Special Use Permit questions.

Five members of the Navy Tattoo facing the flag pole in the star fort.

Special Event Permit Activities

If you want more details on the events allowed at the park and the event restrictions, click here.


Commercial Filming & Still Photography

Lands of the United States were set aside by Congress, Executive Order, or otherwise acquired in order to conserve and protect areas of untold beauty and grandeur, historical importance, and uniqueness for future generations. The tradition of capturing images of these special places started with explorers who traveled with paint and canvas or primitive photo apparatus. It was the sharing of these images that led to the designation of these areas as national parks and monuments. Visitors to national parks today continue to memorialize their visits through videos and photographs.
Civil War living history band playing in the star fort outer battery.

Commercial Filming

Here is a link to information and answers to typical questions regarding commercial filming.

A visitor taking a picture of women in Civil War era living history clothes.

Still Photography

Here is a link to answers to typical questions regarding still photography.


How to Apply for a Special Use Permit

The garrison (30x42) flag with 4 planes flying by because of Fleet Week.

How to Apply for a Special Use Permit

All the information and documents you need to apply for a permit at Fort McHenry.


Commercial Use Authorization

If you are a commercial tour business that is planning multiple visits to Fort McHenry, or have already had your first visit to the site, then a commerical use authorization is required.
The garrison (30x42) flag being raised by a park ranger in the star fort.

Commercial Use Authorization

Link to all the information regarding Commercial Use Authorizations at Fort McHenry.

Last updated: February 9, 2022

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