Permits

Special Use Permits are required for special events such as walkathons, runs, meetings, gatherings, distribution of printed material and other public expressions of views (including First Amendment demonstrations), memorializations, and other activities that are otherwise controlled or prohibited. This listing is not complete. These uses of the park require that a permit be applied for at least three weeks in advance. It can take up to two weeks for permit processing.

Please read below for permit details. Once you have filled out the appropriate permit form, send the completed form to. FOMC_PERMITS@NPS.GOV . A $50 non-refundable application fee will be required with each permit application, paid either by credit card or check. Please indicate your method of payment in the email and the Special Park Use Coordinator will contact you. Additional fees may be accessed, to be determined at the discretion of the Permit Office. A list of possible fees can be found HERE.


The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve and protect our
resources as stated in the Organic Act… "The Service…shall provide and regulate
the use of …National Parks.[its] purpose is to conserve the scenery and the
natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the
enjoyment of the same in such a manner and by such means as will leave them
unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."(16U.S.C.1)

It is the policy of Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine to
accommodate requests for special use permits when and where possible, while
adhering to this mandate. Therefore, our primary concern is to assess potential
resource damage and disruption of normal public use prior to authorization of
any special use activity.

Application Process and Cost

Use the Special Use Permit Application Form
10-930
to request permits for the following activities:

First Amendment Activities
Special Events (runs, walks, weddings,
ceremonies)
Public Assembly
Sale/Distribute Printed Material

For the above intended uses of the park, submit the application along with
the non-refundable $50 processing fee (money order or check made
payable to DOI/National Park Service) to the Special Use Permit office. We are
also able to take the application fee by credit card. Please note: the form submitted is an application only
and the fee is an application fee only: the form and/or the fee do not
constitute a permit.
This fee covers the costs associated with
reviewing the application and is charged whether or not the request is
approved.

All events will require Park employees to monitor and provide support. Costs
above normal Park operating costs will be billed to the permittee following the
activity. These could include expenses related to security, parking, crowd
control, cleanup, and coordination with outside agencies. The monitoring fees
will charged at the approximate rate of $50 per hour per ranger.

In addition, applicants shall reimburse the park for use and occupancy of the
National Park Service lands and other resources. Such charges are based on the
fair market value for the use of similar resources and facilities in the
vicinity. Permits issued for special events shall be charged in accordance with
the following range of rates:

Parades, rallies, programs, walks, runs:

51-200 people $200
201-500 people $300
501-750 people $400
750+
people $500

Rates beyond these amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Federal procedures (31 USC7701) require your Social Security Number or Tax
Identification Number on the back of all checks accepted for deposit in the
amount of $50 or more. You must supply one or the other in order for your check
to be accepted and your application to be processed.

The information provided on the application will be used to determine whether
a permit will be issued, so please provide as much detail as possible. You will
be notified of the disposition of the application and the necessary steps to
secure your final permit. If your request is approved, a permit containing
applicable conditions and regulations will be sent to the person you have
designated on the application. The permit must be signed and returned to the
park prior to the event.

The National Park Service is required to recover all costs associated with
special use permits. All administrative costs involving permit application and
processing are nonrefundable and will be charged to the permittee. Any
additional costs will be estimated on the permit and will be posted as they
occur. Since our costs are based on the services we provide, we do not
differentiate between profit and nonprofit projects.

Special Note:

For First Amendment activities, any groups of 25 people or fewer are not
required to obtain a permit for demonstrations or to sell or distribute printed
matter within the park's designated First Amendment Area. Groups larger than 25
people are required to obtain a permit in advance. Any group with a
permit will have priority use of the designated First Amendment Area over any
group without a permit.

The First Amendment Area is defined as the area adjacent to the south side of
the Main Road between the Entrance Gate and the Orpheus Trail. It is in
prominent view of the visiting public.

Weddings and Ceremonies

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine allows weddings to take
place on the recreational grounds of the park. No ceremony is allowed to occur
in the historic zone of the park.

A $50 non-refundable application fee is charged for each Special Use Wedding
Permit. The information provided on the application will be used to determine
whether a permit will be issued, so please provide as much detail as possible.
You will be notified of the disposition of the application and the necessary
steps to secure your final permit. If your request is approved, a permit
containing applicable conditions and regulations will be sent to the person you
have designated on the application. The permit must be signed and returned to
the park prior to the event. Applicants shall reimburse the Park for use and
occupancy of the NPS lands and other resources. Land use fees for weddings and
ceremonies are as follows:

1-25 people $25
26-50 people $50
51-100 people $100

Rates beyond these amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Commercial Filming/Photography

Commercial Film Permits must be obtained when filming is done by other than
bona fide newsreel or news television. Commercial photography permits are
required if photography is to be done of vehicles or other articles of commerce
or models for the purpose of commercial advertising or for resale. It is the
policy of the National Park Service to allow filming and photography when it is
consistent with the protection and public enjoyment of park resources and when
it avoids conflict with the public's normal use and enjoyment of the park.

A permit is required when the filming, videotaping, sound recording, or still
photography involve the use of talent, professional crews, set dressings or
props; when they involve product or service advertisement; or when the activity
could result in damage to park resources or disruption of visitor use. A permit
is also required if the photographer wants to film in areas not open to the
public, or before or after normal visitation hours. Generally, permits are not
issued for filming on weekends or holidays. Normal visitor use patterns should
not be interrupted for longer than five minutes, and only as specified in the
approved permit. Visitors will be allowed to watch filming in public areas.

Media

Breaking News
Breaking news is an event that
cannot be covered at any other time or at any other location. Filming of
breaking news does not involve advertising, sets, props, or models. Coverage of
breaking news does not require a permit, but film crews may not disrupt park
visitors, damage park resources, or compromise public health and safety
regulations.

Other Media
Frequently there are opportunities
for news organizations to focus on park programs, or increase public awareness
of park-specific issues. Filming related to these stories must be coordinated
and planned in advance. A permit will be issued if it is determined that the
park would benefit from the increased public awareness.

Still Photography

Photography of scenery or historic structures has traditionally been part of
a visit to a national park. Photography does not require a permit if it involves
only hand-carried equipment (tripod, interchangeable lenses or flash), and does
not involve professional crews, product or service advertisement, or use of
models, props, or sets.

A still photography permit is required when:

Product or service advertisement is involved
Talent/models, props, crews, or sets are involved
The project has the potential to disrupt other park activities or visitors
More than just hand-carried equipment is used
Project requires access to an area normally closed or restricted to general public use
Access into an area outside of normal public use hours is required
Project carries with it a potential risk to park resources
Activity raises safety concerns that can be mitigated through
issuance of a permit with restrictions or conditions

Filming/Photography Permit Application Procedures

Use the Application for Commercial
Filming/Still Photography Permit 10-931
or Application for Commercial
Filming/Still Photography Permit 10-932
to request permits for the following
activities. Completed applications must be returned to the park with the $50
application fee. Your request will be evaluated on the basis of the information
in your application. If substantial staff resources are expended in the
evaluation of the request, the applicant will be billed for the additional
costs. Therefore, you are encouraged to attach maps, diagrams, script pages,
storyboards, vehicle and equipment lists, crew lists, call sheet, itineraries,
shot lists, etc. with your application to assist park staff in evaluating your
request. In compliance with the requirement of the Debt Collection Improvement
Act of 1996, applicants must submit their social security number or Federal Tax
ID number when filling out the application. Park managers will not sign location
releases supplied by applicants.

Insurance Requirement

Proof of insurance is required and documentation must carry a commercial
liability (minimum of $1 million) issued by a U.S. company. Insurance
certificate must identify the production company by name and business address.
"The United States" will be named as "additional insured" on the insurance
certificate. The Certificate Holder is to be listed as the National Park
Service, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, 2400 East Fort Ave,
Baltimore, MD 21230.

High-risk activities or activities which may have the potential for resource
impact require higher liability amounts. Small, low-risk projects or still
photography may be eligible for a reduction to $500,000. Contact our office for
details. A request for a permit will be
denied if there is no proof of adequate insurance as stated above.

Personal or homeowners liability is not accepted. Certificate should be
generated by the insurance company.

Bond

A refundable damage bond, drawn as a separate payment, may be required for
those projects that have a high potential for resource damage or potential for
site restoration. The bond amount is determined by estimating the cost of
monitoring and site restoration, should you fail to adequately care for complete
cleanup of the site. This amount will be specified in the permit. The permittee
is responsible for removal of equipment, props, trash, and restoration of the
site to original condition, or in a condition satisfactory to the National Park
Service. If this is not done, all or part of the damage bond will be retained to
offset cleanup/recovery expenses. If it is not needed, the bond is released when
the on-site NPS representative affirms that site restoration is complete and all
site use charges have been paid. If a surplus remains after the costs have been
reimbursed, the surplus is returned to the permittee. If the bond does not cover
all the cost, you will be billed for the difference.

Audio and lighting restrictions apply to prevent disruption of visitor
activities and/or disturb visitors. Large reflectors, silks, camera track, jibs,
cranes, generators, large props, crowd scenes, foggers, oversized vehicles are
discouraged and are authorized on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the
location, time of year, time of day, and other mitigating factors.

Cancellations

The film permittee is responsible for all National Park Service costs up to
the time of cancellation. If the cancellation is weather related, we will
attempt to make accommodations. Administrative charges are mandatory and
non-refundable. Cost of overtime and site cleanup are additional and will be
billed as they occur.

Revocation

As noted in permit conditions, non-compliance with any of the permit
conditions could result in revocation of the permit. In addition, the permit
contains other conditions or factors relating to revocation:

Visitation levels
Non-permitted stunts, use of vehicles, special effects
or equipment use
Unauthorized access of park facilities, structures, and
resources
False information (deliberately making false and/or misleading
statements in order to obtain a permit

Monitoring

For filming activities which are perceived to interfere with visitor use,
further congest highly visited areas, or have the potential to impact park
resources without proper supervision and care, at least one employee of the
National Park Service will be assigned to the film crew. Degree of monitoring is
based on crew size, equipment, props, scope of project, location, time of day,
and time of year.

Supervision may be on-site and continual, a representative may spot check the
filming to assure compliance, or the Superintendent may bring in other employees
to assist in those instances when the scope of the project exceeds the park's
ability to properly manage the activity.

Costs

The National Park Service is required to recover all costs associated with
permits for filming and photography. All administrative costs involving permit
application and processing are nonrefundable and will be charged to permittee.
The park may require that charges be paid before work can begin on NPS property.
Any additional costs will be posted as they occur.

Permit Application Fee - $50 payable by check, money order, or credit card
Hourly Monitoring Fee - $50 per monitor for one-hour minimum

Location Fee - Congress has authorized the National Park Service to charge
location fees for the use of park lands and facilities for filming and
photography purposes. Site use charges will be estimated based on the
information you provide on your application.

Motion Pictures and Videos

1-2 people with camera/tripod only No charge
1-10 people $150 day
11-30 people $250 day
31-49 people $500 day
Over 50 people $750 day

Still Photography
1-10 people $50 day
11-30 $150 day
Over 30 people $250 day

Since our costs are based on the services we provide, we do not differentiate
between profit and nonprofit documentary projects. By law, the National Park
Service may not waive recovery of costs for projects that are produced to
promote an industry, influence Congressional initiatives, or influence the
outcomes of elections.

Student Projects

Film or video projects that are being produced as a requirement for an
accredited course can be issued a student filming or video permit. The student
must provide:

Name of educational organization and Tax exempt Number
Course name and number
Instructor's name

Because many park sites have scheduled other activities on weekends, the
student should plan in advance and have alternate dates in mind when applying
for a student film permit. NPS has designed the student permit to minimize the
costs by eliminating many of the activities that generate the need for intense
monitoring.

Student projects may not involve:

Access to interiors of structures not available to the public
Night filming
Set construction
Oversized vehicles or equipment
Pyrotechnics, firearms, or weapons (real or fake), or stunts
Generators/artificial lighting
Foggers
Playback or sound exceeding 70 decibels
Animals

You may contact the Special Use Permits Office by e-mail: Special Use Permits

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230

Phone:

(410) 962-4290 x250

Contact Us