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.
Following the recent court decision, the National Park Service will not be implementing or enforcing the commercial filming portions of 43 CFR Part 5 until further notice, including accepting applications, issuing permits, enforcing the terms and conditions of permits, issuing citations related to permits, or collecting cost recovery and location fees for commercial filming activities.
As regulations regarding commercial filming permits are being reassessed, those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.
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.
Permit applications are linked below or you can obtain them through the permit office by calling (843) 494-2454 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.
Reservations for families and other small groups are generally not required for Fort Sumter. Tickets are sold first come, first served each day at the departure locations. During extremely busy periods, such as holidays and the summer season, tickets can sell out at any time.
All large groups and school groups of any size should make reservations. Please contact Fort Sumter Tours.
Group reservations are required to visit Fort Moultrie. Groups of more than 110 people, or more than two buses, cannot be accommodated. Some large groups may have to be split-up between park locations to ensure building and structure capacities are not exceeded.
Last updated: March 29, 2022