Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) General Information

Please note that the National Park Service has issued COVID-19-related safety guidance for CUA holders. For more information about this guidance please Click Here to View COVID-19 Transportation Guidance.

What is a Commercial Use Authorization?

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the National Park Service. It authorizes you to conduct commercial activities and to provide specific visitor services within a national park. We will only issue CUAs for activities that:

You must have a CUA if you or your organization provide services that:

  • take place at least in part in the national park area,

  • use park resources, and

  • result in monetary gain.

PL 105-391, Section 418 and 36 CFR 5.3 require NPS to issue and charge a reasonable fee for CUAs. You may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA.

How do I apply for a CUA?

  • Download and complete the appropriate application (see below).
  • E-mail your completed, signed application and a legible copy of your certificate of insurance to goga_business@nps.gov.
  • Please note that all CUA holders must carry appropriate liability insurance and provide the NPS with proof of that insurance. You also may be required to hold other types of liability insurance depending on the type of CUA you have (e.g., commercial automobile insurance). Refer to the CUA Insurance Guidance for more information regarding these additional requirements and refer to the application materials for the specific type of CUA for which you are applying for more information.
  • CUA holders cannot require visitors to sign a waiver of liability statement, insurance disclaimer, or indemnification agreement. If you provide high-risk services, you may advise visitors of risks associated with the activity through the use of a visitor acknowledgement of risk form (VAR). If you wish to modify the VAR you may not include "waiver of liability" language and must have park approval before using the modified form.
  • Once your application and insurance have been received, instructions for paying all applicable fees at pay.gov will be forwarded via email. Please allow seven business days to process your application once all application materials and fees have been processed.

What Services are Currently Authorized?

Commercial Carriers

Defined as any type of motor vehicle used for commercial transportation service in which visitors are conveyed into and/or out of any GGNRA area for a direct or indirect fee and, except for on-board interpretative services, no other services are provided. This definition includes sedans, SUVs, minivans, vans, mini-buses, motor coaches and limousines used for commercial transportation services.

A company is required to obtain a CUA if it offers commercial transportation services within GGNRA, regardless of visit frequency. CUA applications are received on a rolling-basis and 2021-2022 CUAs will expire on June 30th, 2022. CUAs are not required for vehicles supporting school or nonprofit programs, MUNI or other public transportation vehicles, delivery, vendor or contractor vehicles, and taxis.

GGNRA appreciates the role of commercial transportation services in bringing visitors to the park, and operators are expected to learn and understand the associated rules, regulations, and policies.

Fees:
Annual Application Fee: $300

Click Here to Download the 2021-2022 Commercial Carrier CUA Application

GGNRA Management Fees: Paid semiannually based on commercial carrier visitor volume

Click Here to Download the Current GGNRA Management Fee Schedule

Muir Woods National Monument Parking Reservation Fee: Paid per visit based on vehicle size

 

Guided Services

Defined as any type of guided commercial activity provided to GGNRA area visitors for a direct or indirect fee or charge. This definition includes but is not limited to hiking, biking, kayaking, or horseback riding instruction, education and motivational exercises for groups of all sizes, including individual coaching.

You are required to obtain a CUA if your company offers guided commercial activities within GGNRA more than four times per year. Applications are received on a rolling-basis; however, all permits expire on November 15th.

Fees:
Annual Application Fee: $500
Guide Identification Fee: $75 per guide ID issued

Click Here to Download the 2021-2022 Guided Services CUA Application

 

Outdoor Fitness Operators

Defined as any type of commercial guided exercise activity provided to GGNRA visitors for a direct or indirect fee or charge.This definition includes but is not limited to fitness instruction, education and motivational exercises for groups up to 30 people, including individual coaching.

You are required to obtain a CUA if your company offers outdoor fitness programs within GGNRA more than one time per week or more than four times per month. Applications are received on a rolling-basis; however, all permits expire on August 15th.

Fees:
Annual Application Fee: $500

Click here to download the 2021-2022 Outdoor Fitness CUA Application

 

Catered Picnic Services

Defined as any type of temporary, food service picnicking activity provided to GGNRA visitors for a direct or indirect fee or charge. This definition is specifically restricted to temporary picnics and specifically excludes all food service carts, vehicles, kiosks or similar services and any picnic service that provides on-site cooking. A maximum of 25 participants will be permitted per picnic. Each picnic is limited to three hours in length between sunrise and sunset in designated areas only. No more than one picnic is permitted at a time per provider per park site.

All catered picnic service providers are required to have a CUA to operate within GGNRA regardless of frequency of use. Applications are received on a rolling basis; however, all permits expire on the last day of February.

Fees:
Annual Application Fee: $500
Guide Identification Fee: $75 per guide ID issued

Click here to download the 2022-2023 Catered Picnic Services CUA Application

 

Contact Information

The Business Management Division office is located on the San Francisco Bay in Fort Mason at the intersection of Bay and Franklin. Our office is located in building 201 (GGNRA headquarters) and is generally accessible to persons with disabilities. However, all CUA applications should be submitted via email to goga_business@nps.gov. If you are unable to download an application, we are happy to send you one via email or postal mail.

For all other inquiries please e-mail us or call (415) 561-4948

Thank you for your interest in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a unit of your National Park Service.

Last updated: February 23, 2022

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Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco , CA 94123-0022

Phone:

415 561-4700

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