What is a CUA?
A commercial use authorization (CUA) allows an individual, group, company, or other for-profit entity to conduct commercial activities and provide specific visitor services within a national park unit. The National Park Service (NPS) issues CUAs to manage a wide-range of commercial visitor services in addition to road-based commercial tours.
Federal law mandates the NPS issue CUAs only for commercial activities and visitor services that:
- are determined to be an appropriate use of the park,
- will have minimal impact on park resources and values, and
- are consistent with the park purpose, management plans, policies, and regulations.
Why does NPS require CUAs?
The requirement is in 36 CFR 5.3 - It is illegal to conduct business in a park area without a permit, contract, or other written agreement. Additionally, Public Law 105-391 Section 418, passed in 1998, provides NPS the authority to issue CUAs to allow business operations and requires NPS to collect a reasonable fee for CUA administration and management.
Do I need a CUA?
You may not conduct commercial activities in a park unit without a valid CUA!
A CUA is required if you provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:
- take place at least in part on lands managed by the National Park Service,
- use park resources, and
- result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.
At the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic sites, this commonly covers:
- Tour operators
- Any other service a commercial entity wishes to perform in the park (this requires prior park approval).
How do I get a CUA?
CUA Application, ROVA 2019-2020
CUA Application Fee
- The CUA Application Fee is required for all entities applying for a Commercial Use Authorization. The annual application fee will be $300 and is non-refundable.
- One hundred percent of collected CUA application fees stay within the collecting park and are used to recover the administrative costs of receiving, reviewing, and processing CUA applications and required reports.
- The NPS will adjust this application fee periodically to account for increased costs including inflation.
- The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, The FDR Presidential Library & Museum, Vanderbilt Mansion NHS and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site are included under one CUA.
A Per Person Entrance Fee
- The Entrance Fee for Road-Based Tours will be a Per-Person Fee of $10.00 per site, Park Specific or Interagency Passes will not apply.
- The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, $10 per person
- The FDR Presidential Library & Museum, $10 per person
- Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, $10 per person
- Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Free admission
- While guided tours are the preferred method of entry, there are times when we may offer walk through admission in place of a tour. $10 fee paid is for entrance and does not guarantee a guided tour.
- Individual sites are subject to extended closure, change in operations, weather delays, etc. For current up to date information, please call 845-229-5320 or 845-486-1983
CUA Management Fee
- The CUA Management Fee will be $5.00, subtracted from the $10.00 per person fee, used to recover costs associated with road-based commercial tour management and monitoring.
Learn more about the National Park Service CUA Program
Submitting CUA Documents
Submit completed documents to:
c/o Melissa Shaffer
4097 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
If you need additional help or have any questions, please contact us by email.
Important Things to Know:
- Businesses must apply for a new CUA each year. Applications must be approved before access to reservation system is granted.
- Twenty-one (21) days of advance notice are required for processing CUA applications.
- The first CUA is valid October 2019 – December 2020. After this period, CUAs are issued for one calendar year; CUAs expire on December 31st of each year.
- Checks are written to the "National Park Service" and mailed to CUA Program Coordinator at address above.
- Annual reporting requirements must be submitted by December 31st of each year. Failure to return this form by the due date will result in non-renewal of the CUA. To view or download a form visit: Annual Report.
- A Certificate of Commercial Liability Insurance is required if you own the bus. See Insurance Requirements information in the CUA application.