Film Permit

Commercial Filming/Still Photography Permits

Commercial Filming/Still Photography Permit Application

Application for Special Use Permit Vehicle/Watercraft Use

Credit Card Payment- Application Fee and Cost Recovery
Credit Card Payment - Location Fee

Commercial filming is defined as a digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement or similar project.

Non-commercial filming includes student films or videos filmed at Lake Mead National Recreation Area by another government agency or park partner, not intended for commercial use.

Video shot by news agencies for breaking news or traditional visitor use do not generally require a permit. However, advanced approval is required by the Office of Communications by calling 702-293-8691.

Still photography activities require a permit only when:

  • The activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed;
  • The activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  • The park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity;
  • The park needs to provide management and oversight to:
    • Avoid impairment or incompatible use of the resources and values of the park, or
    • Limit resource damage, or
    • Minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public.

All commercial filming and still photography permits are subject to cost recovery and a location fee per 54 USC §103104 and 54 USC § 100905 and proof of liability insurance naming the United States of America as also insured. The location fee is calculated per day and must be based on the following schedule and is determined by the type of activity and the number of people on park lands associated with the permitted activity. There is no deviation from the schedule.

Cost of recovery (54 U.S.C. § 100905). The NPS shall recover from the permittee all agency costs incurred in processing the application and monitoring the permitted activity if the request is approved. Applicants shall be responsible for reimbursing the park for all costs incurred by the park in processing the application (even if the application is denied) and monitoring the permitted activity and subsequent site restoration if necessary.

Follow the directions found in the application form then mail the completed form to the park headquarters address. Forms will be accepted via U.S. mail or email once confirmation of payment is received.

You must allow no less than 10 business days, excluding weekends and holidays (no exception), for the park to process your request.

All permit applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable permit application fee. This fee is non-refundable even if your application is denied, so please contact the office prior to sending in paperwork.

The permit office accepts payment by credit card only and cannot accept personal or business checks. Please contact the permit office before making payment on Pay.Gov.

Submitting an application with the fee does not guarantee your activity or the date requested will be approved. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance. We will let you know within 4 business days that we have received your application, but approval or denial of your activity can range from days to weeks.

Some activities are required to go through full environmental or historic compliance review.

Additional administrative costs, cost recovery or facilities use cost may also be charged.

Commercial and Non-Commercial Filming Application and Permit Fees

Application Fee Permit Cost Total Cost
Commercial $200 $200 + Cost Recovery* $400**
Feature Film $500 $500 + Cost Recovery* $1,000**
Travel Log $150 $150+ Cost Recovery* $300**
Non-commercial Student Film $75 $0 + Cost Recovery*** $75**
Non-commercial Government Agency/Partners $0 $0 + Cost Recovery*** $0**

*Plus applicable Location Fee **Does not include cost recovery charges ***If applicable

Commercial Filming Location Fees

(not required for non-commercial filming permits)

1-2 people, camera & tripod only $0/day
1-10 people $150/day
11-30 people $250/day
31-49 people $500/day
More than 50 people $750/day

Still Photography Application and Permit Fees

Application Fee Permit Cost Total Cost
1-4 people $150 $0 + Cost Recovery* $150**
More than 4 people $150 $150 + Cost Recovery* $300**

*Plus applicable Location Fee **Does not include cost recovery charges

Still Photography Location Fees

1-10 people $50/day
11-30 people $150/day
More than 30 people $250/day

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm on a deadline and I need to come and film in the park next week, what do I need to do to expedite my permit application? We do not expedite applications as we process all applications in the order we receive them. Film and photography permit applications must be submitted no later than two-weeks in advance of your proposed shoot date.

Why do I need liability insurance? It is important to remember that a permit is a legally binding document between the permitted applicant and the United States of America. Because of this, liability insurance is required with all special park use permits.

2019 Blackout Dates

Each year, the National Park Service offers fee-free days to provide opportunities for the public to participate in service projects, enjoy ranger-led programs or to spend time with family and friends exploring these diverse and special places. Film permits will not be issued during these days.

The 2019 entrance fee-free days are:

  • January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 20: First Day of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 28: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

Additional Blackout Dates:

  • May 24 - May 27: Memorial Day Holiday Weekend
  • July 3 - July 7: July 4th Holiday
  • August 30 - September 3: Labor Day Holiday Weekend


If you are unsure if your event will need a commercial film/photography permit, please contact the Park Use Coordinator:

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Special Park Use Office
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
(702) 293-8931

Last updated: August 8, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005


(702) 293-8990

Contact Us