Commercial Use Authorizations

What is a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA)?

Public Law 105-391, Section 418, which was signed in 1998, provides for the issuance of Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) to a private person, corporation, or other entity to provide suitable commercial services for park area visitors. Commercial activities are generally prohibited in National Parks unless authorized by a CUA or concessions contract.

COVID-19 Operating Information
All commercial operators are independently responsible for understanding and complying with the most current applicable laws, regulations, orders, ordinances and other requirements and for conducting their operations in a manner that is safe and protects the health of employees, customers and the public.

This guidance could change if COVID-19 conditions become less favorable. Operators are responsible for staying up-to-date on the latest guidance.

The following list outlines some (but not all) applicable laws, public health orders, and guidance CUA holders must follow:
•NPS Requirements and Guidance: Public Health Information for the Park Partner Community (U.S. National Park Service)
•CDC Requirements and Guidance: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance

What Activities and Services are Authorized Through a CUA?

National Mall and Memorial Parks currently issues CUAs for the following activities: Pedicab operator, Guided Outdoor Fitness Classes, Water taxi

All CUAs are issued for up to one year. The CUA operating year is from January 1 to December 31. A $200 application fee is required, due with the application.

Apply for a CUA

1. Download the request form HERE. complete, and email to e-mail us

2. If applicable, you will receive an email with an NPS Form 10-550 application at the email address provided

3. Complete the CUA application. A complete application has the following elements:

a. NPS Form 10-550—CUA Application

b. Receipt for application fee payment made at

c. Commercial general liability insurance certificate

4. If your application is missing any components listed above, we will inform you via the email address or phone number listed on the application. Any incomplete applications will be placed on hold until all required documentation is received.

5. Once your application packet has been reviewed and approved, we will send the CUA, NPS Form 10-115, via the email address listed on the application.

6. The CUA holder will then sign and return the CUA form(s) to e-mail us. The CUA is not final until the signed form(s) are received by our office.

7. Complete and submit Annual Report Forms—Due by January 31st following the operating year.

CUA Annual Reporting and Fees

Annual Report Form

The annual report form collects information on number of clients, trips, and revenue earned from the CUA holder’s operations in the park for the operating year (January through December).

• All CUA holders are required to submit an annual report, NPS Form 10-660 by January 31st following the operating year.

• A separate annual report is required for each CUA.

• An annual report is required even if no revenue was earned during the operating year.

Application Fees

All CUA applications require a non-refundable $200 application fee, otherwise the application is considered incomplete.

The $200 application fee is credited toward the CUA holder’s end-of-year management fee, if applicable.

Management Fees

Fee Authorization

The authority for the NPS to recover and retain costs associated with managing CUAs can found at 54 U.S.C. 101925 (PL 105-391 Sec 418(2)(A)).

(2) Elements of commercial use authorization. — The Secretary shall—

(A) require payment of a reasonable fee for issuance of a commercial use authorization, the fees to remain available without further appropriation to be used, at a minimum, to recover associated management and administrative costs;

The above stated law gives the NPS the authority to collect fees for issuing an authorization to provide services to visitors. The NPS bases fee amounts on a determination of what is “reasonable”. Once collected, the NPS uses the fees first to pay for the costs incurred for administrative and management costs associated with that activity. Beyond that, the NPS must look to other sources to determine what constitutes a reasonable fee. National Mall and Memorial Parks collects these management fees on a yearly basis from CUA holders.

Management fees at the National Mall and Memorial Parks are based on a percentage of the gross receipts earned for authorized commercial activities conducted in the park during the operating year.

Beginning January 2023, Management fees will be required for the following CUAs:

• Guided Exercise Classes, Water Taxis

***Management fees will not be required for Pedicab operators at this time.

Management Fees are calculated using the amount reported under Gross Receipts (question 8) on the NPS 10-660 Form.

• “Gross receipts” represents the total amount of all revenues received from services CUA holder is permitted to offer within National Mall and Memorial Parks. Services conducted outside National Mall and Memorial Parks should not be included when calculating gross receipts.

• The percentage of gross receipts for Services will be calculated by:

• Businesses with gross annual receipts of $250,000 or less will pay 3% of their gross receipts.

• Businesses will pay 4% of gross receipts for amounts between $250,001 to $500,000, this is in addition to the 3% for gross receipts under $250,000 listed above.

• Businesses will pay 5% of gross receipts for the amount of gross receipts over $500,000.01; this is in addition to the amounts listed above.

• The $200 application fee is a mandatory, one-time, non-refundable fee submitted when applying for a CUA. The application fee is credited toward the determined management fee due for each activity during the Annual Report submittal process.

A downloadable management fee calculation tool is located at the bottom of this page to help determine management fees due.

To complete the annual report and management fee payment process:

• Please download the annual report form using the link provided at the bottom of this page. Older versions of the report form may not be accepted. This form is in PDF format and can be viewed or printed using Adobe Acrobat and other PDF readers.

• Follow the step-by-step instructions found on page 3 of the NPS 10-660 Form.

• Email completed forms to: e-mail us. Do not make payment for management fees due at this time.

• The annual report will be reviewed and an invoice will be provided via email stating the management fees due with a direct link to make your payment via This email will include a management fee calculation tool which provides a breakdown of how the fees were calculated.

• Management fees are due within 30 days from the date on the invoice. When making payment at, please send a copy of the receipt to e-mail us

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the CUA application process or requirements, please contact the Commercial Services Office at e-mail us

Last updated: February 3, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20242



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