Permits FAQs

How long will it take for the permit to be processed?

The amount of time needed to process each permit can range from a few days to a few weeks. Please be as detailed as possible on the permit application to speed the process along. Some events will require logistical planning meetings before the permit can be approved. In these cases, our office will contact the applicant to set up the meeting(s).

Are there any location fees associated with filming or photography permits?

All commercial filming permits and still photography permits are statutorily subject to cost recovery and a location fee. No waivers are allowed. The location fee is calculated per day and must be based on the following schedule and is determined by the type of activity (commercial filming versus still photography) and the number of people on park lands associated with the permitted activity. There is no deviation from this schedule:

Commercial Filming/Videos

2-10 people $150/day
11-30 people $250/day
31-49 people $500/day
50 people or more $750/day

Still Photography

1-10 people $50/day
11-30 people $150/day
30 people or more $250/day
Are there restrictions for filming or photography?


B-roll footage MAY be permitted if the project is directly related to the purpose of the Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial: Filming/photography is prohibited above the white marble steps and the interior chamber of the Lincoln Memorial.

Jefferson Memorial: Filming/photography is prohibited within the columns and the interior chamber of the Jefferson Memorial.

Washington Monument: Filming/photography is prohibited within the circle of flags surrounding the base of the Washington Monument.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Equipment set-up of any kind is prohibited at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial including, but not limited to, microphones, speakers, lights and musical instruments.

Three Servicemen Statue: The Three Servicemen Statue, located adjacent to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is a copyrighted piece and, therefore, may NOT be filmed or photographed for commercial purposes without express permission from the artist.

Vietnam Women's Memorial: The Vietnam Women's Memorial may NOT be filmed or photographed for commercial purposes.

Korean War Memorial: Due to copyright restrictions, filming within the Korean War Memorial must be done with a handheld camera. Equipment set-up of any kind is prohibited. Any footage must credit the artist, _______________.

FDR Memorial: Due to copyright restrictions, commercial filming/photography is prohibited within the FDR Memorial.
Where can I hold my wedding?

There are three (3) permitted locations for wedding ceremonies within the National Mall and Memorial Parks:
• Jefferson Memorial, West Lawn: Two (2) hour limit
• George Mason Memorial: One (1) hour limit, No set-up is permitted
• DC War Memorial Two (2) hour limit
How do I get a permit for a picnic?

National Mall: There are NO permitted picnicking areas on the National Mall.
The Hains Point (East Potomac Park) Picnic Areas can be reserved at
Hains Point (East Potomac Park): There are four (4) reservable picnicking areas within Hains Point. These areas are permitted from January 1- December 31 from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm, daily, except Labor Day through Memorial Day, to allow for footraces. During this time period the picnics will start at 9:30 am.

The following restrictions apply to the picnicking areas of Hains Point:
• The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
• Parking or driving on the grass is not permitted. Violators will be cited. Illegally parked vehicles may be towed away and impounded at the owner's expense.
• No live bands, disc jockeys, etc. are permitted. The volume of amplification or programs must be adjusted to ensure the sound is not carried beyond the confines of the reserved area.
• Raffles and gambling are prohibited on park property.
• Picnic tables may not be moved from adjacent areas as they are for use by the general public.
• All Balloons are banned on park lands.
• Grills are NOT provided by the Park Service. Only charcoal grills may be used in the picnicking areas. There are special receptacles for used charcoals and ashes along the service road.
Reservations for three (3) National Park Service locations:
• Rock Creek Park: Picnic areas (that require reservations)
• Fort Dupont Park: Picnic areas 47, 47-A, and Lanham Estates
• Volleyball Courts: Near the Lincoln Memorial (Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, NW)
For more information about these reserved areas go to
Can I sell anything on park land?

Only the following may be sold on Park Service property (Permit Required):
• Books
• Newspapers
• Leaflets
• Pamphlets
• Buttons
• Bumper Stickers
No exceptions are made for T-shirts, posters, patches, jewelry, hats, license plates, coffee and drink mugs, flags, records, compact disks and tapes, photographs, decals, etc.
Where can we hold a band performance?

Most band performances take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Steps, the plaza of the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial Ceremonial Entrance Area, the D.C. War Memorial or the Ceremonial Entrance Plaza of the World War II Memorial.

All amplified sound must be directed AWAY from the Memorials.
What is the difference between a Public Gathering and a Special Use Permit?

Public Gathering Permits include Special Events and Demonstrations

Special Event: Any presentation, program, or display which is not a demonstration, but
which is recreational, entertaining, or celebratory in nature, etc.
Demonstration: Speeches, picketing, vigils, etc., and all similar activity designed to
communicate a message of some kind.

Special Use: Any sport activities (except tournaments and organized runs/walks), wedding
ceremonies and picnics at Hains Point.

Last updated: April 3, 2017

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Washington, DC 20024


(202) 426-6841

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