A permit is required for the following activities:
Special Use Permits
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Hōnaunau, HI 96726
Filming & Photography Permits
Effective October 28, 2022 and following a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on October 21, 2022, the National Park Service (NPS) functionally reinstated previous laws and regulations related to commercial filming in national parks. The NPS has rescinded the interim guidance that was in place during litigation and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks.
This means that all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park System requires a permit. "Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Individual parks may require a permit for non-commercial filming if a permit is necessary to manage the activity to protect park resources and values, minimize conflict between user groups, or to ensure public safety. More details about filming and permits in parks are available online: Filming & Still Photography Permits (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
Questions & Answers
When do you need a permit to film in parks?
Under federal law, all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park System requires a permit. 423 units make up the National Park System, and includes National Parks, National Monuments, National Preserves, National Battlefield Parks, and more. A full list of parks in the National Park System is available online: National Park System (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
If you believe that your filming or photography activity may require a permit, you should submit a completed application to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date as possible.
What is commercial filming?
"Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commercial filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props.
Do I need a permit for still photography?
In most cases, still photography does not require a permit. A permit is required for still photography only when:
*A “model” means a person or object that serves as the subject for still photography for the purpose of promoting the sale or use of a product or service. Models include, but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects, such as vehicles, boats, articles of clothing, and food and beverage products. Portrait subjects, such as wedding parties and high school graduates, are not considered models.
If I’m a social media influencer, do I need a permit?
Federal law requires a permit for all commercial filming, no matter the size of the crew or the type of equipment. This includes individuals or small groups that don’t use much equipment, but generate revenue by posting footage on websites, such as YouTube and TikTok. The primary focus of the NPS, however, is on commercial filming that has the potential to impact park resources and visitors beyond what occurs from normal visitor use of park areas. Examples of this type of filming are productions that use substantial equipment such as sets and lighting, productions with crews that exceed 5 people, and filming in closed areas, wilderness areas, or in locations that would create conflicts with other visitors or harm sensitive resources.
All filmers, no matter the size, must comply with all rules that apply in park areas, just like other visitors.
How do I apply for a permit?
Permit applications are available through each park's administrative office or website. Contact information for parks can be found on their websites; Find a park where you would like to film or take photographs. If you believe that your filming or photography activity may require a permit, you should submit a completed application to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date as possible.
Some parks may require that you provide advance notice a certain amount of days before filming or photography begins. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the submitted application in a timely manner.
How much does a filming permit cost?
Federal law requires the NPS to recover its administrative costs for commercial filming and still photography activities that require a permit. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the NPS in processing your request and monitoring the permitted activities. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of the permitted activities. The application fee must be submitted with your application.
In addition, Federal law also requires the NPS to collect a location fee that provides a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands for commercial filming and for still photography requires a permit. The NPS uses the following fee schedules for filming and photography:
Permits issued for non-commercial filming may be subject to cost recovery charges, including an application fee, but a separate location fee will not be charged.
I received a filming permit before October 28, but I have not started filming yet. Are the terms of my permit going to change?
No. You may film consistent with the terms of the permit that has already issued.
The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:
The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:
If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.
The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.The following are prohibited:
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Hōnaunau, HI 96726
Commercial Use Authorization
To operate a business, profit or non-profit, in Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park requires a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). All commercial tours that enter the park on a regular basis must have a CUA and are required to pay the commercial tour fee at the entrance station at each visit. The CUA is for commercial services that originate and terminate outside of the boundaries of the park. Activities such as advertising, soliciting, collecting fees or selling goods or services within the park boundaries are strictly prohibited.
To be considered for a CUA you must complete the Commercial Use Authorization Application (PDF 180 KB) in its entirety and submit the completed application with payment to the park.
PH: (808) 329-6881 x 1400
If you have any questions, please call the number above or email us. We look forward to working with you and seeing you in the park.
As of October 21, 2020 - With the State of Hawaiʻi allowance of trans-pacific travel, the park will allow resumption of all road and non-road based tours on November 1, 2020 providing the following requirements are met by each tour operator:
Applications and Renewals for 2022 will be accepted through January 31, 2022.
Renewing CUAs will be given a grace period until January 31, 2022 to submit their applications because renewal documents were not available sooner.
New applicants must wait for their applications to be processed before doing business in the parks.
First Amendment Area
Last updated: May 25, 2023