Filming & photography permits
Washington State Parks offers more than 100 beautiful parks with a variety of natural settings, architectural structures, and historic sites, including seven military forts.
Permits are required for commercial filming, professional still photography and educational filming/photography. For adequate processing time, permit applications must be submitted at least 60 days in advance of the proposed activity to allow for staff review, agency coordination and to comply with SEPA review requirements. This 60-day application filing requirement may be waived in extenuating circumstances.
Commercial filming & professional photography
Commercial purpose definition: When an individual or organization wants to film and/or take still photography in a state park with the intent to sell or otherwise use the products for an economic gain (includes catalog or other advertising still photography).
The application fee is $100, see the fee schedule (PDF).
For still photography activities that include no more than two paid staff, the application fee entitles the applicant to an annual permit from the date of issue for the park specified in the application. This excludes photography with the intent of advertising a product.
A bond or insurance binder is required for all activities.
Additional fees may be assessed for activities that have the potential for affect the park, public and environment based on agency staff review. See attached fee schedule (PDF).
To apply for a filming or professional photography permit, complete the Film Permit Application (PDF) and submit it to the appropriate park. Detailed process information is available in the film permit instructions (PDF).
Educational filming & photography
Washington State Parks encourages the use of parks for film and photo students. Education purpose definition: When an individual or organization wants to film and/or take still photography in a state park as part of a formal education requirement for which they are receiving credit from an accredited educational establishment and has no intent to sell or otherwise use the products for economic gain.
Qualified education endeavors do not require an application fee. A bond or insurance binder is required for all activities; qualified school insurance is acceptable. Additional fees or restrictions on activities in lieu of fees may be assessed for activities that have the potential to affect the park, public or environment based on agency staff review.
Use of drones
Drones are considered remote-controlled aircraft. Use of drones in state parks, whether for filming or other use, may be allowed in some state parks only by permission of the agency director. Regulations about the use of remote-controlled aircraft state parks are spelled out in WAC 352-32-130 (4) and (5).
To apply for permits, send a completed application, payment and insurance binder to the park where the activities will occur using the contact list (PDF).
For additional filming opportunities within Washington, please visit the Washington Film Works website.
For more information regarding state permitting requirements, contact the Governor's Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA).