Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) 2024

This is the renewal information shared by Paul Campbell of Independence National Historical Park (INHP) with current CUA holders. APT has tried numerous times – unsuccessfully – to reach directly anyone dealing with CUAs in order to offer the most updated information for our members. This is the best we could do – hopefully it will suffice for your needs!

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Thank you for your interest in renewing your Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). Our website has been updated to reflect any changes for 2024: Commercial Use Authorizations – Independence National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

I am emailing you the most up-to-date forms for your use. Our current CUAs will be good from January 1 through December 31st, 2024. We recognize that this may come as a surprise since we allowed a CUA to cover two years since 2020. However, this was a relief measure due to lost revenue you may have suffered from the covid pandemic.   

There are four items that we need in order to complete the CUA application process and send you a CUA draft:  They are: CUA application form, CUA Annual Report form, proof of liability insurance in the amount of a minimum of $500,000 per incident (with ‘United States of America’ as a Certificate Holder), and $300.00 for the processing fee. You may submit the payment by check or credit card. If you are paying by check, please make it out to ‘National Park Service.’ If you are paying by credit card, please attach a note to your application stating you would like to do so, and we will bill you through our electronic payment system.  

Please mail these four items to: 
Special Use Office 
Independence National Historical Park 
143 South Third Street 
Philadelphia, PA 19106 

(If you prefer, you may send the completed forms as email attachments to  and . If you do so and still wish to pay by check, you may mail the check separately to the Special Use Office. Be sure to write your company name on the memo line.)

When your forms and check (or note stating you wish to pay by credit card) are received, we will email to you a CUA draft with ID badge for your signature. After you sign and return it, we will forward it to the Park Superintendent for approval.  We will then email you a digital copy of the approved CUA for you to print the color coded, signed badges and distribute to your guides working in the Park.  

Applications to obtain or renew your CUA for the 2024 season with no lapse in authorization should be received by January 8, 2024. (You may continue using 2022-23 CUA badges until February 28, 2024 to allow time for processing a 2024 CUA.) 

Also, please be advised that we will no longer be waiving or otherwise disregarding monitoring fees. The annual monitoring charge must be calculated as follows: 3% of first $250,000 of total Gross Receipts earned that is a result from visiting the Park (as per your Annual Report for previous year), plus 4% of next $250,000 up to $500,000, plus 5% of any amount over $500,000 – to be billed in July of each year, beginning in 2024.  ($300.00 application fee will be deducted from the total amount due.) This method of calculating monitoring fees conforms with the National Park Service standard. More information can be found by visiting the following website: CUA Fees – Commercial Use Authorizations (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) 

Of general interest, 2024 should be the final season you will be mailing or emailing renewal materials directly to the Special Park Use Office. The National Park Service is switching to an online renewal system that is scheduled to be up and running for all National Parks for the 2025 season. Currently, there are over fifty National Parks processing applications this way. 

If you have any questions, please let us know. 
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Bottom line:
* Fee is now $300/year (NOT $300 per 2 years as it was before).
* There are no longer payment tiers for the annual monitoring fee based on how many guests guides bring into the Park. (Formerly bringing up to 300 guests to the Park incurred a $0 annual monitoring fee. Bringing in 301-5000 guests incurred a $1000 annual monitoring fee. Few if any of our 1-person tour company guides were in that tier. )
* Now the payment is based on a percentage of gross receipts earned as a result of doing business authorized by the CUA – the percentage of gross receipts earned while leading tours on INHP property. If the gross receipts are less than $250,000, then the fee to pay is 3% of that, minus the application fee of $300.
This table APT created in 2022 demonstrated that of the data we had from 1-person tour companies, our guide had around 300 guests or $10,000 in gross before needing to pay in this system. So it looks like not much will change for our guides, except that if a guide has, say, 400 guests, the fee to pay will be more reasonable than $1000.

Keep in mind that only tours the tour guide is booking directly, using his or her own CUA, need to be counted in these totals. If a guide is contracted to do school tours, for example, for larger companies that provide CUAs to the guide, the money earned from those tours does not get counted in these gross receipt totals.

As far as APT knows, INHP is still accepting the insurance offered by NFTGA for its CUA insurance requirement. Guides are advised to research insurance options carefully as the least expensive option is not necessarily the best one. Contact with further questions.