PennDOT’s Special Events Permitting Guidance

Special Event Permit – Processions, Assemblages, Special Activities, and Film Shoots

PennDOT regulations establish the minimum criteria for processions, assemblages and special activities (also known as Special Events) for local roadways and State highways. The regulations can be found at 67 Pa. Code §212.701 and are also made part of PennDOT Publication 212 (Official Traffic Control Devices). Special event permits are used to authorize temporary road closures and other event-related uses of PennDOT’s right-of-way. PennDOT does not permit or sanction the event itself, only the occupancy.

Section 212.701 provides for the issuance of permits, and §212.701(b) identifies the information required from the event sponsors. Although not defined in the regulation, PennDOT also uses this process to permit film shoot activities on state highways.

Process and Key Requirements:

  • Applications must be submitted by a municipality or private sponsor using PennDOT’s Special Event Permit Application (Form TE-300).
  • All requests must be received by PennDOT a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the date of an event.
  • A requirements checklist is provided on page 4 of 7 of the application. In addition to the application, other key requirements include the following:
    • A certificate of insurance in the name of the permit applicant showing: (a) public liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage in the minimum amount of two hundred fifty thousand ($250,000.00) per person and one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence to cover any loss that might occur as a result of the permitted use of the state highways or that might otherwise arise out of or be connected with the event; (b) occurrence-based coverage; and (c) the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania named as an additional insured.
    • A copy of the letter sent from the permit applicant to each municipality in which the event is to occur, requesting permission to allow the event. Not necessary if the municipality is the applicant and event is within its boundary.
    • A copy of a letter from each municipality (other than the municipality if they are the applicant) in which the event is to occur indicating the following:
      • Approval of the municipality allowing the sponsor to conduct the event.
      • A statement that the municipality will agree to fully indemnify, save harmless and, if requested, defend the Commonwealth, Commonwealth departments and their officers, agents and employees from and against claims, suits or actions for injury, death or property damage arising from or because of the acts or omissions of the sponsor, its officers, agents or employees.

Updates due to COVID-19 pandemic

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the following condition statement must be included in each application:
    • The event will comply with all current and applicable Pennsylvania Orders regarding COVID-19 and all applicable COVID-19 safety mitigation guidance including, but not limited to, guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
  • As per orders of the Governor and the Secretary of Health effective October 9, 2020, there are revised outdoor event size limits that apply to Special Event Permits. The orders establish maximum occupancy as 67 people per 1000 square feet for outdoor events or gatherings, with a maximum of 7500 people for an event.
  • While these orders remain in effect, applicants must provide the estimated length and width of the permitted closure area, along with the total number of expected participants (including all persons, regardless of status as participant, spectator, driver, etc.). This information will be used to determine if the estimated number of participants complies with the current order.

To assist municipal recovery during the COVID-19 Pandemic, PennDOT may now permit the temporary use of sidewalks or travel lanes in PennDOT right-of-way to accommodate additional public space for tables and seats and/or retail activities. These requests must be submitted through the Special Event permit application process and will require approval from the Federal Highway Administration if located on the federal aid network (both state and local roadways). Please contact your local Engineering District office for details.