Special Event Permit Application Process FAQs

About the Process

Where do I start?

Visit the Permits and Rentals page on our web site.  Click on the photo that best describes the type of event you are planning, to learn about fees and application process.  For most picnics, ceremonies and walk/run events the process is now two steps:

     1.  Purchase Special Event Permit Application Fee
     2.  Submit Special Event Permit Application Package (requires receipt number)


How is the process different from previous years?

  • Customers may secure a spot in the processing queue with an online purchase. (no need to stand in line the first day of intake).
  • Customers may submit the application electronically. (no need to fax, mail or deliver).


How many can I purchase at once?

A customer may purchase unlimited application fees.  During the transaction you may update the quantity you wish to buy.  Please note this fee is non-refundable.


Can I still apply in person?

Yes, starting Monday, November 4, 2013 applications will be accepted at the Department of Revenue and three Region Offices (addresses on page 12 of Special Event Permit Application).


Why am I being charged a $2 service charge?

This is a convenience charge that is assessed per online receipt. 


What is your refund/cancellation policy?

The Permit Application Fee is not refundable.  The full refund cancellation policy for rental fees and security deposit is available on pages 14-15 of the Special Event Permit Application.


What happens after I purchase the Permit Application Fee and submit the Special Event Permit Application?

Please allow a minimum 14 business days for processing.  If your requested day/time is available you will receive an email with a link to your pending permit.  It will indicate what documents and fees are due and include a due date.  If your request cannot be fulfilled, you will receive an email notification that your application has been denied and the reason why.

Step One:  Purchasing 2014 Permit Application Fee



I plan on purchasing a Permit Application Fee on November 1, 2013 at 9am.  What can I do prior to that to save time?

There are a few things you can do to be better prepared for the first day of intake.  We suggest the following:

  • Review the 2014 Permit Application Fee instructions & screen shots in advance so you know what to expect.  
  • Create your account in advance
    - Accounts can be created online or at the park
    - Make sure you know your password
  • Add the “2014 Permit Application Fee” to your wish list.    View screen shots of this process.
    - The wish list feature saves time on the first day of application processing.
  • In a separate document, type a list of your event names in priority order, separated by commas
    - During the online purchase process on November 1, you will be asked to list all event names in priority order, separated by commas. If purchasing multiple application fees, this will allow you to copy and paste this list and save time.


I plan on purchasing a Permit Application Fee on the first day of intake.  What can I do the morning of November 1, 2013 to save time?

Prior to 9am, we suggest:


  • Log into your account
  • Copy the list of event names (see more info. on this above)
  • Have your credit card ready
    - Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted 


How does wish list work?

Saving the fee in your wish list is a way to save time searching for it on November 1, 2013.  When you log in that morning, open the wish list and watch the countdown to 9am.


Do I need my event name finalized at time of app fee purchase?

An event name is required in order to complete the transaction.  Minor changes to your event name may be submitted in writing later.


Is there a time limit?

Yes.  Your cart will empty after 15 minutes and the login session will timeout after 30 minutes of no activity.


What if I owe the Chicago Park District Money?

You will be prompted to pay the balance due before purchasing the Application Fee online.


Step Two:  Special Event Permit Application


I wasn’t able to finish completing the document.  Can I save it and finish later?

The application may be saved and opened again at a later time.  It is not received by the Chicago Park District until you click “Submit” on page 10.


Can I submit a paper form?

Yes.  You can print and complete the form at home then fax or deliver it to the Department of Revenue and three Region Offices (addresses and fax numbers on page 12 of Special Event Permit Application).  Paper applications are also available at these locations.


What if I want to make changes to my app after I submit it?

Changes may be submitted in writing.


Can I access the form in all browsers?

Yes, the form can be accessed in all browsers, however it's best viewed in Chrome and Internet Explorer.