Metal Detector Permits

Metal Detecting in Parks

Metal Detecting activities are restricted to open areas (other than the areas listed in Paragraph 8 of the Permit Conditions) in designated parks. Please visit our Permitted Sites for Metal Detecting page for a list of park locations where metal detecting is allowed. 

To apply for a permit, please complete and submit the online Metal Detector Permit Application.

Please upload an image of your valid photo ID that documents your current address (e.g. State driver’s license or other government–issued identification). You must file a police report for lost permits; this police report will take the place of your old permit when you apply for a new one at the end of the year.

Rules and Regulations for Metal Detecting Activities


  • “Recent Coins” shall mean coins still in common circulation and/or of a value of less than $25 (“Nominal Value”).
  • “Significant Object(s)” shall mean any object of a historical, paleontological, or archaeological nature, or any coin or object whose value significantly exceeds its face value. A Recent Coin is not a Significant Object.
  • “Officer” shall collectively mean any officer from the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) and/or Parks Enforcement Patrol (“PEP”) Division.
  • “Native Vegetation Area” shall mean any area where any species of native (i.e., North American) plants are naturally growing and reproducing. Lawn areas are not native plant areas.
  • “Ball-fields” shall mean areas designated for athletic activities including but not limited to baseball, softball, soccer, football, cricket fields and bleacher/dugout areas etc.
  • “Woodlands” shall mean land with dense coverage of trees, shrubs or bushes.

Permit Conditions

  1. Metal Detecting activity on Parks’ property requires a valid permit from Parks.
  2. All recovered Significant Objects must be reported to the Urban Park Service (212)360-2778 within 48 hours of finding. Applicant shall submit a photo of the Significant Object to Parks upon request. Parks will determine whether to retain title and possession of the recovered Significant Object(s).
  3. Every reasonable effort will be made by the Agency to publicly display all such recovered Significant Objects retained by the Agency on an annual basis. Such displays shall include appropriate acknowledgements regarding Applicant’s involvement.
  4. Any identifiable property found by Applicant (such as jewelry or other tangible items) must be turned over to Parks for delivery to the local NYPD precinct where applicable procedures will be followed. NYPD will provide Parks with a receipt and hold the object(s) for a determined period of time while Applicant assists NYPD in locating a proper owner of the lost property.
  5. Applicant shall show all found objects in his/her possession to any Officer upon request.
  6. Applicant shall use hand tools that can be used by one hand only for Metal Detecting. Hand tools shall be limited to 4 inches wide and 12 inches long.
  7. Applicant shall restore any disturbed area to its original condition by removing all evidence of digging and/or probing. All trash, litter or other debris uncovered must be removed and placed in an approved trash receptacle.
  8. Probing or digging is strictly prohibited within 25 feet or the drip line of the tree, whichever is greater, and in the following areas: athletics fields, manicured lawns, newly seeded lawns, monuments, memorial tree plantings, tracks, golf course, flower bed/gardens, woodlands, native vegetation areas, or any other area restricted by signage.
  9. Applicant shall comply with any directives to move or cease their actions by any Parks or City official.
  10. Applicant shall not go into any closed beach areas. Areas may be closed due to endangered species (24 hours per day, April 15 through Labor Day), dangerous conditions (at all times), or the absence of Lifeguards (10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day).
  11. Each year, Applicant shall provide a list of all Significant Objects found under a duly issued Parks permit to the Parks’ Urban Parks Service Division before any new permit will be issued.

Register to Vote

Are you registered to vote? If not, register to vote now.

Was this information helpful?