Media Pass Information and Procedures
New Applicants and Renewals for 2015
- Download a copy of General Order 204.01 (Release of Information to the News Media)
- See the Rules Governing Issuance of Media Passes
- Download the News Media Pass Application [PDF]
All applicants must complete a new application form each calendar year.
Production Note for 2015. We are currently processing applications for calendar year 2015. We will begin production on all new pass applications in late December and anticipate that passes will be made available in early January 2015. If you have already made application for new or renewal passes, please do not contact us to request an update. We will provide email notification when your passes are ready for pick-up.
IMPORTANT CHANGES! PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
Applicants can now choose to renew their media pass for up to two years (expiring 12/31/2016). Media passes are $10 per pass ($20 for two-year renewals) and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have a large number of personnel requiring renewals, we ask that you prepare your applications in an organized fashion to make it easier to produce your passes. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Media passes will be processed as quickly as possible, typically within five business days. You will be notified by email when your request is ready, so please ensure that you provide your email contact information in the completed application.
Intended Use and Required Documentation
The media pass is intended for use by members of news gathering organizations who cover assignments within Washington, DC, whose regular duties necessitate their crossing police lines on a routine and continuing basis. See the Rules Governing Issance of Media Passes for more information.
MPD news media passes are not intended for and do not provide access to private venues or events, private clubs, or other activities (examples include sporting events, entertainment or cultural activities, private parties, and other events not related to First Amendment assembly or public gatherings in public space). The media pass was redesigned in 2011 to carry the additional disclaimer language provided below:
This pass grants its bearer reasonable access to designated areas set aside by members of the Metropolitan Police Department for the purpose of gathering, photographing, or reporting news events; authorizes its holder to cross a police line unless doing so is against the judgment of an MPD officer or official because it would interfere with the management of a police or fire scene or would endanger the public safety; and grants its holder reasonable access to all areas where a First Amendment Assembly is occurring, including those closed to the general public unless doing so would be inconsistent with public safety considerations. This pass does not on its face provide its bearer access or privileges at commercial venues, private clubs, or other locations not consistent with the General Provisions as specified in DC Municipal Regulations Title 24, Chapter 21 (24-2102–2104). [DC Code § 5-331.14].
Applicants desiring to be considered for a media pass may obtain an application form by visiting the Metropolitan Police Department's Public Information Office, located at 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 5126, between 8 AM and 4 PM, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. In addition to the completed application form, a typed cover letter on company stationery must be submitted, listing the full legal name (first, middle, last) or names of all applicants in alphabetical order with the last name first, their job assignment(s) listed adjacent to their name(s), and an explanation as to why the media pass is needed. The application must be signed by an authorized representative of the employing agency.
Note the requirement to provide three samples of work assignments from the past six months demonstrating the need for a media pass.
News Gathering Organizations
Applications require the approval and signature of the producer, managing editor, or news director of the news organization you represent.Applications which do not meet these requirements will be returned for proper completion.
Those individuals who are applying as freelancers must submit a typed letter indicating why a media pass is needed as well as letters from at least two (2) news gathering organizations which document in what capacity they were employed, the periods of employment, and are signed by an authorized representative of the employing agency. Applications which do not meet these requirements will be returned for proper completion.
Submission of Photos
Each organization or individual applicant must supply the Public Information Office a full-faced photograph of each individual applying for a media pass. The image should be taken such that, when cropped to a square, the person's full head, neck, and shoulders are visible (top of head to armpits).
Photos should be provided at 300 dpi in color. If you are submitting more than one applicant, please provide a separate file for each individual. Name each file with the person's complete first and last names, with the last name in all capitals, a comma, then the first name. EXAMPLE: "SAMPLE, Gary.jpg" Please take care to name your file with this format to help keep your submission together with your application.
Images may be may submitted electronically via email with your application. You may also send a CD or other media or bring a thumb drive or other portable media for download if you are making application in person.
If you are unable to provide the photo electronically, please submit by mail, courier, or in person a good-quality color print of each applicant (matte finish preferred) for scanning with the person's full name clearly indicated in the white frame of the print or on the back side (printed legibly).
Coordinating Your Submission
The media pass coordinator, a member of the Public Information Office, will notify each applicant or news gathering organization whether or not applications for media passes have been accepted. Applicants who are denied will be provided a written letter explaining the reason for the denial. Denied applicants may appeal this decision to the Chief of Police.
Fees and Expiration
Media passes expire on December 31 of each year. The fee for one-year renewal of each media pass is ten dollars ($10); applicants may now also choose to renew for two years for $20. Simply select the "Renew for Two" box on the application. Remittance should be in the form of a certified check, company check, money order, or cash. If the payment is in the form of a check or money order, please make it payable to the DC TREASURER. Payment must be made at the time you pick up your completed media pass(es)—DO NOT SEND PAYMENT IN ADVANCE.
Download the Application
Complete a copy of the Media Pass Application [PDF]
Submit via Fax
This application must be printed, completed, signed and faxed to the Public Information Office. The fax number for applications is (202) 727-4822.
Submit via Email
To submit your application electronically, download the application (above), then type into and complete all required fields. Click on the "SUBMIT" button to attach the completed form to an email mesage -- you must do this from within the form for the contents of the fields to remain intact. Alternatively, if you are using Adobe Acrobat Professional, you may save the file with the form fields and uniquely name the file with your full name (such as "LASTNAME, Firstname_MediaApplication.pdf". Email submission to Officer Araz Alali at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions regarding the submission process, please contact the PIO at (202) 727-4383.
Submit via Mail
You may also mail applications to:
Metropolitan Police Department
Public Information Office
Media Pass Application
300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 5126
Washington, DC 20001
Monday–Friday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Pick-up outside these hours can be provided via special arrangement — please call ahead.