Apply for a Free Speech Permit

Free Speech

What is free speech activity?
This protected class of activities includes conduct for the sole purpose of which is to communicate political or religious ideas. No fee or donation may be charged or required as a condition of participation in or attendance at such activity.

Free speech activity does not include fairs, festivals, concerts, performances, parades, athletic events, fundraising events, or events for entertainment.

Do I need a permit for free speech activities?
Activities which are publicly attended and held in whole or in part upon publicly owned property or public rights-of-way, or if held wholly upon private property, will nevertheless affect or impact the ordinary and normal use by the general public of public property or public rights-of-way within the vicinity of such activity requires a permit. 

For impromptu free speech activities, such as candlelight vigils, intended to be held on public property on an evening or weekend and for which advance coordination with the City for permitting is not feasible, please contact the Kirkland Police Department non-emergency number at 425-577-5656.

Application Process

 To apply for a Free Speech Permit, follow these steps:

Step 1.Understand the requirements and rules

Note: Updates to these materials are currently in progress.

Step 2.Request a date and venue

Plan ahead! You must first submit an Event Interest Form in order to secure a date and venue. Forms are accepted up to 13 calendar months and no later than 15 calendar days in advance. Your request will be reviewed and staff will contact you regarding the status of your request. You must wait until you receive confirmation that the date and venue are available before submitting an application.

Complete an Event Interest Form

Step 3.Gather supporting documents

Prepare required documentation:

  • Logistics/Production Timeline
  • Site Map
  • Traffic Control Map (if applicable)
  • Route Map (if applicable)

Step 4.Complete the application

Once you receive confirmation your requested date and venue are available, you can complete and submit the application.

Complete the Free Speech Permit Application

Step 5.Pay the application fee

The non-refundable $50.00 Application Fee can be mailed or hand-delivered to:

     City of Kirkland
     Special Events
     123 Fifth Avenue
     Kirkland, WA 98033

Note: If you are applying for an event which will take place after December 31, 2023, the non-refundable Application Fee is $100.00.

Step 6.We will contact you

Once the application is received and payment is made, staff will contact you regarding next steps.