Archaeology & Paleontology Permits

Under the Historical, Prehistorical, and Archaeological Resources Act of 1973 (CRS 24-80-401 to 410), a permit is required to conduct archaeological or paleontological investigations on state lands, which includes city and county as well as any political subdivision of the state. Permits can be issued at any time throughout the calendar year but most permits expire the last day of February of the following year. Before submitting a permit application, please review the Rules and Procedures for descriptions of the different permit types, minimum qualifications for individuals listed on the permit, and the reporting requirements, among other important information.

CLICK HERE to request a list of permittees, information related to a permit, or information related to the permit program.



An application will not be considered complete and put into review until all of the following information has been received. Email if you are in need of assistance with the application.

An administrative fee of $50 per permit application will be charged upon completion of processing. Failure to pay may result in the revocation of a permit or delay in future processing.


  • Signed Archaeology and Paleontology Permit Application ONLINE
  • Current curriculum vitae [CV] for each individual listed on the permit application (i.e. dated within the last five years)
  • Requests to waive requirements AND writing samples for those applicants that do not meet the minimum requirements found in the Rules and Regulations (required annually)
  • Curation agreements with State Approved Museums (Applies to all permits except Non-Collection Survey Only permits. Preferably dated within five years of application. "Statewide" applicants should show an attempt to get at least TWO agreements when applying.)
  • Research designs for proposed projects (Excavation permits only)

If you previously held a permit, submit a new application with updated CVs (including waivers, kept on file for no more than five years) and Curation Agreements (kept on file for the duration of the agreement).

To amend a permit for the current year send an inquiry to including the pertinent details to be amended, current permit number, and required documents.




All reporting requirements can be found in Section 7(J) of the Rules and Procedures document so please reference that before as well as the information below for the most accurate and expedient reporting.

**PERMITTEES MUST CONFIRM that the Office of the State Archaeologist receives copies of project reports, site forms, GIS data, and other documentation generated under a state permit REGARDLESS OF THE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT OR THE STATUS OF A PROJECT WITH A CLIENT &/OR PUBLIC AGENCY.**

End of Year Reports

End-of-year reports (EOY) are due by December 31 of the permit year. EOY reports must include the following:

  • A bibliography of reports and/listing of all projects conducted under the state permit. Please include any History Colorado Project Numbers and/or Document Identification Numbers when listing projects and/or reports.
  • A catalog of all materials collected on state lands and the name of the repository in which the materials are curated
  • A brief summary of any work still in progress under the permit

End-of-year reports may be submitted in any format you prefer, as long as it includes all of the required information. For your convenience, you may choose to download and use the EOY reporting template below. Please note: using this template is NOT required at this time.


Preliminary/Progress Reports

A preliminary or progress report is due by December 31 of the year in which the investigations began, and annually thereafter for multi-year projects. Progress reports are due in the years following the initial preliminary/EOY report. These reports should provide details on the nature of the investigation, important findings, expected timeline of completion of final report, and other pertinent information.

Final Report

A final report must be submitted within three years after the conclusion of field work. Final reports should meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation reporting. You may also find the Colorado Cultural Resource Survey Manual useful as a report guide.


Important Resources

More information about curation requirements can be found on the State Approved Museums and Repositories page.

Questions, Requests, and Reports should be emailed to the Office of the State Archaeologist (please use the address