There are many restricted areas throughout the Grand Theft Auto series, which are generally off-limits to the public, and the protagonists will gain an instant Wanted Level if they trespass within these areas, regardless of whether they do it purposely or not. Some areas are unlockable, and thus the player will not earn a wanted level for entering these areas after a certain point in the game, but others have permanent restrictions.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- Washington Beach Police Department - police station. Triggered when straying beyond the lobby or pulling out a firearm, but only if Tommy is not wearing a police uniform - two stars
- El Banco Corrupto Grande - a bank. Triggered if the player accesses the staff bureau after completion of The Job - four stars
GTA San Andreas
- Area 69, a secret military research facility - five stars. Flying over the military base for a brief period will not earn the player a wanted level.
- Easter Basin Naval Station - a military base - five stars
- Police Impound Garage - if seen without a law enforcement vehicle by a police officer, irrespective of whether Carl is wearing a police uniform – three stars. Can be avoided by sneaking past the officers or entering in a police car.
- San Fierro, Whetstone and Flint County - before the mission "The Green Sabre" – four stars
- Tierra Robada, Bone County and Las Venturas - before the mission "Yay Ka-Boom-Boom" – four stars
Grand Theft Auto IV
- Francis International Airport runway - four stars (two stars if a helicopter is flown in the area)
- Civilization Committee complex - four stars (two stars if a helicopter is flown in the area)
- Alderney State Correctional Facility - a prison (restricted in TLAD and TBoGT only) - three stars
- Algonquin - before the mission Blow Your Cover - six stars
- Alderney - before the mission Three Leaf Clover - six stars
GTA V and GTA Online
- Bolingbroke Penitentiary - a prison - four stars (two stars if the player flies over the area)
- Fort Zancudo - a military base - four stars (two stars if the player briefly flies over the area) (As of the Smuggler's Run update, purchasing the Hangar at Fort Zancudo in GTA Online will not earn the player stars unless they attack NPCs at the base.)
- Humane Labs and Research - a chemical research company - four stars (GTA V only)
- Los Santos Golf Club - low-flying over the course, driving a vehicle onto the course or trespassing on the course after hours - two stars
- Los Santos Naval Port - a Merryweather naval industrial storage yard - four stars (GTA V only)
- Los Santos International Airport - three stars (Trevor only if patch 1.11 is installed; otherwise, the player as Michael or Franklin will earn a wanted level if either character has yet to own a hangar).
- If the player flies over Fort Zancudo, Bolingbroke Penitentiary or Los Santos International Airport, a radio message will warn the player to leave the area immediately or else their aircraft will be shot down. However, only Fort Zancudo has the capacity to shoot an aircraft down.
- In GTA Online, the Lester service "Cops Turn Blind Eye On" will make all areas unrestricted, allowing the player to fully explore these within the time limit.