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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.

3D Universe

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Permanent:

  • 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.

​Unlockable:

HD Universe

Grand Theft Auto IV

Permanent:

Unlockable:

Grand Theft Auto V

Permanent:

  • 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)
  • Humane Labs and Research - a chemical research company - four stars
  • Kortz Center - a museum - one star (if caught by a guard after the museum is closed for the night).
  • 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
  • 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).
  • Backlot City - a movie studio neighborhood - two stars (always restricted for Franklin and Trevor, only restricted for Michael before Mr. Richards).

Grand Theft Auto Online

Trivia

  • In GTA V, 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, only Fort Zancudo will issue these warnings.
  • In GTA Online, Lester's service, "Cops Turn Blind Eye", will make all areas unrestricted (except for El Rubio's compound), allowing the player to fully explore these locations without resistance, within the time limit.
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