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Filming in LA/NY



Everything you need to know to shoot in Los Angeles.



Film permits for the City of Los Angeles and most of LA County are administered by FilmL.A., a nonprofit agency created for the purpose of coordinating and processing permits for on-location motion picture, television and commercial productions. Some locations in LA County, such as incorporated cities like Beverly Hills, may fall outside of FilmL.A.’s jurisdiction and have their own permitting offices. For a list of areas whose permitting is administered by Film L.A., see the Areas Served section on the FilmL.A. website.


Do I need a permit to film in Los Angeles?


All filming activity must be permitted, even if you are filming on private property or in a public place. If you cannot produce the proper permits when asked by a city official or law enforcement representative, your production will be required to shut down.




FilmL.A. offers an online application process. Before you begin the application process, you should know up front that you must show proof of general liability insurance of $1,000,000 for shooting. There are no exceptions to this requirement.


Advance permission request


Applications for film permits must be received at least three days in advance of shooting, although more time is required if sign postings for street parking or street closures are requested.


The basic application fee


The basic application fee of $625 covers requests for up to 10 locations over a 14-day shooting period. Additional fees may apply for use of parks, beaches, roads, or county facilities.


Details of shooting


As part of the application, you must list specific locations and the dates and times you wish to be there. The size of your cast and crew, the equipment that you plan to use, and any foreseeable community disturbances that your activities could cause all must be disclosed on your paperwork up front.


Security on location


FilmL.A. will determine if you need a monitor, fire or public safety officer on set. If any of these personnel are required, you will be responsible for paying their set hourly wage and overtime if applicable.


Fee fire prevention


A one-time fee of $85 is charged for a mandatory city fire spot-check by a fire safety officer who may show up unannounced at any time on location to verify that you are complying with permit specifications.



Everything you need to know to shoot in New York City.



Since 1966, the Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting (OFTB) has been the one-stop shop for all production needs in the City. This office is an advocate for all kinds of productions, from major feature films and television series to commercials, music videos, documentaries and student films. We provide permits and services to assist your project, and we look forward to working with you. We have a reputation for finding a way to say yes.


How shooting works with the OFTB Permit


The permit we issue to your production provides access to public locations and street parking for essential production vehicles throughout 300 square miles of public settings in the city’s five boroughs, including 27,000 acres of city parks.




In order for you or your organization to be eligible for a filming permit, Liability Insurance is required. A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE must be provided to the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting 48 hours in advance of your online permit application submission.




A pre-production meeting with the Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting is required for all feature films, television movies, series or specials, elaborate exterior commercial shoots and music videos shooting exteriors with celebrities, or multiple locations. It is recommended that this meeting be scheduled with our office three weeks before shooting, but must be scheduled no later than five business days before the actual shoot begins.


The purpose of this meeting is to review shooting plans and production schedules. Participants generally include the Production Manager and Location Manager, as well as representatives from our office and other relevant agencies. Immediately following this main pre-production meeting at our office, you are ready to apply for a permit detailing the location activities.


Parking features of the permit


The permit provides special parking privileges at locations for vehicles essential to your shoot. These vehicles include equipment trucks, lifts, cranes, campers and honeywagons. Crew or personal cars are not covered by the permit.


You must supply each vehicle’s plate number and state, description and size. A copy of the permit must be displayed on the dashboard of each vehicle.


Special Permissions



Any child under the age of 18 years must, by New York State law, have a permit to work in a film or television production. The New York State Department of Labor administers Child Performer Permits. Located at 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014, this office can be reached by phone at 212-775-3880. Further information is also available on the Department of Labor’s web site at this link.



Pyrotechnics, fire effects and explosions, including simulated and other smoke effects, require a prior inspection, permit and supervision by the NYC Fire Department: The company must contact the Manager of the Explosive Unit at 718-999-1595.


Exceptional requests (i.e. removing a lamppost, changing a street sign, etc.) may require additional permits. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting will provide the municipal contacts to expedite this.


Locations that require prior approval from other city agencies, private organizations or conservancies (Examples: MTA, Parks Department, Tishman Speyer, Hudson River Conservancy) must have that information (contact name, organization name and phone number) typed on the Schedule A.


Special jurisdiction


For any location sites not directly available through our permit, the OFTB production unit has extensive contacts and will support your requests. This includes the MTA, the Port Authority, government buildings, parks and landmarks under state or federal jurisdiction, as well as many, key privately owned locations such as Rockefeller Center and most non-profit institutions which have relationships to city government such as the American Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center. When you start pre-production, we will provide additional details, and we will work with you to anticipate and resolve any problems that may arise. 


MTA – Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Permits for filming in the subway and transit of New York


MTA New York City Transit

Department of Corporate Communications

Divisions of Public Affairs

Office of Film and Special Events

2 Broadway, Room D29.18

New York, NY 10004

Phone: 646-252-5853

Keys to the City


The Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting welcomes you to New York City: the birthplace of filmmaking and home of the greatest film locations in the world. We want your film, TV, music video or commercial shoot to run as smoothly as possible. Your production company and our neighborhoods matter to us. That's why we created the Keys to the City, a Code of Conduct for productions to follow when on location. To read our "Keys to the City", click here.


The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey


Departamento de Relações com a Mídia

Lisa MacSpadden

Diretor de Relações com a Mídia

Steve Coleman

Vice-Diretor, Relações com a Mídia

Anthony Hayes

Rudy Rei

Ron Marsico

Chris Valens

T: 212 435-7777

F: 212 435-4032

225 Park Avenue South - 18th Floor

New York, NY 10003