Do I Need a Permit?
You only need a film permit for commercial productions. Tourists or others filming strictly for personal use do not require a permit. If you're producing something other than your family vacation video, you probably need a permit.
Who you get a permit from is the next question, however you do NOT usually need DUAL permits from two agencies - it's usually one or the other - based on where you are filming. See Jurisdictions.
I will be flying in from ________ tomorrow and we're planning to film at the White House and other locations. Do we need a permit?
We are developing a 1-2-3 step sheet for folks to more easily navigate the permit process.
I'm a producer from ____________________, and here we ___________________________-, how does your process work?
How much are your permits?
Our permit fees are listed here.
How do I pay my invoice online?
You will get an invoice once your project is approved and ready for payment. For your security and ours, payment is via custom, one-time-use URLs only. Once paid, URL is no longer valid and will not store payment details.
Are there any events going on that might impact my shoot on ... _________?
Where can i find your application?
Do I need insurance to film in DC?
Yes, and here are the details: Insurance Requirements
What about parking?
Parking here is DC is just as tough as in most major cities. Still, we manage to find a way. Read more ...
What do I do if I need police for my shoot?
Call us as soon as you know - we'll help arrange things. Read more ...
Ok, so who do I get a permit from? What are all these jurisdictions?
You should refer to our locations and jurisdictional assistance map for general guidance, but quickly:
NPS controls everything in DC that has any of the words: "Monument", "Memorial" in it. NPS is PINK on the map
Capitol Police control everything within 4 blocks of the Capitol building. (Except the Supreme Court building which actually has its own film vetting guidelines. If your project pertains to the Court as an institution, we'd be happy to discuss further.) Capitol Police is BLUE on the map.
DC government buildings and land are in RED on the map. DC also controls most streets and sidewalks in the city. However, in addition to NPS, the federal government also has a lot of real estate here in DC. Some federal property like Justice, FBI, and Archives, while they're film-friendly, prefer most film activity pertain directly to their institution or mission.
National Parks, Mall, Monuments, Memorials, or U.S. Capitol territory. (See MAP below, or visit: NPS, or U.S. Capitol for more info.
What kind of permits do you issue?
We only have ONE film permit. No matter if you're shooting a PSA, documentary, still photography, aerials, small scale b-roll, feature film with street closures, fire and police, or a non-profit internal corporate web video - we only issue ONE permit - a public space occupancy permit for film and media production.
How long is your processing time?
FIRST: Submitting an application is not a guarantee of approval. You will get a call or email from us within 2 working days. Do keep in mind that certain times of each year are very busy for filming in the DC. Our weather is just amazing in the Fall and Spring!
Service Level Agreement
1. Within 24-hours, you should receive automated acknowledgement* of your application submission. If you do not receive an email confirmation of submission - call us! (202) 727-6608
2. Within 48-hours, you should recieve an email or a phone call from us. At that time, we will a) clarify any questions we have; b) provide you an opportunity to ask questions; and c) let you know the "status" of your application and define what's required to complete the process.
3. Based on the outcome of step #2, you will have a complete roadmap of what you need to deliver, what we need to deliver, and all deadlines.
Processing times will always vary based on our workload, and the complexity of the requests we receive. Our committment is to update you within 48 hours via call or email. See above. Do keep in mind that while your shoot may be quite simple, there may be others 'ahead of you' that are more complex.
*Acknowledgement is emailed to the email address you put on your application. We will not be responsible for typos and/or missing information on your application. Since this service is automated and emailed, we also will not be responsible for the myriad technical factors involved in transmission and/or delivery of the various email services (icloud, gmail, yahoo, etc.); and will not accept responsibility should an email not arrive when expected for whatever reason. Again, please call us if you do not receive an automated response.