Steps to Obtaining a Permit

Thank you for filming in Atlanta! If you’re working on a feature film, television show, commercial or something else, we’re here to help speed you on the way to production.

How do I get a film permit?

See the steps that you need to get your production going.

1. Do I Need a Permit?

A filming permit may be required if your project includes any of the following:

  • Filming on public property
  • Filming requiring setup of barricades, street closure, lane closure, or sidewalk closure
  • Night-time filming in a residential area with the use of an outdoor light
  • Use of a temporary structure, such as a stage
  • Use of intellectual property belonging to the City
  • Pyrotechnics or other explosives
  • Smoke effects, water effects, or flame effects
  • Display of real or artificial firearms
  • Vehicle chases and/or crashes
  • Dangerous stunts
  • Use of any equipment that may cause damage to public property
  • Use of wild animals regulated by law

A filming permit is NOT required for filming on public property while exercising First Amendment rights. This means you are allowed to film rallies, protests, and demonstrations taking place on public property without first obtaining a filming permit.

The process and fees are different for student filmmakers than for other filmmakers. Please go to the student filmmaking page to learn more.

2. Select Location

So, you’ve scouted several potential locations, picked out your favorites, and made sure they’re within the city of Atlanta. Before you write the property owner a check or make any commitments, please give us a call to discuss the location and your intended filming plans.

Our Production Planning Team will save you time and money by guiding you through proper permit requirements, as well as the unique needs of area communities. Count on us for help with:

  • Working in areas with special conditions.
  • Reservations for city owned properties.
  • Coordination of City based park permits.
  • Information on permit application submission requirements and deadlines.

3. Secure Insurance

You will be required to furnish proof of liability insurance before the Film & Entertainment office can release your permit. Insurance requirements are a minimum of $1million. Our staff will supply further guidance on insurance requirements once we receive your film permit application.

Do I need to purchase Workers’ Comp?   No

4. Submit Application

Once you’ve researched your locations and secured insurance, you’re ready to submit your permit application. Submitting your application is easy using our online application portal Filmapp:

Once your application is accepted and a confirmation notice is sent to you, your project will be assigned to one of our knowledgeable Production Coordinators.

Your Coordinator will be your point person for the remainder of the process. His or her primary responsibility is to create a permit that addresses community concerns while assisting you in securing the permissions you need from appropriate local authorities.

Because all film permit situations are unique, your coordinator may ask you to fulfill other requirements as a condition of permit release. These requirements could include, but are not limited to:

  • Meeting with concerned community members.
  • Applying for additional permits (for example animal use, etc.).
  • Speaking with Community Liaisons in sensitive areas.

5. Conduct Outreach

The best way to ensure a warm welcome for your production is to show respect for the communities you are filming in.

Set South offers an example of official “Notices of Filming” to your production that must be distributed to all residences and businesses located in the area near your location. These Notices contain details about when you will be filming, the activities to be filmed and whom community members can call to share their concerns. The Notices are typically distributed 5-7 business days ahead of your first day of production.

We encourage you to distribute your letters on production company letterhead describing the filming activities and providing your contact information.

Please bear in mind that other filmmakers will have to follow in your footsteps.  Being a good neighbor will help the crew that films there after you.

6. Arrange Payment

You will not be allowed to begin filming until you collect your finalized film permit. To pay for and take delivery of your permit you must complete payment on filmapp.

Our consolidated payment option allows you to pay for most of your permit-related fees in a single transaction. At that point you will receive a receipt which includes payment and fees. Our online system is cloud based and all communication and document delivery will be done through filmapp. Once all documents are received and payment is complete you will receive your finalized permit through filmapp. Please see fee schedule for detailed cost.