Effective January 1, 2016, all film permit applications must be submitted though the City of Chicago’s new online system. See information and links to the application below.
Thank you for your interest in filming in Chicago. We are here to assist you with all of your permitting needs and look forward to working with you. Here are a few guidelines to get you started:
B-ROLL GUIDELINES: News crews, handheld interviews, documentaries, B-roll, and other low impact productions typically do not require a permit, as long as it does not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
Beginning January 1, 2016, the Chicago Film Office accepts all permit applications through a two part process. All Of The Following Must Be Received In Order To Process A Permit Request. Incomplete Applications Will Not Be Approved:
Step 1. Complete the Online Permit Application and Payment
Step 2. Send the City Services Request form, Certificate of Insurance and Community Relations Notification Leaflet to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To login, you’ll need create user name and password. Create an account.
Submit the City Services Request form, Certificate of Insurance and Notification Leaflet to email@example.com
Do Not Call Other City Departments Regarding Your Production Needs. We Will Coordinate For You.
Please complete the City Services Request form to request posting of No Parking signs, tow trucks, Police officers and notice of special effects or gunfire. Email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can coordinate the steps necessary.
Upon permit approval, the City of Chicago will post “no parking” signs in the designated areas. It is the responsibility of the production to verify that signs are posted accurately and to remove them at wrap. Please also be sure to remove the string and tape.
With proper distribution of the Community Relations Leaflet (sample below) and advance notice to the community (48 hour minimum), cars parked within permitted areas can be relocated by authorized City of Chicago tow trucks. Please contact the Film Office to make arrangements, or work with the on-site officer.
Chicago Police Department (CPD) personnel are required for any street closures or traffic control. Police services are paid for by the production. We will assist you in making the proper arrangements with the CPD for the required personnel. Production is responsible for providing timecards and paperwork to each officer to facilitate timely payment directly to the officer. Squad cars will be billed separately and emailed to the production contact directly. Visit our Rates for Filming page for more information.
The Police Department requires 3 business days from the call time prior notice for all requests (not including weekends and holidays). No exceptions will be made and late requests will be denied.
Any use of prop weapons or special effects must be discussed with the Film Office in advance. Special Effects may require a separate license and can only be performed under the supervision of police and/or fire department personnel. Any use of prop guns will also require the supervision a police officer and proper notification to the neighborhood.
Students, please remember that we are a resource center and we are here to help. Give us a call to set up a time to discuss your project. We will go over the process and the important things you need to know to ensure a smooth production.
Certificate Of Insurance:
A Certificate of Insurance that meets the specified limits and names the City of Chicago as an additional insured is required. Policies must reflect the following minimum requirements:
City of Chicago
121 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Community Relations Notification Leaflet:
It is the producer’s responsibility to properly notify and leaflet neighboring residents and/or businesses. Leaflets should provide pertinent details and must be listed on Company letterhead including a business address and contact phone number:
- Filming Notice to be listed the heading (see sample)
- Production Company/Project Title
- Locations where no parking signs will be posted
- Traffic Restrictions – list any street closures
- Notification of Special Effects or Weapons on Set (if any)
- Production Company Contact Name, Cell Phone Number and Email Address
Early and thorough notification is not only a courtesy; it’s an effective and indispensable part of production prep. Notification should be with as much notice as possible prior to your shoot with a minimum 48 hours. Notices should be provided to nearby businesses, residential properties and cars parked in the permitted area. It is the full responsibility of the Production Company to ensure proper notification.
Please submit the Community Relations Leaflet to us for review. Do not distribute the leaflets until your request has been submitted to the Chicago Film Office and approved by the Department of Transportation.
Production Code Of Conduct:
Please review the Code of Conduct and share with the crew. It is your responsibility to create a positive experience for Chicagoans and we look to you and your crew to be respectful and courteous to all. Please leave your location clean, making sure to remove all production signage and trash and always be respectful to the neighborhood.