You are here

Frequently Asked Questions

The City of Austin does not require filmmakers to get a “film permit” before filming in our city; however, specific permits may be required under specific circumstances.

Permits are necessary when

  • filming on a street or sidewalk
  • using pyrotechnic or flame effects
  • filming at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • filming in a City park
  • a water meter is required for temporary water service
  • street closures are required
  • constructing or demolishing buildings (in some instances)

If you have questions about permitting, contact Jim Butler at 512-974-6318.

The same permits regarding use of public property for commercial films, also apply for student films.

In the event of a street closure, all property owners/residents whose property is adjacent to the area sought to be closed must be notified and provided with a map of the area, which indicates all obstructions to be placed in the closure area. The notification must indicate by signature, whether the property owner/resident approves or disapproves of the proposed closure. For additional information, contact Right of Way Management at 512-974-1150.

The City of Austin does not require filmmakers to get a “film permit” before filming in our city; however, specific permits may be required under specific circumstances.

Permits are necessary when

  • filming on a street or sidewalk
  • using pyrotechnic or flame effects
  • filming at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • filming in a City park
  • a water meter is required for temporary water service
  • street closures are required
  • constructing or demolishing buildings (in some instances)

You can find information about how to apply for these specific permits, as well as contact information for the relevant departmental liaisons, listed on the City Department Contacts page.

If you have a question about applying for permits, or cannot find the necessary liaison, contact Jim Butler at 512-974-6318.

City of Austin Ordinance 20080306-038 states that the City will provide production crews with up to two police officers for traffic control and other public safety issues, subject to certain requirements and limitations. Contact Austin Police Department Special Events at 512-974-5032 for more information about working with the police.

If you have a question about using a particular City of Austin facility - such as the airport, a City park, or library - please contact that department’s liaison directly.

If your production is filming on a street or sidewalk, or requires the closure of a street, you must obtain permit. More information is available on the City Department Contacts page.

If you are interested in filming on property owned or operated by the State of Texas, please contact the Texas Film Commission’s Location department at 512-463-9200. The Texas Film Commission can help you find the right locations for your production, as well as help guide you through any required permitting for those locations.

If you have any further questions, contact Jim Butler at 512-974-6318.

City of Austin Ordinance 20080306-038 waives all fees for facility use and/or rental. The production company must pay the City‘s actual cost for staff, utilities, and security used in assisting with the production.

Other fees not covered by this ordinance may apply (ex: burn permit, water meter). See the City Department Contacts page for more details.

Commercial General Liability insurance with a minimum limit of $500,000 per occurrence is required on most City of Austin property, with the City of Austin named as an additional insured.

Insurance Requirements for Filming (PDF)

Other specific coverage provisions that are required by other permits, reservation agreements, or lease agreements for these City properties will also be enforced. For other details about insurance, please contact Carol Vance at 512-974-3264.

Austin Energy facilities have minimum requirements of $1,000,000 for certain liabilities. For more details about these Austin Energy requirements contact Ingrid Weigand at 512-972-9521.

Insurance Requirements for Filming at Austin Energy Facilities (PDF)

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) has minimum requirements of $5,000,000 for certain liabilities. For more details about these requirements contact Jason Zielinski at 512-530-6618.

Insurance Requirements for Filming in Airport Operations Area (PDF)

Insurance Requirements for Filming Outside Airport Operations Area (PDF)