Economic Development Department Ombudsman

The City does not require filmmakers to get a “film permit” before filming in our city; however, specific permits may be required if filming occurs in the right-of-way, in a City park, at the airport, or under other circumstances.

Permits for Temporary Use of Streets and Sidewalks

  • The City of Austin requires a permit for using a street or sidewalk for filming in Austin.
  • Applications must be submitted 2 to 3 days prior to filming, depending on the type of film. Applications can be requested through the Right of Way Management Approval Network.
  • There are no fees required for this permit.
  • There is an insurance requirement of $500,000 of general liability insurance that lists the City of Austin as an additional insured.
  • A traffic control plan must be submitted as a part of the permit application only if closure is intended.
  • A map of the area being permitted must also be submitted.
  • Notification of affected property owners or residents is required.
  • Notification of the Austin Police Department is required.

For other details about this permit, please contact Right of Way Management at 512-974-1150.

Office of the City Clerk: City Code and Ordinances

The Office of the City Clerk (OCC) can provide customers with copies of city ordinances and assist the public in finding information in the city code. OCC also has a vast contact list to assist in directing customers to the correct city department for additional information. For other details about working with the City Clerk's office for filming, please contact the OCC Research Staff, 512-974-2210.

Insurance Requirements

Commercial General Liability insurance with a minimum limit of $500,000 per occurrence is required to film on most City of Austin property. The policy shall be endorsed to provide Additional Insured Status, Waiver of Subrogation, and 30 Days Notice of Cancellation in favor of the City of Austin. If any autos are utilized during filming activities on City of Austin property, Business Auto Liability insurance with minimum combined single limit of $500,000 for bodily injury and property damage is required. The policy shall be endorsed to provide Additional Insured Status, Waiver of Subrogation, and 30 Days Notice of Cancellation in favor of the City of Austin. 

Please note, additional insurance requirements outlined in any required City permits, reservation agreements, or lease agreements associated with use of City properties will also be enforced.

For further details about insurance requirements, please contact Benny VandenAvond, 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 Luis Rivas at 512-322-6306 (Insurance Requirements for Filming at Austin Energy Facilities)

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) has minimum requirements of $5,000,000 for certain liabilities. For more details about these requirements contact Franicisco "Kiko" Garza at 512-530-7526.

Public Information Office: Use of City Name and Logos

Contracts are required for use of the City of Austin's name/seal/logo. For other details about the use of the City’s name and logo, please contact the City of Austin Communications and Public Information Office, 512-974-2220.

Development Assistance Center

The Development Assistance Center offers assistance and information regarding a wide variety of permits, including building (including electric and plumbing – may not be needed for temporary sets), demolition, historic review (if historic structures are proposed for changes), erosion and sedimentation controls (e.g. silt fence around areas of disturbance.), etc. For specific fee information, please visit the One-Stop Shop. For more information and assistance, please call 512-974-6370.

Austin Resource Recovery: Recycling Services

Austin Resource Recovery offers FREE, on-site location recycling of corrugated cardboard, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans. To set up recycling pickup services, call Customer Service at 512-494-9400. For other details about working with the Austin Resource Recovery for filming, please contact Gena McKinley, 512-974-1915.

Austin Resource Recovery also offers a free marketplace where you can find a second home for sets, costumes, props, or other items without a clear recycling or reuse option. The marketplace can also be utilized by film productions to source low-cost reused items. Visit austinmaterialsmarketplace.org to learn more or contact info@austinmaterialsmarketplace.org / 512-981-5417.

Surplus City Property

For use of surplus City property, please contact Steve Stenton, 512-974-2082 or Mike Benson, 512-974-2032.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA)

From motion pictures and TV reality shows to commercial and student projects, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport offers professional filming and photography opportunities. Visit the airport website for a list of guidelines and to download an application form provided by the City's Department of Aviation. Please direct any filming and photography questions to Melissa Vidal, Properties Program Manager, Austin-Bergstorm International Airport, at Melissa.Vidal@austintexas.gov and 512-530-2461.

Police Department

The Chief of Police or a designee will determine and approve the number of officers and agents that are required for closures and adjacent areas related to filming.

  • Police Officer - $63.00 per hour
  • Police Detective - $73.00 per hour
  • Police Corporal - $73.00 per hour
  • Police Sergeant (Supervisor) - $85.00 per hour
  • Vehicle Rental - $10.00 per hour

There is a 2 hour minimum per officer. When 3 or more Officers are hired, a Sergeant (as a supervisor) is required by Police Policy. For larger events, a supervisor is required for every 10 Officers hired. Vehicles cannot be rented by themselves. The vehicle rental fees will not be charged if the use of a Marked Unit is not integral to the safety of the project being worked. For other details about working with the Austin Police Department for filming, please contact APD Special Events at 512-974-5032.

Fire Department

The AFD Prevention Division involvement with the film industry movie shoots revolve around the required permits and inspections and/or standby requirements associated with open flame and pyrotechnic effects, and, the inspections and approvals associated with street closures. AFD Operations is also involved with supplying “extras” (fire personnel) and fire apparatus that may be needed in the actual film. When street closures are part of the filming, a site plan is required by AFD and an inspection may be required depending on the obstructions to access or egress of any structure. The following is required in order to obtain a permit for pyrotechnics or flame effects:

  • A $50.00 permit fee (issued by Emergency Prevention Office).
  • A current State of Texas, Pyrotechnic or Flame Effects Operators License.
  • Permit applications submitted 14 days prior to the event
  • A list of the materials to be used along with and MSDS for each.
  • A certificate of insurance for General Liability Insurance for a minimum of $1,000,000.00 per occurrence combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage. The City of Austin must be named as an additional insured on the policy.
  • When required by the Assistant Fire Marshal, a test shall be conducted to demonstrate the safe use of flame/pyrotechnic special effects material prior to use
  • When necessary for the preservation of life or property, the Assistant Fire Marshal is authorized to require the attendance of standby personnel and fire equipment as set forth in the 2009 International Fire Code: Chapter# 33 Explosives and Fireworks (Section# 3301.5 Supervision - The fire code official is authorized to require operations permitted under the provisions of Section 3301.2 to be supervised at any time by the fire code official in order to determine compliance with all safety and fire regulations).

The following expenses are the responsibility of the Production Company and/or Pyrotechnic Operator: (Staff recommendation that all fees below be eliminated except for the standard overtime costs associated with the use of Fire Department personnel.)

  • $160.00/hr. for each required apparatus standby (1 hr minimum)
  • $119.00/hr. for each fire inspector on required standby duties or on overtime inspections (2 hour minimum on overtime)
  • $160.00/hr. for each film industry requested fire apparatus (1 hr minimum)

For other details about working with the Fire Department for filming, please contact Michelle Tanzola, 512-974-0151.

Austin Water Utility / Water Service

The Austin Water Utility Customer Service Division can assist with your needs for temporary water service. The Austin Water Utility can set a water meter on a fire hydrant or on a customer’s vehicle; the customer’s need and service availability determine which approach works best. A permit and a deposit will be required for this service.

  • Deposits: $100.00 for a 1" meter, $425.00 for a 3” meter
  • Initiation fee: $20.95
  • Installation fee: $31.40
  • Base charge: $5.50 per month for a 1" meter, $21.50 per month for a 3" meter
  • Usage: Commercial rates are billed per 1,000 gallons used and vary according to Inside City/ Outside City and Peak and Non-Peak rates.

Application forms and procedures are available online. A water meter can be set on a fire hydrant or on a vehicle. A reduced pressure backflow prevention assembly is required for meters attached to a fire hydrant; the customer will be responsible for obtaining the assembly and paying to have it installed and tested by a certified tester. An air gap can be used in place of the reduced pressure backflow prevention assembly for meters on vehicles. There is no extra cost involved in maintaining an air gap. For other details about working with the Water Utility for filming, please contact the Austin Water Consumer Service Office at 972-0000, and select option #1 for water and wastewater connections.

Austin Energy / Electricity

For any details about working with Austin Energy for filming, please contact Luis Rivas, 512-322-6306.

Parks and Recreation Department

For details about working with the Parks and Recreation Department for filming, please contact Reservations, 512-974-6797.

The events office will make every effort to review and approve filming uses when an application is received. It is made more difficult the shorter the lead time or at park locations with high public usage such as pools or metropolitan parks. In order to be most successful, thoroughly detailed applications should be received 7 or more days in advance of the requested start date. Shoots with multiple locations, detailed needs, or large numbers of cast/crew should plan to submit requests 14 days or more in advance of the start date.

Office of Real Estate Services

For information about the use of City-owned buildings or property, contact Gloria Aguilera, 512-974-7100.

Library Department

For fee questions, booking dates, information about the use of Library buildings, and any other questions about working with the Library Department for filming, click here or contact Rachel Nguyen, 512-974-9687.

Austin Public Health / Animal Shelter

Austin PUblic Health has numerous facilities that might be available as film locations, including Neighborhood Centers. They also have a 44 acre location where administrative and animal service functions are located. For details about working with Austin Public Health, please contact Bob Corona, 512-972-5002. For information about working with Animal Services, contact Jennifer Olohan, 512-978-0675

Small Business Program

The mission of the Small Business Program is to foster job creation and support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity building information, tools, and resources.

Our program includes:

  • BizAid Business Orientation - general overview of opening a business or re-evaluating an existing business including helpful resources for entrepreneurs
  • BizOpen: Commercial Property Requirements Orientation - classroom orientation and webinar aiding in navigating the City of Austin's development process
  • Small Business Classes – range of topics covering day-to-day management of a business taught by University of Texas instructors
  • Events – panel discussions and expert speakers on industry specific or general business practices
  • Small Business Resources – search and locate helpful organizations for business assistance, networking, and training
  • Funding - Family Business Loan Program is a public-private partnership of low-interest loans for small business expansion and job creation. Veterans Loan Program is a microloan for Veteran-owned small businesses.
  • LocallyAustin.org - website and mobile app to drive residents and visitors to locally-owned small businesses. No-cost to add your business.
  • FastForward - 10-week training program designed to accelerate business growth and maximize profits
  • GetBackInBusinessAustin.org - disaster preparedness and recovery resources

For more information about the resources of the City of Austin Small Business Program, visit www.SmallBizAustin.org or call 512-974-7800. Sign up for our newsletter and receive updates on upcoming classes and events for entrepreneurs.

Department of Small and Minority Business Resources

It is the policy of the Austin City Council through Small and Minority Business Resources Department (SMBR) to provide equal opportunities to all contractors, and to redress the discrimination found in the City’s marketplace and in public contracting against minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MBE/WBE). The City seeks to encourage their full participation in all phases of City procurement activities and to afford them a full and fair opportunity to compete for all City contracts. The purposes and objectives of this department are as follows:

  • To provide opportunities for MBEs and WBEs to broaden and enhance their range of capacities to do business with the City.
  • To provide opportunities for MBEs and WBEs to serve as contractors and subcontractors for the supply of goods and services to the City.
  • To administer this program in a manner consistent with applicable federal and state law.

Goals for MBE and WBE participation differ from contract to contract, based on the type of contract, the availability of MBEs and WBEs to perform the functions of the contract, and other factors. Minority goals may be either aggregate MBE goals or ethnic-specific goals. Our Program includes:

  • MBE/WBE Ordinance Rules
  • Certification Application
  • Certified Vendor Directory
  • Contract Compliance Requirements
  • Information about Bonding, the Plan Room and other resources

For other details about working with the Department of Small and Minority Business Resources for filming, please contact Blender Hill, 512-974-7677.