Chicago Film Office — Permits for Filming

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Thank you for your interest in filming in Chicago. The following permit guidelines will help get you started:

  • Chicago Park District, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and the Chicago Transit Authority issue their own filming permits. Please note that B-roll restrictions and rates also vary according to property. Contact them directly for permit and B-roll guidelines.
  • News crews, documentaries, B-roll, and other low impact productions that do not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic typically do not require a permit. This does not apply to the aforementioned locations that have their own permit guidelines.
  • Permits are issued by the City of Chicago for filming on streets, sidewalks, alleys, and other public properties.
  • Permit fees are $250 per day/per location. For student films and independent projects that contact our office, the fee is $25 per day/per location upon verification.
  • Processing time is determined by the scope of the request – but all permits require a minimum of 4 full business days for review and a minimum of 5 full business days for any permit requests that require traffic control or drone use. Please plan accordingly.
  • Street closures, stunts, special effects, drones, and other high-impact logistics require additional time and review – a minimum of 10 full business days. Contact a Film Office representative to discuss feasibility.
  • Chicago Riverwalk permits require a minimum of 10 days to process. Peak season restrictions apply. Contact the Film Office for more details.

Permit Requirements: All must be submitted for permit approval

Step 1:  Online Permit Application and Payment

Step 2:  City Services Form*

Step 3:  Certificate of Insurance*

Step 4:  Community Notification Leaflet*

*Send the City Services Form, Certificate of Insurance, and Community Relations Notification Leaflet with a brief description of your project to


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.

Code of Conduct (PDF)


Film production crews are considered to be guests in the communities where they work and shall treat the residents of those communities with respect and civility. It is the responsibility of the producers to ensure that cast and crew be made aware of this policy and comply with its guidelines.



When filming in residential neighborhoods or business districts, proper advance notification is to be provided to residents, business owners and/or building managers impacted by production activity. This notice (leaflet) shall include:

  • Production company name and project title
  • Duration (times and dates, including prep and strike)
  • Parking and traffic restrictions
  • Special conditions (use of pyrotechnics, smoke, simulated gunfire or stunts)
  • Contacts and phone numbers


Parking Restrictions

1. Production vehicles arriving on location shall not enter the area before the time stipulated on the permit. Production vehicles shall turn off engines as soon as possible. Crew parking is prohibited on set and is not covered by the filming permit. Production will provide off-street parking for crew.

2. The relocation of parked vehicles from permitted zones can only be performed by City tow operators by arrangement of the Chicago Police or the Film Office, and only when adequate public notice has been provided and “no parking” signage has been posted.

3. Production vehicles shall not block fire hydrants, bus stops, crosswalks or handicap parking spaces.

4. “Loading Zones” are restricted parking spaces at the entrances to designated buildings and businesses. These zones are paid for by the respective business and property managers. Production parking in loading zones is prohibited without the consent of these mangers.


Vehicular & Pedestrian Traffic

1. The temporary halting of pedestrian foot traffic must be courteous and reasonably brief. Public access to businesses, buildings and residences must be maintained.

2. Vehicular traffic control can only be implemented by Chicago Police Officers.

3. Cables and equipment on sidewalks and over crosswalks must be properly covered and secured. Do not block entrances to businesses and buildings.



1. Production noise levels should be kept to a minimum. Crew shall refrain from the use of lewd or improper language.

2. Loud special effects (pyrotechnics, simulated gunfire, etc.) must be performed between 9:00am – 10:00pm and only under the supervision of the Chicago Police and Fire Department.


Private Property

Production shall not occupy private property or restrict access to neighboring buildings or residences without prior arrangement and permission from the owner/manager.



All catering, craft service, construction and other trash must be removed from the location at completion of each day’s filming. Removal of notices and no-parking posting is the responsibility of the production.



Removal or trimming of trees and plants is prohibited without authorization.



Crew shall wear production badges when required and be prepared to provide identification, permits and location agreements when requested. Familiarize yourself with neighborhood, giving special consideration to schools, hospitals, daycare centers, places of worship, etc.

Recognizing that production can be a demanding enterprise troubled by budget and schedule concerns, we request that you be fair, honest and reasonable when dealing with the community.

Please share this information with your crew and help us to create a positive experience for everyone.


For an in-depth guide on permit applications, please watch the following video:

Chicago Film Office Permit Workshop 

Step 1 (of 4)        Online Permit Application and Payment


Complete the permit online.

First time users and new companies will need to create an account. After the creation of an account, sign in, click on permits, and then follow the prompts. Download a system tutorial (pdf) for more detailed instructions.

Helpful tips:

- Be sure to enter specific traffic control times and impacted streets. Record this information in the “Filming Information” page under the question: “Will any interruption of vehicular traffic be necessary?”

- The “Location Information” page requires that you enter street addresses. To help you identify streets by address, download a Street Guide (pdf). Use the “Additional Information” box on this page to specify posting times and side of street (both sides, east side only, etc.)

- You will receive an email notification when your permit has been approved. The system will require credit card payment prior to permits being issued.


Step 2 - Step 3 - Step 4

Step 2 (of 4)        City Services Form*


Please complete the City Services Request form (pdf) to apply for posting of No Parking signs, tow trucks, barricades, Police Personnel, Fire Personnel, and notice of special effects or gunfire. Email the completed form to so that we can coordinate the following process.

All tow trucks pertaining to film productions must be directly coordinated through the Chicago Film Office in advance.

Visit our Rates for Filming page for more information on costs of city services.


*Send the City Services Form, Certificate of Insurance, and Community Relations Notification Leaflet with a brief description of your project to


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Step 3 (of 4)        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:

- General Liability: $1,000,000 per occurrence; $500,000 per person

- Workman's Compensation (only when hiring police/fire personnel)

- A current certificate must be submitted prior to EACH production

- The City of Chicago must appear as an "additional named insured" and listed as follows:

City of Chicago
121 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Sample Insurance (PDF)


*Send the City Services Form, Certificate of Insurance, and Community Relations Notification Leaflet with a brief description of your project to


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Step 4 (of 4)        Community 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 in the heading (see sample)

- Production Company/Project Title

- Dates/Times

- 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

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.

Sample Leaflet (PDF)


*Send the City Services Form, Certificate of Insurance, and Community Relations Notification Leaflet with a brief description of your project to


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