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Film Licenses/Permits

Depending on the nature of the shoot, film shoots may require permits from the Police Department and the Fire Department .

  1. Secure a Business license: Filming in San Rafael will require a City of San Rafael business license specific for filming. You may apply and pay online: https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/film-shoot-business-license/
  2. Provide proof of insurance: Applicants should provide a certificate of insurance for their commercial general liability policy (with endorsement naming City of San Rafael as additional insured) in the amount of $1 million per occurrence, $2 million aggregate. When you register online, select  either "Film Crew/Private Property" or "Film Crew/Public Property" as your Business Type.  Under "Detailed Description of Business," please indicate the number of days you will be filming on public property and private property.
  3. Provide a Parking Map for Crew Vehicles: If you are going to be parking crew vehicles on a city street and will need to reserve parking spaces, we require a parking map be submitted. The map can be emailed to 478@srpd.org . No Parking signs may be obtained from parking services (1400 Fifth Ave lower level) The City of San Rafael website has information about parking signs and meter bags here:  https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/meter-bags-no-parking-signs-2/  signs must be posted and verified by a member of the parking services team no later than 72 hours prior to the start of your project.
  4. Encroachment permits are required if you are using city right of way: If you are going to use the city right of way (streets) for any portion of your shoot,  if you will be storing equipment in the public right of way, or if you will need intermittent traffic control for road closures, you will need an encroachment permit from Public Works. Encroachment permits may be obtained online: https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/encroachment-permits/
  5. Road closures: Please contact Lt. Holton if you will need to have police officers for traffic control or closures.
  6. Notifying residents if filming in residential neighborhoods: If you are filming in a residential neighborhood you will need to notify all residents that may be affected by the production.
  7. COVID-19 safety plan: Finally, you will need a site specific Covid-19 safety plan.  The County of Marin has a template for Covid Safety for filming. The template can be found here: https://marinrecovers.com/site-specific-protection-plan/

For more information on filming in San Rafael please contact:

Lisa Holton Lieutenant 

San Rafael Police Department
1375 Fifth Avenue
San Rafael,  CA 94901
478@srpd.org
(415) 485-3049

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