Motion Picture and Television Development

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Apply for a Film Permit

Hand checking a box on a form
A permit is required for all commercial (non-personal)  filming or related activities in DC public space. This includes all types of commercial filming and photography (documentaries, commercials, PSAs, student films, etc.)

The size of your cast and crew doesn't exempt anyone from obtaining a film permit in the District of Columbia, but it may affect the cost of your permit. (See fee chart on last page of permit application.)

Filming outside the White House (closed portion of Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 15th and 17th Street) is under DC jurisdiction. Please just list "White House" on your application.

Under certain circumstances, the Film Office may--at its discretion--issue a 'blanket' permit for all streets in the city (under DC control), or for specific neighborhoods or geographic areas such as Capitol Hill, Woodley Park, Anacostia, or Petworth. These blanket permits will be vetted on a case by case basis. They are primarily for projects that have a demonstrated need to cover large areas of the city due to the nature of the project. Blanket permits will not be issued because a production has not decided on its location(s). The blanket permit WILL NOT COVER ANY NATIONAL PARKS, GEORGETOWN WATERFRONT PARK, MEMORIAL BRIDGE, THE REFLECTING POOL, TIDAL BASIN, ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL, THE MALL, U.S. CAPITOL, OR ANY OTHER NATIONAL MONUMENTS, OR MEMORIALS. (See National Park Service link below.)


The Map - Many of you have asked for it, and it's here! All areas in pink are NPS, blue is US Capitol Police. Most everything else is DC jurisdiction, except private property, embassies, and some other special areas. *Please also note that the SIDEWALKS of Pennsylvania Ave NW between 3rd and 15th St NW are also NPS territory, but for some reason aren't pink on the map. (The STREET from 3rd and 15th  St is DC - most useful for driving shots.) Also, Union Station is a mixed bag of jurisdictions, some NPS, some Capitol Police, some Amtrak, and some DC. See Union Station Jurisdictional Map below.

Film permits for DC public space are issued by the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment and provide permission to occupy public space for filming and parking in the District of Columbia. Location parking for essential production vehicles is not guraranteed, but we make every effort to make it avilable. Please read the full film permit application Instructions prior to completing a film permit application. For additional information about film permits, you may contact the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment directly at (202) 727-6608 or film@dc.govwith any questions or concerns.

Film permits for National Park Service (National Mall, Washington Monument, Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials, etc.), US Capitol, or DC Department of Parks and Recreation (pools, basketball courts, playgrounds, etc.) are handled separately.Please follow the appropriate link to find permit information for the National Park Service, US Capitol Police, etc.

Volume is higher during particular times of the year, so you must submit your request to the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, at least:

  • Three (3) full* business days prior to the first day of filming when requesting filming only; or
  • Five (5) full* business days prior to the first day of parking when also requesting parking.

*Applications received before 9 am are considered a full business day.  

Submit completed application by email (, or by fax at fax (202) 727-3246.