Here are some common questions about filming in Portland. If your question is not answered here, please contact us.


When do I need a permit to film in Portland?

You need a permit from the City of Portland to film on or in municipal property such as streets, sidewalks, parks, public buildings and other land/structures owned by the city.  You may also need permits from other government agencies to film on county, state or other government-owned property.  You will also need a permit to reserve parking for essential production vehicles or to clear for picture. Please see City Permits and Guidelines for more information.

You may also need a permit for noise variance, fire/pyrotechnics or for other production activity that could potentially impact Portland neighborhoods. The Portland Film Office can help determine your need for these additional permits.

If your filming activity takes place on private property, you must work directly with the owner of that property.  City permits are not issued for filming on privately owned property. 

I don’t know where I want to film yet. Can I get a blanket permit?

The City of Portland generally does not issue blanket film permits.  Permits are time, date and location-based, which means that you must tell us exactly when and where you would like to film.  We cannot submit permit requests without this information. 

If you are not based in Portland and need help determining locations where you’d like to film, please contact a local locations scout for assistance.

My production crew is small; do I still need a permit?

Yes.  Filming activity on most municipal property will require a permit, regardless of size or type of production.  However, if you are a small crew of five or fewer and using only a camera and tripod on set, you may be eligible for a "B-Roll" permit.  Please call the Film Office for more information.

Do I need production insurance to get a city permit?

Most permits require that you submit production liability insurance.  The city requires a certificate of insurance and an additional insured endorsement (two forms).  Parking permits do not require insurance.

For more information on the city’s insurance requirements, please see insurance info in Film Production Insurance Requirements.

How many days in advance should I apply for permits?

The number of days required to process permit applications varies.  Parks and Right of Way permits prefer five days’ notice.  Permits for Fire/Pyro may take several weeks to process.  Please see City Permits and Guidelines or contact the Portland Film Office for more information for specific permit requirements.

Where do I apply for and pick up my permits?

It depends on which city bureau is issuing the permit.  For application, payment and pick-up detail please see City Permits and Guidelines.

How do I pay for my permits?

Permit fees for Portland Parks and Bureau of Transportation (streets, sidewalks, parking) are paid at the Portland Parks and Recreation Customer Service Center at 1120 SW 5th Avenue, 1st Floor, or fees may be paid by phone (using Visa or MasterCard only) by calling 503-865-2377. Other permit fee payment processes vary according to bureau; please see individual city permit guidelines for more information: City Permits and Guidelines.

How do I reserve parking?

You may reserve parking for production vehicles (not crew or client) or to clear for picture through the Portland Bureau of Transportation: City Permits and Guidelines.

How do I set up parking barricades?

If you reserve parking spaces for essential production vehicles, please follow these guidelines for notification and barricade placement:
Notification and Permit Conditions for Parking and Street/Sidewalk Use

If you need assistance obtaining or distributing No Parking barricades, please contact the Portland Film Office for more information.

When do I need to do a neighborhood notification letter?

Neighborhood notification letters are the best way for film crews to work effectively and respectfully on location in Portland neighborhoods.  Notifications must be distributed when permits impact street/sidewalk traffic, parking, noise levels, night activity or any other film activity disruptive to neighbors or businesses.

If you work with the Portland Film Office to obtain city permits, please feel free to use this letter template: Neighborhood Notification Template