PERMITS & REGULATIONS
No matter the crew size or impact, if you are filming on public property in the City of Austin (like a street or park), a permit is required. Permits are not required to film on private property.
If you have questions, concerns or need assistance with any of the City of Austin film permitting processes, please contact Kim McCarson, Economic and Business Liaison Austin for the Music & Entertainment Division of the City of Austin's Economic Development Department. Kim can be reached at 512-974-7963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For motion picture set construction guidelines, please reference the City of Austin Development Services Department Permit Exemptions.
The Austin Film Commission does not issue permits for filming but the following are local contacts (along with guidelines) for the various Austin-area film location permitting entities:
City of Austin - Streets & Sidewalks / City of Austin - Parks & Waterways / City of Austin - Public Library
Austin-Bergstorm International Airport / State of Texas - Capitol Grounds / State of Texas - Owned Properties
TxDOT - Highways (Austin District) / LCRA - Properties / University of Texas at Austin
The following are additional regulatory resources for filming locally:
If you are working in the communities surrounding Austin, please reference the Film Friendly Texas Directory for permitting contacts in those jurisdictions.
CITY OF AUSTIN - STREETS & SIDEWALKS
Requests for the use of City of Austin Right of Way (city streets, sidewalks, and alleys) by commercial, student, or mobile filming, must be authorized by the Austin Transportation Department's Right of Way Division. It is recommended that Permit requests be filed at least 5 days prior to the filming start date for the Transportation Department to be able to accommodate the request.
Permits are free, but productions will need to provide the following as part of the permitting process: proof of insurance, description of filming/requested use, a map highlighting the filming impact, obtain sign off from the Austin Police Department and sign off from any impacted residents or businesses. If you are requesting any type of road closure, a Traffic Control Plan will also be needed as well as on-set police assistance. For complete road closures, productions are asked to have permit requests submitted 10 days prior to filming. The Right of Way Department also issues B-Roll Permits and Parking Permits
Permit requests are filed online through the City of Austin Transportation Department, the site also has full instructions and more information on requirements: Right of Way Management Approval Network.
City of Austin Transportation Department:
Right of Way Management Division
Not sure which local jurisdiction permits a certain roadway? Find out if a roadway is overseen by City, County or State with Right of Way GIS Profiles.
CITY OF AUSTIN - PARKS & WATERWAYS
To film on Austin Parks properties—like Zilker Park, Pfluger Bridge, the Hike and Bike Trail, Mount Bonnell, Lady Bird Lake, Decker Lake, & Lake Austin—a permit must be obtained from the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD). The Park Directory includes a full list of the over 300 City of Austin Parks properties. It is recommended that requests be filed at least 7 days in advance of filming start date for small productions and 14 days for large impact projects.
For full instructions and more information on requirements, please reference the Parks and Recreation Department's Film Permit FAQ.
CITY OF AUSTIN - PUBLIC LIBRARY
Reservations for filming and photography are based upon availability as determined by library staff. It is recommended that all filming requests be made 21 days prior to the production day. Filming is welcome but must not interfere with the public’s regular use of the facility during open hours.
Commercial Filming and Photography Permit requests are available via the Austin Public Library Communications Office.
APL Event Services Office
AUSTIN-BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Requests to film at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AIBA) must be submitted through the ABIA - Airport Filming Program.
Chief Business and Finance Officer
STATE OF TEXAS - CAPITOL GROUNDS
To inquire about filming on the State Capitol Grounds, requests must be submitted to the State Preservation Board.
Events & Exhibits Coordinator, State Preservation Board
STATE OF TEXAS - OWNED PROPERTIES
In order to film on a state-owned property—like a building or park—a request must be submitted to the Texas Film Commission. Permit requests can be filed online through the State Property Use - Request for Use Application.
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (TXDOT) - HIGHWAYS
To film on any State of Texas highway right of way in the area, you must obtain permission from the TxDOT Austin District Office, which oversees Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Gillespie, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis, & Williamson counties. Local corridors overseen by TxDOT include: I-35, US 290, US 183, US 281, SH 71, SH 195, SH 130 toll road, Loop 1 (MoPac), & Loop 360.
Austin District Office
LOWER COLORADO RIVER AUTHORITY (LCRA)
Organizations and individuals wanting to film or take photographs on LCRA property can apply online. The LCRA oversees a number of beautiful parks and waterways as well as offices and unique industrial spaces in the Austin area. Local properties including McKinney Roughs Nature Park, Lake Bastrop, and the Dalchau Service Center. The Parks Directory includes a list of LCRA properties.