Film Permits

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The City of Santa Cruz is known for its unique atmosphere, incredible weather and beautiful beach setting.

If you are filming on public property in the City of Santa Cruz (including still photography) for commercial purposes, you must have a permit to do so. This application is solely for the use of public property within the City’s jurisdiction.

Requests for using Drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems - UAS) for filming must submit FAA certifications and/or other requirements with the application. 

If private property is utilized, arrangements must be made with the property owner.


Parties interested in filming in the City of Santa Cruz must review the following policies and procedures which will provide information regarding filming.

The following forms/fees should be completed and submitted:  Note: as of July 1, application fees are now required. 

  • Application :  The application fee will be determined by City staff after reviewing the application. The application fee will be required to be paid in order to schedule the requested date/time.

Simple Filming App Fee: $100 (less than 4 hours of City staff time) 

Complex Filming App Fee: $250 (more than 4 hours of City staff time)

The application will be reviewed and the applicant advised as to which City services, if any, are required.

The application must be processed and approved before filming/photographing begins. 

If the application is approved, the applicant will be issued an “Authorization to Film in the City of Santa Cruz” permit. This permit must be on hand at approved location at all times. 

  • Certificate of insurance. See the insurance requirements
  • Site Map of requested location that provides equipment and/or other items 

Santa Cruz City Council members, the Police Department, and the Fire Department will be advised of significant film permits that are requested. Further review may be required for multiple dates, locations, and/or significant street closures. 

Kathy Agnone, Coordinator
Special Event Permit Office
City of Santa Cruz
809 Center Street, Room 10
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-420-5011 (fax)

Special Event Permit Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to Noon; 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Friday by appointment

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