Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to beautiful Miami Beach – the most stunning backdrop for your next great project in film, print, and media is at your fingertips…
The Film and Print Office for the City of Miami Beach is at your service to ensure that your production experience is smooth and seamless. We welcome you to our white sand beaches, art deco cityscapes, and tropical rhythms!
Below please find a few helpful hints to permitting in the City of Miami Beach. For any further questions or concerns, please contact our office at 305.673.7070.
Do I need a Permit?
Film & Print permits are required for individuals and businesses wishing to conduct commercial film, television, video, still photography and all other media use projects taking place on public property, at residential locations, when City services are required (such as reserving meters for production parking or hiring off-duty Police), or when productions may have an impact on traffic, residents and City services.
Please note that single camera/photographers with no models, assistants, or other crew, using only handheld equipment, with no large props and not blocking sidewalks or businesses are exempt from the permit requirement.
But we are a small team; do we really need a permit?
Yes, if your production involves more than a single cameraman/photographer as described above, you will need a permit.
I’m a student, do I need a permit?
Yes, you need a permit and are subject to the same rules as a professional production company. However, you will be covered under your school’s insurance. In order to tie you to your school’s insurance policy to the City, please submit a copy of your current valid student identification, and your class schedule, highlighting the class for which you are completing the production. If your school’s insurance is not already on file with the City, you will be asked to provide it. When applying for a permit, please list your school’s name as the production company. Schools and government agencies are exempt from the indemnity requirement.
I am in media, do I need a permit?
“Breaking news” is the only exempt use of news permitting. All other elements with pre-planned use such as produced packages are required to obtain a Film & Print permit and follow all coordination requirements, inclusive of proper satellite and microwave van parking. Vehicle Beach Access policy is in effect at all times, inclusive of “Breaking News.”
How much do permits cost?
Film & Print Permits are FREE! As an incentive to encourage production in our community, the City of Miami Beach does not charge for permits (Option A).
As a convenience to Productions who would like one site to request locations in both Miami-Dade County and Miami Beach, productions can use Option B., www.filmiami.org. This is Miami-Dade’s permitting website and they charge $100 for a permit request up to 28 days. Only use this option if you also have locations under Miami-Dade County’s jurisdiction.
For locations in the City of Miami, please visit www.miamifilmoffice.com.
How quickly can I get a permit?
The Film & Print Office works quickly and collaboratively to help support and expedite all of your production needs. Permits are issued Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Our office makes every effort to issue all permits within a few short hours of all deliverables being submitted by the client.
The more complex the permit request, the more time the client may need to complete the coordination. Citywide permits average about 2 days of coordination for first time applicants, but can be pulled within a day for subsequent applications. Larger permits that require police staffing and meter rental average 3 to 4 days. Any street closures, driving shots, stunt work, drone work, and residential uses average around 1 week for permit completion. Of course, it is always best to err on the side of applying with as much time as possible, so as to ensure all areas are covered.
I have a small shoot, do I need to provide an Indemnity Agreement?
Yes, the Indemnity agreement is a minimum requirement, along with the Certificate of insurance, for all permits issued by the City of Miami Beach Film & Print Office.
Our company is based outside the US, do I still need to get the Indemnity Agreement notarized?
Yes. Notaries are available internationally and utilized worldwide to ensure factual identification of the person signing.
How do I know if I need Worker’s Compensation?
Typically, all American companies that hire more than three full time employees are required by State law to have Worker’s Compensation. The State of Florida requires you to have Worker’s Compensation even if you are from out of state, if your state requires it. International clients should check with their local jurisdictions.
I want to film in South Beach, is this you?
Yes! “South Beach” is a section of Miami Beach from the tip of South Pointe Park to 23rd Street. Also part of our beautiful City is Mid-Beach, from 23rd Street to 63rd Street and North Beach, from 63rd Street to 87th Terrace.
The entirety of the City of Miami Beach runs from South Pointe up to 87th Terrace, inclusive of many of the bordering residential islands, including Palm, Star, Hibiscus, the Venetian Islands from San Marino Eastward, the Sunset Islands, La Gorce, Allison Island, and Normandy Island. Miami Beach is its own City with its own government and resources, but is part of Miami-Dade County. This City issues our own City of Miami Beach permits, and does not flow though the County. The City of Miami is a distinct municipality.
I have a Countywide Permit is this good in Miami Beach?
No. The Miami-Dade County Film Office permits on behalf of cities and unincorporated areas within Miami-Dade County with the exception of cities that choose to permit on their own behalf such as Coral Gables, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach. Because the City of Miami Beach has a high volume of permit requests and specific rules and regulations put in place by our City Commission, we have a dedicated Film & Print Office which oversees all permitting within the City of Miami Beach.
What is a Citywide Permit?
The most user friendly permit in the State of Florida – only available right here in beautiful Miami Beach! Citywide permits allow filming and photography on public property throughout Miami Beach (this does not include residentially zoned areas) without having any exclusivity to a certain area. In other words, free access to film throughout the City on an as needed basis. In order to qualify for this permit, cast & crew size must be under 12 people with handheld equipment, and cannot interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic or impact any businesses. These permits are ideal for reality shows, host stand ups, b-roll and fashion & portrait photography shoots and generally do not require an off-duty officers, although there are exceptions at the discretion of the Film & Print Office. Citywide permits can be requested up to 1 month at a time as long as the insurance and indemnity on file are active.
Does the beach fall under a Citywide permit?
Yes, the beach is public property in a non-residential area, so it would fall under a Citywide permit subject to the same Citywide terms as non-beach areas (Miami Beach does not have any private beaches). Please note that Productions with Citywide permits cannot interfere with a beachfront concessionaire (beach chair rentals, snack huts, Jet Ski rental, etc.) without the concessionaire’s prior written approval.
Can I use a drone
Yes. The City of Miami Beach follows all FAA regulations for drone permitting. Along with license, insurance and drone spec requirements, the drone cannot fly over any non participating parties (anyone other than the cast & crew). That means the drone has to fly over a controlled non populated area. Drones used over rooftops, the ocean, or above a closed and controlled set work well.
What can be challenging to arrange are drone flights over traffic, parks, streets, cafes, etc. The Film & Print Office works closely with all productions requesting the use of drones so that all FAA requirements are met. We can suggest affordable ways to get your shot requiring the least amount of off-duty officers used for control. Please note that Citywide permits DO NOT include the use of drones. Any use of drones requires an approved flight plan and at least one officer to enforce the plan, even over water or private property. Please contact our offices for further guidance to help ensure a smooth permitting effort when using drones.
Where can I park production vehicles?
When you need essential equipment vehicles close to the set or to clear on-street metered spaces for picture, please scout, identify and collect the meter numbers that are necessary. The meter numbers are etched onto round metal discs glued to the curb.
Then please fill out and follow the submission instructions on the Parking Meter Request Form found online at www.filmiamibeach.com / Forms Central, use the Notification Form also found online, to notify all directly impacted businesses and residents, and submit the filled out notification form with all the addresses notified to the Film & Print Office. Please advise the Film & Print Office of your parking plan before you submit your order, since the Film & Print Office approves all production parking requests as part of the Film & Print permitting process. We base that approval on confirmation that the request is for parking for essential vehicles only, no personal vehicles will be parked, police staffing for more 6 or meters reserved, that the production has made attempts to minimize impact to the area by utilizing metered spaces along parks, garages and lots and shuttered businesses as much as possible, and that the area has been properly notified. Any valet spaces being requested require signature approval of the valet company directly, and relocation of the valet ramp. The Film & Print Office will walk you through this process.
Where can I park crew?
There are several private and municipal lots available and the Film & Print Office is happy to offer suggestions and advice. The City offers pre-arranged crew parking at a discounted rate of $10/vehicle in most City owned garages.
I need to put vehicles on the Beach, how do I do this?
Only essential production vehicles can have access to the beach. These production vehicles must have a pre-arranged Vehicle Access Pass and an off-duty escort, as well as a valid Film & Print Permit. Production vehicles with access to the beach for parking are strictly regulated, and safety is of the upmost importance. Please make arrangements for Vehicle Access Passes directly with the Film Office so that we may facilitate the process.
How do I reserve an off-duty officer?
Once a Film & Print permit application has been submitted, and all elements discussed with the Film & Print office, productions can then coordinate their off-duty detail. For film and video projects please call the Off-Duty Police Office at 305.673.7823, for print projects please email Lt. Douglas Simon at email@example.com to request your officer(s). For larger productions requiring at least 3 officers, productions will be assigned a police coordinator by the Off-Duty Police Office. Your Police coordinator will be dedicated to the production and available during non-office hours for any changes and adjustments to your police staffing. In these cases, the Film and Print Office can provide an estimate of how many police officers will be needed, but the Police coordinator will have the authority to give the final recommendation.
Productions are required to pre-pay for officers. Cancellations may be done up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund; otherwise productions are responsible for the four hour minimum of each officer requested. Please allow at least 2 days to request and pay for an officer, and longer during peak times, such as the months of February and March and the during Art Basel which usually falls on first week of December. The Film & Print Office will walk you through this process.
What is the best way to reach you?
The Film & Print Office’s direct line is 305.673.7070 and our office email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our home page at www.filmiamibeach.com for our individual email addresses.
How can I request stock footage?
Miami Beach is filmed and photographed heavily and most stock footage companies will carry footage from our beautiful City. Please visit the “Links” button for links to the Miami Production Guide to find such companies. For broadcast use only, the GMCVB has limited HD footage. See “Links” for a link to the GMCVB’s website.
Could you recommend some crew or production companies?
As a government agency, we are unable to make referrals, as we must treat everyone equally. However, there is a production guide which allows vendors to register for listings. Please visit the “Links” button for links to the Miami Production Guide.