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The process behind filming in Boston

We can help you get the necessary permits to film in the City. Here's how we work with you to help make your project a reality.

You'll have to get permits through several departments if you want to film in the City. We'll review your request and help you get the permits you need.

Before you meet with us

You'll need insurance on your project before you arrange a meeting with us. Here’s what you need to get:

Personal Injury Protection: You need to get a Certificate of Insurance with at least $1 million in coverage. You must get it from your insurance provider and have them list the City of Boston as the certificate holder.

The dates should cover the entire time you'll be filming. Have them issue the certificate to:

City of Boston
1 City Hall Square, Room 716
Boston, MA 02201

Protection against damage to City property: You need at least $5,000 in coverage. Get a security bond issued to the City of Boston. You must use a local bond company. There's usually a $50 bond fee.

Call us at 617-635-3911 if you need help finding a bond company.

Once you have insurance, you can set up a meeting with us. Learn how to start the film permit process.

Figure out what you need

We'll go over your plans during the review. We’ll tell you what other permits or documents you might need, and put you in contact with the right departments.

Here are some common permits you may need to get:




Street Occupancy Permit

You can save spots on the street for parking or filming.

Public Area Permit

(Contact Public Works at 617-635-4909 for more information)

If you're filming on a public street or way, you need to get a permit. There's a fee of $20 per day for each location you use.

Special Hazards Permit

You need a permit through the Fire Department if you’re using special effects or generators.

Hiring details

You may need to hire a detail to keep the public and your production crew safe during filming. You can get a detail from any of the public safety agencies in the City. However, the Boston Police Department and Emergency Medical Services are your two main options:


When you use a police detail, you have to pay for at least four hours of the detail. If the detail lasts longer than six hours, the police will charge you for at least eight. Any more time after the eighth hour is added to your bill on an hour-to-hour basis.

To get a detail, please contact the Boston Police Department detail office at your nearest Neighborhood Police Station. Contact the police station in your district.

Here are the current detail rates, including the 10 percent administrative fee:



Captain to captain detective


Lieutenant to lieutenant detective


Sergeant to sergeant detective


Police officer to detective



You can have technicians and ambulances set aside for emergency medical treatment. You can also use medical services staff and vehicles in your production.

When you use an emergency medical services detail, you have to pay for at least three hours. This includes the half hour before and after filming that medical services needs to move its equipment. For more information, call 617-343-2367.

Find out how to hire medical services for your production. Here are the current detail rates:




Basic Life Support Squad Unit

Single technician with an SUV


Basic Life Support Ambulance

Two technicians with an ambulance


Bicycle Defibrillator Team

Two technicians on bicycles


Advanced Life Support Ambulance

Two paramedics with an ambulance


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