What to do
1. See if you need a permit
You need this permit to use amplified sound equipment on a vehicle, float, or other moving object outdoors. This includes using this equipment on:
- A city street
- A city sidewalk
- Private property, like a parking lot
You do not need this permit for use on SF Recreation and Parks property, federal property, or at a private residence.
One permit can cover more than one sound truck at the same event. One permit can cover up to 12 hours.
For an outdoor event with amplified sound or entertainment in one location, like a street fair or concert, apply for our One Time Outdoor Event Permit.
2. Get permission from whoever owns or manages the property
You also need permission from whoever owns or manages the property you will be driving on. This could be a:
- Parade Permit from the SF Police Department
- Temporary street closure permit from the SFMTA (ISCOTT)
- Special event license from the Port of San Francisco
- Letter from the property owner or manager
- Contract to rent the space
If you are the property owner or manager, you don’t need a letter or contract. You can just confirm your status on the application.
3. Know the details
You will need to know:
- Your route, with a route map
- Hours you will have outdoor amplified sound
- Contact info for the person in direct control of the sound truck(s)
- Size of your sound equipment
4. Fill out the application
In the application, you will need to agree to rules and responsibilities. You will need to give detailed responses to the security plan questions; short, one-sentence answers will not be accepted.
It will take about 30 minutes. We will send you a confirmation email and information about what to do next.
5. Pay the permit fee
For a business that qualifies for the City's First Year Free program, first email us to request a fee waiver at email@example.com and include your business name, address, and Business Account Number (BAN).
The SF Entertainment Commission has the right to deny an application submitted less than 7 days before an event. Once we begin processing your application, we may not refund your fee.
If you qualify for the fee waiver, you may apply for the waiver by responding to the questions in the permit application.
Fee Waiver Eligibility:
You can apply for a fee waiver if your event received a grant from the City and County of San Francisco; OR
You can apply for a fee waiver if you (the organizer) get some kind of public assistance or if paying the fee would not leave you enough money to live on; OR
You can apply for a fee waiver if your event is ALL of the following:
- open to the public
- run by a non-profit or community group, and
- the permit fee is more than 25% of the total budget for the event
After hours sound
After hours sound
If you want to have outdoor amplified sound before 9 am or after 10 pm it may be possible.
You may need to have a public hearing with the Entertainment Commission. Get in touch with us early, as the process can take up to 45 days.
The Entertainment Commission supports a thriving entertainment and nightlife culture that balances the needs of the City’s entertainment community, its audiences, and its neighbors across all district neighborhoods.
Last updated August 11, 2023