Guidelines for shooting student films in SF

Class assignments with school-provided insurance can get Film SF fees waived. See permit instructions.

Film SF works with film schools, universities, and colleges to help students get a permit to film class assignments in SF.


A production is considered a student film if it’s a class assignment with insurance coverage provided by the school.

If your school is not able to provide the required general liability insurance coverage for your project, email us at


You do not have to pay Film SF daily use fees to shoot a student project. There may be other fees associated with other agencies, depending on the filming activity.

Insurance requirements

Your school must provide the minimum general liability insurance coverage for your student film, include the certificate of insurance with your permit application.

You do not need to provide worker’s compensation.

Auto liability

You will need to show proof of auto liability and email a copy of your insurance card to 

If you are filming a moving vehicle or driving to and from the shoot location you will need to provide:

  • Proof of up to $1 million auto liability coverage

If you are renting a production vehicle:

  • Proof of buying the rental car company’s supplemental auto liability insurance (up to $1 million) in your rental contract

Auto waiver

You can claim an auto liability waiver on your permit application if you will:

  • Not be using a vehicle for filming
  • Only taking public transit, taxi, and/or rideshare service to and from the shoot location

Email any questions or forms to or directly to your film coordinator.

Have your instructor confirm you are a student

Have your instructor or department head email a Teacher Approval Form (Word) to

Other permit application instructions

When filling out the permit application, make sure:

  • The contractor (page 1) and production company (page 8) lines should be listed as “(Name of school)/(Name of student)” like “San Francisco State University / John Doe”
  • Use the school’s address as the “Company Address” on page 8

Include with your permit application:

  • Certificate of insurance
  • A copy of the script, or pages pertaining to the locations you’re requesting
Last updated November 16, 2023