Fees to film in San Francisco

January 1, 2022

About fees

A daily use fee is required for each day of filming or parking.

Payment is accepted via check, money order, credit card, or electronic funds transfer (ACH or Federal Wire System). Checks should be made payable to the "San Francisco Film Commission".

“Downtown San Francisco skyline at sunrise” by Kehn Hermano
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Film SF fees

The daily use fees are charged on a per day basis, no matter how many locations are listed on Exhibit A: Film SF Identification Page and Locations Page.

We will issue your permit only after the fees are paid.

Type

Daily use fee

Still photography $200 a day
Commercials or corporate media $300 a day

Short videos (including music

videos or web videos)

$300 a day
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Larger productions

For TV series (each episode), movies, pilots, web series (each episode), documentary, and short films.

Include a copy of the total budget estimate to qualify for reduced rates.

Budget

Daily use fee

Less than $100,000 $100 a day
$100,000 to less than $500,000 $300 a day
$500,000 or greater $500 a day
No budget estimate submitted $500 a day
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Fee exemptions

The following production types do not need to pay fees:

  • Public service announcements
  • Eligible student productions
  • Productions created by or for entities that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (provide proof of nonprofit status)
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Other information about Film SF fees

If a production fits multiple film categories, it will be charged the highest fee.

If a production is filming for three or more consecutive weeks, a deposit of five daily use fees is required prior to permit issuance.

Refunds

You can get a refund for Film SF fees by cancelling your permit or location day up to 24 hours before filming.

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Police Department fees

The Police Department will provide an estimate to Film SF. Film SF will send you a link to pay. We will only issue the film permit after you pay.

SFPD rates are updated twice a year on January 1 and July 1.

Time range Average rate per officer
6 am to 6 pm $135.18 to $179.25 an hour
6 pm to 6 am $140.65 to $186.51 an hour

There is a 4-hour minimum per officer hired for any film shoot. If you cancel the shoot with less than 24 hours notice, you still have to pay the 4-hour minimum.

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SFMTA-Muni fees

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Vehicle rentals

All rentals have a 2 hour minimum requirement. After the first 2 hour rental fee, subsequent hourly fees will apply. 

Rental Type

2-hour minimum

Subsequent hourly rate

Cable Car

$957.00

$479.00

Historic  

$497.00

$248.00

Vintage

$740.00 $370.00

Motor

$373.00

$186.50

Trolley

$359.00

$179.50

LRV

$791.25

$395.50

GO-4

$225.75

$113.00

To get a refund, you must cancel your rental by 9:00am the business day prior to the rental date.

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Muni inspectors

The estimated rate for a Muni inspector is $144.08 to $192.11 per hour.

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Use of SFMTA image trademark

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has trademarked Municipal Railway's images, including:

  • Logos
  • Other SFMTA-owned imagery

The Use of Image fee is a one-time fee per project type.   

If you rent an SFMTA vehicle, you do not have to pay an additional Use of Image fee.

Project type

One-time fee /

July 1, 2023 -

June 30, 2024

TV series or pilot   $1,600
Movie $1,600
Documentary $1,600
Commercial $800
Still photography $400
Corporate $400
Music video $400
Industrial $400
Web content $400
Short film (40 minutes or less) $400
Travel shows promoting SF (with Film Commission approval) $115
Student film, with school letter confirming insurance Waived
Student film, without school letter or insurance $66
By qualified Non-Profit Organization (only with 501c3 form)  Waived
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Filming fee information on other agency websites

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Other labor costs and considerations in San Francisco

Any company doing business in San Francisco for 7 or more days in a calendar year is required to register their business.

See labor requirements when you do business in San Francisco. This includes minimum wage, paid sick leave, healthcare spending, and workers' comp insurance.

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Departments