Use a drone for your film shoot

Permits are required to shoot with a drone on, from, within, and over City of San Francisco streets.

What to do

1. Check requirements

You must get a separate Certificate of Aircraft Insurance for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) coverage. Remote pilots must be certified and follow FAA guidelines. See all requirements to film with a drone.

2. Create a detailed flight plan

The flight plan should include:

  • Flight date and times
  • Location map, showing a 1 nautical mile radius of the Area of Operations (AO)
  • Flight path description
  • Launch and landing zone description
  • Maximum operating altitude
  • Aircraft information and ID number

Refer to a sample flight plan.

4. Attach the drone use request package to your film permit application

Refer to the last step when getting a permit to film on SF City property.

With your film permit application, include:

  • UAS form
  • Detailed flight plan you created
  • UAS insurance coverage with endorsement
  • Neighborhood notification about the drone use
  • Drone insurance (see example)
  • Remote pilot’s license (see example)
  • Drone registration certificate (see example)
  • Filming permit application
  • Certificate of insurance with endorsement for your production

After you submit your request

We must approve the film notice. You will need to distribute the film notice 72 hours before the shoot once our office has given final approval.

Film SF will determine if you need police support.

Special cases

Other agencies

Other agencies

If you’re working with other agencies about your shoot locations, let them know you’re using a drone. You might need to get other permits.

Get help


Last updated December 9, 2022