Acquiring permits for your Texas-made production is a vital step of the pre-production process. Ensuring proper permissions are obtained for your locations provide a necessary level of safety for your crew as well as financial and logistical peace of mind as productions can be terminated by local authorities if unauthorized filming occurs. Industry standards and best practices encourage reaching out to every municipality during pre-production whether permits are required or not.
The process to obtain a film permit in Texas varies greatly from location to location; there is no “blanket” permit to produce content. And, while the Texas Film Commission does not issue permits, our office is always happy to direct every production to the proper contacts.
Table of Contents
For publicly-owned properties (sidewalks, streets, parks, city buildings), permitting will typically be administered at the municipal level dependent upon ownership of the property.
For our metropolitan areas, the regional film commission is the best place to start. Please see a full list of regional offices here or find those with direct film permitting links below:
For our small to mid-sized communities, there’s a good chance they are a member of our Film Friendly Texas (FFTX) program. Search our statewide network of FFTX communities here to find the correct permitting contact.
If the municipality has neither a regional film commission nor a FFTX contact, please contact us to determine the best course of action.
In Texas, if a filming location is entirely on private property, a film permit is not needed; permission from the property owner in the form of a valid location agreement is required. If your project films on private property but your vehicles, crew, equipment, or anything else impedes any access to public spaces (sidewalks, roads, etc.), then both a location agreement and a permit from the municipality are required.
Determining the permitting agency for any Texas road requires the exact location of filming as jurisdictions can change from one mile to the next. City roads, county roads, interstate highways and farm-to-market roads all have different permitting agencies. Please visit our Filming on Texas Roads page to determine the best point of contact.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) facilitates and approves permitting for all Texas state parks and typically need several weeks of lead time for your project's best chance of success.
Productions are encouraged to first visit TPWD’s Media Productions page to read over the requirements. Then, please contact the individual state park superintendent by clicking here to determine if your project is feasible with them before filling out the online application. They will provide guidance from that point on.
The Texas Film Commission serves as a liaison between various Texas state agencies and inquiring production companies to communicate production needs to agency representatives while simultaneously preserving and protecting agency resources and missions. Our office does not facilitate production requests for every Texas state agency so please contact our office to discuss your location(s) of interest if you have not been through the process before.
To review the application process and production insurance requirements for these types of locations, click here.
State Capitol Grounds
The State Preservation Board facilitates all requests to film on the Capitol grounds. You can find information on their guidelines and how to apply by clicking here. Please note a minimum of two weeks advanced notice is required for all proposed production activities.
The sidewalks and roads surrounding the Texas State Capitol property, however, are managed by the City of Austin.
The Texas Film Commission is always here to help guide you and your team to the correct permitting entity. If you do not see the type of location your project wishes to utilize on this page or if you require additional help, please contact us.