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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I need a Permit?

You need a permit if you have elements of any commercial production in any public or residential areas of Miami Beach.  If you have non-commercial production use of public or residential Miami Beach, a permit may be required if your production resources or activity mandate.

But we are a really small team, do we really need a permit?

Yes.  The primary purpose of the permit is as a variance on zoning and not reflective of size or scope.

I’m a student, do I need a permit?

Yes, you definitely need a permit and are expected to abide by the same rules as a professional production company.  However you will be covered under your school’s insurance, which should be provided if not already on file.  You must provide a copy of your current valid student identification, and a copy of your class schedule with the class you doing the production for highlighted.  If your school does not already have insurance on file with us, you will be asked to provide it.  You are responsible for all coordination elements, including paying for City services.

I am in media, do I need a permit?

“Breaking news” is the only exempt use of news permitting.  All other elements with pre-planned use are required to obtain a film permit and follow all coordination requirements, inclusive of proper satellite and microwave van parking.  Vehicle Beach Access policy is in effect at all times, inclusinve of  "Breaking News".

How much do permits cost?

If you need to include other areas outside of Miami Beach but within Miami-Dade County or County resources for your Miami Beach production, then use Option A under “Apply for a Permit.”  You will have to apply using the County’s website and they charge $100 for unlimited locations during a 28 day period.  This is not a location fee to Miami Beach; it goes exclusively to Miami-Dade County.

How quickly can I get a permit?

This entirely depends on needed coordination.  Please get us all the required elements (insurance, indemnity, permit application) and any other information we request as quickly as possible.  We only issue permits after all coordination is finalized. 

I am doing a small shoot, do I have to provide an Indemnity Agreement?

Yes.  It is not size dependent.  It is a legal requirement.

Our company is based outside the US do I still have to get the Indemnity Agreement notarized?

Yes. Notaries are available internationally and utilized worldwide to ensure factual identification of the person signing.  If the person signing does not possess that authority, this may constitute fraud.

How do I know if I need Worker’s compensation?

Typically, all American companies that hire over three full time employees are required to have it by State law. Florida requires you to have it even if you are from out of state if your state requires it.  International clients should check with their local jurisdictions.

I want to film in South Beach, is this you?

“South Beach” is a section of  Miami Beach from the tip of South Pointe Park to 23rd Street.  The entirety of the City of Miami Beach runs from South Pointe or 0 Street up to 87th Terrace inclusive of many of the bordering residential islands, including Palm, Star, Hibiscus, the Venetian Islands from San Marino eastward, the Sunset Islands, La Gorce, Allison Island and Normandy.  Miami Beach is it's own City with its own government and resources, but is part of Miami-Dade County.  The City of Miami is a distinct municipality.

I have a County-wide Permit is this good in Miami Beach?

The Miami-Dade County Film Office permits locations that are in Miami-Dade County with the exception of locations in the City of Miami and the City of Miami Beach.  Both these cities have film offices set up and do their own permitting according to their city’s specific filming codes.  County-wide permits are not valid in the City of Miami Beach.  You will need an additional Miami Beach permit.

What is a Citywide Permit?

Citywide permits allow you to film on public property without rental uses throughout Miami Beach (this does not include residentially zoned areas) without having any exclusivity to a certain area.  Cast & crew size and equipment allowed are very restricted, and you cannot affect vehicular or pedestrian traffic or impact businesses in any way among other restrictions.  These permits are ideal for b-roll and print shoots and generally do not require an off-duty officers, although there are exceptions at the discretion of the Film & Print Office.

Does the beach fall under a Citywide permit?

Yes, the beach is public property and usable under a City-wide with some restrictions.  You cannot interfere with any business that has a concession agreement with the City of Miami Beach on public property without their approval.  

Where can I park production vehicles?

If you need to rent meters for production or picture vehicles only or to have clear space for picture use, you have to get sign-offs using the signature survey form provided in the forms sections and get a sign off from any business the meter is in front of.  Please forward the sign-offs to the film office and then call the parking department at least 48 hours in advance to reserve your meters.  They will need the meter numbers, payment and approval from the film office in order to reserve the meters for you.  The number for the parking department meter rental office is 305-673-7505 X6673.  Please call the film office and not the parking dept for any questions regarding the coordination of the meters.  Meters absolutely cannot be reserved for personal vehicles.

Where can I park crew?

Parking is at a premium in Miami Beach, specifically in South Beach.  There are several private lots available and we can suggestions and offer advice.  There are also several municipal parking garages and your crew can pay and park in those like any other person.  Outside of South Beach there are more municipal and private lots available and finding parking for crew is much easier and we can make suggestions for those areas as well.  If the Convention Center is not in use for a show or load-in and load-out at all we can make arrangements for your crew to park and base camp there for free as partk of our incentive program, if the Convention Center is being lightly used then we can make arrangements for a reduced parking fee.  If the Convention Center is being used heavily we cannot make arrangements for you to park there.

I need to put vehicles on the Beach, how do I do this?

We only allow essential production vehicles on the beach under the terms of our Vehicle Beach Access Policy as long as there is an accessible area of hard pack sand for the vehicles to park and still maintain a 25’ emergency access lane.  These production vehicles are strictly regulated for obvious reasons.  All vehicles MUST be escorted by an off-duty officer whenever in motion and MUST have a Vehicle Beach Access Pass displayed on the dash at all times.  You can purchase these passes at the film office only after an off-duty officer has been reserved.  The first pass is free and each additional pass is $150, during the off-season (June - September) each additional is $75.  You will be required to submit a vehicle list if asked.  No personal vehicles allowed on the beach.

How do I reserve an off-duty officer?

For film and video projects please call the Off-Duty office at (305) 673-7823, for print projects please call Officer David De la Espriella at (954) 501-0315.  You are required to pre-pay for officers. 

What is the best way to reach you?

The film office is very busy and by the nature of our work we have to be out of the office often, therefore the best way to reach us is via email since we carry Blackberries.  Please visit the “About Us” page for our email addresses.

How can I request stock footage?

Miami Beach is filmed and photographed heavily and most stock footage companies will carry footage from our beautiful City.   Please visit the "Links" button for links to the Miami Production Guide to find such companies.  For broadcast use only, the GMCVB has limited HD footage.  See "Links" for a link to the GMCVB's website.

Can you recommend some crew or production companies?

As a government agency, we are unable to make referrals.  Please visit the “Links” button for links to the Miami Production Guide.

Can you tell me what companies will be filming soon?

You can visit our offices at 1755 Meridian Avenue, Ste 500, to check out our public record permit request file.  The file is located in the foyer of our offices.  The file and/or any requests cannot leave the premises.  You can take notes by hand, so bring a pen and paper.  We must charge for any copy machines use as part of a public records request.  Additional information is available at www.filmiami.org and published weekly in the Miami Herald and Miami Today.

Since we are very busy we cannot answer any questions of this nature over the phone or via email.