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Shooting Permit Requirements in

Chicago, IL

Chicago Park District (parks and lakefront) and the CTA (el and subway) are separate entities and have their own permitting process.  Any of the instructions below do not apply to those 2 agencies.


Any time a production uses weapons and/or special effects, you must contact the Chicago Film Office with details.  Special Effects may require a special license and weapons visible to the public and/or the discharge of prop guns will require a police officer on location.


Step 1 - Contact the Chicago Film Office to:


1.        Speak with a film office representative about your project. Prior to stopping by the office, we strongly suggest you make an appointment. Film Office rep will discuss all aspects of your planned activities to include schedules, locations, parking requirements, etc. Begin these initial discussions as early as possible. The more time and information we have, the better we can serve you and the communities in which you film.


2.        Obtain a letter of intent and film packet which includes insurance requirements and police/fire rates. This form is now available for download for either faxing or emailing to the Chicago Film Office.

Letter of Intent Form (.pdf)

Letter of Intent Form (online)   (The letter of intent can be emailed back to the Film Office, but you must call the office to confirm receipt. Email address:  filmoffice@cityofchicago.org)

Sample Letter of Intent

Sample Insurance



Step 2


The following must be received by the Chicago Film Office a minimum of 48 hours in advance of filming start time:

1.  A completed Letter of Intent detailing the date, time and location.

2. Certificate of Insurance meeting the specified limits and naming the City of  Chicago as an additional insured.

3.  Payment, by cash, check or credit card ($25 per day/per location).



Credit Card Form



Step 3


Notify the neighborhood and/or businesses with a leaflet that provides details of filming plans. See film office for samples. Early and thorough notification is not only a courtesy, it is an effective and indispensable part of prep. Example of a  Sample Leaflet


Step 4


Visit your location the day prior to filming to make sure that your "No Parking" signs have been posted. If they are not, please contact the Chicago Film Office immediately.


Instructions for "Letter of Intent"

• Companies that wish to use the City of  Chicago as a location for filming features, television productions, documentaries, independent films, still photography, etc. must submit a "Letter of Intent" form for each filming/parking location that requires use of the public way.

• The parking spaces requested on the Letter of Intent are for production vehicles or picture, not for crew cars.

• Letter of Intent forms may be delivered, faxed or emailed to:


Chicago Film Office

121 N. LaSalle

Room 806

Chicago  IL 60602

Fax: 312.744.1378



• The City of Chicago also requires a Federal ID number in order to process a permit.

• The "Letter of Intent" form must be accompanied by credit card, check or cash (exact change) for $25 per day per location.

• Make checks payable to: City of Chicago - Department of Revenue



Instructions for "Certificate of Insurance"


In order to obtain a permit, policies must meet the following minimum requirements:


Limits of liability:

•General: $1,000,000 per occurrence; $500,000 per person

•Workman's Compensation: Should be in line with company's other certificates

The City of  Chicago must appear as an "additional named insured" as their interest may appear.



Contact Info:

Chicago Film Office

121 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 806

Chicago,  IL 60602

Phone: 312.744.6415

Fax: 312.744.1378

URL:  www.chicagofilmoffice.us