Filming Permits

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The City of Carlsbad does not have a film ordinance; therefore, the city does not issue “filming” permits for commercials, informational videos, television shows, movies and other productions within the city limits. In some cases, another permit process is required depending on the location and activity type.

  • All businesses doing work in the City of Carlsbad must have a city business license. The license tax for the taking of motion pictures, shots or scenes for commercial purposes, or for commercial use, or in connection with the production for commercial purposes of any motion picture play or production is $30 for the first day and $10 day thereafter, when private property exclusively is used, and $100 for the first day and $50 for each day thereafter when public property is used.
  • Activity on private property within the city must be with the consent of the property owner, and affected parties should be notified ahead of time.
  • Activity on private property may need a minor special event permit issued by Carlsbad’s Community & Economic Development Department (760-602-2721).
  • Activity on public right of ways in Carlsbad may need a special event permit if the activity does not comply with legal traffic and parking regulations or pose any restrictions to public access. Contact the Parks & Recreation Department’s Special Events Division (442-339-2292) or email
  • Activity contained in a city park or facility may need a facility use permit. Contact the Parks & Recreation Department (442-339-2510).
  • Activity involving tents, cooking, flame-producing equipment, pyrotechnics, generators, etc., may require a permit from the City of Carlsbad Fire Prevention Office (442-339-2670).  
  • Activity on the beach may need a permit from California State Parks. Contact