Locations & Guidelines
Learn about filming policies, boundaries and guidelines from Alexandria’s Film Office.
All film applications should be submitted at least six business days in advance to allow for processing. Projects of a large scale, multiple locations, or drones/aerial filming or photography will require more lead time.
Early submission of applications is necessary to contact appropriate City officials for approval and to allow for filing additional permits, if applicable. Some supplemental permits may require a minimum of five business days or more.
You permit will be issued, once you’ve completed the following steps:
- You submitted the application, paid the application fee and the review process is complete.
- Your certificate of insurance has been received.
- Your supplemental permits, if required, have been applied and paid for, reviewed and issued by other City Departments.
- Your film permit fees have been received.
City of Alexandria Boundaries
Before contacting the Film Office and submitting an application, please ensure your project is within the City of Alexandria. Some portions of Alexandria are under the jurisdiction of City of Alexandria and other areas are under the jurisdiction of Fairfax County. If your location is in Fairfax County, find contact information for the appropriate film liaisons here.
Please refer to the following resources to determine if your project occurs within the City of Alexandria’s boundaries:
Film Permit Costs
- $30 Film Application Processing Fee – Payment for the review and processing of your application. Please complete payment when you submit your application.
- $100 Film Permit Fee – After your application has been processed and your film project is approved, this fee covers the issuance of your permit and guidance in navigating City departments to address any other potential requirements.
- Payment for Film Permit Application & Film Permit Fees – If you are based in the U.S., use the online payment system. If you are based outside of the U.S., please contact Melanie Fallon at (703) 838-4725 or [email protected] to arrange payment.
- Additional costs – Depending on the scale and scope of your film project additional fees may be incurred for reserved parking, street and sidewalk closures, noise permits, park permits, and security/public safety measures.
Commercial general liability insurance in the amount of $1 million is necessary for all shoots on City property. The City of Alexandria (301 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314) must be named as the certificate holder and as additional insured and recommended coverage are as follows, when applicable:
General Liability – $1M Each Occurrence / $2M Aggregate
Automobile Liability – $1M Combined Single Limit (BI/PD)
Workers’ Compensation Insurance – Statutory
Employers Liability Insurance – $1M
Excess Liability Insurance – at least $5M Occurrence/Aggregate (Excess of General Liability, Automobile Liability & Employers Liability)
Cyber Liability Insurance – at least $10M Each Claim/Aggregate
Drone/Unmanned Aircraft System – at least $5M Each Occurrence Limit
The insurance certificate must be received by the Alexandria Film Office before your permit can be issued. It may be submitted by email to [email protected] or mailed to the address below:
ATTN: Elissa Staley
277 S. Washington Street, Suite 210
Alexandria, VA 22314
Some film projects require more time for permitting, supplemental permits or other considerations.
- Still Photography: Still photography does NOT require a Film Permit through Visit Alexandria. However, still photography may require other permits from the City of Alexandria depending on the location and scope of the project.
- B-roll: The submission of a film permit is required for b-roll or other quick shots in public space.
- Private Property: Filming on private property must be arranged with property owners separately and is NOT covered by this application and permit. However, please let us know about your filming plans so we can update various City departments in case there are public inquiries, or if the team at Visit Alexandria can help connect you with local businesses and hotels. B-roll or quick shots in public space (sidewalks, streets) around the private property does require a film permit.
- Multiple Locations: Film projects with multiple locations within Alexandria may require a longer lead time than the typical six business day submission deadline.
- Carlyle Neighborhood: Filming in any areas of the Carlyle neighborhood requires an additional approval from the Carlyle Council that meets monthly.
- UAS (drone) Filming/ Aerial Photography & Film: Approval for drones or aerial photography/filming is extremely rare, and on a case-by-case basis. The City of Alexandria is situated within Washington, DC’s Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and is also in close proximity to Reagan National Airport. Obtaining a waiver from the FAA for drone filming in the City of Alexandria is a lengthy process that requires at least one month for City review and approvals at the federal level. Read more here.
- Filming in City Parks: Film projects that occur in City Parks must first apply for a Film Permit, and then submit a supplemental Park Film Permit and Park filming fee. This requires a longer lead time than the standard Film Permit timeline. Note: Jones Point Park is managed by the National Park Service.
- Location Release/ Community Notification: Depending on the filming location and the potential impact of your project on the community, you may be required to notify residents or businesses before filming.
The team at Visit Alexandria is available to help your production secure proposals from hotels for group room blocks or other services to support your production. Please contact the Film Office Manager to learn more about how to connect with businesses in Alexandria.
Below is a list of other film-related resources:
- Alexandria Film Permit Application
- Visit Alexandria Homepage
- Virginia Film Office
- Alexandria Film Festival
- City of Alexandria Zip Code Map
- City of Alexandria Standard Maps
- City of Alexandria Parcel Finder
- City of Alexandria Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities
- Office of Historic Alexandria
- City of Alexandria Noise Control
- APEX Permit Portal
- Federal Aviation Administration
- DC Flight Restricted Zone
- Transportation Security Administration
- FAA Drone Registration
- Filming & Still Photography Permits (U.S. National Park Service)