Local Permits

Monterey County encompasses a vast area including 12 incorporated cities, a large amount of unincorporated county land, state parks and U.S. Forest Service property, and privately-controlled areas.

COVID-19 Film Production Guidelines

The Monterey County Health Officer on June 11, 2020 posted an order requiring businesses to adhere to State and Local Industry Guidelines regarding COVID-19. Gov. Newsom issued guidance for businesses and film productions to follow when reopening on June 12. It is critical to take all steps necessary to ensure safety. The information is subject to change without notice.

County and State guidelines include sanitation, masks and social distancing among other directives. Depending on the type of production there are other protocols for companies to adhere to (see links to DGA, SAG-AFTRA, AICP, Alliance White Paper, and California State Parks).

On September 21st, the DGA, SAG-AFTRA guidelines above were superseded by the COVID-19 “Return to Work Agreement,” which will serve as the final set of safety protocols through April 30, 2021. All the parties involved in the agreement will meet regularly to review any proposed modifications.  

The California Department of Public Health guidance for Film and TV Production states: To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines. In addition, refer to the industry-wide guidelines.

California State COVID-19:

Monterey County Health Department:

Monterey County COVID-19 Testing:

For more film and COVID-19 related matters, visit California Film Commission’s website:

What You Need to Know to Film On-Location in Monterey County

Although each jurisdiction handles its own film permit procedures directly, all require the following:

  • certificate of insurance for a minimum of $1 million naming the jurisdiction (and its officers, agents and employees) as additionally insured
  • a written locations breakdown or description
  • signature of an authorized representative
  • payment in advance of the project

Permits are easily obtainable in most areas of Monterey County and most cities comply with the California State Film Commission’s model permit. Most jurisdictions request a five day minimum lead time or longer if the project requires full street closures, pyrotechnics or major special effects. For filming taking place entirely on private property, no additional permit is needed. On the following pages are the contact names, phone numbers, fee ranges and any special requirements of the most often filmed areas within Monterey County.

Please contact the Monterey County Film Commission at 831-646-0910 (cell: 831-594-9410) or email Film Commissioner Karen Nordstrand at Karen@FilmMonterey.org in advance of any filming to register the project, receive filming guidelines and tips, and to be advised of any changes in the following information.

The Monterey County Film Commission does not issue permits, but we are happy to help direct you to the appropriate jurisdictions which you’ll find listed within this section.