New Jersey contains 21 counties and 566 municipalities. Each city and town has its own unique regulations pertaining to film production. New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission staff members are well versed in these matters, and should be consulted before specific communities are approached.
As a rule, filmmakers working in New Jersey are required to carry general liability insurance in the amount of $1 million ($2 million in the City of Newark). Additional insurance may be required of crews using pyrotechnic effects or performing stunts. Typically, production companies are asked to present certificates of insurance naming property owners as "additional insured." Further, property owners must be relieved of all liability in connection with production work taking place on their respective locations.
Many cities and towns in the state have no formal permit procedure. However, permits are generally required for filming such locations as county, state and national parks and historic sites, state and county highways, railroad and airport terminals and military posts.
Please be advised that there is a new online procedure for submitting Formal Permits, which can be found here.
New Jersey Law requires that any company or individual producing a theatrical production which includes stage, motion picture and television performances and rehearsals with minors under age 18 years of age in New Jersey (even if said minors are unpaid) MUST obtain New Jersey Child Labor Permits. New Jersey Child Labor Permits are cost free, uncomplicated to obtain and can be procured quickly. Child labor permits or working papers from other states are NOT valid in New Jersey and cannot substitute for New Jersey Child Labor Permits. Please note, you can only acquire a permit for a minor after they have been hired to work. If you are new to this process, we strongly advise that you contact The New Jersey Motion Picture Commission at 973-648-6279 and speak with a staff member before you begin to fill out any paperwork.
There are two types of permits:
The Motion Picture and Television Commission will gladly answer any questions and, when necessary, refer you to officials at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. We are committed to ensuring the safety of minors working in New Jersey’s film and television industry, and dedicated to the success of your project.
Some Quick Facts:
Maximum Hours per day/week: Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can work as long as 8 hours daily, 40 hours weekly, 6 days a week. Minors under 16 are permitted to be on set for a maximum of 8 hours daily and before the camera for a maximum of 5 of those hours, 24 hours weekly, 6 days a week. Combined hours of school and work must not exceed 8 hours daily. The minor’s travel time to and from set is not factored into their on-set time or work time. In the case of theatrical productions, where the performances are separable into discrete shows, the proposed employment of minor will not exceed two shows in a day or a total of eight shows in any given week.
When can a minor work? Unless a special waiver is granted by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, minors under 16 are prohibited from working before 7 a.m. or after 11:30 p.m. while minors between the ages of 16 and 18 are prohibited from working before 6 a.m. or after 11:30 p.m. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development does not have the authority to alter or amend the total hours in the day during which a minor may work. Contact the Motion Picture and Television Commission for more information about obtaining a waiver of hours when night filming is required.
Minors under 16 must be accompanied at all times by an adult who is a parent, guardian or representative of the employer. There is no minimum age requirement for children working in motion pictures and television programs. A current statement based upon a physical examination issued by a licensed physician, that certifies that the minor is in good health and will not likely be endangered by the working conditions of the prospective employment, must be provided. For minors under 8 years of age, the physical examination must include a visual acuity screening if practicable. The use of infants and toddlers, however, should be further governed by an abundance of caution, common sense and good judgment.
|Child Labor Law|
|NJ Child Labor Law abstract|
|Child Labor Law|
|Directions for obtaining Child Labor Permits|
|Directions for Obtaining Formal Permits for Minors|
|Obtaining Emergent Theatrical Permits For Minors|
|NJ Theatrical Production Application|
New Jersey's unique landscapes are beautiful on ground level and even more awe-inspiring from the sky. When doing aerial photography in the Garden State, however, there are very important rules and regulations that must be adhered to. Drones are permitted in New Jersey for recreational and commercial use, but are subject to FAA regulations and flight controls put into place by local governments. Drone operators are required to be FAA Certified and follow standard federal guidelines. Maintaining proper distance from no-fly-zone locations, such as airports, and avoiding highly populated areas are just two of the safety precautions that must be considered. Drone operators must obtain permission from the controlling entities in the areas where drone photography will be taking place: local municipalities, parks departments, the Department of Transportation, etc. In some cases the State Police, must be formally notified.
General information about usage of drones can be found at:
For specific information and guidance on the use of drones in New Jersey, contact the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission:
Special effects sequences, depending on their nature and scope, may require specific permits and/or permissions from the state, its counties or municipalities.
Effects using explosives must be performed by an effects coordinator who is LICENSED TO USE EXPLOSIVES IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY. Advanced inspection of a given site by the local utility companies may also be necessary in some cases.
Pyrotechnical effects must be performed in cooperation with local fire department officials, who may inspect designated location sites and materials to be used. In certain instances, permission from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection must also be granted.
Although working automatic and semi-automatic weapons are illegal in New Jersey, provision has been made for the use of theatrical firearms of every variety. Written authorization must be obtained from the New Jersey State Police in order to use or transport such theatrical firearms in the state. Please send all requests via email to: email@example.com
The Firearms Investigation Unit of the New Jersey State Police can be contacted at 609-882-2000 Ext. 2060, 2061, 2063, 2064 or 6617.
Out-of-state permits are not valid.
In addition, specific information about the firearms and the parties responsible for them must be provided to both the New Jersey State Police and to the local police in the jurisdiction where said weapons are to be used.
Consult the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission for further information.
In order for a production company to work in New Jersey and apply for the Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program, the production company must register to do business in the state and obtain a New Jersey tax ID number. This process applies to legal entities only [Corporations, Nonprofit Corporations, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), Etc.]. The link below will give you detailed steps to guide you, as well as a link to help you check on the current registration status of an existing business.
A production company filming in New Jersey and applying for the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program must utilize vendors registered to do business in the state. Purchases, rentals and services MUST be obtained from NJ registered vendors in order for associated expenses to qualify for tax credits.
The registration status of a business can be verified online. This is the process:
Enter the first four letters of the business NAME and the BUSINESS ENTITY I.D.# in the appropriate fields, and click SEARCH
The current Sales Tax rate is 6.625% and the specially designated Urban Enterprise Zones rate is one half the Sales Tax rate. Certain items are exempt from sales tax, such as food, clothing, drugs, and manufacturing/processing machinery and equipment. A resale exemption also exists. Learn more about the UEZ Program.
Hotel Room Occupancy Tax is 5%, but occupancies of 90 or more consecutive days are exempt.
The Workman's Compensation rate in New Jersey is currently 74 cents per 100 dollars of payroll. For more information, contact the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau at 201-622-6014.
For more specific information about New Jersey Tax Laws, contact the New Jersey Division of Taxation at 609-292-5995.
IMPORTANT: Please note that all production companies and associated vendors working in the State of New Jersey must register with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) for tax purposes.
Information about this is available at:
If you need further information or have any questions, contact:
Division of Taxation
Most of New Jersey falls under the jurisdiction of the unions and guilds based in New York City. They are as follows:
1900 Broadway 5th floor, New York, NY 10023, 212-944-1030
|Directors Guild Of America
110 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-258-0800
|Writers Guild Of America East
250 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013, 212-767-7800
|IATSE General Office
207 West 25th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001, 212-730-1770/212-730-7809
|IATSE Local 52, Studio Mechanics
19-02 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY 01105, 718-906-9440, Fax: 718-777-1820
|IATSE Local 161, Script Supervisors, Production Office Coordinators, Production Auditors
630 9th Avenue, #1103, New York, NY 10036, 212-997-9655
|IATSE Local 600, Cinematographers
70 West 36th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018, 212-647-7300, Fax: 212-647-7317
|IATSE Local 764, Theatrical Wardrobe
545 West 45th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10036, 212-957-3500
|Editorsâ€™ Guild IATSE Local 700
145 Hudson Street Suite 201, New York, NY 10013, 212-302-0700/212-302-1091
|IATSE Local 798, Makeup And Hair
70 West 36th Street Suite 4A, New York, NY 10018, 212-627-0660, Fax: 212-627-0664
|American Federation Of Musicians, Local 802
332 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036, 212-245-4802
|International Brotherhood Of Teamsters, Local 817
817 Old Cuttermill Road, Great Neck, NY 11021, 516-365-3470, Fax: 516-365-2609
|Scenic Artists, Local 829
29 West 38th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018, 212-581-0300, Fax: 212-977-2011
|30 Mile Studio Zone Map||8 Mile SAG/AFTRA Zone Map|
This map approximates the 30 mile zone from Columbus Circle, and is provided for reference purposes only. You must contact appropriate union officials in order to determine whether a particular location falls within the officially designated zone.
This map approximates the 8 mile zone from Columbus Circle, and is provided for reference purposes only. You must contact appropriate union officials in order to determine whether a particular location falls within the officially designated zone.
Productions seeking to recap or disconnect service for street lights must first fill out an application. More information about this process can be found on the PSE&G website at this location: