Filming In New Bedford
Film production permits for the City of New Bedford
currently are issued without charge. Authorization is
granted by the Mayor’s Office, after review of the project
by the City of New Bedford Office of Tourism & Marketing.
If the project is a feature film, the permit procedure
should begin as soon as a location has been chosen.
A permit is not required if filming on private property only
although all production companies are requested to notify
the City of New Bedford Office of Tourism & Marketing
regarding their intentions, whether on private or public
If the production company desires to film in or on public
property (i.e. park, beach, city building or structure,
public land, etc.) or on a public way (i.e. street,
sidewalk, alleyway, bike path, walkway, plaza, pedestrian
overpass, etc.) The City may require a current certificate
of insurance indemnifying the municipality for a minimum of
Location fees may apply for use of government buildings and
parks and may require requests for use in writing to the
appropriate board or commission (i.e. the Board of Park
Commissioners, Cemetery Board, School Committee, etc.).
Permits will not be issued with less than 48 hours notice
for any film production. It is advisable to provide at least
three (3) weeks notice when the request includes closing a
street or any public way. The City may require production
companies to hire police details to ensure public safety,
traffic and spectator control.
For optimal planning, adjacent, businesses and/or residents
should be contacted in person by the film production company
and receive a written letter or flyer relating the extent of
the project as it may impact their hours of operation or
For use of state roads and bridges within Bristol County,
separate requests must be submitted to the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts State Highway Office, District 5. The
production company must also notify the Massachusetts State
If production requires filming on the waters of New Bedford
harbor (inner harbor, outer harbor, Acushnet river estuary,
the head of the river, or adjacent shores, piers, wharves,
boardwalks, etc.), the New Bedford Harbor Development
Commission must also be notified in writing for a request to
film, detailing the activity and timeframe. This request
must be received at least six (6) weeks prior to filming.
If production requires filming in adjacent waters, the
United States Coast Guard, as well as the Harbormaster of
nearest town or boat landing used, needs to be advised of
the activity in writing prior to filming.