Special Alert
film/filming-in-durham ihi-

film/filming-in-durham ihi-

Film Incentives & Guidelines


North Carolina's Film Incentive: 25% Tax Credit

On July 22, 2010, Gov. Bev Perdue signed into law legislation that provides for a true 25% tax credit on productions spending over $250,000 in qualified expenses within the state. (The credit is not to exceed $20 million, meaning it applies to up to $80 million in qualified in-state spending.)

Overview of Incentive
NC Film Office

Productions must register with the NC Film Office by filing an Intent to Film form.



Film companies must coordinate with the City of Durham Department of Transportation and the Durham Police Department if a street will be blocked. Official permission is granted from the City by applying for a special events permit. The permit is free and may be obtained in person or through the mail. Once the permit has been approved, the Triangle Regional Film Commission (TRFC) will handle all necessary arrangements. There is a charge for off-duty and weekend work if a city crew is needed after regular work hours.

Return application to:
Special Events Coordinator
Durham Police Department
505 W. Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 560-4935, ext. 273

Special Effects

A special effects permit is required from the city/county Fire Department for scenes involving flame, smoke, explosives, or pyrotechnic effects.


On the campuses of Duke and North Carolina Central Universities, different restrictions apply.

Please contact the universities directly at:

Duke University
Public Affairs Office
(919) 681-3788

North Carolina Central University
Public Relations Office
(919) 560-6341


The following guidelines have been established to ensure a positive filming experience in Durham.

  • Supply a certificate of insurance naming the property owner or municipality where the filming takes place, as well as its agents and assigns, as additionally insured, for a minimum liability limit of one million dollars.
  • Ensure proper location permissions and agreements from property owners.
  • Inform the proper city/county agencies of any filming involving flame, smoke explosives, pyrotechnic effects, street closures, and traffic control.
  • Notify in writing members of the neighborhood that will be affected by filming or parking and arrange for staging areas for equipment and vehicles.
  • Restore each location to its original condition and repair any damage caused by filming immediately after filming ends.
  • Respect the rights, interests, and concerns of property owners and those who are otherwise affected by the production.
State-Operated Facilities

All requests for the use of state buildings, parks, highways, etc., are coordinated through the North Carolina Film Office. Extensive or unusual use of highways requires a 30-day notice to ensure availability. Contact the NC Film Office by phone at (919) 733-9900 or fax at (919) 733-0110. They are located at 301 North Wilmington Street, 1st Floor, Raleigh, NC 27626.

Request for assistance filming in NC State Parks

The NC Film office has teamed up with the North Carolina Division of Parks & Recreation to proactively promote responsible film and video production on its managed lands. Completing this form will begin the process of securing a permit for film/video production in state parks. Before a final permit can be issued, an on-site meeting with the state park superintendent is required to share detailed production information to ensure your production does not interfere with visitor services or natural resource protection.


Transportation coordinators who expect to bring vehicles into North Carolina should contact officials at the State Department of Transportation regarding over-dimensional vehicles. Call them at (919) 733-7154.

Questions about vehicle registration should be directed to the State Division of Motor Vehicles at (919) 733-7458.

Information on fuel and gas permits may be obtained from the State Department of Revenue, available at (919) 733-3409.

Requests for use of state roads & highways should be made through the NC Film Office


Right-to-Work Laws

North Carolina is a right-to-work state that welcomes both union and nonunion productions. State law maintains that employment cannot be conditioned upon membership in a union.

Child Labor Requirements

Children employed as actors or performers in motion pictures, theatrical, radio, or television productions are exempt from the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

North Carolina Department of Labor – Wage & Hour Act

§959-25.5 Youth Employment. a) No youth under 18 years of age shall be employed by any employer in any occupation without a youth employment certificate unless specifically exempted. The commissioner of labor shall prescribe regulations for youth and employers concerning the issuance, maintenance, and revocation of certificates. Certificates will be issued by county directors of social services, subject to review by the Department of Labor; provided, the Commissioner may by regulation require that the Department of Labor issue certificates for occupations with unusual or unique characteristics. g) Youths employed as models, or as actors or performers in motion pictures or theatrical productions or in radio or television products are exempt from all provisions of this section except the certificate requirement of subsection (a).

Film companies should contact the North Carolina Department of Labor at (919) 807-2796 and Mrs. Frances Mason to obtain copies of the youth employment certificate. Each certificate is to be completed, signed, accompanied by a copy of the youth's birth certificate, and returned to Mrs. Mason at the North Carolina Department of Labor, Labor Building 4, West Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27611.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act:
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
Wage and Hour Division

W.H. Publication 1330
Rev. July 1978

Film companies considering incorporation as a North Carolina firm or film-related companies seeking business licenses to operate within the state should communicate with the Department of the Secretary of State at (919) 733-0641 or (800) 228-8443 for one-step service.

Mobile catering units servicing film production companies are required to obtain approval from local health departments in the area of their base operations and are subject to inspection to determine that regulations governing such operation are being observed.

Discover Durham
212 W Main St #101
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604