The Hawai‘i Island Film Office (HIFO) is available to help you navigate the permitting process and set your production up for success! When bringing your production to Hawai‘i Island, there are four permitting categories to be aware of depending on which location you are using:
Our locations database will help you easily navigate what kind of permit you need for your location. No matter what jurisdiction a location is under, Team Aloha can help answer your questions and guide you along the way.
Hawai‘i Island is a truly magical place, and we want your production to be safe, responsible and respectful to others and the environment while enjoying the island. After you’ve filled out your film permit application, please take a short moment to take our Pono Pledge.
The island of Hawai‘i is one of the most geographically diverse and awe-inspiring places on the planet, and it is our kuleana (responsibility) as an island community to encourage pono (righteous) practices so that it remains that way for future generations. By committing to this pledge, your production is acknowledging the responsibility to have respect for place—no matter where you are.
This includes enjoying the island safely, respecting wildlife, observing no trespassing signs, properly preparing for weather and ocean conditions, and being mindful about protecting the island’s fragile environment.
The Pono Pledge website also includes useful safety information pertaining to various warnings, watches, advisories and outlook signs you may encounter. Full lists of lifeguarded beaches, endangered species and their protections, ocean warning flags, rules of the road, earthquake information, volcano updates, and emergency numbers are also available.
Take the Pono Pledge today. Mahalo!
If you are shooting on a Hawai‘i County location, HIFO is available to happily assist you with processing your permits.
Hawai‘i County Parks
Film permits are required for all filming activity, commercial or non-commercial, that takes place on public, county-administered locations. “Commercial” is defined as any still photography, film or video production that will be sold for profit. “Non-commercial” is defined as any still photography, film or video that is being produced for educational or non-profit purposes.
A general Open and Accessible permit from the Hawai‘i Island Film Office is available to low impact productions using county parks. There is no fee for this permit. A list of county sites covered under an Open and Accessible permit can be found here. Only sites on this list are covered under a county Open and Accessible permit. Additional locations on the island can be accessed by applying for an Open and Accessible permit from the State Film Office.
If you are interesting in filming at a county park not on the open and accessible list, just enter the name of the specific location in the ‘Filming Location’ field on the form. All fields must be filled out or we will not be able to process your permit.
All productions, no matter what size, are required to follow the health and safety guidelines outlined in the latest Mayor’s Emergency Rule. The most current rule is posted here.
Productions may also be required to submit a comprehensive plan on safe practices for social distancing, sanitation requirements, etc. as required by the current Mayor’s Emergency Rule.
Drones are not permitted to launch or land at any county park. The State Film Office does allow drone use on a case-by-case bases. Contact them for additional information.
Hawai‘i County Building Permits
County Building Permits are required on a case-by-case basis.
Hawai‘i County Traffic Services
County Traffic Services requires a permit when intermittent or traffic stoppage is involved. Off-duty officers are required starting at $36/$40/hour plus administrative fees. This permit is obtained through the Hawai‘i County Police Department.
Contact The Hawai‘i County Police Department or call (808) 961-2226
Public Works Permit:
A Public Works permit is available for productions shooting on streets and sidewalks that are County of Hawai‘i property. However, you may not need a permit under certain conditions. Please contact the Film Office before filling out this form. There is no fee for this permit. All fields must be filled out or we will not be able to process your permit.
Insurance For Hawai‘i County Locations
Insurance is required for both the County Parks Permits and the County Public Works Permits.
In the “description of operations/locations/vehicles/special items” section please submit:
“The County of Hawai‘i, including all of its departments and attached agencies, their officers, employees and agents are named as additional insured with respect to the named insured’s filming activities.”
In the “Certificate Holder” section:
Hawai‘i Island Film Office
County of Hawai‘i
Department of Research and Development
25 Aupuni Street
Hilo, HI 96720
Please email the completed COI to:
or fax to 808-935-1205
If you are looking to permit a location under State jurisdiction (ie: State Parks, Airports, Harbors, etc) The State Film Office administers a one-stop permit process for all State owned locations and properties, and also administers the 25% refundable production tax credit.
There are four National Parks on Hawai‘i Island. Permits can be obtained directly from each park:
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
Pu‘ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
Kaloko Honokohau National Park
HIFO has a wide network of relationships with “film-friendly” landowners all over the island. For productions that involve private property, Team Aloha is available to help you as a liaison with the local community to secure the location you need!