Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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What activities require a permit?

Any activity or events that may interfere with or obstruct the normal use of a street or sidewalk require a permit. The Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO) permit activities by the event type, which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Block Parties
  • Clean Ups
  • Farmers Markets
  • Health Fairs
  • Mobile Units
  • Plaza Events
  • Press Conferences
  • Production Events
  • Rallies and Demonstrations
  • Religious Events
  • Single block festivals
  • Street Events
  • Street Festivals

To get a better understanding of these event types, please visit our Permit Types page.

When do I need to apply for a permit?

Your application deadline is based on your event type.

  • Block Parties - 60 days before the event.
  • Clean Ups - 60 days before the event.
  • Farmers Markets - 60 days before the event.
  • Health Fairs - 30 days before the event.
  • Mobile Units - 60 days before the event.
  • Plaza Events - 14 to 60 days before the event, depending on the plaza level and event size.
  • Press Conferences - 10 days before the event.
  • Production Events - 10 days before the event.
  • Rallies and Demonstrations - 10 days before the event.
  • Religious Events - 60 days before the event.
  • Single Block Festivals - December 31st of the year before the event.
  • Street Events - 14 to 45 days before the event, depending on the event size.
  • Street Festivals - December 31st of the year before the event.

To learn more, please visit our Permit Deadlines page.

I would like to host a promotional event, what kind of permits do I need?

If you are conducting any type of promotional or commercial activity on a city street, sidewalk, curb lane, you will need to obtain at Street Event permit. If it is on pedestrian plaza, you will need to obtain a Plaza Event permit. You will need to obtain a permit from the Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO). To apply for this permit, please visit E-Apply.

Do I need a permit to lay a red carpet and ropes & stanchions on the sidewalk? Do I need a permit to construct a tent on the City street?

Yes. To conduct any type of activity on the City streets or sidewalks such as laying red carpet, rope and stanchions, tables, banners, or a tent, you must obtain a Production Event permit from SAPO. To apply for a Production Event permit online, please visit E-Apply.

When a special event permit is issued, is there an NYPD officer assigned to monitor the event?

No. Citywide Event Coordination and Management and SAPO works closely with the NYPD during the planning phases of an event to ensure the components are safe and secure. Once the permit is issued, it is the responsibility of the event producer to hire private security if necessary.

Is product sampling allowed on City streets?

A permit is not required for sampling if the items are kept on your person and nothing is placed on the street or sidewalk such as a table, boxes or bags. Sampling from the back of a parked vehicle is prohibited. If you are setting up a table, banners, coolers, or other promotional materials, you will need to obtain a permit from the Street Activity Permit Office. To apply for a Street Event permit online, please visit E-Apply.

What is the difference between a Street Festival and a Street Event?

A street festival is hosted by a nonprofit, community organization and is organized as a fundraiser for the organization. Street festivals often have food, merchandise vendors, and rides. Street Events are sponsored by either a nonprofit or a promotional or commercial entities and may include red carpets, grand openings, parking of generators and production vehicles, a sky tracker, or promotional vehicles.

How can I apply for a new multi-day/multi-block event?

Currently there is a moratorium on all new multi-day/multi-block events. You may only apply for these event types if you have held one in the previous year.

If I have an existing street festival, can it be extended to include additional blocks/days?

No. All street festivals must occur on the same days and in the same locations as the previous year.

Am I required to have insurance for my event?

SAPO requires insurance for all commercial/promotional events and all street festivals. Block parties wishing to have rides must also provide insurance. A certificate of liability with the City of New York listed as an additional insured for a minimum of $1 million is required.

If I am selling and/or cooking food at my event, do I need a permit?

If you are selling and/or distributing food to the general public, you are required to obtain a temporary health food license from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Learn more about obtaining this license by visiting DOHMH's Mobile & Temporary Food Vending page.

Is alcohol allowed at my event?

Alcohol is prohibited at parades, Block Parties, Street Event and Street Festivals. To learn more about the sale of alcoholic beverages, please visit the Rules of City of New York.

I want to have a musical performance or sound device at my event. Do I need a permit?

Yes, a sound permit, issued by New York City Police Department (NYPD), is required for amplified sound. Learn more about obtaining this permit by visiting the NYPD's Permit webpage.

I want to use a generator at my event. What permits do I need?

To use a generator at your event, you are required to obtain a certificate from the New York Fire Department. If your generator is over 40kw, they also require a certificate from the New York Department of Environmental Protection.

What is a parade? How do I obtain a permit for a parade?

A "parade" is any procession, parade or race which consists of a recognizable group of 25 or more pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles, or other devices moved by human power, or ridden or herded animals proceeding together upon any public street or roadway. Parade permits are issued by the New York Police Department (NYPD). Learn more about applying for these permits by visiting the NYPD's website.


Application Process

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What application fees are associated with my event permit?

We strongly encourage applicants to apply online where you may pay a non-refundable fee of $25.62 with your credit or debit card. Only certified checks or money orders made payable to the NYC Department of Finance are accepted as offline payments. Learn more about additional fees for Street Activity permits by visiting our Fees webpage.

Do you accept cash to cover the $25 processing fee?

No, all fees must be paid online by credit or debit card. All cards will be charged $25.62.

What is the approval timeline for my event?

To better understand the permit approval timeline as well as the permit process, please visit our Permit Process page. Please also note that SAPO does not release any permits until all fees, insurance, and proof of support permits are received. Applicants must have the permit on location during the event.

What are my rights if the SAPO Director denies my application?

You have the right to appeal in writing to the Executive Director of the Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management, 253 Broadway, 6th floor, New York, NY 10007 within five (5) business days of notification of denial or approval with conditions. If you do not appeal within five (5) days' time, the SAPO Director's decision will be upheld.


Citywide Events

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How can I find out about upcoming events?

To find upcoming events in New York City, please visit our Find an Event page.

I would like to submit a concern or complaint about an event in my area. Who should I contact?

You can submit complaints or concerns at any time by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/311.


Our office values your opinions. We frequently performs audits of potentially hazardous or non-compliant street activities. We invite you to read more about Enforcement or to contact us with your concerns.