NYC Street Activity Permits - What You Need to Know


    If you are planning an event in the Big Apple, that means you need to think ahead, including NYC Street Activity Permits. Here a few questions you may have about how to get your event off the ground.

    1. Who Needs NYC Street Activity Permits?

    Any event which takes place partially or completely outdoors within the New York City limits requires a permit in advance. This includes what might seem like minor street alterations such as red carpet, food trucks and small tents or tables. The only time you do not need a street activity permit is if your event will be entirely indoors. If you attempt to set up small alterations like a red carpet without a permit, you will be fined and required to cease.

    2. Who Provides NYC Street Activity Permits?

    Permits are provided by the Mayor's Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO), a division of New York City's Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management (CECM). You can file an application online or in person, although online is the preferred method.

    3. What are the Deadlines for NYC Street Activity Permits?

    Deadlines vary by type of event. Any event requiring the city to cordon off a block or more must be made in the previous calendar year and requires a specific reason for needing that particular block, such as a particular cultural landmark or neighborhood. Most minor events require at least 31 days notice, which means if you are planning to put up red carpet leading to an event or to set up tables for a sidewalk check in you should plan at least a month ahead. More substantial events such as block parties and large gatherings require three months notice.

    4. How Much Do NYC Street Activity Permits Cost?

    Fees vary from year to year and depending on the event type and length. First, there is a $25 fee to apply regardless of whether your application is accepted. Once your application is accepted, fees range from $290 a day for a single sidewalk event up through $25,000 for a large event. If you are planning to hold an event in a high-traffic area such as Times Square, the costs are even higher.

    4. Do NYC Street Activity Permits Include Police Protection?

    A misunderstanding you may have regarding events: permits do not include security. Police may provide input related to your application, such as whether this is a safe location to have an event such as the one you propose, but otherwise they will provide no police presence. We join SAPO in strongly urging event planners to arrange for trustworthy private security any time you plan a NYC event out of doors, because you never know what may happen. If you are planning an event and putting the time and energy into it, make sure to include private security in your budget and planning.

    Questions about the permit process? Looking for security for your event? Contact us today and let GSS Security Services do our part.

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NYC Street Activity Permits: When You Need Them

If you intend on holding a street fair, festival, block party, green market, commercial/promotional or other type of event, you must obtain a NYC Street Activity Permits from SAPO, or the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting.

We can assist you with obtaining the necessary permits for any street or sidewalk activity that your event may present. We'd be happy to review your proposed plans and offer suggestions on how to achieve the experience you are planning.

Examples of Events That Require a NYC Street Activity Permit

  • Special Event: A Special Event can include street activities that promote advertise, or introduce a product, corporation, services to the public or a portion of the general public. Permits for these activities must be applied for 14 days prior to the event.
  • Block Party: A block party is an event sponsored by the related community. This involves the closing of one or more city streets; therefore permits must be applied for 90 days prior to the event.
  • Street Fair: This permit differs from a block party in that it allows the sale of goods or services. It still is considered a community sponsored event and one or more city street closures. A permit for a Street Fair or Festival must be applied for Dec 31 the year prior to the event.
  • Religious Event: This includes an act of worship that may occur on city streets or sidewalks. This permit must be applied for 60 days prior to the event.

All NYC Street Activities that require a permit must recycle during the event. If event holders do not provide means for recycling of trash and other articles, they could face a fine ranging from $25 - $500. 

If you are interested in our assistance with the permitting process or hiring security for your event, please contact the professionals with GSS Security Services. With over 20 years in the specialized security service industry, we have the knowledge and expertise to professionally permit and secure your event or private party. 

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