Vermont has relatively few regulations that have impact on filmmaking in the state. Those that follow are applicable. The Vermont Film Commission will act as liaison with all Vermont agencies to quickly facilitate your production's needs.
Child Labor Laws
Vermont's child labor laws provide specific exemption for children under the age of sixteen when the work involves acting or performing in motion picture, theatrical, radio or television productions.
The statute (21 V. S. A. #432) provides that the commissioner of labor and industry may issue a permit upon documentation of the child's age and verification of specified school and health records. This documentation must accompany a completed "Child Labor Certificate" to be filed by the employer for any child under age sixteen working during school hours. The forms are available from the Department of Labor and Industry, National Life Building, Drawer 20, Montpelier, VT 05620-3401, 802-828-2157.
The statute also provides (#434) that while a child under sixteen cannot be employed more than eight hours in any day, nor more than six days a week, and only between six a.m. and seven p.m., "in the case of a child employed as an actor or performer in motion pictures, theatrical productions, radio or television, the child may be employed until midnight." Specific exemption from the midnight curfew is allowed when written consent is obtained from the parents or guardian of the child and the commissioner of labor.
For school age children who are not Vermont residents, approval of the substance and conditions of the educational program to be provided to the child must be obtained from the commissioner of education. A representative of the Department of Education will also make an on-site visitation to verify the programs, credentials of the instructor, and the suitability of the classroom setting. Contact: Vermont Dept. of Education, Licensing Office. Tel: 802-828-2445.
In the case of children who are Vermont residents, the local superintendent of schools has the authority to oversee of hours and days of classroom attendance required by state law. Vermont's "school day" requires a minimum number of hours of classroom attendance; the law does not define the relationship of these hours to the working day.
2 hours/day (10 hours/week).
|Grades 1 - 2||4 hours/day (20 hours/week)
including recess and excluding lunch.
|Grades 3 - 8||5.5 hours/day (27.5 hours weekly)
including recess & excluding lunch.
|Grades 9 - 12||5.5 hours/day (27.5 hours weekly)
excluding recess and lunch.
The term of employment shall be no more than 90 days during the school year, which requires a minimum of 175 days of classroom attendance. If you have specific questions, contact Labor and Compensation Specialist, Dept. of Labor & Industry, 802-828-2157, Fax 802-828-2195; and/or Licensing Office, Dept. of Education, 802-828-2443.
Vermont shares a northern border of 90.3 miles (145km)* with the Canadian province of Quebec. Before entering the U.S., all travelers should be prepared to provide proof of citizenship; travelers other than American or Canadian must present a passport with a valid tourist visa; foreign visitors should be prepared to explain the length and purpose of their visit.
Among other regulations, importation of plants, fruits and vegetables into the United States is prohibited. Dogs and other pets are required to have a veterinarian's certificate showing recent vaccination against rabies, and to be free of other communicable diseases.
For complete information on customs regulations write:
U.S. Customs, P.O. Box 7407, Washington, D.C. 20044, Tel. 202-482-6900;
or the U.S. Customs District Office in St. Albans, VT 05478, Tel. 802-524-6527.
Information also may be obtained at pre-clearance offices in Montreal, Tel. 514-636-3875; or Toronto, Tel. 905-676-2606.
*From the International Boundary Commission.
- A permit is required for production work on state land or National Forest land. The minimum fee is $50.00. A letter outlining locations needed and production plans should be addressed to: Director, State Lands Division, Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation, 103 S. Main St., Waterbury, VT 05676, 802-241-3664; Public Affairs Officer, National Forest Service, Rutland, VT 05701, 802-747-6700 ext.6709.
- Permits are required for any activity that will environmentally impact Vermont rivers or streams. For "stream alteration" permits contact Agency of Natural Resources, Water Resources Department, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819. 802-751-0129.
For projects impacting lakes, ponds or reservoirs contact Environmental Engineer, Water Quality Division, Bldg. 10 North, 103 South Main St., Waterbury, VT 05676, 802-244-6951.
- A permit is required for the importation of wild birds or animals into the State of Vermont. Permit applications are reviewed and administered by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. For a complete description of the regulations and application forms, contact Director of Law Enforcement, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept., 103 South Main St.,Waterbury, VT 05671-0501, 802-241-3727.
Firearms and Weapons
The State of Vermont follows federal laws regarding the use of firearms, whether they fire blanks or not. In general, there are two classifications of firearms which may be used on a film set: a) long guns and hand guns and; b) "Class 3" weapons such as submachine guns.
Long guns and hand guns
Transfers of long guns and hand guns may be done between residents without any paperwork. For transfers originating outside of the State, a local Federal Firearms (F.F.L.) Dealer must handle the transfer. The props master may obtain the firearm(s) after completing a Form 4473 and waiting for an "instant" background check.
Class 3 weapons (and other destructive devices/explosives)
Temporary transfers of submachine guns must be done between F.F.L. dealers with a "Class 3" license, and may be subject to a federal transfer tax and licensing.
Once any firearms are in the possession of the props master, he or she is legally responsible for those firearms until they are returned to the rental house. On productions governed by I.A.T.S.E. regulations, the props master must follow the industry-wide labor-management safety committee bulletin entitled, Recommendations for safety with firearms. For more specific information, please contact: Resident Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), PO Box 1028, Federal Building, 2nd Floor, 11 Elmwood Ave., Burlington, VT 05402-1028, 802-951-6593.
Fire Prevention Regulations
- There are no specific fire prevention regulations for production companies filming on location, but if pyrotechnics are planned, a permit must be obtained from the local town Director of Fire Prevention, Montpelier, VT 05602, 802-828-2106.
- Electrical wiring done by production companies must conform to the National Electrical Code, 1999 edition. For licensing and permit information contact: Chief Electrical Inspector, Rutland Regional Office, 802-786-5867.
- Production companies must provide their employees with safe and healthful work places. Contact: Manager, VOSHA, Montpelier, VT 05602, 802-828-2765. Although there are no specific standards for film production companies, if a company is engaged in the construction of a set it would fall under the construction standards. Additionally, the grounding requirements of the National Electrical Code must be met.
Employees must be paid at least minimum wage for each hour that they work. Minimum wage in Vermont is $6.25.
Roads and Highways
Any projects requiring traffic control on roads or highways must make arrangements with the appropriate law enforcement agency: local police, county sheriffs or state police. A permit for filming on interstate highways must be coordinated through Traffic Operations Engineer, Traffic and Safety Div., Agency of Transportation, 133 State St., Montpelier, VT 05633, 802-828-2603.
Truck and Fuel User License Requirements
Vermont is a recognized member of the International Registration Plan (IRP), which allows an out-of-state operator to arrange Vermont licensing through the motor vehicle department where the vehicle or fleet is registered.
A diesel fuel license is required for all vehicles with 26,000 lbs. gross weight or with 3-axles or more. Fuel use reports are filed quarterly. For complete information contact Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, Commercial Vehicle Operations, 120 State St., Montpelier, VT 05603-0001; 802-828-2070.
Employees must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Premiums are based on the classifications provided in the Northeastern Compensation Rating system of the National Council of Employment Classifications. The Vermont Department of Banking and Insurance recommends obtaining bids from several agents because Vermont law allows exceptions and deviations from standard rates. For further information contact: Vermont Department of Banking and Insurance, 120 State St., Montpelier, VT 05602, 802-828-4843.