Frequently-Asked Questions


Access to union resources is the main benefit of being a member of the union.

If you would rather take the classes in person, you can contact the instructors listed below for information about taking a private class or attending a class scheduled elsewhere.

Paul Baca (Set Readiness Class, General Safety Class)

Jeffrey Biedenbach (General Safety Class)

Taking an Honorable Withdrawal from the Local is an option for putting your membership on hold. While you are withdrawn, you agree not to work in a contract position in our jurisdiction. Should you wish to reinstate your membership, you will be responsible for up to eight quarters of back dues and must provide two current letters of recommendation and a valid New Mexico drivers license. In order to qualify for an Honorable Withdrawal, you must be current on all quarterly dues, work dues, and any other outstanding financial obligations to the Local (you do not pay membership dues for the quarter in which you withdraw).

If you wish to do this, send a written request to

Yes you can, though you might make more contacts while working on set.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • volunteering for 12 hours = 1 day
  • 1.5 volunteer days = 1 union day

So, if you worked 45 volunteer days, it would equal 30 union days and you would be granted an application to join.

All volunteer days must be coordinated through the Outreach Coordinator, who can be reached at

Your W-2’s come from the payroll company, so you should call them to get a replacement.

Below are phone numbers for some of the most-used companies.

Entertainment Partners (EP): 818-955-6000

Cast & Crew: 818-848-6022

Ease: 310-469-7300

No. We do not receive copies of your pay stubs.

AND, we do not know exactly when you worked because the date that we receive 4% checks from the payroll company usually does not coincide with the dates worked.


When you complete the course, the completion message should come with a link to download your certificate. You can also download your certificates at any time by heading to your profile -> Classes -> Completed Classes.

Related FAQs:

How do I print my General Safety certification in business card-size?

Yes, you do. Even if you have  already taken both classes, we ask that you take the online ones. Consider it a refresher.

No. The procedure for filing a claim for unemployment insurance is detailed on the DWS website (and some tips are here). Once you have filed your claim, DWS will call the Local to confirm your union membership. If requested, the 480 office can also fax a form verifying your membership to DWS. However, the Local has no contact person at DWS.

Category: Members


Here in New Mexico, productions are allowed to hire whomever they wish. They have lots of incentive to hire our members, but there’s no guarantee that they will do so.

Because of this, and because production keys do their own hiring, it isn’t possible for Local 480 to place members in positions. But, we do everything within our power to keep members employed, and we always will.

Category: Overflow List

Yes, the union requires all new members to be at least 18 years of age. This applies to both union membership and the Overflow List.

Any volunteer-related questions, including questions about volunteer opportunities, should be addressed to

Categories: Members, Overflow List

The registration form is located within the Overflow List menu in the navbar above. If you’re interested in getting on the Overflow List, you should read the other pages in that menu before submitting a registration form.

Accounts on are for members and potential members only.

You are responsible for getting your own jobs. Click here for tips on how to do that.

This can be accomplished in many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Avoid printing the document directly from your browser. Web browsers intentionally ignore pixel densities because images work differently on the web than they do when they are intended for print. Even if the image specifies 600 pixels/inch, browsers will display it 1:1, pixel-to-pixel.
  2. If you’ve got an image manipulation program on-hand such as GIMP, Photoshop, Paint.NET, etc., simply open the file and hit ‘print.’ These more advanced programs will properly detect the pixel density and print the card in business-card-size.
  3. Open the certificate in your favorite .pdf reader. Hit ‘print.’ When the print dialog appears, look for an option to constrain or alter the sizing of the printed document. Change the sizing to 2″ in height and 3.5″ in width and hit print.

When you’re on the Overflow List, work for at least 30 days in a covered craft on a contract production, and turn in copies of your pay stubs, you’ll be sent an application. (This can take anywhere from a month or two to a couple of years.)

Once you return the original application form and Initiation Fee and after the membership has approved your request to join, we will send your application to the the International in New York for endorsement. They will send a  membership card for you to the 480 office and the office will mail your card and new member packet to your address of record. (This part of the process generally takes from 8-12 weeks.)


Category: Overflow List

There is NO CAP on work dues paid in. You must pay in 4% of your gross earnings (excluding kit rental, auto, and certain other amounts) to the Local whenever you are working in a covered craft on a contract production. This holds true no matter how much or how little you earn.

We can tell you how much we received from the payroll companies, but you should not use this information for tax purposes as the amounts received do not necessarily correspond with the dates that you worked. And, our fiscal year runs from December 1 through November 30, which is not the same as the federal and state tax years.

The best way to get the correct information for your taxes is to save all of your pay stubs.

Category: Members

If a production needs more crew than can be filled by union members, the Local will send an email blast to everyone on the Overflow list, notifying them of the job opportunity. If you are available to take that job, you should reply to the job blast as instructed, and your information will be forwarded on to the production for consideration.

More specific information about productions is available only to Local 480 members.

Once you are a member of Local 480, you will be able to see the list of productions currently hiring, along with contact information for the productions. You will also receive any job blasts requested by productions (and will have your information forwarded on to productions if you are available to fill a call), and will have access to the jobs board listing of jobs available. All productions are given access to the roster of active 480 members as well.


We list people by their legal names. Their nicknames get added when we get them, but it’s possible that we don’t have it. Be sure that you know their legal name and are spelling it properly.

It is quite possible. We expel a handful of members every quarter. If you’re really in doubt, contact the office to see what the issue might be.

E-mail the membership coordinator at


Category: Overflow List automatically checks to see if your account is logged-in on any other computers every time you sign in. If you left any sessions open, they will be automatically closed.

You can test this yourself, if you’ve got more than one browser installed. Log into in one browser, then with a different browser. You should quickly see your account in the first browser log-out.

In order to be listed as a Studio Teacher/Welfare Worker, we must have a valid copy of your New Mexico teaching credentials on file.

Once you are a member of Local 480, you are welcome to join others. Keep in mind that each local has its own requirements to join and that as long as you are a member of Local 480, you will be responsible for quarterly membership dues.

If you’d rather transfer your membership to another local, you can click here to see how to go about doing that.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

We wanted to streamline the process of becoming a member for everyone. Having a single path to membership goes a long way toward making the process easier for everyone involved.

Therefore, anyone who is not a current member will need to go through the overflow registration process and take the required classes. For people who are transferring or dual carding, the Overflow List is simply a temporary landing spot until we receive all of the required paperwork to complete their joining process. Often, this is only a few days.

Categories: Joining 480, Members

This site is specific to people who’d like to get onto the Overflow List in order to become a member.

If you’re already a member, you should still use

Once a year, and upon request, the Local provides medics (members only) with 3 shirts and 2 hats.

Send your request, with desired sizes, to

This site is only for non-members. If you’re already a member, there’s nothing for you here.

Simply send clear, complete copies of your pay stubs to and we’ll send an application to your address of record.

Absolutely. The union will grant a Medical Discount to members who aren’t able to work because of a medical issue. Contact the office manager for more information.

Categories: Benefits, Members

In the majority of cases, your letters of recommendation do not need to come from union members; they can be from any source of your choosing.

But, when applying for membership under some special circumstances, one of your letters may need to come from a union member. You will be alerted if this is required of you.

No. Members of Local 480 are only allowed to hire off the Overflow list when all of the members in the needed craft are working or unavailable. The person doing the hiring must have permission to do so from the Business Agent. Overflow job blasts can be very few and far-between, especially during slower periods, like the colder months. We don’t recommend quitting your day-job.

Category: Overflow List

No. Your letters may come from anyone. Yes, anyone.


Category: Overflow List

IATSE Local 480 covers a specific list of common, below-the-line crafts within the film and television industry. We are able to cover these crafts because jurisdiction over them was granted to us by our parent organization, the IATSE International Alliance (IA). If it isn’t on the list of covered crafts, then we don’t have the authority to represent you.

There are a great many crafts on a set that aren’t covered by Local 480. Some aren’t even covered by IATSE. And some, like Production Assistant (PA), aren’t covered by any union at all.

Similar NM Union Locals in Which You May be Interested:

IATSE Local 423 Stagehands — For back-stage workers in theater, concert, and other live entertainment.

SAG/AFTRA NM — Actors and Extras

Teamsters Local 492 — For anyone whose job is driving.

Also see FAQ: What is “the International?”

Being on the Overflow List is not an automatic, guaranteed, “I can start working” status.

IF a production cannot fill its job list from union members, and IF the production has permission from Local 480’s Business Agent, then the production will be given access to the list of people on Overflow or an email blast will be sent to the Overflow List, thereby increasing the possibility that some people on the Overflow List might be hired. However, this situation does not occur very often. So working yourself into a panic because you’ve got to get on the Overflow List now!!! because you need to start working!!! is pointless. Getting onto the Overflow List is a process that can take weeks (or longer), and then getting hired onto contract productions can take months (or more).

Category: Overflow List

In order to transfer your membership to another IATSE local, you must:

  1. Not owe any money to the Local.
  2. Send a written request to, asking that a transfer card be sent to the local you wish to transfer to. Be sure to list the local, along with its mailing address.

Your acceptance into any other local is based entirely on their requirements. And, remember that you are a member of Local 480 and responsible for quarterly dues until your transfer is completed.

If you are or were a member of the armed services, e-mail the membership coordinator with this information after you are on the Overflow List.

The 4% work dues are part of the Union contract. Working under the contract does not make you a member; submitting 30 days of pay stubs, filling out an application, and returning it with your Initiation Fee are the steps to take to become a member of the Local.

Anyone, regardless of membership status, should have work dues deducted from their paycheck;. Even if they are not deducted every week you work, you will still owe these dues and will be billed for them after the show wraps.

Category: Overflow List

When you work less than 16 days on a show, you are considered a “Day-Player.”

Day players don’t receive the same type of credit that those on the regular crew receive.

Also see:

What is a “Regular Credit?”

Category: Members

After working 16 or more days on a production, you are considered part of the regular crew and thus get a “regular credit” on the show.

Also see:

What is “Day Playing?”

Category: Members

When you hear someone mention “the International,” they are referring to the IATSE International Alliance (IA), which is the parent organization of all of the IATSE locals. Each local represents members in their jurisdiction while the IA oversees all of the locals.

Category: Members

NBFO stands for National Benefit Funds Office.

This is the organization which administers benefits through the other organizations which actually provide them, such as Empire Blue Cross, Delta Dental, Davis Vision, and Wells Fargo. As an IATSE member, this is the organization you’ll work with for anything relating to your benefits.

Phone: (800) 456-3863

Categories: Benefits, Members

The Local 480 membership has adopted a policy where members will get back some portion of the work dues (4%s) they pay in each year. To qualify for the program, a member must have no outstanding financial obligation to the Local as of November 30 of each year. The total work dues paid in by the member during the preceding 12 months (or after a new member joined, if less than 12 months) determine the amount returned. For 2016, every $75 of work dues paid in entitles the member to one quarterly stamp for 2017. Once the total paid in during the preceding 12 months exceeds $1750, the qualifying member will receive a check rebate for the amount of work dues paid in over $1750 (to a maximum rebate of $1000). Then, the total of work dues paid in for each member is then evaluated, and every qualifying member will receive an additional rebate if the percentage of work dues paid in exceeds 3% of total earnings for the preceding 12 months, after the quarterly dues stamp credits and the initial rebate are accounted for.

The membership decides on the policy for the next year each September, and ratifies the policy late in the year just prior to the calculation of stamps/rebates. The Local 480 office staff then prepares a letter and statement for each member detailing how that member’s account was calculated, and mails the next year’s membership card (with stamps affixed if earned) and a check rebate (if earned) to each member shortly before Christmas each year.

The program for each year is outlined in the January newsletter and again later in the year, and several emails will be sent to the membership explaining the program and the requirements to qualify. Please contact the Local 480 office if you have specific questions about the program, as it can vary from year to year.

Local 480 requires a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License to become a member.

Please check your New Mexico Driver’s License against the following requirements to make sure that it works for us.

Requirements for your current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License:
  • MUST be a Driver’s License.
  • MUST be a New Mexico Driver’s License.
  • MUST be a current, valid New Mexico Driver’s License.
Some things that are NOT your current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License and therefore will not work whatsoever:
  • A state ID card.
  • A license from a state that is not New Mexico.
  • An expired New Mexico Driver’s License.
There isn’t a person who can break this rule. In other words, there has never been and there never will be an exception to this rule.

All user registrations submitted with anything other than a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License will be deleted. You will be notified and you will have to re-submit your registration with a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License.

Current production information is available to Members only. Once logged in, all members have access to that information.

The e-mail address that you provided to us is your username for this website.

Local 480 is slowly transitioning to a new web platform and this training and this new-member site is the first step of that process. You’ll see lots more changes and new features in the coming months.

Members of the Local will still use This site is currently only for non-members.

With our new, streamlined website, the two required classes are available online at no charge.

Once your Overflow registration is verified, log back in using the user name and password that you created and you can take the classes.

All the dang time! After completing the registration process, you’ll have access to the required classes right on this website!

Category: Overflow List

If you are interested in borrowing tables, chairs, equipment, or using the CPJ, send an e-mail to

Your official employer is the payroll company. They produce your paychecks and send out your W-2’s. And, upon request, they can send you a payroll report that shows all of your employment info under that company.

Local 480 requires that you show you’ve got experience in the crafts in which we list you. To see proof of that, we require members to provide paystubs showing 16 or more days working in the craft to be listed on two contract productions.

Also see:

What is a “Regular Credit?”

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the union office doesn’t have access to your paycheck or the details of your employment. Because of good protections to your identity and financial data, the union office does not actually get most of the details of your employment.

In fact, you would be surprised to see how little we are often given.

We have no avenue available to us to get this information. Essentially, we’re given one large check for all the dues paid-in on a production and a spreadsheet that shows how much is attributed to each member. And, because your 4% dues are not calculated on your gross wages, we can’t work backwards to see what a member earned, in total. Remember that you are ultimately responsible for paying these dues. The payroll company is not obligated to withhold 4% dues for you. They do this service as a courtesy to members. So, if the payroll company misses it on a week, don’t think of it so much as them dropping the ball. Instead, think of it as one week when they didn’t do your job for you.

But, there is a solution!

Take a quick look at the pay-stub attached to each paycheck you receive to see if 4% dues have been deducted. This literally takes one to two seconds per paycheck. If dues haven’t been withheld from a paycheck on a union-contract show, take a note of that. We won’t find out about the dues owed until the payroll company gets around to sending us the information. Typically, that’s significantly after a production has wrapped. But, you get that knowledge as soon as your check comes! If no dues were withheld from a paycheck, know that you are still responsible for paying those dues. You have two options at this point:

  • Calculate 4% of your gross income and proactively send a payment to the union office.
  • Wait until we finally get information about the production from the payroll company so we can invoice you.

So, if you choose to wait for the office to bill you once we have the information we need to do so, make sure that you’ve budgeted for that impending and oft-tardy invoice. Because it is definitely coming.

Category: Members

Loren Ipsum.

We’re using the Overflow process to get the bugs out of the new system and a disproportionate amount of the office staff’s time is spent on non-members and this site should help to free up some of that time.

Yes. Eventually.