How to Get a SAG Card

Becoming a member of the Screen Actors' Guild has posed a long-time conundrum for actors: You can't get a SAG card until you are hired by a SAG production, and you can't get hired by a SAG production unless you have a SAG card. Getting a SAG card is one of the hardest professional affiliations to achieve, but it's not impossible. Here are a few routes you can take to get into SAG.


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    Become an extra on a SAG shoot.
    • Start with Central Casting. Register as an extra with Central Casting in Los Angeles or New York. You need not be a trained actor to register with them, but you will need a photo and proper work identification. Get on a SAG shoot to get the 3 required SAG vouchers.
    • Don't give up until you get 3 vouchers. You are one of thousands who want a SAG card and are going the "extras" route to get it. Ask the A.D. (Assistant Director) or P.A. (Production Assistant) on each SAG shoot if you can get a SAG voucher. The voucher allows you to get the union pay rate and is proof of your work as a principal extra on a SAG shoot. They may forget or not give you a voucher, just be persistent but never be a pain.
    • Make friends. Having a friend in even a minor role on a SAG production helps immensely. Professional acting is very much a business of "who you know." A friend on the set can ask the A.D. to give the extra SAG voucher to you instead of someone else.
    • Apply to SAG. Once you have your vouchers, submit your application and 3 pay stubs to the Screen Actors Guild. SAG verifies your employment as a principal on a SAG production and sends you a letter of eligibility.
    • Pay your dues. SAG mails your card to you within 2-4 weeks of payment.
  2. Image titled Get a SAG Card Step 2
    Get a SAG card through other unions.
    • Join ACTRA, AEA, AFTRA, AGMA or AGVA. Get a principal role with any of these SAG affiliated union productions and you are eligible for a SAG card.
    • Apply to SAG. Send them your membership information and proof of a principal role. If you are not sure about your SAG eligibility, check it at
    • Pay your dues and get your card. If you are SAG eligible, they will send you an acceptance letter. Then pay your dues, get your card and enjoy your new status.
  3. Image titled Get a SAG Card Step 3
    Get a SAG card under the Taft-Hartley Act.
    • Seek out smaller SAG productions and get hired by a company that will "Taft-Hartley" you into SAG. Land a principal role as a non-union actor on a union shoot and after 15 days you are eligible for a SAG card. The production company has to do some paperwork and pay fees on your behalf to SAG, but if you can get it, this is a nice way to get into SAG.
    • Await your acceptance letter. Since the production company has told SAG that you are eligible, your letter will come once they have processed the paperwork. Like all other routes, you need to pay your first annual dues before you get your card.


  • Once you are a SAG member, you may no longer work on non-union productions. Doing so could result in revocation of your SAG membership.

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Categories: Acting