Mobile Food Vending


Below you will find information on mobile food vending in the City of Vancouver. This includes required licenses and permits, mobile vending in the public right-of-way, mobile vending at special events and in public plazas, and contact information for City staff that can answer questions about mobile vending.

Required Permits

State and City Business Licenses
Every business operating in the State of Washington is required to obtain a state business license. In addition, the City of Vancouver requires a business license for operating within the City limits. The City partners with the Washington State Department of Revenue Business Licensing Services to provide one place where both the state and local licenses can be purchased. Please visit their website for additional information and instructions for purchasing business licenses.

Mobile Food Vending Special License
Mobile food vendors are also required to obtain a City of Vancouver special license and home occupation permit (if applicable). The city processes special licenses and home occupation permits- visit the Business and Special Licenses webpage for information on how to apply. If you have questions about home occupation permits, contact planning staff at (360) 487-7803.

Street Use Permit
Any mobile vending unit that operates in the public right-of-way is required to obtain a street use permit. Street Use Permit applications should be submitted via email to Traffic Engineering at TrafficEngineering@cityofvancouver.us or at the customer service desk in the lobby of City Hall.

Mobile Vending Parking Approval
A limited number of permits are available for mobile vendors to use public on-street parking, via the Mobile Food Vending Parking Approval pilot project. It is available on a limited basis in certain parking zones. Please see Mobile Food Vending in the Public Row below for more information and contact City of Vancouver Parking Services for permit availability.

Clark County Public Health
All food businesses must get a license to operate a food establishment from Clark County Public Health. Visit the Clark County Food Safety website for more information.

Washington Department of Labor & Industries
Mobile food units are reviewed and inspected by the Washington Department of Labor & Industries to ensure they meet health and safety standards, and a state permit is posted on each truck. Please visit the Department of Labor & Industries Conversion Vendor and Medical Units webpage for more information.

Please see the Mobile Food Vending Permits & Approvals matrix for a full list of requirements.

Mobile Vending in the Public ROW

Ten Mobile Food Vending Approvals are available to mobile vending units to park at metered parallel parking stalls without payment of the meter and to exceed the posted time limits while the permit is properly displayed on the vehicle. The approval is only valid in some parking zones, and must be renewed on a monthly basis. The cost is $75 per parking stall per month. Please see the Program Fact Sheet for additional information and a map of locations where the approval is valid. All other applicable regulations must be followed while participating in the pilot project. Please contact City of Vancouver Parking Services for more information- (360) 487-8650 or parking@cityofvancouver.us. 

Mobile Vending at Special Events & in Public Plazas:

Other opportunities for mobile food vending include special events and two downtown public plazas that are currently open to food vendors- Turtle Place at 7th & Main St. and the Sculpture Garden at 9th & Broadway. For more information on how to become a vendor, contact Johnie Tucker, Event & Recreation Coordinator, at (360) 487-7096 or Johnie.Tucker@cityofvancouver.us

*PLEASE NOTE: Esther Short Park is considered an event venue, and mobile vending in or adjacent to the park is only allowed as part of City-permitted special events. This includes the park, the immediately adjacent sidewalk, the street, and the far sidewalk.

Mobile Vending Pre-Application Meeting with City Staff:

Requirements for mobile vendors differ depending on location and whether the unit is temporarily or permanently located in a given location. Prior to submitting permit and license applications, City staff will sit down with mobile vendors to help them understand what is required of them and how the process works. For more information or to set up a meeting, please contact Kristian Corbin at (360) 487-7818 or kristian.corbin@cityofvancouver.us.