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Vending Services

Advisory: Vending Services Updates


A Vending Business License is required for goods and services sold exclusively from a public space and that are for the immediate delivery to the customer upon purchase (i.e. food trucks, hot dog carts, sidewalk merchandise vendors, ice cream trucks, etc.).

IMPORTANT! New sidewalk locations will not be issued until the survey examining available spaces has been completed by the District Department of Transportation.

Agency Contact  

Phone: (202) 442-4321 Main
Email: vending@dc.gov

License Categories

Class A  

Authorizes a person to vend food, other than food prohibited from public or private space.  All employees are also required to obtain a Vending Employee Identification Badge.

Class B  

Authorizes a person to vend merchandise, other than merchandise prohibited from public space. For vending purposes, the term “merchandise” shall include non-hazardous and non-controlled cut flowers, dried flowers and potted plants.  All employees are also required to obtain a Vending Employee Identification Badge.

Class C  

Authorizes a person to manage public markets on public or private space for the sale of agricultural goods and other farm products, or other food as designated by DC Department of Health (DC Health) Director, and other non-food merchandise or services as designated by the DCRA Director.

 Class D  

Authorizes a person to vend services from public spaces (i.e. street photography, sale of tickets).  All employees are also required to obtain a Vending Employee Identification Badge.

 

Vending Site Permits

Mobile Site Permit: Mobile Vendors ONLY (Class A, B, or D)
All Vending Business Licensees who operate Mobile Vending Vehicles are required to obtain a Mobile Site Permit. Each Mobile Site Permit authorizes a specific Mobile Vending Vehicle to operate in accordance with Title 24 of DC Municipal Regulation Chapter 5§ 534-535. A valid vehicle registration must be provided for each Mobile Vending Vehicle. If the vendor is not the owner of the Mobile Vending Vehicle, the vendor must provide a Letter of Authorization from the owner of the vehicle. The fee for a 2-year Mobile Site Permit is $600.00 per vehicle. This fee will be pro-rated to be concurrent with the Vending Business License period. 

 

Sidewalk Site Permit: Sidewalk Vendors ONLY (Class A, B, or D)
All Vending Business Licensees who operate from sidewalk locations are required to obtain a Sidewalk Site Permit. Each Sidewalk Site Permit authorizes a Vending Business Licensee to vend from one specific sidewalk location. Sidewalk locations must meet the requirements of Title 24 of DC Municipal Regulation Chapter 5 § 525. Each Sidewalk location application will be reviewed and approved by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), and applicants will be notified by phone or e-mail of approval of sidewalk locations. The fee for  2-year Sidewalk Site Permit is $1,200.00 per vehicle. This fee will be pro-rated to be concurrent with the Vending Business License period. 

 

Licensing Fees

License Duration: 2 Years               
License Fee:  

  • Class A: $476.30
  • Class B: $408.10
  • Class C: $433.00
  • Class D: $337.80
  • Employee Badge:  $55

Site Permit Fee:  

  • Sidewalk: $1,200.00
  • Mobile: $600.00

 

Apply for, Renew or Cancel a Vending License

Application Requirements for Class A and B Vending License
All requirements/supporting documentation are contained in the Vending Quick Facts Checklist.  You may contact Vending at (202) 442-4321 or vending@dc.gov if you have more specific questions.  
 
Apply for a Class A or B Vending License
All applicants must complete a License Application and an Employee Badge Application. Submit the applications and all the supporting documentation in person on the 2nd floor.
 
Application Requirements for Class C Vending License (Public Market Manager)
 
Apply for a Class C Vending License (Public Market Manager)
Submit application and required documents to vending@dc.gov. Once your application is approved, you will receive an invoice and instructions for how to submit payment.
 
*On April 8, 2020, the Mayor issued an order requiring that all farmer’s markets receive a waiver to operate during the current public health emergency. Only markets that hold an active Class C Vending License will qualify to receive a waiver. For more information on the requirements to receive a waiver visit Coronavirus Updates for Farmers Markets.
 
Renew a License
All applicants must submit a Vending Business License Renewal Application.
 
Cancel a Vending License  
If you are no longer conducting the business activity for which your Vending License was issued, you are required to formally notify the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by submitting a Vending License Cancellation request. You will accrue late fees, penalty fees and other applicable taxes on your business if you fail to do so.  

 

 

Lottery

Mobile Roadway

A vendor must have an approved site permit in order to enter the monthly lottery.  The monthly lottery authorizes the vendor to vend in additional locations on specified dates.  It costs $25 each month to enter the lottery.  If you win a lottery location, there is an additional $150 fee. Lottery results are published on a monthly basis.  

Stationary Roadway

Authorizes a Class A or Class B licensee to vend from a stationary vehicle at an approved stationary roadway location(s) assigned to them by monthly lottery, around the National Mall.  There is no fee to enter the monthly lottery, but you must request a passcode from the agency.  If you win a lottery location there is a fee of $65/day up to a maximum of $450 as a total fee.

National Ballpark

Each year there are also locations at and around the Nationals Ballpark that are put into a lottery system.  Lottery winners are authorized to vend at their designated locations during home games.  Information about the lottery for the upcoming season is generally posted in this section by February of each year.  

Request to Trade Vending Lottery Spaces

If you and another licensed vendor wish to trade lottery spaces, you may initiate a Request to Trade Vending Lottery Spaces.

 

Request a Refund / File a Complaint

If you feel you are due a refund due to an excess, duplicate or erroneous payment, submit the online Refund Request.  You must submit all of the required documentation in order to process your claim.

If you observe a vendor operating beyond the scope of its license or without a license, you may Submit a Vending Complaint.

 

 
 
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