Mobile Food Vendors

Supervisory License

Local Law 18 of 2021 changed how mobile food vendors can get a new full-term (year-round) city-wide or non-Manhattan mobile food vending permit. A supervisory license is now required to apply for these permits.

A unit with a supervisory license permit must also have a person with a supervisory license vending whenever the unit is operating.

  • At least one person with a citywide supervisory license must be working on-site when your unit is operating in Manhattan.
  • At least one person with a non-Manhattan or citywide supervisory license must be working on-site when your unit is operating outside of Manhattan.

Supervisory license applications are offered to people on waiting lists created in 2022. Each year, the Health Department will offer at least 445 supervisory license applications.

Vendors will be notified when new waiting list opportunities become available.

For more information about supervisory licenses, see:


A mobile food vendor is a person who sells food or distributes it free of charge from a mobile food vending unit in any public, private or restricted space.

A mobile food vending unit is a food service establishment within a cart or truck that is used to store, prepare, display, serve or sell food — or distribute it free of charge — to eat in a place other than in or on the unit. A mobile food vending unit can be operated indoors or outdoors on public, private or restricted space.

A food vendor must have a food vendor license or a supervisory license, and the unit must have a permit.

Permit holders and licensed vendors must provide and keep their email and mailing address up to date with the NYC Health Department.

Mobile Food Vendor Waiting List Lookup

To check your current place on a mobile food vending waiting list, visit the Waiting List Lookup Tool.

Mobile Food Vendor License

To work on a food cart or truck, you must get a mobile food vendor license and pass the Food Protection Course for Mobile Vendors.

There is no limit on the total number of mobile food vendor licenses granted by the City, but each vendor can get only one license.

Permits

Street Food Vending Permits

The number of street food vendor permits the City can issue is limited by law. The Health Department has different types of permits, each has a different number available.

Year-round (full-term) permits, valid for a two-year period:

  • Citywide permits
  • Citywide permits for U.S. veterans and people with a disability
  • Non-Manhattan permits that allow vending in NYC boroughs except Manhattan
  • Borough-specific permits that allow vending in one borough (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island)
  • Green cart permits that allow vending of fruit, vegetables, plain nuts, and water in certain neighborhoods.

Year-round (full-term) permits, valid for a two-year period:

Seasonal and green cart permit applications are offered to people on waiting lists.

New year-round (full-term) citywide and non-Manhattan mobile food vending permits, including citywide permits for U.S. veterans and people with a disability, are available to people with a supervisory license. Supervisory license applications are offered to people on waiting lists created in 2022. Each year, the Health Department will offer at least 445 license applications.

If you have a mobile food vendor license, you will be notified when new waiting list opportunities become available.

Other Food Vending Permits

Restricted Area Mobile Food Vending Permits allow for vending on private property or on NYC Department of Parks and Recreation property under an agreement between the vendor and the property owner. This type of permit does not allow the unit to vend on the public sidewalk or street. There is no waiting list for this permit and no limit on the number of permits available.

Specialized Disabled Veteran Food Vending Permits are available to U.S. veterans with a service-related disability. These permits allow vending year-round and are limited to operating at the curb around a NYC Park if they are 30 feet or more away from any park entrance. For more information about specialized vending licenses, visit Department of Consumer and Worker Protection: Specialized Vending License.

Renewing a Permit

Mobile food vending permits are valid for up to two years and must be renewed before the expiration date. A renewal application form and instructions are mailed to each permit holder at the address of record three months prior to expiration. You must complete and return the form with updated supporting documentation and the appropriate permit fee (if applicable).

If you currently have a citywide or borough-specific permit that was issued before July 1, 2022, you can continue to renew your permit and will not need a supervisory license to renew until July 1, 2032.

Restricted Streets Map

This interactive map shows where you are not allowed to vend food from a cart or truck.


Letter Grades

Mobile food vending units are required to post letter grades based on the scores received on sanitary inspections. An inspection score of 0 to 13 points is an A grade, 14 to 27 points is a B grade, and 28 or more points is a C grade. The letter grade is posted on the unit’s permit decal./p>

For more information, see:

Clean, Service and Store Your Food Cart or Truck

A permitted food cart or truck must be cleaned, serviced, and stored at a NYC Health Department approved facility (commissary, depot or alternative). A mobile food vending commissary or depot must have a Non-Retail Food Establishment Permit.

Food carts and trucks must be stored at the facility when not in use and returned to the facility at least once each day for cleaning and maintenance.

Permit holders must provide a Commissary Agreement at their Health Department pre-permit inspection. If the agreement changes, the permit holder must notify the Health Department within 10 days of the change with an updated agreement.

Units that offer uncut fruit and vegetables or non-potentially hazardous unpackaged or prepackaged foods can apply to use an alternative facility to clean and store their unit.

Health Code Regulations

Additional Resources and Guidance

More Information