Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Abigail Lootens
Department of Consumer Affairs
(212) 436-0042

Consumer Affairs Opens Waiting List for General Vendor Licenses to Sell Goods and Services on the Street

NEW YORK, NY—Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced that the agency is creating a new waiting list for people who want to apply for general vendor licenses, which is required to sell, lease, or offer to sell or lease goods or services in a public place that is not a store. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on November 15, 2016. Once the application period closes, DCA will assign each accepted application a non-transferable priority number (i.e., position) based on a computer-generated random number selection program. The order in which applications are submitted will not affect an applicant’s position on the waiting list. DCA will notify applicants in writing of their waiting list number and then contact them in order, as licenses become available, to submit a license application. The law, as established by the City Council, limits the number of non-veteran general vendor licenses to 853.

“There is now, for the first time in many years, the opportunity to get on the list to apply for a license to be a general vendor in New York City,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas.

Anyone can apply for free, and there is no limit on how many applications will be accepted for the waiting list. Each person may only apply once. Applications are available in person (at the DCA Licensing Center in Manhattan or the NYC Small Business Support Center in Jamaica, Queens), online at, or by contacting 311 and asking for the General Vendor Waiting List. Completed applications can be submitted in person, online, or by mail (postmarked no later than November 15). DCA’s Licensing Center is located in the lobby at 42 Broadway in Manhattan and is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The NYC Small Business Support Center is located at 90-27 Sutphin Blvd, 4th Floor, in Jamaica, Queens and is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

By law, the City can issue new general vendor licenses when the number of licensed non-veteran general vendors falls below 853. The waiting list last opened in 1993 and 5,367 people were put on the waiting list. By state law, there is no limit on the number of general vendor licenses available to honorably discharged veterans residing in New York State. All general vendors (veteran and non-veteran) must follow the same vending regulations and NYPD enforces those laws, including unlicensed vending.‎ The sale of First Amendment goods (books/magazines, art, among other products) does not require a license and all food vendors are licensed by the Department of Health.

For additional information, including FAQs, visit or call 311 and ask to speak with a DCA representative about the General Vendor License.

The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCA licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCA protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCA empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCA also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCA and its work, call 311 or visit DCA at or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.