Mobile Food Vendors

Notice of Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Rules

The Health Department is proposing rules regarding a new type of mobile food vending license — called a supervisory license — and a new permit type associated with this type of license. In addition, the Health Department is proposing updates to the waiting list rules for the temporary mobile food vending permit.

You are invited to comment on the proposed rules. Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. on June 30, 2022. We will hold a public meeting to hear comments on the proposal online through WebEx on June 30, 2022, from 10 a.m. to noon.

View the proposal and find out how to comment or join the WebEx meeting (see Notices of Intention, 2022).


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 pushcart or vehicle that is used to store, prepare, display, serve or sell food — or distribute it free of charge — for consumption in a place other than in or on the unit. Any such pushcart or vehicle is considered a mobile food vending unit, whether it's operated indoors or outdoors on public, private or restricted space.

To sell food on the street, you must have a food vendor license, and your unit must have a permit.

Permit holders and licensed vendors must keep their mailing address current with the NYC Health Department. You can update your address online or in person at the Citywide Licensing Center at 42 Broadway, Manhattan, Fifth floor. The center is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Temporary (Seasonal) Permits: Announcement for 2022

The below changes to mobile food vending permits will be in effect for the upcoming 2022 season.

2022 Season Permit Renewal

Renewal notices for the 2022 season will be mailed in May.

All Temporary (Seasonal) mobile food vending permittees must submit a renewal application for the 2022 season before the October 31, 2022, deadline. Failure to submit a renewal application for the 2022 season will result in forfeiture of the permit.

Renewal applications for 2022 must be submitted prior to scheduled pre-permit inspections.

Decal Extension and Pre-Permit Inspections

For all Temporary (Seasonal) MFV permittees who renewed their 2021 permit:

  • Units with decals expiring in 2021 are extended until October 31, 2022.
    • Units will not require an updated decal or inspection for the 2021 season. A renewal application for the 2022 season is required.
    • To bring their permit and decal up to date, units will need to submit an application for — and pass an inspection prior to — the 2023 season.

  • Units with decals expiring in 2020 are extended until October 31, 2022.
    • Units will require an inspection for the 2022 season.
    • Permits for 2022 should be renewed with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection prior to scheduling an inspection.
    • To schedule a pre-permit inspection, call 347-834-5766 during regular business hours or email MFVInspections@health.nyc.gov.

Mobile Food Vendor License

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.

If you want to operate or work on a mobile food cart in NYC, you must take the Food Protection Course for Mobile Vendors and get a mobile food vending license.

Mobile Food Vendor Permit

Available Permits

The number of mobile food vendor permits available for issuance is restricted by law, with the following limits:

  • 2,800 Full-term Citywide Permits, valid for a two-year period
  • 100 Full-term Citywide Permits exclusively for veterans and disabled people, valid for a two-year period
  • 200 Full-term Borough-Specific Permits (up to 50 permits available for each borough other than Manhattan), valid for a two-year period
  • 1,000 Seasonal Citywide Permits, valid from April to October each year
  • 1,000 Green Cart Permits (fruit and vegetables)

Under a new law enacted this year, there will be an additional 445 mobile food vending permits available each year between July 2022 and July 2023. People who are already on a mobile food vending waiting list and have held a mobile food vending license since March 1, 2017, will be eligible first.

There are waiting lists for each category of permits. Vendors on a waiting list may only apply for a permit after they have been contacted by the Health Department. New lists will be created based on the turnover rate of the existing lists.

Green Cart, Seasonal and Restricted Area Permits

  • NYC Green Cart Permits are for mobile food vendors offering fresh fruits and vegetables in certain parts of NYC.

  • Seasonal (Temporary) Permits allow mobile food vending throughout New York City — where already allowed by existing regulations — from April 1 to October 31. There are a limited number of permits available.

  • Restricted Area Mobile Food Vending Permits allow for vending on private property in a commercially zoned area, or on property under the jurisdiction of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. This type of permit does not authorize street vending. There is no waiting list for this permit and no limit on the number of permits available.

Renewing a Permit

Mobile Food Vending Permits must be renewed. A renewal application form will be mailed to each permit holder at the last known address of record. You must complete and return the form with updated supporting documentation and the appropriate permit fee (if applicable).

Letter Grading

The NYC Health Department assigns mobile food vending units letter grades based on the total violation points found during sanitary inspections.

Before a unit can receive a grade, it will need a new permit decal and a location-sharing device affixed to the unit at its next pre-permit inspection. Once assigned a letter grade, each food truck and cart will have its letter grade posted on the unit's permit decal.

For more information, see:

Mobile Food Vending Units: Cleaning, Servicing and Storage

All mobile food vending units (pushcarts, trailers and vehicles) must operate out of a facility (commissary) permitted by the NYC Health Department, or another facility approved by the Health Department. Vendors must stored their units at a mobile food vending commissary when not in use. Units must be returned to the commissary at least once each day for cleaning and maintenance.

Mobile Food Vending Unit Permit holders must provide to the Health Department a Commissary Agreement at their pre-permit inspection. They must subsequently notify the Health Department within 10 days of any change in the agreement. Commissary operators must have a Non-Retail Food Establishment Permit.

Commissary operators are required to maintain a Daily Service Log that tracks every mobile food vending unit that is cleaned, serviced or stored at their facility. The log must include the dates and times each unit returns to and leaves from the commissary. It must be available to inspectors upon request.

Health Code Regulations

Additional Resources and Guidance

More Information