Learn about mobile food vendor permit types for the City of Austin and Travis County, and the rules and fees for each.
The Mobile Food Vending Permit
The mobile food vendor operating permit allows a business to sell, serve, or give away food or drinks to the public from a wheeled unit for one year. The category of “mobile units” includes:
- Motor vehicles
- Pushcarts, bikes, or kiosks
- Peddlers on foot selling from coolers or hot boxes
A mobile food vendor may work inside the region listed on the mobile food vending permit. Regions include the City of Austin, rural Travis County, or local cities and towns contracted with Austin Public Health.
The mobile food vending permit does not replace the base fixed food permit. All mobile food vendors must have a Central Preparation Facility (CPF), which is a fixed food business that provides services to the mobile food unit.
Unrestricted and Restricted Permits
The type of permit you need depends on the food-handling method you’ll use.
Unrestricted permits are for vendors handling open food, drinks, or both inside the mobile unit. Examples include snow cones, barbeque, any cooking of foods, and staff-handled drinks.
Restricted permits are for vendors handling only pre-wrapped food, drinks, or both that must be stored hot, cold, or with time control to prevent spoiling. No open food work is allowed, and all food, drinks, and toppings must be pre-packaged or wrapped at a permitted food business. Examples include packaged frozen foods, grab-and-go tacos, and self-serve drink containers.
City of Austin or Travis County
City of Austin mobile food ordinances only apply inside Austin city limits. However, this includes local cities and towns that have contracted with the City of Austin so that vendors can use the same permit. Those cities and towns are:
- Bee Cave
- Sunset Valley
- Westlake Hills
City of Austin
This includes municipalities contracted with the City of Austin (see list above).
|Type of fee||Cost|
|Mobile vendor application fee||$158|
|Unrestricted permit||$239 per unit|
|Restricted permit||$212 per unit|
|Mobile vendor re-inspection||$109|
|Mobile vendor fire inspection||$200|
|Mobile vendor fire re-inspection||$200|
|Mobile vendor cancellation fee||$150|
|Food manager certificate registration||$31|
|Food manager certificate replacement||$16|
|Central preparation facility registration (non-refundable)||$150|
|Type of fee||Cost|
|Unrestricted (per unit)||$273|
|Restricted (per unit)||$198|
|Mobile vendor fire inspection||$204|
|Mobile vendor fire re-inspection||The first is free, then $204 per re-inspection after that.|
|Central preparation facility registration||No fee|