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
  • Trailers
  • 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

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

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
  • Lakeway
  • Manor
  • Rollingwood
  • Sunset Valley
  • Volente
  • Westlake Hills
  • Pflugerville

Travis County follows the Texas Food Establishment Rules and Chapter 341 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.


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


Travis County

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