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Business & self-employment

Get an Honor Box License

Service overview

You need an Honor Box License to sell or distribute newspapers or other publications from an unattended point-of-sale.

You need an Honor Box License in these areas:

  • Center City (within Bainbridge St., Columbus Blvd., Vine St., and the Schuylkill River)
  • On the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • On the 1700 block of Cottman Ave.
  • On Frankford Ave. from the 5900 block to the 7600 block
  • On Torresdale Ave. from the 5000 block to the 7600 block
  • Manayunk (within the Schuylkill River, Wissahickon Creek, the SEPTA Norristown railroad line, Cresson St., Baker St., and Leverington Ave.)
  • Northern Liberties (within Spring Garden St., N. 6th St., Girard Ave., and Front St.)

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.


Anyone can apply for this license.


Other licenses and registrations

Prior approval from the Vending Unit

In order to apply for an Honor Box License, you must first get approval from the Vending Unit.

  1. To request approval, call (215) 686-2414 or email
  2. The Vending Unit will review your request and let you know if you are approved.

List of locations

You should provide a list of desired locations for the boxes on company letterhead.

  • Corner location – List the intersecting streets and the specific corner
  • Mid-block location – List the directional side of the street and the two streets that bracket the location

Tax compliance

You must be current on all City taxes.

Where and when


Use the eCLIPSE system.

In person

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Office closes at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.


Fee per box

A non-refundable application fee of $20 is applied to the license fee. The balance of the license fee is due upon application approval.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.


Once you get approval from the Vending Unit, you can apply for this license online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.


Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

If the application is approved, you will receive notice to pay balance.

If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

In person

Visit the Permit and License Center.

L&I can review most applications while you wait.

L&I will either issue your license or request more information.

Renewal requirements

Annual renewal:

  • Renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center

Required for renewal:

  • Must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes
  • Valid email address