Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Handbill Distribution License

Service overview

You need this license to advertise through paper flyers or circulars, known as handbills. The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.


Any business, organization, or individual can apply for this license.


Other licenses and registrations

Tax compliance

You must be current on all City taxes to get this license.

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.


License fee

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

Renewal fee

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • 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.


You can apply for this license online using 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 a notice to pay the 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.

After you get your license

You must follow these rules when giving out handbills:

  • You can’t throw or scatter handbills in any public space.
  • On private property, you must give handbills directly to the occupant or leave them in a secure location.
  • You cannot place handbills on motor vehicles.
  • You cannot leave handbills on a property where the occupant has registered with L&I and posted a circular non-delivery sticker. (L&I maintains a list of all properties that have requested non-delivery. The list is available for public inspection during regular working hours.)

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 taxes