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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Vendor Motor Vehicle License

Service overview

You need a Vendor Motor Vehicle License to sell goods from a vehicle. Vehicles must be parked on the street and be able to be moved.

To operate a stand or food cart on the sidewalk, you need to get a Sidewalk Sales License and follow space limits.

Prohibited streets and special districts

The City prohibits vendors from selling in certain areas. For help with the prohibited streets, use the map below or contact the Vending Unit at (215) 686-2414.

Prohibited streets and areas and special vending districts

  • Special vending districts
  • Prohibited streets and areas

Who

Business owners and their agents can apply for this license.

Requirements

Other licenses and registrations

Identification

You must provide two ID photos. These photos must be between two and three square inches in size.

Related licenses

To operate in the City’s special vending districts, you may need several licenses.

District Vendor Motor Vehicle Neighborhood Vending License Center City Vending License Special Vending District License Related food licenses (if selling food)
University City X X X
Temple X X X
Elsewhere in the city X X

Related food licenses include:

Where and when

Online

You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.

In person

You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center 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

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

Fee per location
$341

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

Renewal fee per location
$341

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

Note: If you are vending in any special neighborhood vending area, different fees will apply.

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 (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% 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 (+2.25% 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 will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

How

You can apply for this license online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
If the application is approved, you will receive notice to pay the balance.

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

In person

1
Visit the Permit and License Center.

L&I can review most applications while you wait.

2
L&I will either issue your license or request more information.

Renewal requirements

This license must be renewed annually. You can renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

To renew your license, you must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.


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