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Food and Facilities Licensing

Licensing Services - Mobile Food Service Unit

Who must apply for a mobile unit license?
Anyone who plans to sell or give away food from a non-fixed location must first obtain a Montgomery County Food Service License. The only exception to the law is the sale of fresh produce or live crustaceans.

What is a mobile unit?
A mobile unit is a truck, trailer or cart where food or drink is prepared, served or sold.

When must one apply for a mobile unit license?
A license must be obtained prior to operating. The application and fee are to be submitted at least 10 days prior to an event. The mobile unit must pass an inspection before it can be licensed.

How does one obtain a mobile unit license?
Download, complete and return the  Special Food Service Facility (Mobile Unit) License Application

Where are mobile units inspected?
Mobile Units must be inspected prior to licensing. Inspections are conducted at 255 Rockville Pike,  MD 20850

What is a Base of Operation?
The mobile unit must have a base of operation. A base of operation must be from a licensed food service facility. A private dwelling may not be used as a base of operation.

What must the Base of Operation provide?
A base of operation must provide:

  • A source of potable water, potable water hoses and clean connections.
  • A method of disposal of sewage acceptable to the approving authority.
  • Clean, adequate, and covered trash receptacles.
  • Refrigerated and dry food storage areas, if needed.
  • Storage area for single service articles.
  • If necessary, utensil washing facility.


To determine the appropriate fees, please see the  Fee Schedule


  • Submit the application, attachments, HACCP plan, vehicle or trailer Motor Vehicle Administration registration and apprpriate fee.
  •  A letter from the base of operation (a licensed food service facility) stating that the applicant has permission to use the facility for cleaning and storage is required.
  • Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.
  • The mobile unit must be brought to 255 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD  20850 for inspection prior to operating. If the unit is to receive an annual license, upon passing the inspection, a special sticker will be attached to the unit. Mobile unit inspections are offered Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • The license will be mailed to the applicant.
  • A vendor’s permit from the Department of Permitting Services may be required. They are located at 255 Rockville Pike, 2 nd Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 240-777-6256.
  • A Montgomery County Certified Food Service Manager must be on the premises whenever the mobile unit is being operated.  A copy of the application can be found here.

Personnel within the Licensure & Regulatory Services section are available to discuss questions during regular working hours (Monday through Friday) 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 240-777-3986.


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