Food and Facilities Licensing

Licensing Services - Mobile Food Service Unit

Informacion en Espanol

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 2425 Reedie Drive, 9th floor, Wheaton,  MD 20902

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.

Mobile Reciprocity License

What is a mobile reciprocity license?
On April 18, 2017 Maryland signed into law Senate Bill 262 which allows for a mobile food service facility to obtain a “Mobile Reciprocity License” in another county within 90 miles from their original Maryland licensed county of origin where their Commissary or Base of Operations is located. The bill was enacted to prevent local jurisdictions from requiring subsequent inspections for a “Mobile Reciprocity License” and to cap the fee. Click here for more information regarding Senate Bill 262.


  • New mobile units, or mobile units who potentially want a reciprocity license in another Maryland county within 90 miles from their Montgomery County Commissary or Base of Operation, should submit the application, plan review packet, any required attachments, menu, HACCP plan, vehicle or trailer Motor Vehicle Administration registration and appropriate fee. Plan review may take up to 14 business days for review and approval.
  • Mobile unit renewals should submit the application, any required attachments, menu, HACCP plan (if menu changes or additional food items are included), vehicle or trailer Motor Vehicle Administration registration and appropriate fee.
  • The completed Commissary or Base of Operation (a licensed food service facility) form indicating mobile unit has permission to use the facility for storage, filling potable water, cleaning, food prep and disposal of waste water, grease and/or trash is required.
  • 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.
  • Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.
  • The mobile unit must be brought to 2425 Reedie Drive,  Wheaton, MD  20902 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 2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD, 240-777-6256.

Mobile Application

Mobile Plan Review Application

Make An Inspection Appointment 


To determine the appropriate fees, please see the   Fee Schedule.