Mobile Food Unit and Vendor Health Licenses

Red food truck


The Virginia Department of Health and Arlington County Public Health Division are required to issue mobile food unit licenses in the form of a sticker that shall be prominently displayed on mobile food units. This change was enacted due to the passage of House Bill 1625 during the 2017 Virginia General Assembly legislative session.


  1. Mobile food units must have a valid Peddler’s License and Vendor’s License before they can apply for a health license. These are issued by the Licensing Office of the Police Department.
  2. Mail or email a complete health license application package to the Environmental Health Program:
  • Mobile Food Unit License Application (2023-24(PDF, 3MB))
  • Base of Operation Agreement (2023-24(PDF, 144KB)) along with a copy of the base of operation’s health license and last inspection report
  • Certified Food Protection Manager card for at least one staff member who will work in the mobile unit
  • $40 application fee made payable to the Arlington County Treasurer
  • Note: Mobile Food Unit Licenses are renewable annually in June

3. After submitting your application, contact the Environmental Health Program to schedule a joint health and fire* inspection. *Mobile food units that produce grease-laden vapors (i.e., those who cook or re-heat food) and/or use propane tanks or generators MUST receive a fire inspection.

Fire Prevention Requirements

Ensure fire safety equipment is available and stored in your mobile unit according to Fire Prevention Office regulations:

  • Hood suppression system and extinguisher(s) that are up to date with testing/inspections
  • 2A-10BC extinguisher
  • Class K extinguisher if you have a deep fat fryer  
  • Wheel chocks (these are wedges to prevent accidental movement)
  • Explosive gas detector (follow manufacturer instructions for proper installation)
  • A 10-foot separation from buildings, vehicles, combustible materials, and other cooking operations
  • No Smoking signs where propane is stored and used
  • Propane tanks and storage cabinets should be labeled PROPANE in 3” red letters on a contrasting background

For fire safety questions, please call the Fire Prevention Office at 703-228-4644.

Certified Food Protection Manager 

The Virginia Department of Health and Arlington County Public Health Division recognize Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certification programs accredited by the Conference for Food Protection (CFP). Visit CFP’s website for information about their accreditation process, or get a list of accredited programs from the American National Standards Institute

Mobile Vending Zones

Mobile Vending Zones are created for food trucks in which they are exclusively allowed to vend during set hours. However, mobile vending is not limited to these zones. For more information on vending, please see the Arlington County Code.

Rosslyn Mobile Vending Zone
Rosslyn Vending Zone Hours: 10am – 2pm, Monday – Friday

Court House Mobile Vending Zone
Court House Vending Zone Hours: 10am – 2pm, Monday – Friday

Clarendon Mobile Vending Zone
Clarendon Vending Zone Hours: 10pm – 2am, Friday – Sunday

Download more information about Mobile Vending Zones

Event Requirements

Review Event Requirements for Mobile Food Units(PDF, 919KB) if you are a mobile food unit interested in participating in an event, or you would like to have a vendor at your event.