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Licenses and Permits

The License Division is responsible for the administration and issuance of over 100 types of licenses and permits granted by the Common Council and the Office of the City Clerk. Applications, forms and additional information relating to most licenses and permits processed by the License Division are available online and can be accessed by selecting a specific license or permit listed below.

 

Individual License Application
Required to be submitted with all new individual license applications, unless otherwise indicated
Business License Application
Required to be submitted with all new business license applications, unless otherwise indicated
 
 
Individual Licenses - Supplemental Application and Individual License Application must be submitted (see above)
    License Period  Expiration Date License Fee
 

Bartender's (Class D Operator's) License - New Applicants

     
  Granted to individuals who sell or serve alcoholic beverages in licensed establishments. 24 months  Dec 31 in year following year in which granted. $75
         
 

Bartender's (Class D Operator's) License - Renewal Applicants

     
  Online renewal of license. 24 months 2 years from expiration of license being renewed. $50
         
  Bartender's (Class D Operator's) License, Provisional      
  Issued to applicants for regular bartender licenses for the purposes of operating as bartenders during the period of time their applications for regular license are being processed. Up to 60 days Whenever regular license is granted or denied. $15
         
  Bartender's (Class D Operator's) License, Temporary      
  Issued to those operators employed by or donating their services to a non-profit corporation. Not more than 14 consecutive days. Event specific $15
         
  Bicycle License      
  Residents of the city are required to first properly register and affix a license sticker to the frame of the bicycle before the bicycle can be operated on any of the streets, alleys or public highways of the city. Indefinitely Expires whenever bicycle changes ownership. $0
         
  Class "B" Manager's License      
  Required of any Class "B" alcohol beverage retail establishment whenever the licensee is not the manager of the business.  12 months June 30 $25
         
  Direct Seller's License      
  License required for persons engaging in direct sales on any public way or other public premises in the city of Milwaukee. 12 months One year from date of issuance $129
         
  Direct Seller's License Exemption - Nonprofits      
  Individuals representing nonprofit organizations may apply for temporary exemptions from the Direct Seller's License. Up to 1 month License specific $0
         
 

Driver's License, Public Passenger Vehicle

     
  License required for every person driving a public passenger vehicle, except motorbuses operated by a transportation company.  Any person driving a vehicle used for the transportation of elderly or handicapped persons, regardless of whether the vehicle of such organization is licensed or otherwise regulated by the state of Wisconsin as a human service vehicle for the transportation of elderly or handicapped persons, is also required to possess a Public Passenger Vehicle Driver's License. 24 months Two years from date of issuance $75
         
  Home Improvement Salesperson's License      
  License required for any person who solicits or sells any place within the city, other than at the licensed business location, must be licensed as a salesperson. Exemptions: Individuals, corporations which include only one person, or limited liability companies having only one member, which have been issued a home improvement contractor license, or licensed master plumbers licensed under the statutes of the state of Wisconsin, or licensed electrical contractor licensed under the code need not have a salesperson's license. 24 months  Two years from date of issuance $75
         
  Ice Cream Peddler Permit      
  A permit is required of every person selling ice cream or similar frozen confections on the public way. 12 months One year from date of issuance $75
         
  Individual Provisional Renewal      
  Issued to applicants who are renewing individual licenses for the purposes of operating during the period of time when their applications for renewal are being processed to prevent a lapse in licensure. Up to 60 Days Whenever regular license is granted or denied

$15 - Alcohol Related

$50 - All Other Licenses

         
         
Business Licenses - Supplemental Application and Business License Application must be submitted (see above)

 A

 

 License Period

 Expiration Date

 License Fee

 

Alarm Business License (See Private Alarm System Business License.) 

     
         
  Amusement Machine Distributor's License

 

 

 

 

Granted to persons who lease, rent, or place with others one or more amusement machines for use or operation in the city. 

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $850

         
 

Auto Wrecker's License

     
 

Issued to persons who buy motor vehicles for purposes of dismantling or disassembling vehicles for the purpose of dealing in the parts thereof.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $250 main yard; $50 each add'l yard.

         

 B

       
  Bill Poster      
 

Required for those engaged in the business of outdoor advertising for a cash consideration by placing, posting or painting on billboards, ground or roof signs, displays, or on the walls of buildings to advertise goods or products to announce coming events attractions or contests. 

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $400

         
  Bowling Alley (See Public Entertainment Premises License.)      
         
  Business Provisional Renewal      
  Issued to applicants who are renewing business licenses for the purposes of operating during the period of time when their applications for renewal are being processed to prevent a lapse in licensure. Up to 60 Days Whenever regular license is granted or denied

$15 - Alcohol Related

$50 - All Other Licenses

         

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Carnival Site (See Public Entertainment Premises, Temporary.)

     
         
  Cigarette and Tobacco License       
  License required for those selling, bartering or giving away cigarette or tobacco products.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance. [ 1 ]

 $100

         
 

Class "A" Fermented Malt Beverage Retailer's License

     
 

Authorizes the retail sale of fermented malt beverages for consumption away from the licensed premises. No sales allowed between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. 

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $350 + $10 publication fee.

         
 

Class "A" Liquor and Malt Retailer's License (Liquor Store)

     
 

Authorizes the retail sale of intoxicating liquors and fermented malt beverages for consumption away from the licensed premises. No sales allowed between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $850 + $10 publication fee.

         
   Class "B" Fermented Malt Beverage License      
 

For the consumption of fermented malt beverages on the licensed premises. (This license may be applied for in conjunction with the Class "C" Wine License; a single combined application can be filed.)             

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $100 + $10 publication fee.

         
  Class "B" Special Fermented Malt Beverage License       
 

Authorizes the holder to sell, barter, or give away retail beer and/or wine, at a specific picnic, festival or similar event. It does not permit the sale or service of liquor.

 Issued for only 2 events per 12-month period.

 Event specific. Up to 14 consecutive days.

 $10

         
  Class "B" Tavern License      
 

For the consumption of intoxicating liquors and fermented malt beverages on the licensed tavern premises.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $600 + $10 publication fee.

         
  Class "C" Wine License                             [ Top ]    
 

Allows the licensee to sell, offer for sale, barter or give away wine by the glass or in an opened original container for consumption on the premises. The license may only be granted to restaurants in which the sale of alcohol beverages is less than 50% of the gross receipts. Foreign Corporations may not hold this type of license. (This license may be applied for in conjunction with the Class "B" Fermented Malt Beverage License; a single combined application can be filed.)             

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $100 + $10 publication fee.

         

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Domestic Partnership Registration

     
 

Effective August 3, 2009, the state of Wisconsin has enacted statewide registration of same-sex domestic partners, which is handled by county clerks.  Domestic partnership applications are now accepted at the Milwaukee County Clerk's office, Room 105, Courthouse, 901 North 9th Street, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  To hear a voice recording on how to apply for a declaration of domestic partnership, please call (414) 278-4070.

City Employee?  Contact Department of Employee Relations.

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Extended Hour Establishment

     
 

License required for any convenience store, recording studio, filling station, personal service establishment or restaurant open at any time between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $250

         

 F

       
  Farmer's Market      
  A permit is required of every person selling food at a farmer's market in the city of Milwaukee. 12 months One year from date of issuance License fee varies based upon items sold.
         
Food Dealer License Application and Instructions      
 

A license is required of every person, partnership, association or corporation that manufactures, offers for sale, stores, distributes or sells food in the City of Milwaukee. Food is defined as all articles used for food, drink or condiment including ice or water used by humans, whether simple, mixed, or compound and articles used or intended for use as ingredients in the composition or preparation thereof. 

12 months

One year from date of issuance

License fee varies based upon items sold.

         
 

Food Dealer Temporary Event

     
  Individuals selling food at festivals must obtain a permit to do so for each booth at each festival. (Business application not required) Event specific Event specific  License fee varies based upon items sold.
         
 

Food Dealer Temporary Event - Nonprofit

     
 

A license is required for every nonprofit organization temporarily selling food at festivals or other events. (Business application not required)

Event specific Event specific $25 for 1-3 days, $150 for 4-14 days
         
 

Food Dealer Temporary Extension

     
 

A license is required for any food dealer that wishes to extend its food preparation temporarily to the outside. 

Event specific Event specific $50
         
 

Food Peddler

     
 

A permit is required of every person who sells food in the City of Milwaukee from a pushed, pedaled, pulled or motorized vehicle or from a carried container on the public way.

12 months One year from date of issuance License fee varies based upon the food items sold.
         

 H

       
 

Handicapped and Elderly Vehicle

     
 

License is required for those who wish to transport handicapped and elderly persons who by reason of physical or mental infirmity or age cannot be transported on public mass transportation vehicles. This license is not required for operating in the city of Milwaukee if the intention is to transport people in a vehicle that is utilized as a Human Services Vehicle, and if the licensee is being reimbursed by State issued insurance.   Contact the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles or the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services for more information. 

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $284

         
 

Home Improvement Contractor's License

     
 

License required for those engaged in the business of installing, repairing, servicing, improving, or remodeling any permanent installation or improvement attached to an existing home or building used for residence purposes but not exceeding 6 living units.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $250

         
 

Horse and Surrey Livery Service

     
 

Permit required for persons to engage in the business of operating a horse-drawn surrey for hire.

 24 months

Two years from date of issuance

 $284

         
 J        

 

Junk Collector License      
 

License required for persons who buy, sell, collect, gather, or deliver junk within the City as a business.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $150 per vehicle; $50 per pushcart

         
  Junk Dealer License      
 

License required for those who buy, sell, collect, gather or deliver or store junk and maintain a yard or building therefore as a principal place of business. 

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $275 + $45 each add'l yard.

         

 L

       
         
 

Limousine

     
 

Permit required for persons engaged in a for-hire transportation business on a pre-reserved contract service basis only.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $284

         
  Loading Zone Permit      
  Establishes loading and unloading zones for the use by the general public for the purposes of, and while actively engaged in, loading or unloading property or passengers. To obtain an application, call (414) 286-8677. 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $275 for each 30 feet of curb space, or fraction thereof.

         

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Newspaper Vending Box, Special Privilege

     
 

Permit required for the installation and use of vending boxes on poles and other structures on public ways or public places.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $50 per vending box.

         

 P

       
 

Parking Lot License

 

 

 

 

License required for those conducting a business of storing motor vehicles, for a fee, with spaces for more than 15 cars.

 24 months

Two years from date of issuance

 $50

         
 

Pawnbroker

     
 

License required for those in the business of lending money on personal property or goods which are pledged as security for the loan on the condition that if the loan is not repaid within the specified period of time the goods used as security may be sold to compensate for nonpayment.  

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $375

         
 

Permanent Extension of Alcohol or Food Premises

     
  License required for establishment owners who wish to extend their premises to a new area on a permanent basis, whether the extension is inside or outside. (Business application not required) Permanent - $50 for alcohol or food; $75 for both
         
  Phonograph (Jukebox) Machine Distributor License      
 

Granted to those who lease, rent, or place with others one or more coin-operated phonographs for use or operation in the city.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $850

         
 

Professional Photographer License

     
 

 License required for those in the business of professional photography.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $100

         
 

Precious Metal and Gem Dealer License

     
 

License required for those who engage in any transaction of buying, selling, or receiving secondhand jewelry, sterling silverware or gold or silver coins or bullion to and from the public within the city from a fixed and regular place of business.

 12 months

One year from date of issuance

 $150

         
  Private Alarm System Business License      
 

License required for those engaged in the selling, leasing, renting, installing, monitoring, servicing, altering, moving or causing any alarm system to be sold, leased, rented, installed, monitored, serviced or altered in or on any building, place of business, structure, residence or other facility. Included in this definition are holders of alarm system contracts.   

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance.

 $300 [3]

         
  Private Waste Collector      
 

License required for those collecting or transporting waste materials on any street or alley in the city of Milwaukee.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $65 per vehicle.

         
  Public Entertainment Premises License      
  License required to permit dancing by patrons and to permit the holding of certain shows and exhibitions upon premises.  12 months  One year from date of issaunce of related alcohol license Based on capacity of premise
         
  Public Entertainment Premises, Temporary Permit      
  License required to permit--on a temporary basis--dancing by patrons and to permit the holding of certain shows and exhibitions upon premises. (Business application not required)  Not more than 4 consecutive days. (up to 14 days for carnivals)  Not more than 4 permits per calendar month, 20 permits per license year.  $50 for applications filed on or before filing deadline; $75 for applications filed after the filing deadline
 

Publication Rental Box (City Hall)

     
 

License required for those distributing newspapers, publications, etc. in the city hall complex.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $35

         

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Secondhand Dealer License

     
 

License required for those in the business of selling, purchasing, or exchanging secondhand articles of personal property.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $150

         
 

Secondhand Motor Vehicle (Used Car) Dealer's License

     
 

License required for those engaging in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, or dealing in used or secondhand motor vehicles. (Retail or Wholesale)

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $290

         
 

Shuttle Vehicle

     
 

Permit required for persons operating a privately owned vehicle engaged in the business of carrying passengers in a shared ride service for hire on a fixed route and fixed schedule to and from predetermined locations, or in a group travel service for hire on a pre-reserved basis only, provided that the vehicle has a passenger-carrying capacity of 5 or more persons, excluding the driver.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $284

         
 

Snow Plowing Business License

     
 

License required for those engaging in the business of removing snow or ice from the public sidewalks or public alleys of the city by means of motorized sweepers or plows.

 12 months

 One year from date of issuance

 $50

         
 

Special Class "B" Beer and Wine (See Class "B" Special Fermented Malt Beverage License.)

     
         

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  Taxicab - Affiliation      
 

A taxicab affiliation is an association of taxicab permittees organized by incorporation, Limited Liability Company, partnership, individual ownership or other legally-binding cooperative association.

12 months July 31 $1000
         
 

Taxicab

     
 

Permit required for public passenger vehicles with 3 or more doors that operate without a fixed route or schedule and which are available for hire upon demand for service via telephonic or other electronic request. Includes metered vehicles and network vehicles.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $284

         
 

Temporary Extension, Class "B"  or "C" Premises

     
 

Authorizes the licensee to sell or serve alcohol beverages for special events during a limited period of time in a specific and defined area not otherwise licensed. (Business application not required)

 Event specific.

 Event specific.

 $50 for applications filed on or before filing deadline; $100 for applications filed after the filing deadline

         
 

Transient Merchant License

     
 

License required for those who engage in the business of purchasing or selling of merchandise at any fixed place in the city temporarily and who does not intend to become a permanent merchant of the city of Milwaukee.

 Event Specific

 Up to one year from date of issuance

 $140

         

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Used Bicycle, Tire or Battery Dealer's License

     
  License required for those engaging in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, or dealing in used or secondhand bicycles, bicycle parts, tires and batteries.

 24 months

 Two years from date of issuance

 $75

         
 

Used Car Dealer's License (See Secondhand Motor Vehicle Dealer's License.)

     
         
 

Notes:

     
[ 1 ]

If this type of license is issued to an alcohol beverage retail establishment, then the license expires at same time as the alcohol beverage license.

         
 

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Common Council Logo  

Contact Us

City Clerk License Division
City Hall Room 105
200 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Directions

Phone
(414) 286-2238

Fax
(414) 286-3057

Email


Office Hours, Walk-in Customer Service:

Monday to Friday (except holidays)

Alcohol Beverage Retail Establishment (New and Premise Transfer Applicants)

By appointment only. E-mail or call to set up an appointment.

Food Dealers and Food Peddlers (New Applicants)

8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

All Other Applicants

8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

2014 Holidays/Furlough Days
(Office Closed)

Wednesday, January 1

Monday, January 20

Friday, April 18

Friday, May 23

Monday, May 26

Thursday and Friday, July 3-4

Friday, August 29

Monday, September 1

Thursday and Friday, November 27-28

Wednesday and Thursday, December 24-25

Wednesday, December 31