Mobile Food Establishments

Since a mobile food establishment is like a restaurant on wheels, many of the same code requirements for restaurants apply to mobile food establishments, including licensing. For this reason, it is important that all prospective mobile food operators take the time to fully research their new business prior to applying for a license.

Licensing Process

License application and fees in the City of Milwaukee are handled by the License Division of the City Clerk's office.

  1. Complete the Licensing Application and the Food Peddler Supplemental License Information forms
  2. If you are sharing a base kitchen, complete the Shared Kitchen Agreement. 
  3. Submit application and fee to the City Clerk's Office listed on the application.
  4. Submit your Operation Plan and mobile food cart and base plans for health department approval. Plans can be mailed to the Consumer Environmental Health Department, 841 N Broadway Floor 3, Milwaukee, WI, 53202 or email
  5. Mobile food cart and base licenses are issued after the application and fees have been processed and an inspector conducts a pre-inspection and approves the license.
  6. For questions and/or to schedule a pre-inspection, please contact us at 414-286-8327 or

More information can be found in the Wisconsin Food Code pdf.

Previously State Licensed Mobile Food Trucks

The DATCP Mobile food license will expire on June 30th 2020. In order to operate in the State of Wisconsin, you must have a valid mobile food License either from the City of Milwaukee or another jurisdiction in the State. Food trucks shall be licensed where their base is. To obtain a mobile food license, the vehicle must meet all requirements, complete an application, and pass an inspection.

After you have submitted your renewal application to the City Clerk’s office, you can call Consumer Environmental Health at 414-286-3674 or email to make an inspection appointment.

Mobile Food Unit Requirements

  1. State of Wisconsin requirements can be found in Chapter 9 of The Wisconsin Food Code
  2. City of Milwaukee Moving and Parking Rules. Download City of Milwaukee Rules and Regulations for Food Trucks and Mobile Vendors:  English or Español.
  3. Mobile Food Unit Requirement Checklist
  4.  Mobile Service Base Requirements
  5. License must be on the truck/cart at all times. 
  6. Certified Food Manager Certificate must be on the truck at all times

Ice Cream Peddlers

Every person who physically operates an ice cream vending vehicle or any person who physically conducts the vending of ice cream or similar frozen confections from a vehicle or from a carried container must have an Ice Cream Peddler's License. These licenses are issued by the License Division of the City Clerk's office

Mobile Service Bases

Mobile units must have a Mobile Service Base (A place to fill your water tank, dispose of wastewater, wash utensils, and store and prepare food). This base is required even if all food is prepared on the mobile unit and is in addition to the license for your vehicle or cart. You cannot use a private home as a service base to prepare food.

Service base requirements

  • Food preparation facilities UNLESS your vehicle is equipped with Health Department approved facilities.
  • Utensil washing facilities (three or four compartment stainless steel sink with drainboards).
  • A sink for hand washing
  • A sink with a threaded tap where the vehicle water tank can be filled with potable water. Hoses must be food grade- no garden hoses. Recreational Vehicle (RV) and restaurant supply dealers are good sources for such equipment. Supply  hoses need to be protected from contamination at all times and kept in a labeled, clean container when not in use.
  • A mop sink or waste drain for the disposal of wastewater.
  • Storage for food and supplies.
  • A food preparation sink may be required. It depends on the food menu.

Mobile Service Base facilities must meet the Wisconsin Food Code standards for floor and wall finishes, equipment, and lighting. If you are sharing or leasing a facility operated by someone else, the Health Department will inspect that location in your name. You are required to have a notarized agreement between you and the facility owner. It should specify the times that your vehicle will be using the base. If asked by an inspector, you must furnish information about the itinerary of your vehicle, so keep this information available at your service base.



Consumer Environmental Health

Zeidler Municipal Building
841 N. Broadway, Room 320
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-286-3674
Fax: 414-286-5164

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm

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