Food Truck & Street Vendors


1. Street vendors are NOT allowed to vend between 11PM and 5AM and must have left their vending location by 12AM Sec. 34-1-5(i)(2).

2. Street vendors cannot engage in sales within 200 feet of the doorway of a business that sells the same goods without written consent (Sec. 34-1-5(c)).

3. Street vendors cannot vend within 200 feet of a K-12 property. (Sec. 34-1-9(a)).

4. Street vendors cannot vend within 200 feet of any sports arena or stadium without written consent (Sec. 34-1-9(c)).

5. Street vendors have a limit of 4 people working at one time (a person with the vendor’s license and three licensed helpers. (Sec. 34-1-25(d)).

6. Street vendors must have a refuse container with a tight fighting lid which must be removed daily by the vendor. (Sec. 34-1-18(a)).

7. Street vendors must obey all other provisions of the Code. (Sec. 34-1-5(h)).



  1. Food trucks in the downtown Central Business district and the midtown Cultural Center area can only legally operate in the following four (4) food zones. Food trucks in these zones can only operate on streets where on-street parking is allowed. In the event that the parking space is metered, the food truck will be required to pay parking meter fees for the time they are parked. Food trucks are not allowed in any other part of the greater downtown and midtown areas.
  2. Food trucks may vend outside of the Central Business and Cultural Center areas along commercial corridors unless a corridor is specifically identified as one where food trucks are not allowed. Food trucks cannot operate on any residential street in the city. Food trucks may only operate where on-street parking is allowed. In the event that the parking space is metered, the food truck will be required to pay parking meter fees for the time they are parked.


1. Food Unit Zone 1- Bounded by John R, Hendrie, Brush, and Palmer; and
2. Food Unit Zone 2- Bounded by John R, Warren, Brush, and Forest; and


Food Truck



3. Food Unit Zone 3- Bounded by Cass, Third, Howard, and Bagley; and
4. Food Unit Zone 4- Bounded by Beaubien, Rivard, Jefferson, and Atwater; and
Food Truck2



3. BSEED in consultation with DPW and MPD is authorized to designate street/areas where street vendors may NOT vend. (Sec. 34-1-5(t)).

Food Truck Restricted Corridors;
Street From To Y/N
Bagley St 24th St W Fisher Service Dr N
Conner E Jefferson I-94 N
E Jefferson Ave Rivard St Alter Rd N
E Warren Ave Conner St Cadieux Rd N
Joseph Campau River Pl Dr E Jefferson N
Joseph Campau Carpenter Ave McNichols Rd N
Kercheval Ave Meldrum St Burns St N
Livernois Clarita 8 Mile Rd N
Michigan Ave Military St Lodge Service Dr N
Springwells St I-75 W Vernor Hwy N
Trumbull Grand River Ave W Warren N
W Grand River Ave Berg Rd Southfield Rd N
W McNichols Rd Wyoming  Livernois N
W Vernor Hwy Dix St Newark N



  1. In ACCELA, create a profile and fill out vendor application
  2. Upload Driver's License
  3. Upload all required clearances
  4. Remit $215 license fee
  1. Fill out application
  2. Provide Driver's license
  3. Provide all requisite clearances
  4. Remit $215 license fee



What does this ordinance allow?

  • It allows and regulates street vendors to vend in the public right-of-way.
  • It also establishes the requirement for a city of Detroit Business license to operate in the city of Detroit

What licenses do I need to operate in the City of Detroit?

  • You will require a State of Michigan Food Service License (either a Special Transitory Food Unit (SST) or a Mobile Food Establishment (SMF) license, as well as a city of Detroit Business License to operate in the city of Detroit.

What do I need to do to obtain a City of Detroit business License?

  • Clearance from Health Department: requires a current, valid State of Michigan Food Establishment (SMF or SST) license
  • Clearance from Fire Department: requires Food Truck Permit
  • Clearance from Treasury Department: requires an income tax clearance
  • BSEED: Submit application, and remit license fee for Mobile Food Establishment

    How will customers know that the food truck is able to operate in the City of Detroit?

    • The vehicle must display on the exterior, a State of Michigan, Mobile Food, or STFU decal for the current license year (May 1- April 30) and a City of Detroit Business License Vendor Plate. They are also required to post their City of Detroit Business License and State of Michigan Food Service License inside in an area visible to the customers (typically the back wall or in a window near the serving area)

    Do I need a fire inspection to operate in the City of Detroit?

    • Yes, all food trucks that use cooking equipment that produces grease-laden vapors are required to have a fire inspection which comes with a fire permit. Food truck owners shall bring trucks to the parking lot of Detroit Public Safety Headquarters located at 1301 Third Ave, and a fire inspector will conduct a fire safety inspection. Call 313-596-2954 for an appt.
    • Food Truck owners can log into our website at…. Please see our Forms section and fill out the appropriate form and email it to [email protected] or call 313-596-2963 and a customer service representative will assist you.

    If there are several food trucks operating in an area, who is responsible for trash pick disposal?

    • They all are. Tickets can be issued to any or all of the trucks if they leave the area littered. If it can be clearly established that the litter is from one of the trucks (e.g. wrapper has their logo) Repeated violations can result in license suspension or revocation, per COD business license regulations and procedures.

    Who do I call if I get sick from a food truck/vendor?


                For Health-related inquiries, please call 313-876-0135 or visit then click on complaints

                Fire-related issues, please call 313-596-2954

                Questions pertaining to parking can be sent to [email protected]

                For Licensing related matters, please call or email call 313-224-3179 or email [email protected] 

                For questions regarding approved and prohibited parking zones/areas please email or call 

                [email protected] (313)628-5603