New retail food mobile application (food truck or food cart)

Note: All fabrication of the mobile unit must be complete before submitting application.

Email application

Step 1.Before you apply

  • Read the ordinance for this license under "Municipal Code" on the right side of the page to make sure this license is right for you.

Step 2.Propane permit application

  • Fill out the propane permit application(PDF, 250KB), page nine, and email to DFDMobiles@denvergov.org. You will receive an invoice via email to pay online.
  • If you do not use propane, please email DFDMobiles@denvergov.org to obtain a propane exemption letter.
  • Do not pay until you receive an invoice for the annual $185.00 fee. The invoice will be sent to your email from info@denvergov.org. Once the payment has posted to your account you will be able to print, or screen shot your permit. You will need to have a copy with you while open for business. You will also need to provide a copy on inspection day. You are also welcome to drop off your permit application in our office at 745 West Colfax Avenue, Denver 80204 during the hours of 7am-2pm.
  • For your permit invoice or exemption letter it may take 5-7 business days. Do not apply for the propane permit or exemption letter until you are ready to have the mobile unit inspected.


Step 3.Gather all required documents

Make sure you have everything from the "Required documents" section below. 

Remember:  
  • All materials must be digital files saved as a .pdf or .jpg. Do not include any other file types. The Department of Excise and Licenses cannot accept other file types.
  • Use numbers or letters but not characters such as symbols (/ ? < > \ : * | “ ^) or spaces that could cause complications.
    • For example:
      • Good filename: drivers-license-name-2022.pdf
      • Bad filename: last name/ id.pdf
  • In some cases, you might need to combine documents and upload them in a single .pdf. You can use a free, online tool to merge documents into a single file. 
  • Legal documents must be signed, dated and executed. All pages of large legal documents (such as a lease) must be included in the application.
  • All materials must be legible. 
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Step 4.Submit an application

Email license applications to EXLSubmit@denvergov.org. Attach all documents to one email. Visit the email application process page for more information.

After applying, you will receive an invoice to pay fees. You cannot pay fees until you have received an invoice. Visit the online payment process page or watch the "How to pay online" video for more information.

  • Make sure that you have a bank account, Mastercard, Visa, or Discover card to pay online. 

For questions, email licenses@denvergov.org or call 311.

Step 5.Pay required fees

Application fee:
$200

License fee:
$125

Step 6.City application review and next steps

Excise and Licenses tries to conduct an initial review of a complete application within seven business days. The review process might take longer if it is incomplete or requires police review (if applicable).
  • All application related communications will be sent through email, from EXLNotifications@denvergov.org. Do not respond to these emails as this inbox is not monitored.
  • If the application is incomplete, the applicant will receive a "notice of deficiency" email. This allows 14 days for corrections. License endorsement requests and incidents on a background check need police review. 
  • All applications will be closed if they are not completed within 12 months.

Once application is approved, Excise and Licenses will notify both the Department of Public Health and Environment and the Fire Department regarding your application.

Step 7.Required inspections

Once the mobile plan review application is approved, you will be provided an appointment for an inspection of your unit. Both Department of Public Health and Environment and the Fire Department will be present at this inspection. Read "Inspection Pointers" below to be prepared for your inspection.

Step 8.Day of inspection

You will need to bring the record number you were provided for your application and the following two documents:

Step 9.License issuance

Once you have completed the inspection and have been approved by all required departments, Excise and Licenses will issue a license at the inspection site. You will need to give your approved affidavit of commissary(PDF, 1MB) to Excise and Licenses in order to obtain your license.

Mail application

Step 1.Before you apply

  • Read the ordinance for this license under "Municipal Code" on the right side of the page to make sure this license is right for you.

Step 2.Propane permit application

  • Fill out the propane permit application(PDF, 250KB), page nine, and email to DFDMobiles@denvergov.org. You will receive an invoice via email to pay online.
  • If you do not use propane, please email DFDMobiles@denvergov.org to obtain a propane exemption letter.
  • Do not pay until you receive an invoice for the annual $185.00 fee. The invoice will be sent to your email from info@denvergov.org. Once the payment has posted to your account you will be able to print, or screen shot your permit. You will need to have a copy with you while open for business. You will also need to provide a copy on inspection day. You are also welcome to drop off your permit application in our office at 745 West Colfax Avenue, Denver 80204 during the hours of 7am-2pm.
  • For your permit invoice or exemption letter it may take 5-7 business days. Do not apply for the propane permit or exemption letter until you are ready to have the mobile unit inspected.

Step 3.Gather all required documents

Make sure you have everything from the "Required documents" section below. 

Remember:  
  • All materials must be printed and legible. 
  • Do not use staples in the documents.
  • Legal documents must be signed, dated and executed. All pages of large legal documents (like a lease) must be included in the application.
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Step 4.Submit an application

Applicants can mail their application with fees to:
City and County of Denver
Department of Excise and Licenses
201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202
  • Make checks payable to: Manager of Finance
  • Include a current email address in case the Department needs to reach out with questions.
  • If renewing, include your business file number.
For questions, email licenses@denvergov.org or call 311.

Step 5.Pay required fees

Application fee:
$200

License fee:
$125

Step 6.City application review and next steps

Excise and Licenses tries to conduct an initial review of a complete application within seven business days. The review process might take longer if it is incomplete or requires police review (if applicable).
  • All application related communications will be sent through email, from EXLNotifications@denvergov.org. Do not respond to these emails as this inbox is not monitored.
  • If the application is incomplete, the applicant will receive a "notice of deficiency" email. This allows 14 days for corrections. License endorsement requests and incidents on a background check need police review. 
  • All applications will be closed if they are not completed within 12 months.

Once application is approved, Excise and Licenses will notify both the Department of Public Health and Environment and the Fire Department regarding your application.

Step 7.Required inspections

Once the mobile plan review application is approved, you will be provided an appointment for an inspection of your unit. Both Department of Public Health and Environment and the Fire Department will be present at this inspection. Read "Inspection Pointers" below to be prepared for your inspection.

Step 8.Day of inspection

You will need to bring the record number you were provided for your application and the following two documents:

Step 9.License issuance

Once you have completed the inspection and have been approved by all required departments, Excise and Licenses will issue a license at the inspection site. You will need to give your approved affidavit of commissary(PDF, 1MB) to Excise and Licenses in order to obtain your license.

Apply in person

Step 1.Before you apply

  • Read the ordinance for this license under "Municipal Code" on the right side of the page to make sure this license is right for you.

Step 2.Propane permit application

  • Fill out the propane permit application(PDF, 250KB), page nine, and email to DFDMobiles@denvergov.org. You will receive an invoice via email to pay online.
  • If you do not use propane, please email DFDMobiles@denvergov.org to obtain a propane exemption letter.
  • Do not pay until you receive an invoice for the annual $185.00 fee. The invoice will be sent to your email from info@denvergov.org. Once the payment has posted to your account you will be able to print, or screen shot your permit. You will need to have a copy with you while open for business. You will also need to provide a copy on inspection day. You are also welcome to drop off your permit application in our office at 745 West Colfax Avenue, Denver 80204 during the hours of 7am-2pm.
  • For your permit invoice or exemption letter it may take 5-7 business days. Do not apply for the propane permit or exemption letter until you are ready to have the mobile unit inspected.

Step 3.Gather all required documents

Make sure you have everything from the "Required documents" section below. 

Remember:  
  • All materials must be printed and legible. 
  • Do not use staples in the documents.
  • Legal documents must be signed, dated and executed. All pages of large legal documents (like a lease) must be included in the application.
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Step 4.Submit an application

Applicants can come to the office to submit their documents in person. Customers seeking in-person customer service should make an appointment. To make an appointment, visit the appointments website. The Excise and Licenses office is at 201 W Colfax Ave., on the second floor of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building. 
 
Customers can pay their fees after they receive an invoice. Visit the online payments process page for more information.
  • Make sure that you have a bank account, Mastercard, Visa, or Discover card to pay online. 
Applicants are encouraged to pay their fees online, but in-person payments are available. After receiving an invoice, customers can go to the Community Planning and Development cashier counter on the second floor of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building. Cashiers are available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Cash, checks (payable to “Manager of Finance”), Visa, Mastercard, and Discover card are all accepted.
For questions, email licenses@denvergov.org or call 311.

Step 5.Pay required fees

Application fee:
$200

License fee:
$125

Step 6.City application review and next steps

Excise and Licenses tries to conduct an initial review of a complete application within seven business days. The review process might take longer if it is incomplete or requires police review (if applicable).
  • All application related communications will be sent through email, from EXLNotifications@denvergov.org. Do not respond to these emails as this inbox is not monitored.
  • If the application is incomplete, the applicant will receive a "notice of deficiency" email. This allows 14 days for corrections. License endorsement requests and incidents on a background check need police review. 
  • All applications will be closed if they are not completed within 12 months.

Once application is approved, Excise and Licenses will notify both the Department of Public Health and Environment and the Fire Department regarding your application.

Step 7.Required inspections

Once the mobile plan review application is approved, you will be provided an appointment for an inspection of your unit. Both Department of Public Health and Environment and the Fire Department will be present at this inspection. Read "Inspection Pointers" below to be prepared for your inspection.

Step 8.Day of inspection

You will need to bring the record number you were provided for your application and the following two documents:

Step 9.License issuance

Once you have completed the inspection and have been approved by all required departments, Excise and Licenses will issue a license at the inspection site. You will need to give your approved affidavit of commissary(PDF, 1MB) to Excise and Licenses in order to obtain your license.

  • All fabrication of mobile unit must be complete before submitting application.
  • You must have a permanent license plate number for your vehicle.
  • Obtain your propane permit or exemption letter from the Denver Fire Department to submit with the application.  
  • Mobile plan review packet(PDF, 3MB). Please make sure all required documents are submitted with application.
  • Affidavit of commissary(PDF, 1MB) (this is required at time of inspection.)
  • All pictures submitted must be in color and printed on 8.5" x 11" paper. 1 photo per page.

If you have questions for either of these departments prior to your appointment, you may reach them at:

  • Department of Public Health and Environment - (720) 913-1311
  • Denver Fire Department - (720) 913-3431

Basic Requirements are as follows (contact the Denver Fire Department for applicable requirements):

  1. All food trucks and/or carts shall have an approved fire extinguisher that has been inspected on a yearly basis by a Denver Fire Department licensed fire extinguisher company or,
  2. Fire extinguishers bought from a retail store shall have the receipt showing the date of purchase. This extinguisher is good for one year only, or can be inspected on a yearly basis.
  3. Fire extinguisher shall be a minimum of 2A: 10BC Classification that is mounted to the vehicle in the appropriate bracket.
  4. All hood extinguishing systems shall be inspected every six months by a Denver Fire Department licensed inspection company.
  5. Any cooking or re-heating operations that produces grease laden vapors (Including but not limited to Frying of any type) will be required to have a Class I hood installed with an approved Fire Suppression System and a Class K fire extinguisher will also be required to be mounted to the vehicle in an appropriate Class K bracket.
  6. Any solid fuel cooking (including but not limited to wood or wood pellets) shall have a Class K rated fire extinguisher AND a minimum 2A: 10BC class Dry Chemical extinguisher that is mounted to the vehicle in an appropriate 2A: 10BC bracket.
  7. Propane tanks shall be mounted securely to truck or cart by metal strap and must be protected from vehicle impact. Bungee cords and fabric tie down straps are not acceptable to secure Propane tanks (contact the Denver Fire Department for applicable requirements).
  8. All propane lines must be installed in accordance with Denver Fire Department policy and NFPA requirements (contact the Denver Fire Department for applicable requirements).

Fire Code Inspections draw from the International Fire Code, Denver Fire Code Amendments and applicable NFPA codes.

  • For Questions and information regarding Retail Food Mobile inspections that are conducted by the Denver Fire Department, please call (720) 913-3474 and ask to speak to a Mobile Retail Food inspector.

License must be displayed

Excise and Licenses will email a professional license to all licensees. This license (or a clear picture of it) must always be displayed.

Requirement to keep contact information up to date

Email licenses@denvergov.org to notify the Department of any contact information changes (place of business, onsite manager, etc.). These updates must be submitted within 72 hours of the change. 

Requirement to renew annually

Licenses expire annually. It is unlawful to operate with an expired license. A renewal application must be filed before the license expires.