Mobile Food Unit (Food Trucks) Permits Guide


The purpose of this guide is to provide information about necessary permits and approvals to operate a mobile food unit in Fairfax County. For information about starting a business, see the Virginia Business One Stop and Starting a Business in Fairfax County.

Permits for Individual Events

If you are seeking information about permits for individual events, such as fairs, festivals, swim meets and other one-time gatherings, please contact the Zoning Permit Section at or 703-222-1082.

While operating at events that have been issued a Fire Prevention Code Permit (FPCP) by the Office of the Fire Marshal, food trucks are also subject to inspection by the Fire Marshal  for compliance with the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code. For more information, please contact the Fire Inspections Branch at 703-246-4849.

Pre-Occupancy Inspection

All mobile food vending units must be inspected by the Health Department prior to occupancy.

Call 703-246-2201 to schedule a pre-occupancy inspection, which is conducted by appointment only between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

A Certified Food Manager must be present at the time of the pre-occupancy inspection. More Information.

Posting Permits and Decals

The following items must be posted and visible:

  • Decal indicating that the unit has been inspected and approved by the Fairfax County Health Department. 
  • Decal indicating that the unit has been authorized to vend from FCPA property, if applicable.
  • A copy of the Food Truck Operation Permit issued by the Department of Planning and Development, if operating on private property.

Planning for Renewals

  • Food Establishment Permits and Mobile Food Vending Agreements expire on December 31 of each year. More Information.
  • Location Permits do not need to be renewed unless the property ownership changes. Operation Permits must be renewed annually.
  • Mobile Vending Permits expire on December 31st of the year issued, unless the food truck operator requests a shorter duration, in which case the permit period may be shorter. Businesses will not receive renewal information via mail. More Information.
  • Business owners must renew their BPOL each year and pay business tangible property taxes each year. Businesses will receive renewal information via mail each year. More Information.
  • Solicitor’s Licenses are valid from one year from the date of issue. Businesses will not receive renewal information via mail. More Information
  • The Certified Food Manager (CFM) Certificate provider will issue a certificate with an expiration date that is five (5) years from date of successful completion of the CFM exam. Renewal requires re-testing.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant