What is a Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicle license? continued…
With a Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicle (MFDV) license, operators are fully able to drive from place to place throughout the state. The menu items are limited to what the equipment on the vehicle can prepare. MFDV license holders can also offer catering services and may operate at a 1-3 day temporary event without paying additional temporary event fees.
What is a Self-sufficient MFDV?
A Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicle operator that can perform all food activities inside the vehicle, like storing food, preparing food, and dishwashing, is self-sufficient. If later the operator were to expand operations beyond the unit’s capacity then they may need a commissary for storage or to conduct additional food preparation.
Water/sewer locations and commissaries
MFDVs must use a commercial (non-residential) location to fill up the water tank and empty the wastewater tank. This can be a commissary, or it can be a water/sewer facility like a truck stop or campgrounds.
Any FDACS-permitted or H&R-licensed fixed food service establishment can provide commissary services for your MFDV.
Exception – If the water/sewer location is permitted by DOH, such as a school or fraternal organization or bar, the Department of Health would be the permitting agency for the mobile unit.
Exception – If the location is on a septic system, the county Department of Health (DOH) would have to approve the system for increased use. This also applies to any other water/sewer locations used by an MFDV. For this reason we recommend using a location that is on municipal water/sewer.
Steps to Acquiring an MFDV License
There are generally three steps to acquiring a food service license with the division:
- apply for a license and pay the license fee
- complete plan review (only if required)
- schedule and pass the licensing Inspection
Note: Steps 1 – 2 can be completed online. If plan review is required, we recommend applying for both license and plan review at the same time using one of the combination applications available via DBPR online services. This COMBO is the fastest way to apply and get open.
- Applicants are welcome to send in a cover letter with their completed application explaining their specific situation.
- All DBPR food service licenses have a 7 digit numerical license number. Before purchasing a food service business, making an agreement with a commissary, or sharing a kitchen verify the license by searching here.
- If a plan review is required, check the plan review page before submitting your application. Remember that plan review applications can be submitted via email to DHR.PlanReview@myfloridalicense.com.
If purchasing an already licensed food truck from another operator, verify the license by searching here. Save the license number; you will need it for the license application. Complete the HR 7007-Application and mail it in along with the commissary form HR 7022 and the appropriate fees.
Fees are determined by application date and county. Fees MUST be paid at time of application.
For a detailed breakdown of fees, see the food service fee page.
No plan review is required if an operator
- buys a vehicle already licensed by the division and no changes are made
Plan review is required if an operator
- constructs or uses a vehicle that has never been licensed by the division
- uses a vehicle that has been closed for more than one year
- uses a vehicle that has been remodeled
Plan review requires
- a plan of the vehicle with equipment labeled
- a sample menu
- a side photograph of the vehicle showing the wheels and open service window
- water/sewer or commissary location
For more details about plan review visit the plan review page.
All new licensees are required to pass a sanitation and safety inspection prior to opening. After meeting all requirements of the plan review and submitting your license application and fees, check your approved plan review packet for inspector contact information, or contact the department at 850.487.1395 to schedule an opening inspection. For more information about inspections, view the Inspections page.
Once licensed, operators must meet and maintain all applicable standards of a public food service establishment as provided in rule, code, and statute. Conduct all food storage and food preparation operations in an approved, licensed food service establishment. You may not conduct food operations in a private residence.
Division personnel inspect as often as necessary for enforcement of the provisions of law and rule, and for the protection of the public’s health, safety, and welfare. Hot dog cart operators must permit division personnel right of entry at any reasonable time to observe food preparation and service. If necessary, division personnel may examine records of the unit to obtain pertinent information regarding food and supplies purchased, received, or used.
All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Steven von Bodungen, Director
Division of Hotels and Restaurants
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1011