pushcart vendor giving a thumbs up in downtown Raleigh

Pushcart Vending

Pushcart vending is the selling, serving, or giving away of food and/or beverages to the public from a mobile vending unit on City sidewalks. Use of such public right-of-ways requires a Private Use of Public Spaces permit. All vendors may be required to have additional permitting from Wake County Environmental Services or NC Department of Agriculture.

How to Apply

Step Description 
1. Review Hospitality Guide  Review the hospitality programs planning guide to learn about necessary requirements. Not sure if you qualify for a pushcart vending permit or do you have questions? Reach out to us hospitality.programs@raleighnc.gov
2. Gather Required Documents

You will need to have the following documents in order to apply: 

  • Sketch Plan depicting proposed set-up, current streetscape, and ADA Access. (See Standards here)
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • List of products to be offered for sale
  • Wake County Environmental Health and Safety Approval (if applicable)
  • NC Department of Agriculture Approval (if applicable)
  • Home Occupation Permit (if applicable)
3. Register and Submit Documents 

Register or login to your Permit and Development Portal account, apply for Pushcart Vending Permit, and submit all documents for approval.

4. City Review & Notification The City will review submissions and reach out with any comments or feedback. An electronic Indemnity Agreement will be sent by city staff upon review of submitted items for DocuSign signature.  The fee of $172 per location will be charged after completion and review of all requirements before the City will issue your permit.

Selecting a Location

  • All issued pushcart vending permits are location-specific (one location per permit).
  • All locations are subject to an onsite inspection before permitting.
  • See the Pushcart Availability Map for possible locations.
    • Map Layers:
      • Permitted Locations - locations of current permitted pushcarts
      • Reserved Blocks - blocks with the maximum two carts permitted already
      • Areas Not Permittable - blocks we will not permit due to spacing and other factors
      • Available Blocks – blocks with availability in popular areas
  • If you have any other location ideas, staff will review each request for possible use.

Permit Provisions

  • Permits are valid for one year (from July 1st through June 30th).
  • City Code requirements must be met. Refer to Sec. 12-1024 of the City Code on pushcart vending regulations.
  • Carts may only be operated between the hours of 6 a.m. and 1:15 a.m.
  • Cleanup and removal of the cart must be completed by 1:45 a.m.
  • Special Event Permits supersede annual Pushcart Vending Permits. If an approved special event is taking place, carts are excluded within 400 feet of the event footprint unless given permission by the event organizer.

Helpful Contacts

Related Events

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