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Frequently Asked Questions: Food Trucks

Food trucks in Washington State need to have a permit and inspection from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Food trucks also include trailers and other vehicles used in concessions where people work inside.

Plans for food trucks must also be submitted to L&I if they have certain items. Those items include fuel gas piping, fire suppression, commercial venting hoods, and electrical systems over 30 amps or 120 volts.

For information, contact your local L&I office or email Craig Sedlacek.

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  • Expand/collapse Do I have a food truck?

    In general, if the vehicle is transportable over a road; sells food or other items; people work inside of it; customers stand only outside; has electrical, water or drain, and gas piping systems; is less than 8.5 feet wide, then yes — its a food truck.

  • Expand/collapse What will happen when the new law takes effect June 21, 2016?

    Substitute House Bill 2443 (app.leg.wa.gov) was passed in the 2015 Legislature. Previously, food trucks used outside Washington for six months or more were generally exempt from state standards. The new law removes the exemption. Food trucks in the state will need to have a permit and inspection from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Plans also must be submitted to L&I if food trucks have certain items, including: fuel gas piping, fire suppression; commercial venting hoods; and electrical systems over 30 amps or 120 volts.

  • Expand/collapse How do I submit plans?

    Submit a completed Plan Approval Request form and two complete sets of plans to your local L&I office. L&I must approve the plans before you start work. There will be a fee and a cost for an insignia to post on the vehicle.

  • Expand/collapse How do I get an exempt permit?

    Currently, a permit costs $113.80 and can be purchased at the local L&I office.

    On June 21, the process and fees will change. For food trucks requiring plan review, likely most vehicles, there is no change in the process (see Question 7). For food trucks not requiring plans, there will be a new process that is still being worked out.

  • Expand/collapse Why is this new law needed?

    Food trucks are popular and safety is paramount. A 2014 propane tank explosion in Philadelphia food truck injured 12. Watch a video of the blast (www.youtube.com). Finally, the bill represents a compromise to ensure out-of-state food trucks are safe without creating unnecessary hoops.

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