Code of the District of Columbia

§ 37–131.02. Vending from public space.

(a) Except as set forth in subsection (b) of this section, a person shall not vend from a sidewalk, roadway, or other public space unless the person holds:

(1) A basic business license properly endorsed as provided in subsection (c) of this section;

(2) A vending site permit, or other authorization issued by the Mayor, setting forth the specific location on public space from which the person may vend; and

(3) Such other licenses, permits, and authorizations that the Mayor may require by rule.

(b) The Mayor may authorize the following persons to vend from public space without a basic business license or vending site permit:

(1) An employee or youth assistant of a licensed vendor;

(2) A person vending at a licensed special event;

(3) A person vending at a public market that has been issued a valid permit by the Mayor; and

(4) A person or entity authorized to vend from public space without a license pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(c)(1) An endorsement to vend food pursuant to this chapter shall be issued as a Food Establishments: Retail endorsement to a basic business license under the basic business license system as set forth in subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of Title 47 [§ 47-2851.01 et seq.].

(2) An endorsement to vend merchandise or engage in street photography pursuant to this chapter shall be issued as a General Sales endorsement to a basic business license under the basic business license system as set forth in subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of Title 47 [§ 47-2851.01 et seq.].

(d) The Mayor may establish by regulation exemptions from the licensure requirement for a person, entity, or categories of persons or entities to vend from public space without a basic business license when the public interest would be served by establishing such an exemption.


(Oct. 22, 2009, D.C. Law 18-71, § 3, 56 DCR 6619; Mar. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-79, § 2(a), 63 DCR 762.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-79 added (b)(4) and made related changes.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 10(a) of Vending Regulation Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-322, March 19, 2008, 55 DCR 3445).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 10(a) of Vending Regulation Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-9, January 29, 2009, 56 DCR 1638).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 10(a) of Vending Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-47, April 27, 2009, 56 DCR 3574).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Vending Regulations Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-255, Jan. 6, 2016, 63 DCR 520).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to the Vending Regulation Act of 2009, see Mayor’s Order 2010-91, June 4, 2010 ( 57 DCR 4911).