The July 2014 explosion of a propane tank on a food truck in Philadelphia prompted passage of the new Washington state permit and inspection law.

Washington State's Food Truck Permit Law Now in Effect

Beginning June 21, 2016, food trucks in the state need to have a permit and inspection from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

A new state law is in effect in Washington state that requires food trucks to have a permit and inspection from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. This applies to trailers and other vehicles used in food concessions, where people work inside, and pPlans for food trucks must be submitted to L&I if they have certain items that include: fuel gas piping; fire suppression; commercial venting hoods; and electrical systems over 30 amps or 120 volts.

This new law, SHB 2443, took effect June 21.

Prompted by a July 2014 explosion of the propane truck in a food truck in Philadelphia, Substitute House Bill 2443 was passed in the 2015 Washington Legislature. Previously, food trucks used outside Washington for six months or more were generally exempt from state standards, but the law removes the exemption.

According to L&I, the bill is a compromise to ensure out-of-state food trucks are safe without creating unnecessary hoops. Food truck or trailer owners can determine whether they need a permit and inspection by answering these questions:

  • Is this a truck or a trailer that's transportable over the road?
  • Is it used for selling food or other items?
  • Do people work inside the unit?
  • Do customers only stand on the outside and not go inside?
  • Does it have an electrical, water or drain, gas piping system?
  • Is the unit less than 8 1/2 feet wide?

f the answer is "yes" to all of these questions, you have a vendor/concession unit that requires a permit.

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