Frequently Asked Questions


Get answers to common questions on sidewalk vending, including permit information and regulations on the use and operation of vending vehicles. To apply for a Sidewalk Vending Permit, click here.

What types of permits and/or licenses do I need to operate a vending cart?

A Sidewalk Vending Permit is required to operate a vending cart. A completed application, Business Tax Certificate, valid Permit from Placer County, Environmental Health Division (if selling food items), proof of liability insurance, State Seller’s Permit, and a permit fee are required. For vendors who live in the City, a Home Occupation Permit may also be required.

Applicants may fill out, download, and print the Sidewalk Vending Permit application and checklist of required documentation, request a copy sent to them by calling (916) 625-5498, or visit the Community Development Department at City Hall (3970 Rocklin Road), between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to obtain a copy in person.

Complete application packages must be submitted in person at City Hall (3970 Rocklin Road), Code Enforcement division, by appointment only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each applicant must appear in person; an applicant photo will be taken to include on the permit.

When may I expect to receive the Sidewalk Vending Permit?

Permits are approved, conditionally approved, or denied by the Community Development Director within 30 (thirty) days of submittal of a complete application.

What is a cart?

A cart is defined as a “Compact mobile food operation”: any pushcart, pedal-driven cart, wagon, bicycle, tricycle, display, rack, showcase stand, table, display, or other non-motorized conveyance, other wheeled container or mechanism or from one’s person, and includes a stationary cart or a roaming cart.

Are there different types of Sidewalk Vendors?

A sidewalk vendor is a person or persons who sells food or merchandise from a pushcart, stand, display, pedal-driven cart, wagon, showcase, rack, or other non-motorized conveyance upon a public sidewalk or other pedestrian paths. Sidewalk vendors include roaming sidewalk vendors and stationary sidewalk vendors.

There are two types of Sidewalk Vending in Rocklin: Stationary Vending; and Roaming Vending. Stationary sidewalk vendors vend from a fixed location. Roaming sidewalk vendors move from place to place and stop only to complete a transaction.

All sidewalk vending must comply with all applicable regulations, including obtaining relevant business permits. For details on Rocklin’s specific rules for sidewalk vendors, please see Rocklin Municipal Code Chapter 5.26.

What hours am I allowed to operate?*

A Sidewalk Vendor must only operate during the approved hours stated in their Sidewalk Vending Permit.

Where can I conduct my sidewalk vending operations?*

Sidewalk Vendors must be in compliance with the location of operation stated in their Sidewalk Vending Permit. Additionally, a Sidewalk Vendor operating on any sidewalk must ensure that no obstruction is placed in the sidewalk or public right-of-way that would reduce the width of the sidewalk to less than thirty-six (36) inches.

Can I set up my stationary vending cart in a residential zone?*

Stationary vending carts are not allowed in residential zones; however, roaming vending carts are allowed.

Can I vend in City parks or special events such as farmer’s markets, parades, outdoor concerts, street fairs, or art/craft shows?*

Sidewalk vendors cannot operate in a park if a concessionaire has an exclusive permit for selling food or merchandise from the operator of the park. Additionally, sidewalk vending within 100 feet of a City permitted special event is prohibited. 

Can I place signs and merchandise on the ground or any location off of my cart?*

All signs must be attached to the cart and not extend above or beyond the cart, and no freestanding signs are allowed on the sidewalk. All merchandise must be displayed on the cart and not extend above or beyond the cart.

Can I place umbrellas, shade cloths, balloons, pennants, flags or banners on my cart?*

No umbrellas, shade cloths, balloons, banners, feather flags, flags, and pennants are allowed to be attached to vending carts. Devices that produce noise are also prohibited.

Can I leave my vending cart unattended?*

No carts or accessory equipment of a sidewalk vendor may be left unattended or be chained or fastened to any utility pole, sign, tree, or other object in the public right-of-way. The City may remove any cart that has been abandoned.

Do I have to provide a trash container for my customers?*

All sidewalk vendors are required to provide a trash receptacle for their customers.

Can I set up canopies, tables, chairs, or other structures on the sidewalk?*

The setup of tables, chairs, or other structures on the sidewalk is prohibited (unless specified in the Sidewalk Vending Permit).

What can happen if I am in violation of the Sidewalk Vending ordinance or my Sidewalk Vending Permit?

For vending without a valid Sidewalk Vending Permit, administrative fines range from $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third and succeeding violations within a year.

For all violations other than vending without a valid Sidewalk Vending Permit, administrative fines range from $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second violation, and $500 for the third and succeeding violations.

Where may I find information regarding Placer County Environmental Health requirements for sidewalk vending?

Visit Food Vendor Details on the Placer County website.

Who may I contact for additional information?

Code Enforcement Division at (916) 625-5498, or the Community Development Department at (916) 625-5100.

*Additional requirements and restrictions apply per Rocklin Municipal Code Chapter 5.26.