The mission of the License Section is to administer and enforce all laws, rules and regulations relating to licensing and permit requirements for various types of businesses, charitable solicitations and users of alarm systems.
Below is a complete list of licenses that the License Section issues. Each section contains the following:
- a link to the applicable Columbus City Code;
- any application(s) that is required to obtain the license; and
- any rules and regulations that may apply to the specific section of the code.
Information submitted through the City of Columbus' website may be subject to disclosure pursuant to a public records request. Information submitted through the City's website may be shared with another governmental agency if the visitor's inquiry relates to that agency. Certain types of information (such as electronic payment information) are exempt from disclosure as public records. If you have questions about the Ohio Public Records laws, refer to State of Ohio's Revised Code, Section 149.43, Availability of Public Records.
If you do not have the correct supporting documentation, you will be turned away. For your convenience, the License Section has installed a secure drop box at 4252 Groves Road which can be utilized to drop off applications, payments and any other documentation. It is located to the right side of the employee entrance, which is under the gray awning on the south side of the building. That box is checked every morning during the work week. Due to a change in City Code, Short Term Rental licenses will no longer be issued on the day of application.
You can complete the process by coming to the License Section during normal business hours with your completed application and required documents or use the below online process:
Please go to the below link for the license type and print off all paperwork, including the checklist and FAQs. Complete all paperwork and obtain any necessary notary certification.
- Obtain a BCI background check (all but charitable, parade, community market, and alarm USERS permits) at the License Section Office or at a remote WebCheck location. WebCheck locations can be found online. You must have the WebCheck outlet that you choose use the reason code: ”Other- required for city license” and submit your fingerprints with instructions to mail the results to: Columbus Public Safety, License Section, 4252 Groves Road, Columbus, Ohio 43232. Background results will not be accepted in any other manner.
- If you are out of state, you can follow the instructions under Short Term Rental licenses below to obtain an out of state background request.
- Obtain a Letter of Good Standing from the Columbus Auditor’s office/ Income Tax Division (this is only required for Short Term Rental and Mobile Food Vending Licenses). Required from the City of Columbus Department of Income Tax. Apply online at crisp.columbus.gov. CRISP help line (614) 645-8899, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Please contact the License Section by utilizing the link to the appropriate email box under the type of license for which you are requesting licensure. A License Officer will contact you to complete the process. You will be requested to either mail or scan and email your documents to them at a secure email address. Any notarized documents must be accompanied by a photocopy of the ID you presented when the documents were notarized. The License Officer will assist you in payment, which can either be a mailed check (address) or paid online via our new portal link which the License Officer will supply.
- Once all paperwork, including BCI results have been obtained, verified, approved and your payment received, your license will be emailed to you.
- For Mobile Food Vending, and Vehicle for Hire (owners), you will be required to have an inspection(s). The License Officer will schedule an inspection via appointment at a convenient time. Mobile Food Vending will also need a Propane Pressure Leak Test, Health and Fire Inspections, which will be explained by the License Officer.
- You can reach out at any time with questions or follow-up by utilizing the link associated with the needed license below.
Food Delivery Fee Cap Update
Please refer to the below linked letter for instructions on how the fee cap applies to restaurants.
For more information email FoodDelivery@columbus.gov.
Upcoming Meetings and Hearings
Mobile Food Vending Board - Thursday, September 21 at 2:00 pm at the License Section, 4252 Groves Rd.
Vehicle for Hire Board - Thursday, September 28 at 9:30 am at the License Section, 4252 Groves Rd.
Attention Alarm Users
Effective January 27, 2023
There will no longer be a registration fee for new and renewed alarm registrations. All alarm users must continue to register their information yearly with the City of Columbus (Columbus City Code 597.02).
*However at this time, nothing needs to be done on your part as we update our false alarm reporting system.
**If you need to update any information, you can do so online OR if you are having any trouble, contact us at (614) 645-7960.
All false alarm fees are temporarily suspended until new City Code can be enacted. Please continue to check here to learn about future changes.
Alarm Customers - Home/Business
Carnivals, Circuses, and Shows
Charitable Solicitations and Professional Fundraiser
Closing-out Sales; Distressed Merchandise Sales
Community Markets on Public Property
Massage and Bath Establishments
Mobile Food Vending (MFV)
- 2023 MFV Fire-Health-License Section Inspections Guidelines(PDF, 2MB)
- 2023 Mobile Food Vending Renewals(PDF, 5MB)
- Notice of Appeal Form(PDF, 80KB)
- Mobile Food Vendor Application(PDF, 2MB)
- 2018 MFV Board Meeting Schedule(PDF, 342KB)
- 2019 MFV Board Meeting Schedule(PDF, 361KB)
- Chapter 573: Mobile Food Vending
- Ohio Regulations & Columbus Fire Compliance Guideline(PDF, 884KB)
- Columbus Public Health Inspection Guidelines(PDF, 3MB)
- Columbus Public Health Website
- Propane Pressure Test/Leak Check Form(PDF, 4MB)
- Contact MFV Unit
- Mobile Food Vendor Update Letter(PDF, 5MB)
- Trucks and Trailers(PDF, 860KB)
- Pushcart(PDF, 803KB)
- Temporary Commercial Zone(PDF, 918KB)
- Temporary Commercial Zone Permit - Right of Way Link
- Zoning Map - North High(PDF, 239KB)
- Zoning Map - Downtown(PDF, 255KB)
- Zoning Map - South High(PDF, 200KB)
- Zoning Map - City of Columbus
Parades, Processions and Other Moving Assemblages
Note: Please confirm your zoning location before applying using the below zoning map link.
Vehicle for Hire (VFH)
- Notice of Appeal Form(PDF, 80KB)
- VFH Driver Application(PDF, 349KB)
- VFH Owner Application(PDF, 380KB)
- VFH Vehicle Transfer Application(PDF, 321KB)
- Taxi Owner Transfer Application(PDF, 319KB)
- Carriage Owner Application(PDF, 93KB)
- Carriage Unit Application(PDF, 92KB)
- Carriage Horse Application(PDF, 111KB)
- Annual Statement of Claims and Judgments(PDF, 29KB)
- Chapter 585: Vehicle for Hire Board
- Chapter 586: Micro Transit Vehicles (MTV)
- Chapter 587: Vehicle for Hire Owner's License
- Chapter 589: Vehicle for Hire Driver's License
- Chapter 591: Taxicabs
- Chapter 592: Pedicabs
- Chapter 593: Livery Vehicles
- Chapter 594: Horse Drawn Carriages
- VFH Mechanical Inspection Form(PDF, 180KB)
- Pedicab Inspection Form(PDF, 354KB)
- VFH Board Meeting Schedule(PDF, 61KB)
- VFH Board Meeting Minutes 02-02-2023(PDF, 25KB)
- VFH Board Meeting Minutes 02-23-2023(PDF, 61KB)
- VFH Board Meeting Minutes 04-27-2023(PDF, 267KB)
- Contact VFH Unit
- Vehicle For Hire Code Amendments FAQ(PDF, 622KB)
- Vehicle for Hire Rules and Regulations(PDF, 311KB)