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Snohomish Health District debuts streamlined permitting for food trucks

Food trucks are a rapidly growing industry in Snohomish County. Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Food trucks are a rapidly growing industry in Snohomish County. Photo courtesy of Pexels.

From a Snohomish Health District News Release.

From gourmet grilled cheese to exotic hot dogs and fusion flavors, food trucks have become a popular destination for foodies and workers on a lunch break alike.

Food trucks are also a rapidly growing industry in Snohomish County, with a business model that combines traditional food establishments with temporary food stands. Another unique feature of food trucks is the ability to cross-county—and health district—jurisdictions.

Obtaining a food truck permit in one county doesn’t gain reciprocity for a permit in a neighboring county’s jurisdiction. An owner/operator that chooses to work in multiple counties must apply for permits with plan reviews in each health jurisdiction, which is often a time consuming and duplicative process.

We recognize that food trucks need to move across the region to reach customers,” said the Health District’s interim administrator Jefferson Ketchel. “Through collaboration with our Food Advisory Council and the Washington State Food Truck Association, we have developed a streamlined permitting process.”

Food trucks with current permits in King or Pierce County will now be allowed to skip the plan review process in Snohomish County, thereby saving time and more than $400 in fees.

Operators will be required to submit a copy of their approved plans, as well as a copy of the annual operating permit and last routine inspection report.

Businesses will still be required to have a permitted commissary located within Snohomish County. Those vendors that are not currently permitted in King or Pierce County will have to complete a full plan review process and pay applicable fees.

We’re excited to be the first in the state to try this approach,” added Ketchel. “Our goal was to decrease the burden of repetitive plan reviews so food truck operators can get back to the work they love best.”

The Health District is continuing to work through internal permitting processes to improve the customer experience.

To learn more about acquiring a food permit in Snohomish County, visit

Make sure you also have your Washington State and local business licenses as well. For more information click here: Washington State Department of Licensing.