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State Street Night Vending

NEW State Street Night Vending Program Requirements and FAQs

The City of Madison is implementing a NEW State Street Night Vending Program effective 4/15/24. The current Late Night Vending Program and site assignments will end on 4/14/24. These changes were approved by the Common Council on 3/5/24 and enacted on 3/20/24 for the vending season that begins on 4/15/24. Licenses will need to be reapplied for annually. The licensing season runs 4/15 – 4/14 annually.

Below are the program details and how to apply for a license. The application portal is now open and a waiting list has been established.


Click here for State Street Nigth Vending Program details in Spanish

  1. Beginning 4/17/24.
  2. Location the 700 Block of State Street Mall (aka Library Mall)
  3. Vending allowed Wednesdays through Saturdays from 8:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
  4. All equipment to be removed from State Street Mall by 3:00 a.m. No overnight storage of equipment allowed.
  5. Generators are required.
    • NO access to City electric.
    • Generators must operate at 60 decibels or lower.
  6. Noise levels emanating from the vending site shall be kept to a minimum, shall not be directed toward the street or sidewalk, and shall be reasonable so as not to disturb the peace and quiet of those in the vicinity, including but not limited to residents, merchants, and customers.
    • No sound amplification shall be permitted at a non-cart vending stand. Vendors utilizing an enclosed vending cart may use amplification inside an enclosed vending cart only, and any music or other audio shall be kept to a volume such that it cannot be heard outside of the cart beyond the first customer in line at the window or service area.
    • No audio or video equipment, such as speakers and video display monitors, shall be permitted at a non-cart vending stand, nor affixed to or used outside an enclosed cart. This provision shall apply in addition to the general restrictions regarding noise and amplification found in Chapter 24 of the Madison General Ordinances.
    • Vendors shall be subject to all applicable City ordinances regarding noise and amplification and this provision shall not be interpreted to expand or contradict those other ordinances.
  7. Tow vehicles must be removed from the State Street Mall Area, including alleyways, and parked in a legal parking space, after unloaded.
  8. Line management equipment is required. Examples below and should be approved by City Staff prior to being used.  They will be required on the first day of vending.
    • Vendors are responsible to maintain the line and ensure the emergency access lane is clear.
  9. Sites are assigned by seniority. The three currently licensed vendors will keep their seniority status for the site assignment process.  If they do not apply for a license this site will be opened to a new applicant. A waiting list will be created if we have more than two additional applicants. The waiting list will be established by the date and time the application was received.
  10. On occasion you may be required to relocate your vending site, or your site may be invalidated for special events or construction. When this is required, Staff will be in direct contact with you regarding a temporary site or other related information.


  1. Vendors must hold all required Vending Licenses. Additionally, any person working or preforming vending activities must be listed as an Associated Vendor on the Umbrella Street Vending License.
    • Basic or Umbrella Street Vending License
      • $250 annually - basic per vendor/staff OR
      • $600 annually - umbrella and allows the addition and removal of individuals throughout the season.
    • State Street Night Vending License and be issued a site assignment.
      • $650 annually – includes site assignment.
      • Site assignments will be issued after applications are received.
  2. Vendors must hold all required Health Department licenses. Fees for these licenses vary. Contact Public Health Madison-Dane County or your county Health Department for related fees.
    • Mobile Food Establishment
    • Service Base
  3. Wisconsin Seller’s Permit
  4. General Liability Insurance (Certificate of Insurance aka COI)




Site sizes are listed below. This is the Maximum space allotted, including the trailer tongue/hitch.  The mobile unit must fit entirely with in the area. A minimum of a 20’ emergency access lane must be always maintained.

Site Number

Site Maximum Size


15’ x 15’


28’ x 15’


15’ x 15’


20’ x 15’


18’ x 10’



See attachment with screenshots of how to apply.

If you have previously submitted an application for a Late Night Vending license, the application was closed and you will need to apply for the new license. If you have a Street Vending License already in process, fees paid or license issued, please submit the full application as described in this email and attached documents. You will not be charged twice for the Street Vendor License. Staff will associate the State Street Night Vending application with your existing Street Vendor application.

  1. Log on to your online account:
    1. You will need to create an account if you do not already have one established
    2. HINT:  Once you create your online account, you must activate your account before you are able to log in.  You will receive an automatic email and you MUST open the activation email (comes from and often goes to your junk mail) and click on the link to complete the process.
    3. For technical assistance: IT Support call 608-261-4293
  2. Click on Licensing/Registration
  3. Click on Apply for Licensing/Registration
  4. Select Street Vendor
  5. Complete application and add required attachments
  6. Submit application
  7. Staff review and process application and required materials.
  8. Invoice issued via email for fees.
  9. Vendor pays fees.
  10. License and site assignment issued.
  11. Begin vending on or after 4/17/24.



  1. Certificate of General Liability Insurance (COI). This is a one page document you request from your agent or your online account for your insurance policy.
  2. Wisconsin Seller’s Permit form
  3. Copies of your Health Department Licenses
  4. On a separate document include a photo of your cart/trailer, including measurements AND a link or images with product descriptions for the line management equipment.


Certificate of General Liability Insurance (COI) requirements:

  • Name on your License, legal registered name, and application must match exactly the name of your insured on you Insurance.
  • Commercial general liability insurance at a minimum of $1,000,000 per occurrence.
  • ADDL INSD box checked
  • In the Description of Operations box near the bottom the write “The City of Madison is listed as an additional insured”.
  • Policy number listed on the form.
  • Policy dates (start and expiration date) must be active.
  • In the Certificate Holder box at the bottom of the page write:

City of Madison

Attn: Risk Manager

210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Rm. 406

Madison, WI 53703



  • Minimum of 5 stable crowd control barrier poles, able to withstand wind and crowds with retractable belts. 
  • The retractable belts must be able to extend a minimum of an 8’ span to help effectively control crowds and manage lines related to each food cart. 
  • The 8’ lines must run horizontal from the food cart as shown. 

Example Document Here (English)

Example Document Here (Spanish)





The Director is authorized to enforce Sec. 9.136 and any regulations adopted hereto. Any person violating any provision of Sec. 9.136 or the regulations adopted hereto shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than thirty dollars ($30) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300) for each separate violation of the ordinance or regulation. Enforcement of this Section shall not bar proceedings under Sec. 9.13(8), "Procedure for Revocation, Suspension or Nonrenewal of Vending License," nor shall proceedings under Sec. 9.13(8) bar the City from prosecuting violations of Sec. 9.136.


Meghan Blake-Horst

Street Vending Coordinator

call 608-261-9171

Last Updated: 04/08/2024

Contact Meghan Blake-Horst, Street Vending Coordinator

  • PH: 608-261-9171
  • FAX: 608-261-6126
  • EMAIL:
    Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development
    Economic Development Division
    Office of Business Resources
    P.O. Box 2983
    Madison WI 53701-2983
    215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, 3rd Floor
    Madison WI 53703

Guidelines Resources

Bike Path Vending Prohibited

It is illegal to vend on any Madison bike path, bike way or recreational trail.

Recycling Awareness

Food vendors are encouraged to use recyclable and biodegradable utensils, containers and napkins.