Can I Change My Food Truck

L&I inspects changes (alterations) to food trucks and trailers (also called vendor units) to be sure they meet safety standards. If you have an L&I approved vendor unit, periodic inspections of your unit by L&I are not required. However, if you make changes to the unit, then in most cases you will need to buy a permit and have the alterations inspected.

Alteration inspections are for food trucks and trailers that already have the L&I approval label on them.

Vendor food truck label inspected and approved by L&I.

If your unit does not have this type of label on it you will need to follow the process for unapproved vendor units.

Go to Tab 2 to see what changes require a permit from L&I. To make sure your changes meet code requirements, refer to WAC 296-150V-0800 for a list of codes that apply to vendor units. If you are unfamiliar with these codes or how to do this work you will want to hire a licensed professional to help you.

If your alterations require a permit then take the following steps:

• Step 1: buy a permit, Tab 3.
• Step 2: you may need to submit a plan, Tab 4.
• Step 3: get your work inspected, Tab 5.

What Changes Require a Permit

Does your alteration require a permit and inspection?

Match your changes with the items listed below; if YES appears in the Permit? column, that change requires a permit and inspection and if Yes appears in the Plans? column then you will first need to send us plans which show the changes you are making. These plans must be reviewed and approved by L&I before we can inspect your alterations.

If NO appears in the Permit? column then you do not need to have that change inspected by L&I.

If YES, then go on to the next tab to buy your permit.

For alterations involving plan review, allow on average up to 4-6 weeks for the initial review. Accuracy and completeness speeds up the review time.

Type of alteration Permit? Plans?
Appliances and cooking equipment - new or replacing​ Note 1 Note 2
Appliances and cooking equipment - repairing​ No
Water heaters / all types – new or replacing​ Yes Note 3
Water heaters / all types – repairing​ No
Hoods and fire suppression - new or replacing​ Yes Yes
Hoods and fire suppression - repairing​ Yes No
Heating /cooling – new or replacing​ Yes No
Heating /cooling – repairing​ No
Electrical / inside or outside - new or changes to existing​ Yes Note 4
Electrical / inside or outside - repairing​ Yes No
Generator - new​ Yes Yes
Generator - replacing or repairing​ No
Plumbing drain & water lines – new or changes to existing​ Yes Note 5
Plumbing drain & water lines – repairing​ No
Gas piping -– new or changes to existing ​ Yes Yes
Gas piping - repairs ​ Yes No
Awning ​ No
Solar panels - new or replacing​ Yes Yes
Solar panels - repairing​ Yes No
Repairing damage to truck or trailer​ No
Structural / roof, walls or floor​ No
Flooring / interior wall and ceiling finish​ No
Siding / painting ​ No
Doors and Windows - adding or replacing​ Note 6 No
Installing for use at a location​ No

Notes:
1) A permit is not required for plug in electric appliances using existing circuits.
2) Plan review is required for gas appliances and gas cooking equipment.
3) Plan review is required for gas water heaters.
4) Plan review is required for electrical systems exceeding 30 amps, for systems with more than 5 circuits, and for systems that incorporate photovoltaic energy, fuel cell energy or other alternative energy systems.
5) Plan review is required for black water systems (drain lines conveying bodily waste).
6) Permits are not required for adding or replacing windows and doors however they must meet all requirement for size of openings, hardware and safety glazing found in WAC 296-150V-1180.

Buy a Permit

To purchase an alteration permit for your vendor unit which doesn’t require plan review you will need an image of your existing L&I insignia – example below:

Vendor food truck label inspected and approved by L&I.

If your vendor unit does not have an L&I insignia that looks like this, then you will need to follow the procedure for new units.
To purchase an alteration permit for your vendor unit that does not require plans send us:

  • This completed insignia request form along with
  • An image of the existing insignia;
  • A description of the alterations you are making.

For direct service, email this to FAS1@lni.wa.gov and program staff will contact you for any additional information we need to issue you a permit and send you instructions for making the payment online. If your alterations require plans to be submitted please see Tab 4.

Initially your permit will include a minimum inspection, travel and insignia fees. These fees need to be paid online before we can schedule your inspection. If your inspection takes longer than 1 hour, or if we have to return for a re-inspection then additional fees will be added to your permit.

How To Submit Plans

To purchase an alteration permit for your vendor unit that requires plans send us:

* If you have the original L&I approved plans for your vendor unit, just make a copy and add your changes to show the alterations you are making.

If you do not have the original plans for your unit, then create new drawings to show what is already there and then add your changes showing the alterations you want to make.

Submitting plans for alterations is the same as submitting plans for new vendor units, go to our Food Trucks & Trailers website to get started.

For direct service, email all required information to FAS1@lni.wa.gov and program staff will contact you with instructions for making the payment online. Initially your permit will include a minimum inspection, travel, plan review and insignia fees. These fees need to be paid online before we can review your plan.

If your inspection takes longer than 1 hour, or if we have to return for a re-inspection then additional fees will be added to your permit.

What Is Inspected During My Alteration

Once you have your approved plan (when required) or your application has been processed, you must have the changes to your food truck inspected. Please refer to our "Inspection Only" information and follow the same process as for new units.

Please note that we only inspect the alterations that are made, we do not re-inspect the whole truck. If during our inspection of your alterations, the inspector sees something else wrong he will note it on your inspection report to let you know that it needs to be fixed. In most cases this will not hold up the inspection. Sometimes, if there is a major safety concern we will want these issues to be fixed before we approve your changes.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries
Factory Assembled Structures
PO Box 44430
Olympia, WA 98504-4430

Location

7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501