The Department of Public Safety’s (“Department”) ice cream truck vendor regulations, 520 CMR 15, implement G.L. c. 270, § 25, which was added by section 122 of chapter 256 of the Acts of 2010, and authorized the Department to adopt regulations relative to the annual permitting of ice cream truck vendors.
The ice cream truck vendor regulations establish uniform standards and requirements for the issuance of permits to engage in ice cream truck vending, which is defined as the selling, displaying or offering to sell ice cream or any other prepackaged food product from an ice cream truck. Any person who sells, displays, or offers to sell ice cream from an ice cream truck, or any person who drives or operates such a vehicle, is deemed to be an ice cream truck vendor and is required to obtain a valid permit issued by the chief of police, the board or an officer having control of the policy in a city or town, or an authorized third party. In order to obtain a permit, the applicant must complete and submit an application form to the designated permit issuing authority. Any application that is submitted to the designated permit issuing authority is subject to a state and national criminal history investigation to determine applicant eligibility, and all permitting authorities are restricted from issuing an ice cream truck vending permit to any sex offender as defined by G.L. c. 6, § 178C.
Ice Cream Truck Vendor Regulations FAQs
Q: What am I required to do under the Ice Cream Truck vendor regulation?
A: If you engage in Ice Cream truck vending or operation, this regulation requires that you obtain a permit from the Permitting Authority within the municipality where you live or plans to operate the Ice Cream Truck.
Q: How do I know if the Ice Cream Truck regulation applies to me?
A: Every person who intends to engage in Ice Cream Truck vending must obtain a valid permit issued by the Permitting Authority. Ice Cream Truck vending is defined as the selling, displaying or offering to sell ice cream or any other prepackaged food product from an ice cream truck.
Q: I operate a food Truck that does not serve Ice Cream products. Will I be required to obtain a permit?
A: No. The regulation provides that every person who intends to engage in ice cream truck vending must obtain a permit and defines an ice cream truck as any motor vehicle used for selling, displaying, or offering to sell ice cream. If your truck does not carry ice cream products, then you will not be required to obtain a permit.
Q: My service areas include a number of municipalities. Will I be required to apply for permits from each city or town in which I operate?
A: There are two ways to obtain a permit: either by applying to the municipality where the applicant lives or by applying to the municipality where the applicant plans to operate the Ice Cream Truck. An applicant who obtains a permit in the municipality where he or she lives may operate without restriction in any other municipality. However, an applicant who obtains a permit in a particular municipality where he or she intends to operate is restricted to operating in that municipality.
Q: Where do I obtain a permit application?
A: Applicants may obtain a Department-approved permit application from their local Permitting Authority.
Q: I have a question about the application process. Who should I contact?
A: Permitting and enforcement will all be done by the local Permitting Authority and not the Department of Public Safety. Please direct all inquires to your local Permitting Authority.
Q: What is a Permitting Authority?
A: The Permitting Authority is the chief of police or the board or officer having control of the police in a city or town. The Permitting Authority may also be a person authorized by the chief of police, the board or officer.
Q: Why is a criminal background check required?
A: The criminal background check is required by statute. M.G.L. c. 270 § 25 directs the Department to draft regulations which include a requirement that a Permitting Authority conduct an investigation into the criminal history of a permit applicant to determine his or her eligibility.
Q: Am I required to pay for the criminal background check?
A: The Permitting Authority of the municipality where the applicant applies will determine whether to require a fee for conducting the requisite criminal background check.
Q: I have a criminal record. Will this prohibit me from obtaining a permit?
A: Based on the results of the investigation into the applicant’s criminal history, the Permitting Authority will determine the applicant’s eligibility. However, in no case will a permit be issued to a person who is a sex offender as defined by M.G.L. c. 6 § 178C.
Q: Will the information contained in my criminal record become public record?
A: No, the information contained in an applicant’s criminal record will be used solely for the purpose of determining the applicant’s eligibility for a permit.
Q: I own an Ice Cream Truck vending business and employ multiple Ice Cream Truck operators. Is each individual required to obtain a permit?
A: Yes, every person who intends to engage in ice cream truck vending is required to obtain a permit by submitting an application for permit to engage in ice cream truck vending. However, you may list all operators on one permit for your business to be displayed on the truck itself.
Q: What address should I list on my permit?
A: The address listed on your permit should be the business address for the Ice Cream Truck vendor.
Q: Do I have to have my permit with me at all times?
A: Yes, a validly issued permit must be conspicuously displayed and clearly visible on the windshield of the Ice Cream Truck.