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License Section

Department of Public Safety
4252 Groves Rd
Columbus, OH 43232
Office : (614) 645-8366
Fax : (614) 645-8912
Office Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00AM - 3:30PM

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.                


  • *The Department of Public Safety License Section continues to be closed to the public based upon Mayor Ginther’s COVID State of Emergency.  The Division is working towards completion of a reopening plan that will be the most protective of the public and our employees.  The office is accepting and processing payments and supporting documentation for the below processes.  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.  

 Thank you for your consideration during this time. 

  In the interim, the following remote licensing processes will be in place: 

 MOST CURRENT licenses that expire on or after March 18, 2020 have been extended until 14 days past the date the Mayor lifts the COVID State of Emergency.  EXCEPTIONS, based upon continued public safety are:   Hotels/Motels and Taxi/Livery vehicles. 

  • The office is issuing licenses for NEW BUSINESSES ONLY (mobile food vending, short term rentals, vehicle for hire, commercial, arcade, massage, etc.) by utilizing the following REMOTE 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) by going to a remote WebCheck location.  Those can be found at: is advised you call before to ascertain that they are open.  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.  They can be contacted by phone at 614-645-7370.
  • 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 a link 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 health, fire and pressure valve test, 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.

    Please keep in mind all alarm related payments can be made on-line at: 


    Please refer to the below linked letter for instructions on how the fee cap applies to restaurants.

    Restaurant Information Letter

    Please refer to below link for the City of Columbus Legislation Report.

    Legislation Report 2788-2020

    For more information contact the below email at:

    [email protected]



    Thursday, June 24, 2021- The Vehicle for Hire Board Meeting for June has been cancelled.


    Alarm Dealers - 4 Items

    Alarm Customers - Home/Business - 4 Items

    Arcades - 4 Items

    Board of License Appeals - 1 Item

    Billiard Rooms - 4 Items

    Bug Your Bike - 2 Items

    Carnivals, Circuses and Shows - 4 Items

    Charitable Solicitations and Professional Fundraiser - 3 Items

    Closing-Out Sales; Distressed Merchandise Sales - 3 Items

    Commercial Sales - 4 Items

    Community Markets on Public Property - 4 Items

    Community Noise - 5 Items

    Dangerous Ordnance - 3 Items

    Hotel/Motel Operations - 4 Items

    Itinerant Vendors - 4 Items

    Massage and Bath Establishments - 4 Items

    Mobile Food Vending (MFV) - 9 Items

    Parades, Processions and Other Moving Assemblages - 3 Items

    Scrap Metal Dealers - 4 Items

    Short-Term Rentals - 7 Items

    Vehicle for Hire (VFH) - 8 Items