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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.                


 You will be required to go through a triage area first to ensure you have all your needed paperwork and it is completed correctly.  Once approved, you will be directed to the Lobby area to complete your transaction.  If it is incomplete, incorrect or you do not have the correct supporting documentation, you will be turned away. Due to the small size of the lobby, only 4 people are allowed in the regular customer lobby at one time.  Please have any family or friends that accompany you wait in the vehicle.  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. Due to a change in City Code, Short Term Rental licenses will no longer be issued on the day of application.   Lastly, the grace period of no enforcement for expired licenses end on October 1, 2021, all expired licenses are now in violation.   

Below is the online 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 now or the License Office starting July 22, 2021. Webcheck locations can be found at: 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 (this is only required for Short Term Rental and Mobile Food Vending Licenses).  They can be contacted by phone at 614-724-0440.
  • 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 our new portal link which 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]



      The October 2021 VFH Board meeting will be held Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 9:30a at the License Section, 4252 Groves Rd, Columbus, OH 43232.



      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 - 8 Items

      Vehicle for Hire (VFH) - 8 Items