Business licenses, sales permits and car washing and polishing registration certificates are some documents mobile car washing businesses with mobile washing tanks need to operate. These documents are normally obtainable from city governments. The exact type of permit and approval process for operating mobile car washes varies between locations.
The State of California's Department of Industrial Relations requires each mobile car washing and polishing business to register with the Labor Commissioner to receive a car washing and polishing registration certificate. The mobile business owner must also send to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement a completed application and annual registration fee. The fees go to the relevant branch locations. These regulations apply to formal mobile car washing businesses, and different rules apply to charitable, youth, service, veteran or sports group mobile car wash units.
Individual cities within California and other states post additional regulations. For example, the city of Calabasas, California, requires a mobile car washing business to also obtain a permit from the city government. The city also establishes environmental regulations that the business must follow. The Application for Mobile Car Wash Operations Permit is available on the city website.
The city of Lubbock, Texas, requires such businesses to get annual permits before they begin work. The city provides a Mobile Car Wash Permit Application on its website.