Apply for a Coin-Operated Car Wash License

Do you own a public car wash managed with coin-operated machines? You need a business license to operate in the City of Grand Rapids.

Online

Make sure you're eligible

You are eligible if you have a valid driver's license and don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415

Check with the City to make sure that your business location is zoned for a car wash. Contact the Planning Department at 616-456-4100 for more information.

Make sure your car wash meets the requirements

Be prepared to provide one of the following at the business:

  • An attendant who is old enough with good discretion who must be on duty at all times while open for business
  • A “request for refund” card or envelope to allow customers to report loss of money due to broken machinery
  • A working telephone that is available and a sign to tell customers who they can call to report loss of money or get help

You're also responsible to make sure your car wash is accessible to deaf or hearing/impaired customers. See the Coin-operated Car Wash Checklist(PDF, 179KB) and the related ordinance for more information.

Have your Visa or MasterCard ready

There is a $379 application fee for new licenses. The fee for renewal applications is $199. Application fees are non-refundable.

There's no extra processing fee to pay with a card online. We accept Visa and MasterCard payments online.

Complete the online application

We have an online form to guide you through this process. The application might take some time. That's why we recommend that you gather all the required information first.

Apply Online in English

We’ll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes. We’ll call or email you to let you know that your permit is ready. You can either pick it up from the office or we’ll mail it to you.

Make sure to keep a copy of your license displayed on the property where all customers can see.

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.

Paper Form

Make sure you're eligible

You are eligible if you have a valid driver's license and don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415

Check with the City to make sure that your business location is zoned for a car wash. Contact the Planning Department at 616-456-4100 for more information.

Make sure your car wash meets the requirements

Be prepared to provide one of the following at the business:

  • An attendant who is old enough with good discretion who must be on duty at all times while open for business
  • A “request for refund” card or envelope to allow customers to report loss of money due to broken machinery
  • A working telephone that is available and a sign to tell customers who they can call to report loss of money or get help

You're also responsible to make sure your car wash is accessible to deaf or hearing/impaired customers. See the Coin-operated Car Wash Checklist(PDF, 179KB) and the related ordinance for more information.

Have your payment ready

There is a $379application fee for new licenses. Renewals cost $199. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:

MAILED PAYMENTS

  • Check
  • Money order

IN PERSON PAYMENTS

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard)

Download the application

Fill out the PDF application and return it to us by mail or in person.

Download the Application in English

Mail or drop off your completed application

Make sure you have the appropriate payment ready. Refer to step 3 for accepted payment methods.

We’ll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes. We’ll call or email you to let you know that your permit is ready. You can either pick it up from the office or we’ll mail it to you.

Make sure to keep a copy of your license displayed on the property where all customers can see.

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.

Phone

Overview

Make sure we're open

Our office hours are 8 AM - 5 PM, Monday through Friday. We are out of the office on public holidays.

Call us for instructions

You can find our number in the Contact Us section of this page. We'll get you all the information you need to apply for your business license.

In Person

Make sure you're eligible

You are eligible if you have a valid driver's license and don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415

Check with the City to make sure that your business location is zoned for a car wash. Contact the Planning Department at 616-456-4100 for more information.

Make sure your car wash meets the requirements

Be prepared to provide one of the following at the business:

  • An attendant who is old enough with good discretion who must be on duty at all times while open for business
  • A “request for refund” card or envelope to allow customers to report loss of money due to broken machinery
  • A working telephone that is available and a sign to tell customers who they can call to report loss of money or get help

You're also responsible to make sure your car wash is accessible to deaf or hearing/impaired customers. See the Coin-operated Car Wash Checklist(PDF, 179KB) and the related ordinance for more information.

Have your payment ready

There is a $379application fee for new licenses. Renewals cost $199. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:

IN PERSON PAYMENTS

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard)

Visit our office to apply

Visit us on the 2nd floor of City Hall. Our address is in the Contact Us section of this page. We'll get you an application and answer all of your questions about the process. Make sure you have your payment ready. You can see our accepted payment methods in step 3 above.

We’ll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes. We’ll call or email you to let you know that your permit is ready. You can either pick it up from the office or we’ll mail it to you.

Make sure to keep a copy of your license displayed on the property where all customers can see.

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.