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                                                                                    COVID-19 InformationInformation and Updates for Community Members

Contact Information

201 4th Street SE
Room 135
Rochester, MN 55904 (Map)

Phone: 507-328-2900
Fax: 507-328-2901
TDD: 507-328-2900

Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Department Contacts

Licenses and Permits

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COVID-19 Related Licensing Updates

Outdoor Seating Expansions for Bars and Restaurants

Procedures are being put into place to support businesses seeking to expand or create outdoor seating during the time period of limited operations under executive order of the governor. Starting June 1, bars and restaurants can serve customers outdoors. Mayor Norton has expanded her local emergency order to allow the City to work with businesses on new options for outdoor seating.

Options for outdoor service

Existing outdoor space

Businesses with existing outdoor seating can utilize that seating, modified to meet social distancing and capacity requirements, to serve customers. Current liquor license holders who have included their outdoor seating in their diagram of their premises on file and the accompanying addendum C do not need to take any further steps to begin using this space June 1.

Expanded outdoor space on adjacent private property

Businesses with space outside of their premises, including parking lots, can expand into that space by filing an amended site plan and insurance with the Clerk's Office. To make this process as easy as possible, a brief online application has been created to capture the details of planned operations and required documents.

ONLINE TEMPORARY OUTDOOR EXPANSION APPLICATION

Expanded outdoor space on adjacent public right-of-way

Businesses wanting to expand onto the sidewalk or street next to their business can also start that process by filing an amended site plan and insurance with the Clerk's Office using the brief online application. After initial review by the Clerk's Office, Public Works will work with the business to finalize an agreement for use of the right-of-way

ONLINE TEMPORARY OUTDOOR EXPANSION APPLICATION

There will also be in person opportunities on May 28 and 29 to meet with representatives from Public Works and the Clerk's Office downtown to apply for an instant permit. Businesses are encouraged to complete the online application first, but that is not required.

Teammates will be at a station set up at the corner of 1st Avenue and Historic 3rd Street to review plans and finalize agreements at:

  • Thursday, May 28, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
  • Friday, May 29, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Use of Catering permits

Restaurants holding a liquor catering permit from the state can use that permit to serve alcohol with food off premises. The restaurant must provide notification to the City of their plans, and can do so by completing this form.

Use of City parks and other spaces not adjacent to the business

This is an area that requires additional attention under existing state law. Before operating in any public parks, an agreement must be signed with the City Parks Department. Further guidance is being developed at this time on how to work with businesses looking to expand off their premises, into non adjacent areas. Businesses interested in this option are encouraged to contact us for further information as this guidance evolves,

                                                                          

Other Licensing Updates and Information

Some permit types remain suspended at this time, including:

  • No Special Event permits will be granted through at least August 13
  • No Peddlers Permits will be granted through at least June 30

Information about Shifts in Office Operations

Effective Monday, June 1, City Hall has begun a gradual reopening process. The front desk of City Hall is part of the City Clerk's Office and is now open to the public, Monday-Thursday, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. A plexiglass shield has been installed at the desk for the safety of the public and our teammates. Spacing is clearly identified at the front desk for those who may be waiting in line for service, and all visitors are asked to please wear face coverings if they are able.

As has been the case throughout the time the public desk was closed, teammates are continuing to deliver the essential services of the office, both externally to the public and internally to other City departments. The main City phone lines (507-328-2900) continue to be answered during business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

As a reminder, applications can be completed online for most licenses and permits issued by the City Clerk’s Office. Visit www.rochestermn.gov/citizenaccess to access the online application system for new licenses or renewals. Paper applications can also be mailed in or dropped off in the drop box at City Hall, and will be processed as quickly as possible. As circumstances continue to evolve, anticipate possible longer than usual processing times.

Business Licenses and Other City Permits

The Office of the City Clerk is responsible for business licensing for the City of Rochester, as well as issuing a range of other licenses and permits on behalf of the City. The City Clerk's Office works closely with other City departments required to review and approve applications prior to issuing licenses. Most licenses require the approval of the City Council before they can be issued.

The City Clerk's Office is transitioning to a new licensing system. Once live for each license type, license holders are able to enter applications and renewals online, with communication about licenses occurring electronically in real time. For renewing existing licenses, please carefully review the renewal instructions for your particular license type.

Online Account Access

Visit Citizen Access - to apply online for license types active in the license portal.

The online license portal is active for:

  • Trades & Contractor Licenses
  • Liquor Licenses
  • Animal Licenses
  • Gambling Licenses*
  • Business Licenses*
  • Transportation Licenses*

*Most license types have been transitioned at this time to the new system and are available in Citizen Access for online application and account management. Licenses not yet available are marked in the list below with an asterisk * and require completion of a paper application.

License & Permit information by type

Additional license and permit-related information available from the City Clerk's Office

A to Z listing of City licenses and permits issued by the City Clerk's Office

This is a listing of all city licenses and permits handled by the City Clerk's Office, with links to individual applications and the City rules (ordinances) for each license or permit. 

For a copy of any application forms or for more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (507) 328-2900, or come in to the office in City Hall at 201 4th Street SE, Rochester MN 55904.

See a list of current license holders or to find out if someone has a license by reviewing the Current and Previous Year License Holder information.

Ordinance (pdf) Download License Application

Activities/Sound 
See Special Event           

Resolution 033‑3 Banners
RCO 3-1 Breeding Permits*
Chapter 94 and 94A Bus*
RCO 3-1 Cat Regulations (no license required)
RCO 3-4

Chickens
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

RCO 5-9 Circus*
RCO 5-10 Dance (Annual)*
Dance (Single)*
RCO 3-1 Dog Regulations (no license required)
RCO 1-3 Domestic Partnership Registration*
Application
Amendment
Termination
RCO 3-5 Duck
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 5-11
*Resolution 169-00 Setting Fees 

Escort Services*

RCO 3-1 Ferret Regulations  (no license required)
RCO 5-16  Firework Sales*
Fireworks Displays*

Food Vending vehicle

See the following:

  • Mobile Food Unit (aka Food Truck)
  • Vending Cart
  • Ice Cream Vending Vehicle
RCO 8-10

Gambling

Please note: For a single gambling event, the City Clerk's Office must sign off on the Gambling application form. We charge a $15 fee for processing the gambling application.  After City approval, the applicant sends the application to the state with the appropriate State application fee.

*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

RCO 11-2  Golf Carts*
RCO 4-3 Heating Contractors (Trades & Contractors License)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 5-20    Ice Cream Vending Vehicle*
RCO 9-11-5 Impaired Child Sign Application*
RCO 5-19

Liquor License Policy Application Guidelines

*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

Addendums and references for applications:

ON SALE LICENSES - for businesses serving alcohol for consumption on site only

OFF SALE LICENSES - for businesses serving alcohol for consumption off the premises only

TEMPORARY LICENSES

*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

RCO 5-15 Massage Therapists (individuals)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 5-15 Massage Therapy (business)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 4-3 Master Installers (Trades & Contractors License) 
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 5-21

Mobile Food Unit

Mobile Food Unit Guidance on Vending in the City of Rochester

License Application

Apply for a Downtown Operation Zone Permit 

Food Truck Safety Information from the Fire Department

*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

RCO 5-12 Moving Permits* - Garages, Houses

Non-Regulated Activities* 
(picketing, bannering, demonstrating or protesting)

RCO 3-2

Outdoor Dog Permits

Application 

Requirements

*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

Parades, Street Use and Miscellaneous Activities
(See Special Events)
RCO 5-13

Pawn Brokers

*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

RCO5-4 Pedal Car application
Pedal Car Driver application*
RCO 5-14 Peddlers*
Please note: All applicants for Peddler permits must come in to the City Clerk's Office in person and must bring a Driver's license or other form of photo ID.
RCO 5-14 Peddler- Charitable and Religious Organizations*
RCO 3-3  Pigeon
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 5-11

Private Adult Dancer*

RCO 5-22 Public Transportation*
RCO 11-10 Residential Permit Parking**
RCO 9-1-2 Revocable sign permit (non-profit or city-sponsored organization)*
RCO 12-2 Sewers & Drains (Trades & Contractors License)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 9-8

Sidewalk Cafe (Outdoor Dining in public right-of-way)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

RCO 9-18  Sidewalks and Driveways  For Asphalt or Cement (Trades & Contractors License)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 5-8 Sign Erector (Trades & Contractors License)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
Sound Amplification
See Special Event
RCO 8-11

Special Event (guidelines and application)*
Also requires completed License Application Part I above

Please note: Special Event Applications should be submitted no later than 60 days in advance of the event. They will not be accepted less than 30 days before the event. For large scale events involving 1000 or more participants, the application must be submitted 120 days in advance.           
RCO 5-5

Taxicab

Taxi Drivers
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system

RCO 5-6 Transportation Network Company* (License applies to TNC companies, not drivers - the City of Rochester does not license TNC drivers)
Also requires completed License Application Part I above
RCO 5-17 Tree Work Contractor  (Trades & Contractors License)
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system
RCO 9-10 Vending Cart
*Only submit a paper application if unable to use the online application system