Blog / February 16, 2024 / Vinny Gentile / UPDATED March 6, 2024

Tips on Securing a Washington, D.C. Food Handlers Permit

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    Ready to grow your restaurant business in Washington, D.C.? Before getting started, it’s important to ensure that your restaurant is adhering to the local licenses and permits required. This first starts with a food handlers permit.

    To obtain a food handlers permit, also known as the Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) Card, in Washington, D.C., you must pass a food manager certification exam from an approved organization, submit an online application, provide your national certificate from the exam, and pay a fee. The CFPM Card is valid for three years from the date of the exam.

    Here are a few simple steps to get started with food handlers permit in Washington, D.C.:

    1. Pass a Food Manager Certification Exam

    Before securing your food handlers permit, you’ll want to ensure that you’re registered for related food protection courses and prepared for the costs associated:

    2. Submit an Online Application for the CFPM Card

    • Purpose: This is the official application for the CFPM Card.
    • Estimated Cost: $35.00
    • Instructions: After passing the exam, you must submit an online application for the CFPM Card and provide your national certificate from the exam. To apply, create an account, select Certified Employee Identification Card Application (CEID) from the menu, enter the requested information, upload a copy of your passing test certificate, and enter payment information.

    3. Obtain a Replacement CFPM Card (If Necessary)

    • Purpose: If you lose your CFPM Card, you can apply for a replacement.
    • Estimated Cost: $15
    • Instructions: To get a replacement CFPM Card, submit an online application and pay a $15 fee. The replacement card will have the current expiration date.

    Once you’ve followed these steps, you’re well on your way to building a new food business in Washington, DC. For more information, you can contact the Division of Food Safety at


    How Long is the CFPM Card Valid For?

    The CFPM Card is valid for three years from the date of the exam.

    What if I Lose My CFPM Card?

    If you lose your CFPM Card, you can apply for a replacement online and pay a $15 fee. The replacement card will have the current expiration date.

    What Organizations Offer the Food Manager Certification Exam?

    Approved organizations include AAA Food Handler, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, National Restaurant Association,, Inc., Above Training, Inc./, and The Always Food Safe Company, LLC.

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    DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only and the content does not constitute an endorsement. CloudKitchens does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, images/graphics, links, or other content contained within the blog content. We recommend that you consult with financial, legal, and business professionals for advice specific to your situation.


    DC Gov. Acceptable Organizations for CFPM Examination