ABC announces new liquor license authorizations next month

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will be announcing the authorization for the issuance of new on-sale general and off-sale general licenses, and authorization for the intercounty transfer of on-sale general and off-sale general licenses next month.

From Sept. 9-20, in counties where such licenses are available, applications for new original on-sale general and off-sale general licenses will be accepted at district and branch offices. During the same period, priority applications will be accepted for the intercounty transfer of on-sale general and off-sale general licenses, as authorized.

Prior to the priority application period, the department will announce how many new licenses are authorized based on statutory authorizations and limitations. The department will provide a list of counties that will be eligible for additional on-sale general and off-sale general licenses.

Only one priority application will be accepted from any one applicant per county for each type of license. A fee of $18,635 is to be paid when filing an application for a new original general license and a fee of $7,060 is to be paid when filing a priority application for the intercounty transfer of a general license. Only a certified check, cashier’s check or money order will be accepted for payment of the application fee, which should be made payable to Alcoholic Beverage Control.

If the number of applicants within a county for a particular type of license/transaction is equal to or less than the number of licenses available, all applicants will be notified that they have 90 days to complete a formal application for their specific premises.

If the department receives more applications than there are licenses available, a public drawing will be held. Priority drawings for new licenses will be scheduled the week of Oct. 21. To participate in such a drawing, an applicant must have been a resident of California for at least 90 days prior to the date of the scheduled drawing. Successful drawing participants will be notified that they have 90 days to complete a formal application for their specific premises.

Unsuccessful drawing participants will be automatically refunded their application fee (minus a $100 service charge) within 90-120 days of the priority drawing but will retain their priority ranking until Aug. 1, 2025.

If an applicant owes money to California taxing agencies, a claim against the priority application fee may be made by the taxing agency. If such a claim is made, the amount owed will be deducted from the priority application fee at the time of refund and remitted to the taxing agency.

In the coming weeks, additional information and instructions regarding application for original and intercounty transfer of general licenses will be made available on our website and in district offices.

About the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is the agency of the government of the state of California charged with the regulation of alcoholic beverages. ABC’s mission is to provide the highest level of service and public safety to the people of California through licensing, education, and enforcement. ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.