ABC license administrators can now submit catering authorization applications online

Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s catering authorization applications are now available online for the first time, permitting users to complete the form within minutes.

“We are excited to bring an online method for licensees to apply and pay for the most common application submitted to the department,” said Licensing Division Chief Jaime Taylor. “Catering authorizations are used for selling and serving alcohol at many types of events, from weddings to large scale music festivals. Our new online applications will make the process much simpler and faster, providing an enhanced service to Californians who are applying for a catering authorization.”

Catering authorizations allow licensees with an active caterer’s permit to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption during events approved by ABC. Applicants must have an ABC Online Services account with the License Administrator role. Applicants can submit their application, pay with a credit card or eCheck, and upload required documents or approvals.

To qualify for the online authorization, the event must be more than five days but not more than 60 days from the application date. Users can submit and pay for events online for up to three consecutive days if each day has the same number of attendees and hours during which alcohol is served. If the dates are not consecutive, or if the number of attendees and hours are not the same, each day must be submitted and paid for as a separate event.

There is a limit of 36 catered events per year at any given location. This limit applies to all Caterer’s Permits (Type 58), including those held by club licenses (Type 50, 51, and 52). An exception may be made to exceed 36 catered events if the licensee can clearly establish that additional events are in the best interest of the State and necessary to satisfy substantial public demand. Exceptions can be requested at a local ABC District Office.

For more information about online catering authorization applications, please visit