Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Agent opportunities at the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Do I have to attend a police academy?

If you do not already possess a valid POST Basic Certificate or equivalent, you must attend a POST Basic Academy. Recruits are generally sent to an academy within the jurisdiction of the district office that they are assigned to. If there are multiple basic academies within that jurisdiction, the agent will attend the academy that begins closest to his/her anticipated hire date.

What is the hiring process for laterals?

The application and hiring process is the same for laterals as any other applicant. Laterals, however, will not have to attend another police academy when hired.

I have over two years of law enforcement experience outside of California. Do I meet the minimum qualifications of two years of experience as a peace officer for the Agent exam?

To qualify for the agent exam under the law enforcement experience qualification, you must have at least two years of sworn peace officer experience (as defined in the California Penal Code Section 830 et. seq. or equivalent Federal or out-of-State law enforcement) performing patrol or investigative work.

How are field assignments determined?

Once you have passed the written exam, you can apply for any job vacancy in any of our field offices. You can view our current vacancy locations on the CalCareers website.

How long does the hiring process take?

Expect the entire hiring process, from the date of your written test to appointment, to last approximately 8-12 months. This is the general timeline and individual cases may vary considerably.

What if I have used marijuana, other illegal drugs, and/or gotten a DUI?

Experimental use of marijuana or other drugs may not be a disqualifying factor. The frequency, dates, and specific circumstances will be evaluated to determine your level of qualification. This also pertains to DUI convictions.

What information will I need to gather for my background investigation?

  • Residential history for the last 10 years (or since the age of 15), including addresses, landlords, and roommates.
  • Entire employment history including addresses, phone numbers, supervisors, and co-workers
  • All legal history and associated reports
  • All traffic citations received in the past 7 years and associated reports (including copies of citations and accident reports, if possible)
  • Vehicle insurance policies
  • Vehicle registration cards
  • Birth certificate, certified copy issued by the State
  • Marriage and dissolution of marriage certificates
  • Knowledge of your credit history - Free at Annual credit report
  • Social Security Card
  • High school transcript(s) (Certified)
  • College transcript(s) (Certified)
  • Military records and DD214 - Veterans' Service Records

What are some factors that may lengthen my background investigation?

  • Having lived and worked in another part of the state, out of state, and/or a large number of past residences and employers
  • Inability to access necessary records
  • Numerous applications with other law enforcement agencies
  • Extensive driving/criminal history
  • Failure to provide your background investigator with addresses or telephone numbers for critical contacts
  • Medical and/or psychological evaluations

When is the next exam?

Applications are being accepted on a continuous basis. Applications received will be scheduled for the next available examination. A list of testing dates and locations can be found on the Exam Bulletin.


If you have any questions, please call
(916) 419-2582 or email us at