Frequently Asked Questions

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

Does ABC accept lateral transfers from other California State Departments?

Yes, however transfers are determined on a candidates highest list appointment in state service and the candidate has to the meet minimum qualifications and all transfer rules to be eligible for a transfer.

What is an alcoholic beverage license?

A license issued under the Act is a permit to do that which would otherwise be unlawful. A license is not a right, but is a privilege, which can be suspended or revoked by administrative action because of violation of the Act or departmental rule. (Sections 23300 and 23355)

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 or by going to

How can I apply for veteran preference?

The Veterans Preference Application form is available at the written test or you can download the form by clicking here. Please send the completed form to the California Department of Human Resources address indicated on the form.

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

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
  • Social Security Card
  • High school transcript(s) (Certified)
  • College transcript(s) (Certified)
  • Military records and DD214 (

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.