Mar 5, 2021

Fee Waiver Relief Signed by the Governor to Help Thousands of ABC Licensees

Nearly 59,000 ABC on-sale licensees may be eligible for fee waivers

Sacramento – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a COVID-19 relief package that includes fee waivers for roughly 59,000 eligible businesses licensed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The fee waivers will provide much needed assistance to on-sale licensees such as restaurants and bars, that have been heavily impacted by the public health and safety restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Specified licensees whose licenses expire between March 1, 2021 and February 28, 2023 may qualify for a fee waiver.

The following license types (including duplicates) will be eligible for a fee waiver pursuant to the relief package: 40, 41, 42, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 68, 69, 71, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, 83, 86, 87, 99.

“The action taken by the Governor provides welcome relief to businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic, and ABC looks forward to approving the fee waivers for eligible licensees,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata.

The specific ABC license types were selected because they are considered to have been most directly affected during the pandemic due to a primary component of their business model being significantly restricted. For example, the on-site consumption of alcoholic beverages, which is commonly associated with restaurants and bars, has been restricted or prohibited as part of an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Conversely, license privileges such as manufacturing, distribution, and the off-sale consumption of alcoholic beverages have not been restricted in the same manner.

The Requirements and Guidelines for submitting a fee waiver request and verifying license eligibility can be found on the ABC website.

Eligible licensees whose licenses expired in January or February 2021 may request a waiver of their future applicable renewal fees due in January 2022 or February 2022. Licensees that receive a fee waiver are not obligated to pay back the fees that have been waived. 

In addition to fee waivers for bars and restaurants, all licensees may be eligible for grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The application process for these grants is currently being developed. For more information see the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

ABC protects communities through education and by administering prevention and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws. Visit ABC’s website to learn about ABC programs that can increase public safety.

ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.


Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

Public Information Office
3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
Phone: (916) 419-2525

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