Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about ABC’s renewal fee waiver.
What relief is being provided to ABC licensed businesses?
The Governor has signed legislation that includes fee waivers for eligible ABC licensees 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 waiver of the associated license renewal fee.
Which license types are eligible for a renewal fee waiver?
The fee waivers will apply primarily to restaurants, bars, and other specified license types whose business operations have been most directly impacted during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The following specific license types (including duplicates) will be eligible for a waiver pursuant to this proposal: 02, 23, 40, 41, 42, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 68, 69, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 83, 86, 87, 99. Only license type 02’s that produce less than 100,000 gallons during the fiscal year in which the license expires may be eligible for a Renewal Fee Waiver.
Duplicate 02 license types are not eligible for a fee waiver.
What are the eligibility requirements for a renewal fee waiver?
The waiver of license renewal fees applies to licensees that were impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and that hold a specified license types that were active, between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, inclusive. For the purpose of determining eligibility for this waiver the term “active” means:
- License privileges were exercised at any time during the specified period at the licensed premises. This does not include any license that was surrendered or that was indefinitely suspended for the entire period specified;
- A catering permit that is issued in conjunction with a license that was itself “active” as defined above, even if the catering permit was not itself used at any time during the specified period; or
- A seasonal license for which business operations were restricted due to health and safety orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic barring the exercise of license privileges during the specified period.
- Only type 02 licenses that produced less than 100,000 gallons of wine annually may be eligible for a Renewal Fee Waiver.
What is the deadline to submit a renewal fee waiver?
To receive the fee relief, licensees must complete and submit the Form ABC-SCF either online or by US mail prior to the expiration of the license.
Licensees will receive their renewal notice in the mail. The renewal notice clearly states the expiration date of the license. Licensees should not submit the waiver request prior to receiving their renewal notice in the mail. If submitting the waiver by mail, it is recommended that licensees return the top portion of their renewal notice with the waiver and, if applicable, a payment for any remaining fees due. The waiver must be postmarked on or before the expiration of the license to be considered timely.
How does a licensee apply for the renewal fee waiver?
Licensees can submit a renewal fee waiver after receiving their annual Application for Renewal of Alcoholic Beverage License. These renewal notices are typically received approximately 60 days prior to the license expiration date.
- Online: To submit the waiver online, visit Renewal Fee Waiver page. Use the online Verify Eligibility tool to identify which license type(s) are eligible for the renewal fee waiver. If all renewal fees are waived you will be able to submit your fee waiver online.
- Postal Mail: To submit a paper waiver by mail, licenses should also use the online Verify Eligibility tool to identify which license type(s) are eligible for the renewal fee waiver and if there would be a remaining balance due after the waiver is applied. Licensees can download and complete the ABC-SCF then send the form with their payment for the remaining balance to ABC Headquarters. It is recommended that licensees include the top portion of their renewal notice if submitting a waiver by mail. Digital signatures will be accepted on the paper form.
Licensees must only submit one waiver by either email or postal mail for each license number. Submitting multiple waivers for the same license number or submitting the same waiver using both email and postal mail will delay the processing of the waivers.
Further guidance for submitting a renewal fee waiver are included on the ABC-SCF Instructions.
Why won’t the online system allow me to proceed to Step 3 (i.e. submitting the online waiver form)?
If the system does not allow you to proceed to the online waiver form (Step 3) it is because you are not eligible for the renewal fee waiver or there is no renewal payment due at this time. Please review the alert message displayed in Step 2. If you have questions about the eligibility of your license, please contact your local ABC office.
The program provides for two years of license renewal fee relief. Will licensees need to submit two waiver requests?
Yes. The annual license renewal process will continue as normal and licensees will need to request a waiver for each of the two years authorized. A second waiver request must be completed when the licensee receives the renewal notice for 2022.
What will licensees need to demonstrate or provide in order to receive the waiver?
The only document required to apply for the waiver is the completed Form ABC-SCF (online or paper form). In order to expedite the process if submitting the waiver by mail, ABC encourages licensees to submit the completed ABC-SCF with the top portion of the licensee’s renewal notice. Licensees with eligible license types will need to self-certify on the ABC-SCF that each of the eligible license types were active (as defined) during the period from March 1, 2020, to December 21,2020, and that the licensed premises’ primary operation was disrupted by health and safety restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a self-certification process and no supporting documents are required to apply for the waiver. If additional information is needed to determine eligibility, ABC will contact the licensee.
If a licensee adds a license type to their existing license after December 31, 2020, can that new license type be included in the waiver request?
No. Although a licensee can add and remove license types to their license, each license type must have been active (as defined) between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, in order to be eligible for a waiver.
If a licensee pays their renewal fee, and later finds that they were eligible for a waiver, can the licensee receive a refund?
Unfortunately, no. ABC is not authorized under this law to provide any refunds.
If a licensee with an eligible license type operated during the time prescribed in the proposal but is no longer in business, will they be eligible for a refund?
No. Refunds are expressly prohibited under this law. Eligible licensees may only request a waiver of their annual renewal fee.
Why were these license types selected?
These license types 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.
If a licensee receives a fee waiver, do they have to pay it back the next year?
No. Licensees that receive a fee waiver are not obligated to pay back the fees that have been waived.
I have a Type 02 license, does our business have to produce a specified gallonage in order to be eligible for a renewal fee waiver?
Yes, licensees holding a type 02 license are only eligible for relief if the licensed location associated with the license number produced less than 100,000 gallons of wine during the fiscal year in which the license expires. Licensees requesting fee relief for 02 licenses must certify that their 02 license was active between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, inclusive, and the primary operation of their license was directly impacted by health and safety restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Duplicate 02 license types are not eligible for the fee relief.
Type 02 licensees that anticipate their production in the 2020/2021 fiscal year may be less than 100,000 gallons are encouraged to apply for the fee relief. If it is later reported that the licensee produced more than 100,000 gallons of wine, the licensee would need to pay the entirety of the renewal fee associated with the applicable production tier.
I have a Type 23 license, does our business have to produce a specified gallonage in order to be eligible for a renewal fee waiver?
No, the eligibility criteria for a type 23 license does not include a specified production amount. Therefore, a type 23 license, regardless of production volume, is eligible for a fee waiver if the license was active between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, inclusive and the primary operation of the license was directly impacted by health and safety restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have a Type 74 license, does our business have to produce a specified gallonage in order to be eligible for a renewal fee waiver?
No, the eligibility criteria for a type 74 license does not include a specified production amount. Therefore, a type 74 license, regardless of production volume, is eligible for a fee waiver if the license was active between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, inclusive and the primary operation of the license was directly impacted by health and safety restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For additional information,
contact your local ABC District Office.
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Bakersfield CA, 93309
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Concord CA , 94520
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Eureka CA, 95501
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Fresno CA, 93710-7902
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Los Angeles CA, 90017
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Lakewood CA, 90712
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Monrovia CA, 91016
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Palm Desert CA, 92211
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Redding CA, 96002
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Riverside CA, 92501
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Sacramento CA, 95834
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Salinas CA, 93907
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San Diego CA, 92101
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San Francisco CA, 94105
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San Marcos CA, 92069
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Santa Ana CA, 92707
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Santa Rosa CA, 95404
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Stockton CA, 95202
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Van Nuys CA, 91401
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