Licensing

Prospective and current ABC licensees will find helpful information and resources regarding ABC licenses/permits.

Lookup A License

Search publicly available information on existing, pending, and former ABC licenses.

Apply for a new license

For persons or entities seeking to open a new alcohol related business.

Transfer or Change a License

For persons or entities seeking to transfer or change their existing ABC license.

Licensing Reports

Weekly, monthly, and annual license data, including license searches by geographic location.

Licensing Forms

Find the forms you need to complete your ABC license application or license renewal.

License Types

A list of the most common ABC license types, ordered by number. Each one includes a short description.

2019 Priority Application Announcement

During the period of September 9 – 20, 2019, ABC offices will accept applications for priority licenses in eligible counties and New Original Neighborhood-Restricted Special On-Sale General licenses in San Francisco County (ONLY).

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of retail licenses?

  • On-Sale General-authorizes the sale of all types of alcoholic beverages: namely, beer, wine and distilled spirits, for consumption on the premises, and the sale of beer and wine for consumption off the premises.
  • Off-Sale General-authorizes the sale of all types of alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises in original, sealed containers.
  • On-Sale Beer and Wine-authorizes the sale of all types of wine and malt beverages (e.g., beer, porter, ale, stout and malt liquor) for consumption on and off the premises.
  • Off-Sale Beer and Wine-authorizes the sale of all types of wine and malt beverages for consumption off the premises in original, sealed containers.
  • On-Sale Beer-authorizes the sale of malt beverages for consumption on and off the premises. (Sections 23393, 23394, 23396 and 23399)

What beverages may the holder of an on-sale license sell for consumption off the licensed premises in original, sealed containers?

Unless restricted by special license conditions, on-sale general and on-sale beer and wine licensees may sell all types of wine and malt beverages.

Unless restricted by special license conditions, on-sale beer licensees may sell malt beverages. The privilege of selling distilled spirits “to go” comes only with an off-sale general license. (Section 23401)

Can any person obtain an alcoholic beverage license?

ABC may refuse to issue a license to any person who has violated the ACT, has a disqualifying criminal record, or is otherwise disqualified.

When must licenses be renewed?

It is the responsibility of the licensee to renew his license whether or not he has received a renewal notice from ABC.

All licenses may be renewed by paying the required renewal fee before the license expires.

Following the expiration of a license, the licensee may legally operate for an additional 60 days during which time the license may be renewed by paying the renewal fee and a 50% penalty. If the renewal fee and penalty fee has not been paid within 60 days of the expiration of a license, the license is canceled and the licensee may not exercise any privileges of the license. The licensee does have and additional 30 days in which to reactivate the license by paying the renewal fee and a 100% penalty. If the penalty and renewal fee are not paid by the end of the 30th day following cancellation, the license is revoked. (Section 24048)