Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the sales of alcoholic beverages to-go.

What licensees can participate in off-sale alcoholic beverage sales pursuant to this bill?

This bill applies to the holder of an on-sale license that is issued for a bona fide public eating place that has off-sale privileges. This includes Type 41, Type 47, and Type 75 licenses. It also applies to a licensed beer manufacturer, licensed wine manufacturer, or licensed craft distiller that operates a bona fide public eating place at its premises of production.

To sell distilled spirits or wine for off-site consumption as authorized by this bill, the licensee must have on-sale wine or distilled spirits privileges. For example, a Type 41 license cannot sell distilled spirits pursuant to this bill since that license type does not provide distilled spirits privileges.

What is a manufacturer-sealed container vs. a to-go nonmanufacturer-sealed container?

A manufacturer-sealed container is a container, such as a bottle or can, that is filled and sealed by the manufacturer of the alcohol. A nonmanufacturer-sealed container (to-go) is a container filled by the retail licensee that has a secure lid or cap that is sealed in a manner designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap by breaking the seal. A nonmanufacturer-sealed container is considered an “open container” if transported in a motor vehicle. In addition to other requirements, licensees selling nonmanufacturer-sealed alcoholic beverages to-go must post a notice that states the following:

“Alcoholic beverages that are packaged by this establishment are open containers and shall not be transported in a motor vehicle except in the vehicle’s trunk or, if there is no trunk, the containers shall be kept in some other area of the vehicle that is not normally occupied by the driver or passengers. This does not include a utility compartment or glove compartment (See Vehicle Code Section 23225). Additionally, these beverages shall not be consumed in public or in any other area where open containers are prohibited by law.”

May a to-go nonmanufacturer-sealed container leave the premises after being opened or partly consumed?

No. Licensees are responsible for ensuring compliance with this restriction. Similarly, partially consumed alcoholic beverages, such as those ordered while dining-in, cannot be packaged to-go.

What alcohol can be delivered?

Existing law generally allows an on-sale retail license to sell or deliver manufacturer-sealed containers of beer and wine for consumption off the licensed premises. This bill does not alter these privileges in any way. However, alcoholic beverages sold pursuant to this bill cannot be delivered. This means that manufacturer-sealed distilled spirits and nonmanufacturer-sealed distilled spirits or single-serve wine cannot be delivered to consumers.

What alcohol can be sold in nonmanufacturer-sealed to-go containers?

Manufacturer-sealed distilled spirits and nonmanufacturer-sealed containers of distilled spirits or single-serve wine may be sold for consumption off the licensed premises if the beverages are ordered and picked up directly from the premises in person by the consumer who must present an ID to verify they are of legal age and are the person who placed the order. Beer cannot be sold in a nonmanufacturer-sealed container. Other conditions apply to the sale of nonmanufacturer-sealed to-go alcoholic beverages, including but not limited to, the types of alcohol allowed to be sold under a particular license.

What are the conditions to sell to-go alcoholic beverages not in manufacturer-sealed containers?

Nonmanufacturer-sealed to-go alcoholic beverages may be distilled spirits, mixed drinks, or single-serve wine that are prepared by the on-sale retailer on the licensed premises and are not sold to the consumer in the original manufacturer-sealed container. These types of drinks are considered “open container” alcoholic beverages and may only be sold with a bona fide meal. Further requirements for the sale of nonmanufacturer-sealed to-go alcoholic beverages are:

  1. Must be ordered and picked up in-person by the consumer directly from the licensee (i.e., they cannot be delivered to the consumer away from the licensed premises). The ordering consumer must present a valid ID to verify legal alcohol consumption age and that they are the consumer who placed the order.
  2. The alcoholic beverage is packaged in a container with a secure lid or cap that is sealed in a manner designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap by breaking the seal.
  3. Wine can only be sold in single-serve containers, meaning containers that hold between 187 milliliters and 355 milliliters (between 6.3 and 12 ounces).
  4. Mixed drinks and cocktails sold for off-sale consumption cannot contain more than 4.5 ounces of distilled spirits per drink. There is a limit of 2 to-go drinks not in a manufacturer-sealed container per individual meal.
  5. The alcoholic beverage container must be clearly and conspicuously labeled or otherwise identified as containing alcohol so that it is easily identified as containing an alcoholic beverage.
  6. There is a specific warning sign posted on the premises, online, or wherever necessary to ensure the consumer purchasing the alcoholic beverages is given notice of open container laws.
  7. The licensee has notified the Department of their intent to sell nonmanufacturer-sealed to-go containers of alcoholic beverages.

The alcohol sold may only be that which is allowed by the particular license type and specifically excludes beer from being sold in nonmanufacturer-sealed containers.

Nonmanufacturer-sealed alcoholic beverages must be sold in conjunction with a bona fide meal. What does this mean?

A bona fide meal must conform to the guidance issued by the Department on July 5, 2020, entitled “What is required to be considered a ‘meal’?”.

Do I need to notify the Department of my intent to sell alcohol in nonmanufacturer-sealed containers? What if I already sell nonmanufacturer-sealed containers with to-go orders as allowed by the Department’s regulatory relief?

Licensees must notify the Department of their intent to sell nonmanufacturer-sealed to-go alcoholic beverages. Effective January 1, 2022, licensees cannot sell nonmanufacturer-sealed to-go alcoholic beverages unless they have notified the Department of their intent to do so. The Department is currently building a webpage on the ABC website where eligible licensees may file their notice of intent to sell nonmanufacturer-sealed alcoholic beverages to-go. The webpage is anticipated to go live by the end of December. Once live, a link on the ABC homepage will be published. It is highly recommended that licensee’s monitor ABC’s website and subscribe to ABC’s email notification system to receive the latest information on the status of the online notification tool.

What are the requirements for the posted sign needed to sell nonmanufacturer-sealed alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption?

The warning sign must be conspicuously posted on the premises, online, or wherever necessary to ensure the consumer ordering and purchasing the alcoholic beverages is given notice of open container laws. While there are no size or color specifications for the sign, it must be conspicuous, which means it must be readily observable by customers. It must contain the verbiage as follows:

“Alcoholic beverages that are packaged by this establishment are open containers and shall not be transported in a motor vehicle except in the vehicle’s trunk or, if there is no trunk, the containers shall be kept in some other area of the vehicle that is not normally occupied by the driver or passengers. This does not include a utility compartment or glove compartment (See Vehicle Code Section 23225). Additionally, these beverages shall not be consumed in public or in any other area where open containers are prohibited by law.”

NOTE: This language is slightly different from the language previously required by the Department’s regulatory relief. Licensees should replace any previous notices with this statutory language.

This warning sign can be downloaded or printed from the Department’s website.

Can the Department place conditions on an on-sale license that prohibits or restricts the sale of alcohol allowed by this bill?

Yes. With good cause, the Department may at any time impose conditions on a license restricting or prohibiting the licensee from selling or furnishing alcoholic beverages pursuant to this bill. Good cause includes, but is not limited to, a written request, that states the reason for the restriction or prohibition, from a local law enforcement agency or local governing body or its designated subordinate officer or agency. Licensees would be able to petition the Department to remove or modify the condition within 10 days following imposition of the condition. If a petition is not submitted within 10 days, then the licensee would need to wait one year, pursuant to existing law, before the licensee may file a petition for the removal or modification of the condition. When petitioning the Department for the removal or modification of the condition, the licensee has the burden of establishing that the condition is unreasonable or that no good cause exists for its imposition. The condition shall remain in place until a final determination is made.

Are on-sale licensees required to sell alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption?

No. This bill does not make selling alcohol for consumption off-site a requirement for any on-sale licensee.

Contact

For additional information,
contact your local ABC District Office.

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Bakersfield

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4800 Stockdale Highway., Suite 213
Bakersfield CA, 93309

Phone:
(661) 395-2731
Fax:
(661) 322-5929
Email:
Bakersfield@abc.ca.gov

Concord

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1800 Sutter St., Ste 450
Concord CA , 94520

Phone:
(925) 655-6314
Fax:
(925) 655-6310
Email:
Concord@abc.ca.gov

Eureka

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1105 Sixth St., Suite C
Eureka CA, 95501

Phone:
(707) 445-7229
Fax:
(707) 445-6643
Email:
Eureka@abc.ca.gov

Fresno

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1330 B East Shaw Ave.
Fresno CA, 93710-7902

Phone:
(559) 225-6334
Fax:
(559) 225-8740
Email:
Fresno@abc.ca.gov

LA/Metro

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888 S Figueroa Street, Suite 320
Los Angeles CA, 90017

Phone:
(213) 833-6043
Fax:
(213) 833-6058
Email:
LAMetro@abc.ca.gov

LB/Lakewood

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3950 Paramount Blvd., Suite 250
Lakewood CA, 90712

Phone:
(562) 982-1337
Fax:
(562) 982-1396
Email:
LongBeach/Lakewood@abc.ca.gov

Monrovia

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222 E. Huntington Dr., Suite 114
Monrovia CA, 91016

Phone:
(626) 256-3241
Fax:
(626) 263-9858
Email:
Monrovia@abc.ca.gov

Palm Desert

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34-160 Gateway Dr., Suite 120
Palm Desert CA, 92211

Phone:
(760) 324-2027
Fax:
(760) 324-2632
Email:
PalmDesert@abc.ca.gov

Redding

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1900 Churn Creek Rd., Suite 215
Redding CA, 96002

Phone:
(530) 224-4830
Fax:
(530) 224-9338
Email:
Redding@abc.ca.gov

Riverside

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3737 Main Street, Suite 900
Riverside CA, 92501

Phone:
(951) 782-4400
Fax:
(951) 781-0531
Email:
Riverside@abc.ca.gov

Sacramento

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2400 Del Paso Road, Suite 155
Sacramento CA, 95834

Phone:
(916) 419-1319
Fax:
(916) 419-3994
Email:
Sacramento@abc.ca.gov

Salinas

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1137 Westridge Parkway
Salinas CA, 93907

Phone:
(831) 755-1990
Fax:
(831) 755-1997
Email:
Salinas@abc.ca.gov

San Diego

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1350 Front St., Room 5056
San Diego CA, 92101

Phone:
(619) 525-4064
Fax:
(619) 231-1171
Email:
SanDiego@abc.ca.gov

San Francisco

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33 New Montgomery St., Suite 1230
San Francisco CA, 94105

Phone:
(415) 356-6500
(415) 356-6501
(415) 356-6502
(415) 356-6503
Fax:
(415) 356-6599
Email:
SanFrancisco@abc.ca.gov

San Jose

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100 Paseo de San Antonio, Room 119
San Jose CA, 95113

Phone:
(408) 277-1200
Fax:
(408) 971-9421
Email:
SanJose@abc.ca.gov

San Luis Obispo

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3220 S. Higuera St., Suite 103A
San Luis Obispo CA, 93401

Phone:
(805) 543-7183
Fax:
(805) 543-3814
Email:
SanLuisObispo@abc.ca.gov

San Marcos

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570 Rancheros Drive, Suite 240
San Marcos CA, 92069

Phone:
(760) 471-4237
Fax:
(760) 471-6142
Email:
SanMarcos@abc.ca.gov

Santa Ana

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2 MacAurthur Place, Suite 200
Santa Ana CA, 92707

Phone:
(657) 205-3533
Fax:
(657) 205-3520
Email:
SantaAna@abc.ca.gov

Santa Rosa

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50 D Street, Room 130
Santa Rosa CA, 95404

Phone:
(707) 576-2165
Fax:
(707)527-9537
Email:
SantaRosa@abc.ca.gov

Stockton

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31 E. Channel St., Room 168
Stockton CA, 95202

Phone:
(209) 948-7739
Fax:
(209) 546-7853
Email:
Stockton@abc.ca.gov

Van Nuys

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6150 Van Nuys Blvd., Room 220
Van Nuys CA, 91401

Phone:
(818) 901-5017
Fax:
(818) 785-6731
Email:
VanNuys@abc.ca.gov

Ventura

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1000 South Hill Road, Suite 310
Ventura CA, 93003

Phone:
(805) 289-0100
Fax:
(805) 289-0110
Email:
Ventura@abc.ca.gov