Tobacco retailer license

The City of Santa Ana recently passed a Tobacco Retail Licensing Ordinance requiring all merchants in the city who sell tobacco, tobacco products, or tobacco paraphernalia to purchase a new license. Additionally, the ordinance prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products. The intent of this ordinance is to encourage responsible tobacco retailing and to discourage the violations of federal, state and local tobacco laws, especially those laws that forbid the sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors.  The Santa Ana Police Department is the lead agency and is responsible for the administration, oversight, and enforcement of this new ordinance. The license requirement is in addition to the existing State of California tobacco retailing license and regular general city business license.

Questions and answers

  • When did the ordinance go into effect?
    • The ordinance went into effect April 1, 2007.
  • How do I apply?
    • To apply, fill out the Tobacco Retail License Application and mail it to this address:
      • Santa Ana Police Department
        Tobacco Retail License
        P.O. Box 1981, M-97
        Santa Ana, CA  92702
    • Applications may also be requested via email PolicePermits@santa-ana.org.
  • What is the fee?
    • The annual $776.08 license fee covers the cost of program administration, oversight, inspection, and enforcement.
  • Does the Tobacco Retail License need to be posted?
  • Yes.  Each tobacco retailer license shall be prominently displayed in a publicly visible location.
  • Does the Tobacco Retail License expire?
  • Yes.  The term of a tobacco retailer license is one year beginning each year on April 1 and ending on March 31 of the following year.  Renewal of your license should be done in a timely manner to avoid penalties.
  • What are the penalties?
  • If payment is not received by April 31st, a 10% reinstatement fee will be added to the $776.08 fee.
  • What if I have additional questions?
  • If you would like additional information, please contact  PolicePermits@santa-ana.org.
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