Webpage last updated 5/3/2024. 

How to Apply for a New Tobacco Retail License

New Application: Choose this category if ANY of the following statements is true since receiving your County of San Diego Tobacco Retail License (TRL):

  • Ownership has changed (for example, existing location sold to new owner) OR
  • Type of ownership has changed (for example, from individual owner to corporation) OR
  • Location of the existing store has changed (for example, the owner moves the store to a different location) OR
  • This is a new tobacco retail store.

To complete your New Application Packet, you must do all of the following:

  1. Complete and sign the Application Form, which requests store/DBA and ownership information. To complete this form electronically, use Adobe Reader© as described in the homepage. 
  2. Reviewinitial, and sign the Affirmation Formwhich helps retailers understand how to comply with all TRL program requirements. To complete this form electronically, use Adobe Reader © as described in the homepage.
  3. Pay the TRL fee of $730 (plus processing charges) using this link: payments.lexisnexis.com/ca/sandiego/trl. Video tutorial coming soon! 
  4. Submit a copy of the current state Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer’s License. A copy can be downloaded as a PDF here: cdtfa.ca.gov/.

Once the above items have been completed:

  1. Submit the complete application packet here: PHS-TRLApplications.HHSA@sdcounty.ca.gov. 
  2. Insert the store name or name of retailer in the subject line of the TRL Application email. For example: TRL Application Name of Retailer.
  3. Save a copy of all documents for your records.  

Retailers submitting a NEW Application should submit a complete application packet for a County of San Diego TRL within five (5) days of receiving a state Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer’s License.

Please note that licenses for new applications for stores located within 500 feet of another licensed tobacco retailer in the unincorporated area CANNOT be approved. 

WHEN TO EXPECT YOUR LICENSE: Issuing the TRL will take approximately four weeks after a complete application packet has been submitted.

Upon approval of the TRL application, the County TRL program staff will send the license to the business mailing address. Any changes to the information submitted on the application form must be emailed within five days of a change to PHS-TRLApplications.HHSA@sdcounty.ca.gov.