Tobacco Retail Licensing in the Unincorporated Area of San Diego County

About the County's Tobacco Retail Licensing Program

Tobacco retailers must apply for and receive an annual County of San Diego Tobacco Retail License (TRL) to sell tobacco products.

The County of San Diego will begin receiving and processing TRL applications on June 1, 2021.

Beginning in July 2022, retailers renewing their existing or applying for a new TRL must also submit a TRL application fee. The County of San Diego Board of Supervisors is expecting to pass a fee next year.  Regardless of when the TRL is issued between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, it must be renewed by July 1, 2022.  Afterwards, TRLs must be renewed and application fees paid by July 1 of each year.

Below, you will find more information about the Tobacco Retail Licensing program, including the TRL application.

How to apply for a County of San Diego TRL:

To apply for a TRL, retailers must submit a TRL application with the required attachments, which include:

  • A copy of the driver license(s) or governmental ID(s) for all business owners.
  • A copy of the State of California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Cigarette and Tobacco Products License for the business location applying for a TRL.

Retailers can submit their completed TRL application and required attachments in 2 ways:

By e-mail: Please use the subject line: "TRL Application Your Business Name".

Ex: "TRL Aplication Tobacco Retailer"

By mail:

Attention: TCRP Compliance Officer

Maternal, Child, & Family Health Services

3851 Rosecrans Street, P511H

San Diego, CA 92110-3115


Application processing will take a minimum of eight weeks. The County will not carry out compliance monitoring activities at a retailer whose application is being processed. 

If you have questions and would like to schedule a virtual appointment with the Tobacco Control Resource Program Compliance Officer, e-mail with the subject line "Technical Assistance Appointment."


To report a complaint about tobacco sales regulations in the unincorporated area of San Diego County, click below.

Submit a Complaint