The Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board (the “Appeals Board”) provides quasi-judicial administrative review of decisions of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (the “Department”). The questions that may be considered by the Appeals Board are limited by the California Constitution and by statute. (See the California Constitution, article XX, §22 and Business and Professions Code §§23084 and 23085.)

The Appeals Board determines appeals solely on the record of the Department and any briefs filed by the parties. No additional evidence may be received by the Appeals Board. However, the parties to appeals may present oral argument during the Appeals Board’s monthly hearings.

The Board issues written decisions with orders affirming, reversing, and/or remanding the Department decisions. Judicial review of the Board’s order may be obtained by filing a petition for writ of review with the California Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal. (See Business and Professions Code §§23090 – 23090.7.)

Checklist for Filing Appeals

This checklist (in addition to the FAQ section) is provided to help appellants navigate through the various steps that may be involved in filing an appeal with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board. The rules for filing an appeal may be found in the BPC Sections 23080-23083. IMPORTANT NOTE: This checklist does not cover all potential situations. To ensure full compliance, refer directly to the Board laws and regulations. If necessary, seek professional or legal assistance.

If you have any questions about this procedure, please call the Appeals Board office at (916) 445-4005.

Appeal Process:

  1. Has the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued a final decision against you? See BPC Section 23080.
  2. If so and you would like to appeal the Department’s decision, serve a Notice of Appeal, along with proof of service, within 40 days from the date of the Department’s decision (usually the date mailed to the recipient). However, if the Department’s decision states it is to be “effective immediately” or is a Decision Following Default, you must file an appeal within 10 days after the date of the Department’s decision (see Business and Professions Code sections 23080-23089). Documents not filed with these time limits are untimely and cannot be accepted by the Appeals Board. An appeal to the board shall be deemed filed on the date it is received by the board electronically or by mail to the principal office; provided, however, an appeal mailed to the board by means of registered mail shall be deemed filed with the board on the date of the registry with the United States Post Office.
  3. You must notify the Appeals Board that you are appealing from a decision of the Department by filing a document with the Appeals Board in the form of a legal pleading or letter or the optional Notice of Appeal form. The appeal document must: be in writing (preferably typewritten or word processed); state that an appeal is being filed; include the name of the appellant, the registration and file numbers, and the date of the decision; and state at least one ground for the appeal (a statement of why you believe the Department’s decision is wrong) and the specific questions to be considered by the Board on review. (See Rule 184.)
  4. Please include the following information in the caption of all documents filed with the Appeals Board: your address, your State Bar number (if applicable), telephone number, and e-mail address. Once you are assigned a case number (AB-XXXX) please put this number on all documents filed with the Board. 
  5. Serve signed appeal to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board, either electronically to ( or by mail to 400 R St, Suite 320, Sacramento, CA 95811, along with a proof of service showing the names and addresses of all the parties to whom you sent a copy, and the date it was sent.
  6. Serve a copy of your appeal to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95834 (plus a copy of the proof of service).
  7. Serve your appeal to any other parties involved in the matter (plus a copy of the proof of service).
  8. To opt into electronic service of documents regarding this matter, please serve and sign a notice on all parties and the Board naming your designated email address or return the optional certification of email address form (4 CCR section 181.2).
  9. There is no charge for filing an appeal, but you will receive a bill from the Department for administrative hearing transcripts and exhibit costs. You will have 15 days to pay the cost of the record to the Department. If payment is not received by the due date, the appeal will be dismissed. If you wish to receive your own copy of the record, you must specifically request them, and additional costs will apply. See Rules 187 and Rule 190.
  10. File an opening brief by the date specified in the briefing letter with the Appeals Board and other parties. The Department then files a reply brief by the date specified in the briefing letter with the Appeals Board and other parties. You may file a closing brief by the date specified in the briefing letter with the Appeals Board and other parties. Include a proof of service with each filed brief. (See Rules 193 and 194.)

Oral Argument:

11. Notify the Board via email ( if you plan to appear for oral argument 21 days before the scheduled Board meeting. (See Rule 196.)

12. Prepare for and attend the hearing. See Rule 197.


Miscellaneous Items:


If relevant evidence has been newly discovered, any party may submit a request to remand the case back to the licensing authority according to Rule 198.


All types of requests to deviate from the normal appeal framework (e.g., deadline extension, hearing location/time change) must be submitted to the Board in writing, with notice given to all parties. Formal motions must comply with Rule 195.