You must have an Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer license to sell electronic cigarettes directly to consumers.

An electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is a battery-operated device that delivers vapor for inhaling by heating a liquid, gel, herb, or other substance, regardless of whether it contains nicotine. Any component part, such as a cartridge or refill, is considered to be an electronic cigarette.

If you plan to own a electronic cigarette shop, you will also need to register with the Health Department. To learn more, go to the Tobacco or Electronic Cigarette Shop Registration page.

Fee

The fee for the full two-year license term is $200.

Expiration Date

The license expires on November 30 of odd-numbered years.

Electronic Cigarette Sales Laws

For information and literature about the laws that apply to the sale of electronic cigarettes, go to the Tobacco Laws page.

Apply

You will have to complete an application and bring it to the Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Center or the NYC Small Business Support Center.

  • DCA Licensing Center
    42 Broadway
    New York, NY 10004
    Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
     
  • NYC Small Business Support Center
    90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor
    Jamaica, NY 11435
    Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

The centers are closed on major holidays. If you need to take an exam, you should arrive before 3 PM.

By law, the City set caps (limits) on the number of Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer Licenses that could be issued by community district. Community district caps for Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer Licenses took effect April 26, 2018.

There are currently no licenses available in any community district. For a list of the current community district caps, visit NYC OpenData and search for “electronic cigarette dealer.”

When the number of licenses falls below the cap in a community district, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) will announce an open filing period to submit applications.

Currently, you can submit a license application only if:

  1. A business with a Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer License is sold, someone acquires more than 10% of the shares of the corporation, or there is a change in partnership. You (the new business) may apply for a new license at the same location as long as there is a current, active license in good standing at the address and you apply for a new license within 30 days of the sale or change.
  2. Your business is located in certain airports or parks that are not subject to the community district caps.
  3. Licenses become available in your community district.

If you meet exception 1 or 2 to the cap, you must submit the Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer Cap Exception Certification and supporting documentation.

Regardless of the cap, DCA still accepts renewal applications from businesses who already have the license.

Exempt Locations

These airports and parks are not subject to the community district caps:

  • Bronx Park
  • Central Park
  • Flushing Meadows Park
  • Forest Park
  • Gateway National Recreation Area
  • JFK Airport
  • LaGuardia Airport
  • Pelham Bay Park
  • Prospect Park
  • Van Cortlandt Park

Pharmacies

You can't apply if your business is or contains a pharmacy. New York City law prohibits pharmacies and businesses that contain pharmacies from obtaining licenses to sell tobacco products and electronic cigarettes in the city.

Call 311 to request a paper copy.

About three months before your license expires, the Department of Consumer Affairs will mail you a renewal package.

You can complete and submit the application DCA sent you by mail or in person, or you can renew online. Once your license expires, you are considered unlicensed and you may get penalties if you continue to operate. If you don’t renew your license within 59 days of expiration, you will have to reapply for a new license.

Online

To renew online you need to have a DCA online account and a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN is required to link information about your DCA records to your online account.

Log in or register for a DCA account.

If you don’t have a PIN already, you can request it by phone.

In Person

You can drop off your completed application and any required documents at the Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Center or the NYC Small Business Support Center.

  • DCA Licensing Center
    42 Broadway
    New York, NY 10004
    Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
     
  • NYC Small Business Support Center
    90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor
    Jamaica, NY 11435
    Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

The centers are closed on major holidays. If you need to take an exam, you should arrive before 3 PM.

By Mail

Mail your application and required documents to:

DCA Licensing Center
42 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

By Phone

You can:

  • Get answers to questions about renewing
  • Report if you haven’t gotten a renewal package within 30 days of the license expiration date

Call 311 for assistance.

Online

You can check the status of your application through your DCA account.

Log in or register for a DCA account.

By Phone

Call 311 for status.

Online

On the DCA website you can:

  • Live chat with a DCA representative
  • Learn about laws you need to know and obey
  • Learn about other licenses you might need
  • Download valuable publications, tips, and FAQs
  • Request an inspection
  • Read checklists to learn what DCA inspectors look for in your industry and avoid violations
  • Learn how to handle consumer complaints
  • Pay fines by credit card
  • Resolve a DCA violation
  • Update important business information, including your contact information, your name or business name, or corporate officer information
  • Request the replacement of a lost, stolen, or damaged DCA license document
  • Download DCA's model contracts and model receipts, required signs, and other templates

Go to the DCA Business Toolbox.

With a DCA online account, you can:

  • Access your DCA records
  • Renew a license
  • Change address
  • Change name
  • Change officer information
  • Request license replacement
  • Follow the status of applications
  • Submit additional documents as part of your license application (if you submitted your application at the DCA Licensing Center)

Log in or register for a DCA account.

In Person

  • DCA Licensing Center
    42 Broadway
    New York, NY 10004
    Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
     
  • NYC Small Business Support Center
    90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor
    Jamaica, NY 11435
    Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

The centers are closed on major holidays. If you need to take an exam, you should arrive before 3 PM.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

If you’re using the online services portal to submit applications and other requests to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), you can get help with technical problems, including:

  • Log-in problems
  • Resetting user names or passwords
  • Problems uploading documents
  • Error messages
  • Web page not loading
  • Button not responding

Call 311 for assistance.

You can get answers to license-specific questions and information about application requirements.

Call 311 for assistance.