You must have a Tobacco Retail Dealer License to sell tobacco products directly to consumers.

Tobacco products include:

  • Cigarettes
  • Cigars
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Pipe tobacco
  • Roll-your-own tobacco
  • Snus
  • Bidi
  • Snuff
  • Shisha
  • Dissolvable tobacco

If you plan to own a tobacco 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

Even-numbered licenses expire December 31 in even-numbered years. Odd-numbered licenses expire December 31 in odd-numbered years.

Tobacco Sales Laws

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

The Tobacco Retail Dealer License Lottery application period ended November 30, 2023.

DCWP assigned each accepted lottery application a randomized computer-generated priority number. DCWP will issue offers to apply for the license in the order of the assigned priority numbers.

DCWP will mail and email, if provided, a letter stating either:

  • You are receiving an offer to apply for a Tobacco Retail Dealer license and confirming next steps.
  • You were not randomly selected to apply for a Tobacco Retail Dealer license.

If you receive an offer to apply for a Tobacco Retail Dealer license, you must comply with all licensing requirements within 65 days of the date you received DCWP’s offer or the offer will become void.

By law, the City set caps (limits) on the number of Tobacco Retail Dealer Licenses that could be issued by community district. Community district caps for Tobacco Retail Dealer Licenses took effect February 24, 2018.

View a list of the current community district caps on NYC Open Data.

When the number of licenses falls below the cap in a community district, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) will announce an open filing period to submit applications through the Tobacco Retail Dealer License Lottery.

You can submit a license application only if:

  • You applied for the lottery and received an offer to apply for a Tobacco Retail Dealer license.
  • A business with a Tobacco 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.
  • Your business is located in certain airports or parks that are not subject to the community district caps.

If you meet one of the exceptions to the cap, you must submit the Tobacco Retail Dealer Cap Exception Certification and supporting documentation with your license application.

Regardless of the cap, DCWP 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 in the city.

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) to request a copy.

Online

To apply online, you need a Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) account.

Log in or register for a DCWP account.

In Person

To apply in person, you have to bring your completed application to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Licensing Center or the NYC Small Business Support Center. Appointments are required.

  • DCWP Licensing Center
    42 Broadway
    New York, NY 10004
    Mon - Thu: 8 AM - 4 PM; last appointment at 3:30 PM
     
  • NYC Small Business Support Center
    90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor
    Jamaica, NY 11435
    Mon - Thu: 8 AM - 4 PM; last appointment at 3:30 PM

Email or call DCWP to schedule an appointment.

By Email

Email LicensingAppointments@dcwp.nyc.gov.

By Phone

  • Agency: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • Division: Licensing Appointment Line
  • Phone Number: (212) 436-0441
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 4 PM

About three months before your license expires, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) will mail you a renewal package.

You can complete and submit the application DCWP 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 DCWP online account and a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN is required to link information about your DCWP records to your online account.

Log in or register for a DCWP account.

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

By Mail

Mail your application and required documents to:

DCWP Licensing Center
42 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

In Person

To renew in person, you have to bring your completed application to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Licensing Center or the NYC Small Business Support Center. Appointments are required.

  • DCWP Licensing Center
    42 Broadway
    New York, NY 10004
    Mon - Thu: 8 AM - 4 PM; last appointment at 3:30 PM
     
  • NYC Small Business Support Center
    90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor
    Jamaica, NY 11435
    Mon - Thu: 8 AM - 4 PM; last appointment at 3:30 PM

Email or call DCWP to schedule an appointment.

By Email

Email LicensingAppointments@dcwp.nyc.gov.

By Phone

  • Agency: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • Division: Licensing Appointment Line
  • Phone Number: (212) 436-0441
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 4 PM

Online

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

Log in or register for a DCWP account.

By Email

Email onlineappsdocs@dcwp.nyc.gov for assistance.

By Phone

  • Agency: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • Division: Tobacco Retail Dealer and Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer Special Application
  • Phone Number: (212) 436-0406
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 4 PM

Online

On the DCWP website, you can:

  • Live chat with a DCWP 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 DCWP inspectors look for in your industry and avoid violations
  • Learn how to handle consumer complaints
  • Pay fines by credit card
  • Resolve a DCWP 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 DCWP license document
  • Download DCWP's model contracts and model receipts, required signs, and other templates

Go to the DCWP Business Toolbox.

With a DCWP online account, you can:

  • Access your DCWP 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 DCWP Licensing Center)

Log in or register for a DCWP account.

By Phone

  • Agency: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • Division: Tobacco Retail Dealer and Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer Special Application
  • Phone Number: (212) 436-0406
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 4 PM

In Person

In-person assistance at the DCWP Licensing Center and NYC Small Business Support Center is by appointment only.

  • DCWP Licensing Center
    42 Broadway
    New York, NY 10004
    Mon - Thu: 8 AM - 4 PM; last appointment at 3:30 PM
     
  • NYC Small Business Support Center
    90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor
    Jamaica, NY 11435
    Mon - Thu: 8 AM - 4 PM; last appointment at 3:30 PM

Email or call DCWP to schedule an appointment.

By Email

Email LicensingAppointments@dcwp.nyc.gov.

By Phone

  • Agency: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • Division: Licensing Appointment Line
  • Phone Number: (212) 436-0441
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 4 PM

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

  • Log-in problems
  • Resetting user names or passwords
  • Document upload issues
  • Error messages
  • Web page not loading
  • Button not responding

Email ELP@dcwp.nyc.gov for help.

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

By Email

Email onlineappsdocs@dcwp.nyc.gov for assistance.

By Phone

  • Agency: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • Division: Tobacco Retail Dealer and Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer Special Application
  • Phone Number: (212) 436-0406
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 4 PM

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