Protest a License
The protest process lets communities challenge a business’s alcohol license or permit application if they believe there is a risk to public safety. Certain state and local government officials and, in some cases, members of the public can file a protest with us.
The Protest Process
How to Protest
- See if you meet the requirements listed on this page.
- Fill out the online or PDF form below and submit it to TABC.
Download PDF Form
- Download the PDF form below and make sure you’ve installed Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Fill out the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader and follow the form’s instructions.
After filling out the form, email it to one of the following regional protest mailboxes:
- El Paso Region: Protests_Reg1@tabc.texas.gov
- Arlington Region: Protests_Reg2@tabc.texas.gov
- Houston Region: Protests_Reg3@tabc.texas.gov
- Austin Region: Protests_Reg4@tabc.texas.gov
- San Antonio Region: Protests_Reg5@tabc.texas.gov
If you don’t know what TABC region you’re in, enter and submit your ZIP code in the “Your local TABC” search box at the top of this page. Your regional office should then appear. Or find your region on our Contact Us page.
You can also print this form and mail it to TABC Headquarters at the address below. Don’t mail or deliver your completed form to your local TABC office.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Attn: Licensing Protest Coordinator
P.O. Box 13127
Austin, TX 78711
Who Can File a Protest
Under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, only certain people can protest.
The following government officials can protest the issuing of any type of original or renewal license or permit:
- State senator
- State representative
- City council member
- County commissioner
- County judge
- Chief of police
- City marshal
- City attorney
- County sheriff
- County or district attorney
Members of the public can protest the issuing of certain original or renewal licenses and permits that allow the sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption if they live within 300 feet of the business. The public can protest the following license and permit types:
- Private Club Permit (N)
- Mixed Beverage Permit (MB)
- Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE)
- Wine and Beer Retailer's On-Premise Permit (BG)
The public can also protest the issuing of a permit if a sexually oriented business will be operated on the premises, as follows:
- Original application for permits (new location): Mixed Beverage (MB), Private Club Registration (N) or Wine and Beer Retailer’s (BG).
- Renewal application for permits (existing location): Mixed Beverage (MB), Private Club Registration (N) or Wine and Beer Retailer’s (BG) if a petition requesting a hearing is presented to TABC. The petition must be signed by 50% of the residents who live within 300 feet of the premises’ property line.
Members of the public can also protest a Mixed Beverage (MB) or Wine and Beer Retailer’s (BG) permit in a city with a population of 1.5 million or more people if both of the following requirements are met:
- Any point of the premises’ property line is less than 300 feet from the nearest point on a property line of a residence, church, school, hospital, day care facility or social service facility, as measured in a straight line.
- 75% or more of the permit holder’s actual or anticipated gross revenue is from the sale of alcoholic beverages.
When to File a Protest
- Original application: Must be received within 60 days before and up to 15 days after the date TABC updates its public database to show the application as “pending.” Check application status here,
- Renewal application: Must be received within 60 days of the license or permit expiration date. Any protest received after the expiration date will be rejected.
What You Can Protest
A protest must include at least one jurisdictional issue. This means the issue must be within TABC’s legal authority to address. If not, the protest may be rejected.
See the examples below:
- Jurisdictional issues include criminal activity taking place at the licensed location and illegal alcohol sales.
- Non-jurisdictional issues include noise, traffic patterns and parking issues.
If a protest is submitted by an unauthorized person or outside of the allowed time, TABC may decide to process the protest as a complaint if the allegations made are within TABC’s jurisdiction.
If an investigation finds wrongdoing by the business, the business could be subject to TABC administrative penalties like fines or a temporary suspension of their license or permit. Cases with serious violations or risks to public safety could cancel the business’s license or permit as allowed under state law.