Cigarette Tax Stamp Program

General Information

SB 1701 (Chapter 881, Statutes of 2002) which became law on September 26, 2002, is the Legislature's response to the problem of counterfeit cigarette tax stamps.

On January 1, 2005, the State Board of Equalization (BOE) was required to replace the heat-applied decal tax stamps that were being affixed to the bottom of every package of cigarettes with a technology‑based, counterfeit‑resistant stamp capable of being read by a scanning or similar device, and encrypted with specific information. Additionally, the stamps are produced on tamper-evident label stock and contain new secure features that can only be authenticated by authorized scanning devices. This stamp technology affords retailers, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, and BOE Investigators with the tools necessary to immediately determine the validity of a cigarette tax stamp.

To purchase cigarette tax stamps, you must be a licensed cigarette distributor. For information on how to become a licensed cigarette distributor, please refer to Publication 63, Cigarette Distributor Licensing and Tax Stamp Guide.

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How to Contact Us

By Email

By Phone
1-800-400-7115 toll-free
1-916-341-6923 Stamp Desk
1-916-327-6235 Stamp Desk Fax

By Mail
State Board of Equalization
Alternative Cigarette Tax Stamp Program, MIC:41
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-7077