Can You Use Your California EBT Card Out of State?

The answer is yes! You can use your California EBT card, also known as the Golden State Advantage card, in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

This is possible because the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which funds EBT cards, is a federally funded program.

Traveling with Your EBT Card

If you’re traveling and need to buy groceries, you can use your EBT card at authorized retailers just like you would in California.

Look for stores that display the EBT logo or Quest symbol. Here are a few tips for using your EBT card while traveling:

  • Locate Authorized Retailers: Before you leave, research which stores in your travel destination accept EBT.
  • Be Aware of Purchase Restrictions: Remember, you can only use your EBT card to purchase approved food items. Non-food items, alcohol, and tobacco are not eligible.
  • Keep Your Card Secure: Treat your EBT card like you would any other debit or credit card to avoid loss or theft.

Moving to a New State

While you can use your benefits out of state, it’s important to remember you can only receive SNAP benefits in one state at a time.

If you’re moving to a new state permanently, you’ll need to close your California case and apply for benefits in your new state. Here’s how to manage this transition:

  • Notify Your Caseworker: Inform your California caseworker about your move to help facilitate the transition.
  • Apply for Benefits in the New State: Contact the SNAP office in your new state to apply for benefits. There might be different eligibility requirements, so make sure you provide all necessary documentation.

Additional Things to Know About Using Your EBT Card Out of State

Benefits Don’t Change

The amount of money on your EBT card will be the same regardless of where you are in the country. Your monthly benefits are determined based on your California case and will not adjust if you are temporarily out of state.

Same Purchase Restrictions Apply

The purchase restrictions on your EBT card remain the same no matter where you use it. This means you can only use your EBT card to purchase approved food items.

Non-food items, prepared foods, and other restricted items cannot be bought with your EBT card.

Contact Your Caseworker

If you have any questions about using your EBT card out of state, you can contact your California caseworker.

They can provide guidance on how to manage your benefits while traveling or moving, ensuring you have the support you need.


Using your California EBT card in another state is straightforward and convenient, thanks to the federal backing of the SNAP program.

Whether you’re traveling or moving, understanding how to manage your benefits ensures you continue to receive the assistance you need.

Always check with your caseworker if you have any concerns or questions to make the process as smooth as possible.

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