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Frequently Asked Questions & Information

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  • Do I need to fill out the entire renewal application form?

    ​Yes.  Any question that does not apply must be answered "N/A." KRS 243.430(1). If there is a Hold-Delay, the renewal application and payment are due thirty (30) days before the existing license expires because it may take that long to clear. 

  • Is there an extension or grace period to submit my renewal application?

    ​Yes. Licenses expire when the annual renewal term ends. At that time, licensees have an additional thirty (30) day grace period to renew the license and maintain an interest in that license. 804 KAR 4:390. If the license holder fails to renew during the thirty (30) day grace period, the grace period shall not be extended and the licensee must apply for a new license(s).

    During the grace period, the licensee may not sell alcoholic beverages since the license has expired. 804 KAR 4:390.

    The Department's Enforcement Division receives notice if a license has not been renewed within two weeks of expiration. An investigator from the Enforcement Division may inspect the licensed premises to determine whether the business is active or closed and to remind the business to renew its license(s) if still active.


  • Is there a late fee if I do not renew on time?

    ​No. There is no late fee for a late renewal application; however, a license holder is not permitted to sell alcoholic beverages after a license expires. The Department must receive a completed renewal form and full payment no later than thirty (30) days after the license expires. A license holder who does not renew or attempt to renew by thirty (30) days after expiration will not be permitted to renew later and must apply for a new license(s). 804 KAR 4:390.  

  • When will my renewal application form be mailed to me?

    ​Renewal applications are mailed or emailed approximately six (6) weeks before expiration.

  • When will I receive my renewed license in the mail?

    ​The license will be mailed or emailed within three (3) days of processing.

  • How do I renew my license?

    ​A. Online - If licensee receives its renewal notice with a user name and password, it may renew using the Online License Renewal Portal-KYBOS found at   https://abc.ky.gov/Licensing/Pages/default.aspx. Licensees can also register for online renewal at the same email link.  

    B. Fax - Send a signed and completed Renewal Application Form, and any additional required forms or documentation, along with Credit/Debit Payment Form to 502-564-1442. 

    C. Mail - Send your signed and completed Renewal Application Form, and any additional required forms or documentation, along with Credit/Debit Payment Form or personal check, business check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer to: Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 1003 Twilight Trail,  Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601.    

    D. Walk-in - Bring your signed and completed Renewal Application Form, and any additional required forms or documentation, along with Credit/Debit Payment Form or personal check, business check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer to the Department's office located at 1003 Twilight Trail,  Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601.


  • Which forms of payment are accepted for the basic license application and renewal license application?

    ​License applicants and holders may pay application fees with a credit card, personal check, cashier's check, business check, or money order made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. To pay by credit card, fill out and return a Credit/Debit Payment Form with a completed Basic License Application.

  • Should I send in my payment and Renewal Application Form even though I have a Hold-Delay indicated in Section 2 of my Basic License Application?

    ​Yes. The Department must receive the completed renewal form and full payment no later than thirty (30) days after a license expires. A license holder who does not renew or attempt to renew by thirty (30) days after expiration will not be permitted to renew later and must instead apply for a new license. 804 KAR 4:390.

  • Who has to sign the basic license application or license renewal application?

    ​The basic license application must be signed by an owner or officer who is listed on the application.  A renewal application may be signed by any employee or agent who has authority from the license holder to renew the license.

  • May I change the mailing address associated with my license?

    ​Yes. Clearly mark the change of mailing address on the license renewal application.

  • May I pay my city or county renewal application fees to the state ABC office?

    ​No. The Department does not collect renewal or licensing fees on behalf of local cities or counties. 

  • I bought a business that sells alcoholic beverages. Can I use the seller’s license to purchase alcoholic beverages while waiting to get my own license?

    ​No. The buyer of a business is prohibited from using the seller's license. KRS 243.020(1). Also, the seller of a business is prohibited from allowing a buyer to use its license. KRS 243.020(2).

    The buyer must file an application to transfer the business/license(s) or obtain licenses in its own name. KRS 243.630(5). A buyer can obtain a transitional license to operate while the transfer application is being processed.  KRS 243.045.


  • As the holder of a special temporary drink license, from whom must I buy alcoholic beverages?

    ​A temporary drink licensee must buy alcoholic beverages only from a Kentucky licensed wholesaler or distributor. KRS 243.260(1), KRS 243.088(2), KRS 243.250.

  • Does the transporter’s license allow the transportation of all alcoholic beverage types (distilled spirits, wine, and malt beverages)?

    ​Yes. The transporter's license permits the holder to pick-up and deliver any type of alcoholic beverage in Kentucky or to drive through Kentucky with a load of alcoholic beverages. KRS 243.200(1).

  • May a transporter allow other common carriers to use his/her Kentucky license for loads they have been hired to haul?

    ​No. Each common carrier or company must apply for and obtain its own license. KRS 243.020(1). A broker cannot share a license with any other common carrier.  

  • How do I place my active quota license in dormancy?

    ​A quota license holder who satisfies the 804 KAR 4:110 conditions for dormancy may apply using the Dormancy Request Form.  The initial period of dormancy may not exceed twelve (12) months.  The Department determines whether to grant the request for dormancy and may extend the time period once for up to an additional twelve (12) months.  Be mindful that any person approved for dormancy will still be required to pay annual licensing fees.

  • My business is closing and I need to dispose of inventory. What do I do with the liquor inventory?

    ​There is a specific statute, KRS 243.540, that provides several different options to the license holder.

    If the license holder has not yet closed its business, it may sell its alcoholic beverage inventory to the public as long as it does not sell the inventory for below cost.  

    If the license holder has multiple business locations and intends to close one, it may request Department approval to transfer the inventory from the closing location to one that will stay in operation. KRS 243.540(3)(c)

    If the business is closed, it may request Department approval to sell the inventory to another license holder who wishes to purchase the inventory.

    A request to transfer or sell inventory may be mailed to the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 1003 Twilight Trail, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, or emailed to abc.licensing2@ky.gov.  


  • How do I surrender my license?

    ​Generally, a license holder may surrender a license(s) by signing and mailing a letter to the Department's Licensing Division that states that the license holder is surrendering its license(s). The license holder should return the Department's issued license(s) in the letter. If the Department has initiated an administrative penalty case against the license holder, the license holder should contact the Department's Legal Division about surrendering the license in resolution of the case. 

  • Can caterers sell alcoholic beverages by the package?

    ​No. Caterers can only sell alcoholic beverages by the drink, not by the package.  KRS 243.033. As such, caterers cannot allow attendees to leave a catered event with bottles/packages of distilled spirits, wine, or malt beverages to take home.

  • Are alcohol sales allowed on Election Days?

    ​State law permits alcohol sales on any election day. A county or city has authority to enact a local ordinance that prohibits alcohol sales while election polls are open. KRS 244.290, KRS 244.480. It is the responsibility of the license holder to know, and comply with, any Election Day ordinance restrictions. A list of local ABC Administrators and some ordinance information can be found at: https://abc.ky.gov/Local-Information/Pages/default.aspx.

  • Does daylight saving time effect selling times?

    ​Normally no. The state default end time for alcohol sales is midnight. KRS 244.290, KRS 244.480 Daylight savings time ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November. As such, at 2:00 a.m., clocks are set back to 1:00 a.m. Since this occurs after midnight, it has no effect on the state default sales end time. If a local ordinance permits a license holder to sell alcoholic beverages until, or after, 2:00 a.m., the license holder will gain an additional hour of sales.

  • Is it illegal to add green food coloring to beer on St. Patrick’s Day?

    ​No. KRS 244.550 prohibits adulteration of malt beverages "which changes the character or purity" of the product. The Department opines that adding green food coloring to beer does NOT materially change the character or purity of the beer. KRS 244.550 exists to ensure that consumers receive the quality product for which they bargained. When consumers order "green beer," they know that they are receiving the same character and purity of beer with food coloring simply added. Although green beer is not a prohibited adulteration, a distributor does not have to provide green beer to its retailers, even if requested.

  • How old must a person (server, waiter, waitress, bartender, etc.) be in order to serve or accept payment for alcoholic beverages?

    ​A person must be at least twenty (20) years old to sell, serve or accept payment for distilled spirits, wine, or malt beverages. KRS 244.090.

  • How old must a person be to buy alcohol?

    ​A person must be at least twenty-one (21) years old to buy, consume, or possess an alcoholic beverage. KRS 244.085.

  • Can consumers/customers bring their own alcoholic beverages onto a licensed premises (i.e. “corkage”, “BYOB”)?

    ​No. It is illegal for a license holder to permit consumers to bring and consume their own alcoholic beverages onto the licensed premises. KRS 243.020(4).   

  • Can I give alcoholic beverages to consumers for free?

    Businesses without an ABC license:

    No. It is a crime for a business without a license to give alcoholic beverages to a person. KRS 243.020(1), KRS 243.990. It is a crime for a person to drink alcoholic beverages in an unlicensed public place. KRS 222.202(2), KRS 222.990. It is a crime for an unlicensed public business to allow persons to sell, give away or drink alcoholic beverages inside the business. KRS 243.020(3), KRS 243.990.

    Businesses with an ABC license:

    Generally no. A licensee cannot give away alcoholic beverages for free. KRS 244.050.

    A retailer holding a sampling license is permitted to give one (1) ounce of distilled spirits samples per day and six (6) ounces of wine samples per day to a consumer.  Free malt beverage samples are prohibited. KRS 243.0307(2).

    A distillery holding a sampling license is permitted to give one and three-fourths (1¾) ounces of distilled spirits samples per day to a visitor. KRS 243.0305(7).   

    A brewery in a wet territory is permitted to give sixteen (16) ounces of malt beverage samples per day to a visitor. KRS 243.150(5).

    A microbrewery is permitted to give sixteen (16) ounces of malt beverage samples per day to a visitor. KRS 243.157(1).

    A small farm winery in a wet/moist territory is permitted to give six (6) ounces of wine samples per day to a visitor. KRS 243.155(2).


  • Can a retail licensee hold a silent auction on their property?

    ​Yes. All retail licenses allow the holder to sell alcoholic beverages to consumers. An auction is a form of a contract to sell (offer to sell to highest bidder, acceptance of offer by seller, and exchange of consideration).  It is not gambling and therefore not prohibited.  The lowest bid accepted cannot be lower than the wholesale cost of the alcoholic beverages. KRS 244.050.

  • Is a charity or nonprofit organization able to raffle a bottle of distilled spirits?

    ​No, unless the charity or nonprofit organization obtains a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license. If a charity or nonprofit organization obtains a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license, it may auction or raffle alcoholic beverages as a fundraiser. KRS 243.036.

  • May alcoholic beverages be donated to a charitable group?

    ​No, unless the charity or nonprofit organization obtains a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license.  Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and any other persons are only permitted to donate alcoholic beverages to a charity or nonprofit organization that holds a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license. KRS 243.036.

  • If territory from a dry county is annexed by a wet city, does the annexed territory become wet like the city?

    ​Yes. Any territory annexed by a city takes on the same status as the city. If a city is wet and annexes territory from a dry county, the annexed territory becomes wet. KRS 242.190(2).

  • Am I required to post my alcoholic beverage license?

    ​Yes. Before doing any business, all license holders must post the licenses issued by the Department in the principal room where business is conducted so that all persons visiting the licensed premise may readily see them. KRS 243.620.

  • Am I required to print or display my license name and number in the front window or door of my premises?

    No. Licensees are no longer required to print or display their licensee name and number on the front window or door of their premises. The only exception is for wholesalers who must still display their licensee name and license number on the front window of the licensed premises (or the front of the building if there is no window) in uniform letters not less than three (3) inches in height. KRS 244.270.

  • Must I be licensed to make beer, wine, or distilled spirits for personal use?

    ​Not for beer and wine.  Both Kentucky and federal law allow an adult person to produce beer and wine for personal consumption.  The aggregate amount of beer and wine that can be produced in any household with two (2) or more adults must not exceed two hundred (200) gallons per calendar year, or one hundred (100) gallons per calendar year, if there is only one (1) adult in the household. 804 KAR 14:010; see also 26 U.S.C. § 5053(e) (malt beverage) and 27 C.F.R. § 24.75 (wine).

    Both Kentucky and federal law prohibit the production of distilled spirits for personal use without a license. KRS 243.020(1);  26 U.S.C. § 5601-5602.

  • Can I own a "still" for decorative purposes?

    ​Yes. Stills are regularly used by various industries to distill water, petroleum, and other non-alcoholic beverage liquids for commercial purposes. For that reason, possession of a still is not illegal per se.  A still only becomes an illegal apparatus when it is used to distill alcoholic beverages without appropriate licensure.  KRS 244.170.

    Still displays and demonstrations using water for educational purposes are permitted since there is no criminal intent to make distilled spirits illegally.

  • How many golf holes must a course have to apply for a limited golf course license?

    Nine or eighteen. A limited golf course license may be issued to a golf course in wet or golf course moist territory (KRS 242.123) that meets the United States Golf Association criteria as a regulation nine (9) or eighteen (18) hole golf course.  KRS 243.039.

    To verify that a course meets with the United States Golf Association criteria please see its website at www.usga.org.

  • Must a restaurant offer food for sale during all the times that it offers alcoholic beverages for sale?

    It depends. Restaurants generally hold three (3) types of licenses: (1) Non-quota Type 2 (NQ2) retail drink licenses; (2) Limited Restaurant (LR) licenses; and (3) Quota Retail Drink (QD) licenses.

    There is no requirement for restaurants holding NQ2 or QD licenses to sell food at all times. KRS 243.084(1)(b). A restaurant holding a NQ2 license is simply required to demonstrate that their prepared food receipts are at least 50% of their total net or gross and alcoholic beverage receipts. KRS 241.010(5).  If a restaurant holding a QD license permits minors on the premises, it is also required to demonstrate that its prepared food receipts are at least 50% of their total net or gross and alcoholic beverage receipts. KRS 244.085(5); KRS 241.010(5).

    However, restaurants holding LR licenses with seating for only fifty (50) persons may not sell alcoholic beverages unless food is being served. KRS 243.034(4). LR restaurants are also required to demonstrate that their prepared food receipts are at least 70% of their total food and alcoholic beverage receipts. KRS 241.010(35), KRS 242.1244.  Although confusing, restaurants holding LR licenses with seating for one hundred (100) persons are not required to sell food at all times.

  • Is it lawful to open a distillery, winery, or brewery in a dry county?

    ​Yes.  A distillery, winery, or brewery may be located in a dry territory for production purposes.  Produced alcoholic beverages must be transported to other parts of the state, or out-of-state, where alcoholic beverages can be lawfully sold.  KRS 242.250(3).

    A distillery, winery, or brewery located in a dry territory cannot sell alcoholic beverage drinks or packages to consumers visiting the premises.  KRS 242.230(1).

    A precinct in a dry territory can have a moist local option election to permit alcoholic beverage drinks or packages to consumers visiting:  (1) a small farm winery in the precinct (KRS 242.124); or (2) a distillery in the precinct.  KRS 242.1243.

  • Can a distillery in a dry territory obtain a sampling license, or sell souvenir packages or drinks?

    No.  A distillery in dry territory is not be permitted to have souvenir package sales under KRS 243.0305, or obtain a sampling license under KRS 243.0307.    

    However, a precinct in a dry territory can have a moist local option election to permit distilleries in the precinct to sell alcoholic beverage samples, drinks or souvenir packages to consumers visiting the distillery. KRS 242.1243.

  • Can a small farm winery, microbrewery, or distillery sell alcoholic beverages at fairs, festivals, or similar events held at an existing licensed premises?

    Yes. Licensed small farm wineries, microbreweries, and distilleries have mobile privileges with their license types that allow them to sell their products by the drink or by the package at "fairs, festivals, or other similar events." KRS 243.155, KRS 243.157, KRS 243.0305.  No additional license is required.

    Because of the similarity of language used with the special temporary drink license statute (KRS 243.260), the Department interprets "other similar events" to mean any civic or charitable event which qualifies for a special temporary drink license under 804 KAR 4:250.  This does not mean that someone must apply for a special temporary drink license; only that the event would qualify for one if an application was made.

    As such, a licensed small farm winery, microbrewery and distillery are permitted to participate at "fairs, festivals and similar types of events" even if held at a retail licensed premises.  KRS 243.0305(9) (distillery), KRS 243.157(1)(e) (microbrewery), and KRS 243.155(2)(e) (small farm winery).

  • My tenant held an alcoholic beverage license but vacated my building. What can I do with alcoholic beverage inventory abandoned by the tenant?

    ​A landlord may make a written request to the Department to sell or destroy abandoned alcoholic beverage inventory in its possession, custody, or control.  The written request must be made at least twenty (20) days prior to any sale or destruction and provide:

    (1) the licensee purchasing the inventory or the business to destroy it; (2) proposed date of the sale or destruction; and (3) quantity, types, brands of alcohol to be sold or destroyed. KRS 243.540(5).

    If approved by the Department, the landlord must notify the Department that the inventory was sold or destroyed within five (5) days of the sale or destruction.

    The Department has no authority to resolve contract disputes between a landlord and tenant. For this reason, the Department will not approve requests if the landlord evicts, claims a lien on inventory, or refuses to allow licensee to get inventory because of a lease or other dispute.

  • Can I sell or serve complimentary alcoholic beverages (malt beverages, wine, or distilled spirits) at my salon/spa?

    ​Yes. If the spa or salon business obtains an appropriate retail drink license, it may sell alcoholic beverages to customers. KRS 243.020(1).  Licensed spas and salons cannot give away free samples of alcoholic beverage or sell below wholesale cost unless they hold a supplemental sampling license. KRS 244.050(1).

    804 KAR 5:070 also allows minors to enter and remain in salons and spas holding alcoholic beverage licenses.

    If a salon or spa business does not hold the appropriate type of retail drink license, it is illegal to serve or permit customers to drink alcoholic beverages at the business. KRS 243.020(3); KRS 243.990(3).  It is also illegal for the customer to drink alcoholic beverages at an unlicensed public business.  KRS 222.202(2); KRS 222.990(4).

  • Can I serve alcoholic beverages to customers who are sitting at tables located on the sidewalk in front of my establishment?

    It depends. Sidewalks are usually owned by the city, not the licensee, so they are not automatically included as part of the licensed premises where alcoholic beverages can be sold and consumed. KRS 243.220. Some cities enact "café ordinances" whereby they grant a permit to a licensee, which allows the licensee to use an adjacent sidewalk as part of its licensed premises. (i.e.  Fayette-Lexington ordinance § 17-29.1.1. – Permit; required (f)).  

    After a licensee is granted the local permit to use an adjacent sidewalk, it must file a copy of the permit with the Department so that the sidewalk can be recognized as part of the licensee's premises.

    To determine if a city or county provides a café ordinance please contact the local ABC administrator. Some city and county alcohol ordinances may be viewed by visiting the Department's website at https://abc.ky.gov/Local-Information/Pages/default.aspx.

  • What are the rules for checking state-issued identification cards (IDs) to verify age?

    ​Kentucky does not have a law that requires a consumer to present an identification card in order to purchase alcoholic beverages. Kentucky law only requires that a person be twenty-one (21) years of age or older to purchase alcoholic beverages. KRS 244.080(1); KRS 244.085

    Even though Kentucky law does not require it, many businesses have adopted a strict store policy requiring employees to card everyone and refuse sales to customers without ID's ("card"). These strict policies exist because the only defense to a sale to minor violation is if a minor induces the retailer to make an alcoholic beverage sale through a fraudulent ID.  See KRS 244.080(1). The Department encourages this responsible business practice.  

  • May alcoholic beverages be sold to a person who is twenty-one (21) of age or older but whose driver's license is vertical because it was issued before the person turned twenty-one (21)?

    Yes.  Kentucky does not require an identification card in order to purchase alcoholic beverages. Kentucky law only requires that a person be twenty-one (21) years of age or older to purchase alcoholic beverages. KRS 244.080(1); KRS 244.085

    Even though the law does not require it, many businesses have adopted a strict store policy requiring employees to card everyone and refuse sales to customers without valid ID's ("card"). The Department encourages this responsible business practice.

    A vertical license is a valid state issued I.D. 

  • What is a sham small farm winery?

    A sham small farm winery ("SFW") is a licensee that is not using its license for the intended purpose of producing wine but instead generally operates as a bar. In some counties, voters have only approved alcohol sales at SFW's through a moist SFW local option election. A sham SFW attempts to circumvent the voter's choice and operates a bar rather than a SFW.

    KRS 241.010 (58) defines a "small farm winery" to mean "a winery whose wine production is not less than two hundred fifty (250) gallons and not greater than one hundred thousand (100,000) gallons in a calendar year. (emphasis added). See also KRS 243.155 (2)(a)

    The statutes make clear that a SFW licensee must produce at least two hundred fifty (250) gallons of wine per year.

    KRS 243.155 (2)(c) allows a SFW to enter into a "custom crush" agreement with another SFW to produce wine, but only "for a production year." The statute makes clear that a custom crush agreement is a temporary measure limited to one (1) year and is intended for a start-up SFW business or a SFW business that incurs a fire or other casualty loss.  It does not permit a SFW to circumvent its production requirements indefinitely.

  • As a retailer may I buy or sell brands of alcoholic beverages that have not been registered in Kentucky to be sold by a distributor or wholesaler?
  • Can a producer and/or wholesaler retrieve recalled malt beverages from retailers’ shelves pursuant to a health and safety exception?

    ​Yes. The producer is also permitted to provide cash or credit refund, or replacement for the recalled product. 27 CFR § 11.32. The producer is not required to notify the Department, however they should maintain adequate records reflecting the recall.

  • May I resell wine/distilled spirits/malt beverages online (Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.) or through smartphone apps (Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Mercari, etc.), or face-to-face to another person?

    No. It is a crime to sell alcoholic beverages to consumers in Kentucky without a license. KRS 243.020(1); KRS 243.990(2)

    In an effort to avoid potential criminal culpability or civil liability, most online auction companies or sale listing services specifically prohibit a person from selling alcoholic beverages under their user terms of agreement.

    As a limited exception, an unlicensed person is able to sell an unopened bottle of vintage distilled spirits to licensed distilled spirits retailers under the requirements set forth in regulation.  804 KAR 5:080See also KRS 241.020(60); KRS 243.232.

    As an alternative, an unlicensed person is allowed to donate unopened bottles of distilled spirits or wine to a charity or non-profit organization which holds a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license. KRS 243.036(2)(c).

  • When transporting alcoholic beverages, can I legally travel through dry counties?

    Yes.  KRS 242.290 specifically allows licensees to transport alcoholic beverages from wet territory through dry or moist territory to another in-state wet territory or out-of-state where alcoholic beverages may lawfully be sold. The license type held by a licensee determines the situations when a licensee may lawfully transport alcoholic beverages.

  • I have an empty barrel/bottle that once contained an alcoholic beverage - can I sell it?

    ​Yes. The Department regulates alcoholic beverages and not barrels. A used empty barrel or bottle does not meet the definition of an alcoholic beverage. KRS 241.010(2).

  • Is powdered alcohol (Palcohol), aka crystal alcohol, legal?

    ​No. Powdered or crystalline alcoholic beverage products are prohibited in Kentucky. KRS 244.652.

  • Can I sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday?

    ​It depends. As the state default rule, the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on Sunday. KRS 244.290(3) (distilled spirits and wine sales); KRS 244.480(2) (malt beverage sales).

    However, local governments have the authority to permit Sunday alcohol sales by ordinance. KRS 244.290(4); KRS 244.480(4).  Sunday sales are permitted for those business types, and at the times, permitted by any local ordinance.  If permitted by local ordinance, a licensee must obtain a Sunday retail drink license in order to sell drinks of distilled spirits and wine on Sunday. KRS 243.050(2).  Some city or county ordinances may be reviewed by visiting the Department's website at https://abc.ky.gov/Local-Information/Pages/default.aspx.

    Even if no ordinance exists, a licensee that holds an Extended Hours Supplemental License (ESL) is permitted to sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday during the times set forth in regulation, 804 KAR 4:230See, KRS 243.050(1).

    Local option elections are also available to permit Sunday sales in cities whose population exceeds twenty thousand (20,000), KRS 244.290(2), and in small farm winery moist precincts. KRS 242.1241; KRS 244.290(5).

  • Can an independent contractor or third party sell alcoholic beverages on behalf of a licensed producer at the licensee’s premises on behalf of the licensee?

    Yes. A producer licensee may contract with an independent contractor/third party to conduct alcohol sales at the producer's licensed premises under the producer's license as its agent. KRS 243.020(1). Of course, the producer licensee is responsible for any violation committed by its third-party agent. KRS 243.490(6).

    If a producer intends to use a third party/independent contractor to sell alcoholic beverages on its behalf at the licensee's premises, the licensee must notify the Department with relevant information and provide copies of the relevant management, service or other agreement between the licensee and third party/independent contractor.  KRS 243.390(2).

  • May I sell a bottle of distilled spirits or wine to another person?

    Yes and No. Kentucky law does not allow an unlicensed person to sell a bottle of distilled spirits or wine directly to another unlicensed person. KRS 243.020(1); KRS 243.240; KRS 243.990(2)

    As a limited exception, an unlicensed person is able to sell an unopened bottle of vintage distilled spirits to licensed distilled spirits retailers under the requirements set forth in regulation.  804 KAR 5:080See also KRS 241.020(60); KRS 243.232.

    As an alternative, an unlicensed person is allowed to donate unopened bottles of distilled spirits or wine to a charity or non-profit organization which holds a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license. KRS 243.036.

  • How old must a person be to work at a licensed business?

    Any person who is twenty (20) years of age or older is permitted to work in any licensed business and perform all job duties. KRS 244.090(1)(c).

    A person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older is permitted to sell malt beverages by the packages at convenience stores and grocery stores which only hold a nonquota retail malt beverage package license if a person twenty (20) years of age or older is present and supervising the employee. KRS 244.090(1)(c)(3).

    A person who is under twenty (20) years of age is permitted to be employed:

    1.  In a bottling house or room of a licensed distillery, winery, brewer, or rectifier; KRS 244.090(1)(c)(1).

    2. In an office of a wholesaler or manufacturer that is maintained in a building separate from the warehouses or factory; KRS 244.090(1)(c)(2)

    3.  In any business whose alcohol beverage sales do not exceed fifty percent (50%) of its gross sales (e.g.: restaurant) so long as the person's job duties do not involve the sale or serving of alcoholic beverages.  Examples of job duties that do not involve alcohol sales or service include, but are not limited to, restaurant seaters, cooks, dishwashers, busboys, grocery baggers, and shelf stockers. KRS 244.090(1)(c)(3)(a)(b).

  • What is medical amnesty?

    ​The medical amnesty law is designed to encourage minors (persons under age twenty-one (21)) to immediately seek emergency medical attention if they or others have consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol. The law provides immunity from criminal prosecution for certain alcohol related offenses described in the statutes if the reporting individual fully cooperates with emergency medical assistance personnel and law enforcement officers. Medical amnesty laws are not designed or intended to immunize minors from punishment who simply drink alcohol. KRS 244.992.

  • Can employees legally drink while on the job?

    Kentucky law does not specifically address whether an employee may consume alcoholic beverages.  As such, the practice of allowing employees to drink on the job is a decision for the employer. However, the presence of an intoxicated employee could result in a disorderly premises violation (KRS 244.120) or sale to intoxicated person violation. KRS 244.080(2). Businesses are encouraged to incorporate responsible business practices and policies to minimize risk to public safety.

    Employees of producers are specifically allowed to sample products produced for purposes of education, quality control, and product development.  KRS 243.130(3); KRS 243.150(4); KRS 243.155(8); KRS 243.157(7).

  • Can I have raffles on my licensed premises?

    ​Generally, raffles are not permitted on licensed premises since they constitute illegal gambling. KRS 243.500(6); KRS 528.010.  There are three (3) exceptions under which raffles are permitted on licensed premises:  (1) lottery tickets issued under the authority of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation; (2) raffle tickets sold by charities, licensed or exempted, under the charitable gaming laws; and (3) raffles conducted by a holder of a special temporary alcoholic beverage auction license that comply with charitable gaming laws.  KRS 243.500(6)(a),(b) and (d); KRS 243.036(2)(a).

  • Is it legal to distribute raffle tickets to patrons for a chance to win an opportunity to purchase a bottle of alcoholic beverages in high demand?

    ​Yes, if the raffle is free.  Generally, raffles are not permitted on licensed premises as they constitute an illegal gambling game. KRS 243.500(6); KRS 528.010. However, a licensee can have "free" raffles whereby any person can play (no purchase necessary). Since the game is "free" to everyone, there is no necessary "wager" element for an illegal gambling game.

    A licensee would be permitted to have a no-purchase-necessary raffle, available to anyone, for the chance to buy a bottle of alcoholic beverages at the normal retail sales price. The licensee cannot require customers to buy something as a condition to participate in the raffle. In addition, a no-purchase-necessary raffle cannot offer a free bottle of alcoholic beverage as the prize or allow the winner to purchase the bottle below wholesale cost.  See, KRS 244.050.

  • Are coupons for alcoholic beverages allowed?

    It depends. No coupons on malt beverages are permitted. KRS 244.461(3).

    Retailers cannot offer coupons on alcoholic beverages.  However, discounted prices using loyalty cards are permitted so long as the discounted price is not less than the wholesale cost of the product. See, KRS 244.461(4).

    Producers and wholesalers can offer coupons, including digital coupons, on packages of distilled spirits and wine sold for off-premises consumption.  KRS 244.461(1)

  • Can I return unopened packages of alcoholic beverages to the retail business that sold them to me and get a refund?

    ​Yes, subject to agreement of the parties.  A sale is simply a contract between a seller and a buyer. Contracting parties can voluntarily agree to cancel their contract (mutual rescission).  A retail seller may permit a consumer to return sealed alcoholic beverages packages purchased from that seller for a refund or exchange. However, since rescission of a contract is voluntary, retail sellers are not required to accept a return and make a refund if they chose not do so.

  • Can a Kentucky resident, or military person moving to Kentucky, bring back alcoholic beverages purchased in a foreign country?

    A Kentucky resident, or military person moving to Kentucky, can bring alcoholic beverages purchased for personal use in another country back to Kentucky so long as necessary taxes are paid.  As of June 1, 2018, the form that a Kentucky resident must complete and file with the Kentucky Department of Revenue for that purpose is Revenue Form 73A504, which can be found at: https://revenue.ky.gov/Forms/73A504715.pdf    Kentucky does not have a quantity restriction on the amount of personal alcoholic beverages that may be brought to a Kentucky residence.

    Revenue Form 73A504 should allow a person to get through Federal Customs with their personal alcoholic beverages  It is recommended that a person complete and obtain a signature from a Customs official or transportation officer on Revenue Form 73A504 and keep a copy of it when returning to United States.  If not signed, Customs may hold the person's household goods in storage until the taxes are paid even though Kentucky does not require that the tax to be paid until the alcoholic beverages are in the state.

    On Revenue Form 73A504, be sure to specify cases or bottles in the "Containers" column under "No." and "Size." For your information, as of June 1, 2018, the excise tax for wine is $.50 per wine gallon (128 oz.), for distilled spirits is $1.92 per distilled spirts gallon (128 oz.), and for malt beverages is $.080646 per gallon (or $2.50 for a 31 gallon barrel). Example: The excise tax on 1 case (12 bottles that are 750 milliliters each) of wine is $1.19, while the excise tax on the same volume of distilled spirits $4.56.  The excise tax on 1 case (24 bottles that are 12 ounces each) on malt beverages is $.18. 

    If you have any questions about Revenue Form 73A504, please contact Elizabeth A. Gonzalez at the Department of Revenue: Elizabeth.Gonzalez@ky.gov.

    You should also check with the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau ("TTB"), about any federal requirements. TTB information can be found at: http://www.ttb.gov/importers/personal_importation.shtml.