Can You Ship Alcohol?

Lizzy Connolly
December 27, 2021

Businesses in the beverage alcohol space can ship alcohol to consumers, but key rules and regulations apply

It’s a common question to wonder if it is legal to ship alcohol. The short answer is, yes! The longer and more in-depth answer is, yes, but there are important laws to follow along the way. That’s why we’ve gathered key information to help guide your business through the process of shipping alcohol to consumers.  

What kind of alcohol can you ship?

Essentially, all types of alcohol can be shipped: wine, beer, spirits, cider and even sake. However, different states have varying rules on what kind of alcohol can be shipped to their residents. For example, 48 states and the District of Columbia allow for DtC wine shipping, but 12 states and D.C. allow for DtC beer shipping. Only seven states and D.C. permit liquor to be shipped DtC, and while cider can be shipped to consumers in 40 states and D.C., no state actually has a DtC law that specifically mentions ciders. Therefore, cider may only be shipped DtC if it falls under the legal definition of one of the other types of beverage alcohol listed in a DtC statute.

How do you ship alcohol?

Alcohol can be shipped through a licensed carrier, such as UPS or FedEx. The U.S. Postal Service is not permitted to ship alcoholic beverages

Carriers are also required to check the ID of the recipient and collect the signature of an adult who is over the age of 21 at the time of delivery. Remember that while this requirement heavily relies on the carrier, the licensed DtC shipper that initiated the shipment could still be held responsible if an adult signature is not obtained. 

Finally, all states require the label on all DtC-shipped alcohol boxes to announce that they contain alcohol and must be signed for by someone 21+: “CONTAINS ALCOHOL: SIGNATURE OF PERSON AGE 21 YEARS OR OLDER REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY.”

There are other key essentials for your business to consider when it comes to shipping alcohol, ensuring that your organization won’t incur fines, such as licensing, taxes and more.

Remember that it is legal to ship alcohol, but it must be done the right way. Rules and regulations vary by state and are subject to change. Working with the right partner can help simplify the process and ensure that you stay compliant.

Take Action

Learn more about how and where you can ship alcohol.

Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.


Lizzy Connolly

Share This Post

North America Sales & Use Tax
June 5, 2023
Sovos Onboarding: 6 Departments Dedicated to Customer Success

If you are evaluating Sovos, we want you to understand expectations for the customer experience and what teams are there to support you. At Sovos, we have a range of teams ready to support you from the day you sign a contract. Whether it be a customer success representative to review the value you are […]

North America Sales & Use Tax
June 1, 2023
3 Things to Remember if You Get a Sales Tax Notice

Have you ever received a sales tax notice from a state department of revenue? Whether you answered yes or no, there are important things to keep top of mind to help keep your business prepared. Finding out that you have failed to comply with one or more of your sales tax obligations can be startling. […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
May 31, 2023
Bizkaia: What is Batuz LROE?

The Ledger of Economic Operations (Libro Registro de Operaciones Económicas), also known as LROE, is a main compliance element of the Batuz tax control system. This system is under implementation in the province of Bizkaia, located in the autonomous Basque community in Spain. Taxpayers under the Batuz mandate must comply with both TicketBAI and LROE […]

North America Unclaimed Property
May 30, 2023
How to Set Up a Successful Unclaimed Property Program

Unclaimed property compliance can be difficult and overwhelming. Clients often ask what they should be doing to ensure they are compliant with the various laws and regulations. It isn’t easy, especially if you have multiple property types such as checks, credits or customer accounts that have the potential to become unclaimed property in multiple states. […]

North America ShipCompliant
May 30, 2023
How Hold At Locations Improve Your Customers’ Wine Delivery Experience

Direct-to-consumer shipping wine lovers enjoy the convenience of having their favorite vinos shipped to their front door. But what happens when, for whatever reason, they aren’t available to accept their wine deliveries? Whether they aren’t available during the day or they don’t have someone 21 or older available to sign for their package, these challenges […]