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.

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Lizzy Connolly

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