What are the DtC Wine Shipping Laws By State?

Lizzy Connolly
July 29, 2021

Most states allow direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine shipping. However, you must follow the rules of the destination state when doing it. States can have varying requirements and limitations when it comes to licensing, product restrictions, dry communities or even volume limits for how much a given customer can receive.

For example, Massachusetts restricts licensees from shipping no more than 12 cases per individual per calendar year, but Colorado has no such volume restriction limits on licensees. Businesses must ensure that they carefully adhere to the rules and regulations of each state that they want to ship wine to — if they assume that two states have the same requirements, they could incur hefty fines or even have their license revoked. 

Following are the basics of DtC wine shipping and key rules that shippers must adhere to in order to stay compliant.

Where can wine producers ship?

Currently, 48 states and the District of Columbia allow for DtC wine shipping, although Delaware and Rhode Island both severely limit the DtC shipment of wine. Mississippi and Utah prohibit DtC sales of wine (Alabama is set to begin permitting DtC wine shipments in summer 2021). 

There are universal package label requirements for direct-to-consumer wine shipping. Any packages being shipped must have a label clearly identifying that the box contains alcohol and that a signature of a person aged 21 years or older is required for delivery.

How does DtC wine shipping work?

Wine producers must adhere to the state-specific requirements when it comes to shipping DtC. Since state-by-state requirements vary, shippers should ensure that they are aware of the specific rules of the state they are shipping into. While no two states are exactly the same, shippers can base their research on the following list of general rules: 

  • Be licensed by the destination state
  • Use approved carriers who will check IDs and collect signatures
  • Verify age of purchaser and recipient
  • Label boxes with notice of alcohol contents
  • Abide by per person volume limits
  • Agree to remit all applicable sales and excise taxes to the destination state
  • File regular reports detailing all their shipments
  • Only ship brand/labels that are produced or owned by the shipper

These rules and regulations may be commonly applied in states that allow DtC wine shipping but they may not always be in effect in each state. It’s also important to remember that rules and regulations can be applied with varying levels of strictness. Wineries and other suppliers of wine that want to ship in a new state should consult with the right experts who can properly interpret how the rules apply to individual circumstances. Reach out to your compliance team, legal counsel or another winery to help determine what your next steps in DtC wine shipping might be.

Take Action

Learn more about managing your DtC alcohol shipping compliance.

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
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
September 21, 2021
Fiscal Representation Post-Brexit – Requirements for UK Companies Trading in the EU

Non-EU companies are required to appoint a Fiscal Representative in order to be registered for VAT in many Member States. Following the end of the Brexit transition agreement on 31 December 2021, this was a consideration for UK companies who wanted to remain registered or had to register as a result of changes to supply […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
September 16, 2021
French E-invoicing Mandate Update: Government Revises Rollout Schedule

When the French Tax Authority published its report last fall, unveiling the continuous transaction control (CTC) plans for France, we questioned whether it would be possible to finalise all the details of this system in less than a year, to allow sufficient time for businesses to adapt. Although the French Treasury (DGFiP) has made good […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
September 16, 2021
Saudi Arabia’s E-Invoicing Mandate is Fast Approaching

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) announced the finalised rules for the Saudi Arabia e-invoicing system earlier this year, announcing plans for two main phases for the new e-invoicing system. The first phase of the Saudi Arabia e-invoicing system is set to go live from 4 December 2021. With the mandate just around the […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
September 15, 2021
EU E-Commerce VAT Package FAQs: Understanding Marketplace Liability

The EU E-Commerce VAT Package is here. The new schemes, One Stop Shop (OSS) and Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) bring significant changes to VAT treatment and reporting mechanisms for sales to private individuals in the EU. Our recent webinar, Back to Basics: The EU E-Commerce VAT Package, discussed the basic principles of the three […]

September 15, 2021
IPT Compliance in the UK: What Does the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act Mean for Insurers in Greater London?

IPT compliance is complex, especially when insurers are writing across multiple regions, jurisdictions or boroughs.