Last updated: November 2022
When it comes to direct-to-consumer (DtC) liquor shipping laws by state, distilleries and other spirits producers must adhere to shipping laws of the destination state. It is also important to remember that just because a state allows DtC beer shipping or DtC wine shipping, it does not necessarily mean that it allows DtC liquor shipping.
For example, Ohio allows DtC beer shipping but DtC liquor shipping is currently not legal. A distillery might see that DtC beer or DtC wine shipping is allowed into a particular state, but that is not a guarantee that the same state will allow for DtC-shipped liquor.
Distilleries and spirit producers must also stay current on all federal and state laws, as they can change over time. In April 2020, Kentucky passed a statute enabling the DtC shipping of spirits. Then in 2021, Kentucky passed a bill removing a previous provision prohibiting DtC alcohol shippers from using third-party fulfillment houses to help with their shipping logistics needs.
We have outlined the basics of DtC liquor shipping and key rules that shippers must adhere to in order to stay compliant.
Where can spirit producers ship?
Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia allow DtC liquor shipping.
- Arizona (only distilleries producing less than 20,000 gallons per year)
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Vermont (RTD cocktails only)
It’s also universally required that any packages being shipped 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 liquor shipping work?
Similar to DtC beer shipping and DtC wine shipping, distilleries and spirit producers must adhere to the state-specific requirements when it comes to shipping DtC. Some of these requirements might vary from state-to-state, but shippers should ensure that they are aware of the following 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
Remember that while these rules and regulations are commonly applied, they are not always in effect in every state that permits DtC shipping of spirits. They can also be applied with varying levels of strictness. When you are looking to ship in a new state, consult with experts who can properly interpret how the rules apply to your individual circumstances. Specifically, your compliance team, legal counsel or another distillery could help you determine your next steps in DtC spirits shipping.
Learn more about managing your DtC alcohol shipping compliance.