The Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission
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Special Licenses & Permits

There are licenses and permits that authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages to the public at special events. There are 5 types of Special Event Permits and Licenses: Special License (“1-Day License”), Charity Wine Fundraising License, Consumer Research Special Permit, the Personal Importation Special Permit, and Licensee Inventory Liquidation.

Each type of special license/permit criteria has its own approval process an applicant must follow. Please check on the appropriate link below for the type of license you are applying for rules and forms.

Local Licensing Authority Approval Only

1. 1. Special License (“1-Day License”)

The Local Licensing Authorities may issue special licenses for the sale of wines and/or malt beverages to any enterprise however, special licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages may be issued to non-profit organizations only. List of Authorized Sources of Alcohol for 1-Day Licenses

The Local Licensing Authorities cannot grant special licenses to:

    a. any person for more than a total of 30 days per calendar year,
    b. to any person that has an on premises license application pending before it,
    c. any premises that has an alcoholic beverages license.

Special Licensees must purchase alcoholic beverages from a licensed supplier. Special licensees CANNOT purchase alcoholic beverages from a package store and CANNOT accept donations of alcoholic beverages from anyone.

2. Farmer's Market License

The Local Licensing Authorities may issue a Farmer's Market License for the sale of wine manufactured by a licensed Farmer-Winery at approved agricultural events in Massachusetts.

a. All applicants must submit a certification from the Department of Agricultural Resources that the Farmer’s Market, for which they are seeking a license, is an “agricultural event.”

b. These licenses are not subject to the quota or limit on the number of section 15 licenses that otherwise exist in each city and town.

c. These licenses cannot overlap any area or premises that is already covered by an existing license

Farmer's Market License Application

Local Licensing Authority and ABCC Approval

3. 3. Charity Wine Fundraising License- 60 Days Notice is Required

There are 2 types of Charity Wine Fundraising Licenses, a Charity Wine Auction License and a Charity Wine Pouring License. Only a qualifying charity can obtain these licenses, which allow for the sale and consumption of DONATED WINE ONLY. The location of an event with these licenses is limited to an on- premises licensed establishment or the qualifying charity’s headquarters or usual place of business (if zoned for wine sales).

A qualifying charity is:

    a. a Non-Profit Corporation organized in Massachusetts and

    b. Currently registered with the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General’s, Public Charities Division.

 Charity Wine Fundraising License Application

List of Section 18 and 19 License Holders

ABCC Approval Only

3. 4. Consumer Research Special Permit

An individual wishing to conduct consumer-tasting research with alcoholic beverages may apply to the ABCC for a permit authorizing that activity. This activity must occur at the location where the research is conducted. The application form is on our website, under the forms section.

The alcoholic beverages used in the research must:

a. be received from a wholesaler
b. be acquired otherwise than by purchase and not intended for sale,
c. use the alcoholic beverages specified solely for research related to consumer consumption of  those alcoholic beverages.

Consumer Research Special Permit Application

4. 5. Special Permit to Import Household Effects/Gifts Into Massachusetts

Individuals, who are at least twenty-one years of age, who are relocating to Massachusetts and have received alcoholic beverages that are household effects or gifts, may apply to the ABCC for a permit authorizing him or her to import the alcoholic beverages specified therein. The alcoholic beverages must not have been purchased and must not be intended for sale.

Application for a Special Permit to Import Household Effects/Gifts Into Massachusetts

5. 6. Licensee Inventory Liquidation (Going-Out-Of-Business)

A special permit from the ABCC exists for license-holders who have gone or are going out of business and wish to sell their existing inventory of alcoholic beverages. Anyone interested in additional information on this special permit should call for further information on the application process.

Licensee Inventory Liquidation (Going-Out-Of-Business) Application

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Public Record Request Form PDF
Contact Licensing Division Contact Information

Ryan Melville
Supervisor of Licensing
Ext 718 -
Deron Egbuche
Ext 723 -
Hurshel Langham
Ext 719 -
Sabrina Luc
Ext 721 -
Ivy Maiorino
Ext 749 -


Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission