Apply for a Special License or Permit (ABCC)

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission issues permits for special events. Some special permits are issued by the Local Licensing Authority of the town the event is being held in.

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission issues these special permits:

  1. Charity Wine
  2. Household Effects/Gift (*)
  3. Licensee Liquidation (*)
  4. Consumer Research (*)
  5. Auction, Trade Show, and Dockside Service [Upon Request]

Local Licensing Authorities  issue these Special Permits"

  1. One Day Special Permit
  2. Farmer's Market Permit



Beginning Sunday, November 19, 2017, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission will no longer accept paper checks as payment for applications and permits. Payments must be made on-line by using either a personal or business check (ACH). Once your on-line payment is completed, you must print the confirmation receipt and then include that receipt with your application to the Local Licensing Authority.

EPAY - Pay your bill Online


Charity Wine Fundraising License

60 Days Notice is Required

There are 2 types of Charity Wine Fundraising Licenses: Charity Wine Auction License and 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).

If the event is hosted at a facility that holds an on-premises (§12) license, a letter from that licensee acknowledging the receipt of donated wine for the event is required.

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.

For questions on this permit, please contact Sean Walsh at

    Additional Resources for

    Household Effects/Gift Permit

    Any person bringing alcohol into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, either as a Household Effect or a Gift, is required to hold a permit issued by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission to do so. This includes individuals who are at least twenty-one years of age and who are relocating to Massachusetts or who already live here. This permit authorizes him or her to import the alcoholic beverages specified in the application. All alcoholic beverages covered under this permit must not have been purchased with the intention for resale.

    Note: Please see the notice at the top of the page regarding online payments.

    Additional Resources for

    Licensee Liquidation Permit

    A special permit from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission exists for license-holders who have gone or are going out of business and wish to sell their existing inventory of alcoholic beverages. After receiving this permit, the license holder selling the inventory may sell to individuals or businesses that hold a license under MGL Chapter 138.

    Note: Please see the notice at the top of the page regarding online payments.


    Additional Resources for

    Consumer Research Permit

    An individual wishing to conduct consumer-tasting research with alcoholic beverages may apply to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission for a permit authorizing that activity. This activity must occur at the location where the research is conducted.

    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.

    Note: Please see the notice at the top of the page regarding online payments.


    Additional Resources for

    One-Day Permit

    For a One Day Special Permit you must contact the Local Licensing Authority of the city or town the event is held in.

    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. The license is to be utilized for a single day.

    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 CANNOT purchase alcoholic beverages from a package store.

    PLEASE NOTE For the most recent version of this list, please see the list of Authorized Sources.


    Additional Resources for

    Farmer's Market Permit

    The application for the Farmer's Market Permit can be found on this page, but you should submit it to the Local Licensing Authority for the town the Farmer's Market is held in.

    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. This license allows a winery to provide samples of their wines to consumers and sell by the bottle/case their product for off-premises consumption.

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

    Additional Resources for

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