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Coronavirus Information

TABC's No. 1 priority is the health and safety of Texans. We encourage all industry members to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health officials in the days and weeks to come as the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

What You Should Know

TABC recognizes the major impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the alcoholic beverage industry due to mandated business closures, event cancellations and other protective measures. To help the industry during this difficult time, we're providing answers to common questions you may have.

In most cases, the existing laws in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and Administrative Rules will apply. But if TABC can relax an agency process, or if the Governor's Office grants a statutory exception to help businesses weather global health and economic challenges, we will reflect those changes on this page and connect you to further guidance.

Under a new announcement and executive order from Gov. Abbott:

Restaurants and certain bars can also mix drinks on their premises for to-go sales. Follow the requirements outlined in the June 27, 2020 Industry Notice.

August 7, 2020

"This August marks my third anniversary as executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. When I arrived, there were a number of challenges to address, particularly the agency's relationship with the alcoholic beverage industry. Since then, I've made it one of my top priorities to engage industry members, regain their trust and change the way the agency interacts with businesses. Three years later, I'm proud to say that TABC has made remarkable progress toward that goal. Then COVID-19 hit and our worlds were turned upside down."

Read more.

In certain circumstances, veterans organizations can reopen their establishments to provide care and services to veterans and their families. A veterans organization is defined in Section 32.11(a)(2) of the Alcoholic Beverage Code and includes the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, American GI Forum and Catholic War Veterans.

A veterans organization has the following options to reopen during COVID-19:

  1. Temporarily suspend the organization’s permit or license. Note: Temporary suspension does not mean your license/permit is canceled. You will be able to reactivate by contacting TABC’s Licensing Division without incurring any additional costs.  
  2. Re-diagram the organization’s physical premises. Note: You will be asked to upload an updated diagram of your licensed premises. Download a template here.
  3. Qualify as a Restaurant under GA-28.

For more information, email VetSuspense@tabc.texas.gov

The following information does not allow a business to circumvent the requirements in Executive Order GA-28 or any subsequent executive order. Any establishment that is opened as a restaurant must follow the checklist from the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas. You can find that checklist here.

The following information does not allow a business to circumvent the requirements in Executive Order GA-28 or any subsequent executive order. Any establishment that is opened as a restaurant must follow the checklist from the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas. You can find that checklist here.

Update (Aug. 25, 2020)

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission approved emergency amendments to TABC Rules that immediately:

  • Enable retailers who sell alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption to more easily qualify for a Food and Beverage (FB) Certificate.
  • Remove some of the more difficult and costly requirements to qualify for the FB Certificate so that these businesses do not need to make major changes to their business models or invest in expensive equipment. 

Many establishments that would have otherwise remained shuttered will be able to reopen and operate in a safe manner due to these amendments. The guidance below outlines the process for reopening and qualifying for an FB Certificate, if needed.

The Process

Businesses that have a 51% designation with TABC or that have not traditionally been considered a restaurant by TABC may apply to qualify as a restaurant under GA-28 and provide dine-in services. Follow the process linked below to apply and establish that your business makes less than 51% of total sales from alcoholic beverage sales.

The following information does not allow a business to circumvent the requirements in Executive Order GA-28 or any subsequent order.

Read more in the Qualifying as a Restaurant Under GA-28 Industry Notice.

Read TABC’s COVID-19 Business Best Practices to learn how to stay in compliance and what records you may need to have ready to show TABC agents and auditors.

Note: Brewpubs are classified as retailers under the law. Those that wish to change their 51% status may fill out the retailer affidavit. Or if they do not have qualifying sales data for the retailer affidavit, they may apply for an FB Certificate as outlined in the guidance.  

TABC is allowing holders of certain Mixed Beverage Permits to renew for one year rather than the standard two-year period, which reduces the upfront renewal cost by half. All subordinate permits and certificates will be renewed under the same terms as the primary Mixed Beverage Permit.

Eligibility:

  • Must be a current Mixed Beverage Permit holder.
  • Permit must have an expiration date that occurs between July 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • Must be able to show that your business has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, such as a significant reduction in sales compared to the same time frame last year.

To qualify and apply for a one-year renewal follow, follow the guidance in this Industry Notice.

Businesses that meet certain conditions may file a renewal application more than 30 days past the expiration of their license/permit without a late fee.

Read TABC's Industry Notice to learn more.

Download and complete the COVID-19 Renewal Period Exception Form.

Download and complete your renewal application form.

Any seller/server certificate that expired between March 13 and May 13 of this year is now effective through Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

Read the emergency rule amendment.

Restaurants, alcoholic beverage manufacturers, distributors and retailers are all included as essential businesses and can stay open under the governor's March 31 executive order. The governor's designation of essential businesses is based on federal guidelines.

The order also continues the suspension of dine-in services at restaurants and bars through April 30, 2020.

Although TABC is still conducting business, our physical offices are temporarily closed to the public effective March 20. To learn more, please read the news release about TABC's expanded telework opportunities for employees. We will post updates on this webpage and tabc.texas.gov.

Daily Coronavirus Updates

We are now sending daily briefing emails covering news, guidance and information meant to help the alcoholic beverage industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sign up for our Industry Notifications to receive the Daily Coronavirus Update and other important information.

Contact Us By Email

licensing@tabc.texas.gov
For questions regarding licenses or permits.

marketing.practices@tabc.texas.gov
For questions about laws regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages (i.e., advertising, promotions) and marketing relationships in the industry.

complaints@tabc.texas.gov
For reporting violations of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and Rule.

credit.law@tabc.texas.gov
For general inquiries about credit law or for wholesalers to report Notices of Default or Notices of Payment.

excise.tax@tabc.texas.gov
For questions about who is required to file monthly excise reports or taxes on alcoholic beverages.

label.approval@tabc.texas.gov
For questions regarding label approval registration in Texas.

Licensing Appointments

The shift to increased telework means we will no longer offer in-person appointments or walk-in meetings with Licensing staff. Staff will continue to serve people by telephone, email, online and regular mail. All applications for original, supplemental, renewal, or temporary licenses and permits will be accepted online, by email or regular postal service only.

You can send regular mail to TABC Licensing Division's at:

Attn: Licensing Division
5806 Mesa Drive
Suite 170
Austin, TX 78731

Or:

Attn: Licensing Division
P.O. Box 13127
Austin, TX 78711-3127

Licenses and permits will be issued after we receive the appropriate fees and surcharges.

Cash and credit laws remain in effect.

Upper Tier Members

Retailers

  • Must still pay distributors what they owe before purchasing new alcohol inventory.
  • TABC will not penalize retailers that fail to make timely payments for these dates:
    • Cash law purchases from July 1 – July 31, 2020.
    • Credit law purchases from July 1 – July 31, 2020, associated with:
      • Delinquent List #1794
      • Delinquent List #1795
      • Delinquent List #1796
      • Delinquent List #1797
      • Delinquent List #1798
      • Delinquent List #1799
      • Delinquent List #1800
      • Delinquent List #1801
      • Delinquent List #1802
      • Delinquent List #1803

Read the full TABC Industry Notice about Cash and Credit Law Penalty Exemptions.

On a case-by-case basis, TABC will not seek to penalize license and permit holders for late submission of excise tax reports and payments. You should:

  • Fill out and email us this form to request a delay in your excise tax payment.
  • Contact us directly if you won't be able to file your report on time.
  • See the TABC Industry Notice to learn more.

*Only allowed for the duration of Gov. Abbott's March 13 disaster proclamation.

TABC will allow the following process for wholesale deliveries to retailers:

  • The delivery driver must sign the invoice.
  • The delivery driver must write on the invoice the name of the retailer's representative that receives the delivery.
  • The delivery driver must write on the invoice the date the inventory is delivered.
  • The delivery driver must make a copy of the signed and dated invoice and send the copy to the retailer's representative within a reasonable time after the delivery.
  • Both parties must keep a copy of the invoice for reconciliation and auditing purposes.

See the TABC Industry Notice to learn more.

*Only allowed for the duration of Gov. Abbott's March 13 disaster proclamation.

Print From Work or Home

Instead of picking up a 60-day notice sign from a TABC office, you can download, print and assemble your own sign from a standard home or business printer.

Download a printable 60-day notice sign here (standard printer version).

Commercial or Large-Size Printing

To print this version of the sign, you'll need the ability to print on paper big enough to meet the size requirements in law*. The sign must both:

  • Be 24 by 36 inches
  • Use two-inch lettering

Download a printable 60-day notice sign here (large printer version).

*Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 11.391. Notice by Sign.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is helping businesses that are struggling to pay the sales taxes they collected in February. This assistance includes short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest. Visit the Comptroller's Office's Emergency page to learn more.

Process for Submitting Applications to TABC

Electronic Signatures

  • TABC will accept electronic signatures or copies/pdfs of electronic signatures on applications, including those required of local officials.

Notary Certification

  • If notary certification is required, it may be obtained either electronically or manually.
  • For those unable to get notary certification due to the coronavirus situation, for the duration of Governor Abbott's disaster proclamation, TABC will allow applicants to submit a form that adheres to the parameters for unsworn declarations.

Paying Your Application Fees

  • Mail your application fees directly to TABC's Licensing Division at 5806 Mesa Drive Suite 170 Austin, TX 78731.
  • Payment must be made in the form of a corporate check, money order, or cashiers' check.
  • You may include a copy of your payment when you email your application.
  • TABC must receive your payment before the agency will issue your license/permit.

License and permit applicants who need to submit their Comptroller of Public Accounts Certificate as part of their prequalification packet can still get their certification by mail. Applicants should mail the certification form found in their packet to the nearest Comptroller field office.

Comptroller employees continue to work remotely and will sign, stamp and return the form to you by mail.

TABC is expediting applications it receives for Local Cartage Permits and Consumer Delivery Permits to ensure the alcoholic beverage industry can continue conducting business through deliveries while most places are closed to the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Local Cartage Permit (E)

  • This allows the holder to deliver liquor to customers within the same city as the store.
  • May be issued to the holder of a Package Store Permit (P), Wine-Only Package Store Permit (Q), or a Wine and Beer Retailer's Permit (BG).
  • Fee $262.00.
  • Apply by completing a Location Packet for Reporting Changes for Retailers.

Consumer Delivery Permit (CD)

  • This allows the holder to contract with or employ drivers to deliver alcoholic beverages from certain businesses licensed to sell alcohol to the ultimate consumer. For more information, read TABC's advisory on this permit.
  • Fee $10,000.
  • Apply by completing a Consumer Delivery Permit.

Application Submission

  • You may submit electronically according to the electronic submission instructions featured on this webpage, or
  • You may submit the complete application along with the appropriate fee (via cashier's check, money order, or company check made payable to the Comptroller of Public Accounts) to P.O. BOX 13127, Austin, Texas 78711.

Permit Approval

  • Upon receipt, TABC will review the application and issue the permit to eligible applicants in just a few days (vs the usual 10 – 20 days for issuing these permit types).
  • Once approved, TABC will send a Letter of Authority via email, which will serve as the official permit until the paper copy arrives in the mail.

See this Temporary Event Permits Industry Notice to learn more.

Please contact your local TABC office if you believe you will miss a deadline because of the coronavirus' impact. TABC will continue to assess the situation as it progresses.

You can also find information on this page about License and Permit Renewal Deadlines and Late Excise Tax Reports and Payments.

Allowed to Repurchase Product 

*Only allowed for the duration of Gov. Abbott's March 13 disaster proclamation

  • Manufacturer's License (BA)
  • Brewer's Self-Distribution Permit (DA)
  • Brewer's Permit (B)
  • Manufacturer's Self-Distribution License (DB)
  • Brewpub License (BP)
  • Distiller's and Rectifier's Permit (D)
  • Winery Permit (G)
  • General Distributor's License (BB)
  • Branch Distributor's License (BC)
  • Wholesaler's Permit (W)
  • Wholesaler's (General Class B) Permit (X)
  • Local Distributor's Permit (LP)

What's Allowed

Repurchase unused/unopened alcoholic beverage products from retailers.

Requirements

  • Limited to relieving a retailer adversely affected by a major event cancellation due to the coronavirus.
    • Examples: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, SXSW, professional and college sporting events, concerts, theatrical productions, parades, etc.
  • Only allowed for sales made to a retailer Feb. 16, 2020, or after.
  • Must verify each repurchase using the original purchase invoice.
  • Keep invoices in case of subsequent audits.
  • Retailers are not guaranteed repurchase. The business repurchasing the alcohol has complete discretion over the decision to repurchase.
  • Manufacturers may reimburse a distributor that repurchases product from a retailer under this authority.

The Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently issued similar guidance for industry members.

Read the industry notice outlining the temporary waiver allowing repurchase of alcoholic beverages. For more guidance, contact your local TABC office.

This chart outlines who is allowed to make to-go sales and deliver alcohol to consumers.

Businesses allowed to deliver or sell alcohol to go may take orders or payments online or by phone.

Mixed Beverage Permit Holders (MB or RM)

Follow the June 27, 2020 Industry Notice about including alcohol with pickup and delivery of food orders.

Wine and Beer Retailer's Permit (BG) / Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE)

  • May sell drinks to go if the type of alcohol is allowed for sale under your license or permit.
  • May put beverages in containers sealed by the permit holder (unlike MB permit holders).
  • Alcohol does NOT have to be accompanied by a food order (unlike MB permit holders).

Package Store Permit (P) / Wine-Only Package Store Permit (Q) / Wine and Beer Retailer's Off-Premise Permit (BQ)

  • May sell drinks to go that are allowed for sale under your license or permit.
  • Alcohol must be in unbroken, original containers.

Retail Dealer's Off-Premise License (BF)

  • May sell beer to go.
  • Alcohol can't be opened or consumed on or near the premises.

Brewpub License (BP)

  • Brewpubs also hold an MB, a BG, or a BE and are all authorized to sell to go. Refer to those other licenses and permits for the specific to-go sales guidelines.

Brewer's Permit (B) / Manufacturer's License (BA)

  • Only allowed if eligible under TX Alc. Bev. Code Sec. 12.052 or Sec. 62.122.
  • May sell ale / beer to go.
  • May not sell more than 288 fluid ounces of ale / beer to the same person in a single day.
  • See all requirements in this TABC industry guidance notice.

Distiller's and Rectifier's Permit (D)

  • May sell distilled spirits to go.
  • Distilled spirits must be in unbroken packages.
  • Containers can't exceed 750 milliliters.
  • May not sell more than two 750 mL bottles (or their equivalent) to the same person in a 30-day period.

Winery Permit (G)

  • May sell wine to go.
  • Wine must be in unbroken packages

This chart outlines who is allowed to make to-go sales and deliver alcohol to consumers.

Businesses allowed to deliver or sell alcohol to go may take orders or payments online or by phone.

Consumer Delivery Permit (CD) holders

Mixed Beverage Permit Holders (MB or RM)

Follow the June 27, 2020 Industry Notice about including alcohol with pickup and delivery of food orders.

 

Wine and Beer Retailer's Permit (BG)

  • Can sell wine, beer, and malt liquors and self-deliver if the BG also has a Local Cartage Permit (E or ET), or have it delivered using a third-party that holds a Consumer Delivery (CD) Permit.
  • Can put wine and beer-based beverages in containers sealed by the BG permit holder (unlike MB permit holders).
  • Alcohol does NOT have to be accompanied by a food order (unlike MB permit holders).
  • Only allowed within two miles of the corporate limits of your city, county or town.

Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE)

  • Can sell beer and have it delivered using a third-party that holds a Consumer Delivery (CD) Permit.
  • Can put beer-based beverages in containers sealed by the BE permit holder (unlike MB permit holders).

Package Store Permit (P) / Wine-Only Package Store Permit (Q)

  • Can sell drinks for delivery that are normally allowed by the license or permit.
  • Must have a Local Cartage Permit (E or ET) to self-deliver, or must have alcohol delivered using a third-party that holds a Consumer Delivery (CD) Permit.
  • Alcohol must be in unbroken, original containers.
  • Only allowed within two miles of the corporate limits of your city, county or town.

Wine and Beer Retailer's Off-Premise Permit (BQ)

  • Can sell drinks for delivery that are normally allowed by the license or permit.
  • Must have alcohol delivered using a third-party that holds a Consumer Delivery (CD) Permit.
  • Alcohol must be in unbroken, original containers.
  • Only allowed within two miles of the corporate limits of your city, county or town.

Retail Dealer's Off-Premise License (BF)

  • Can sell beer and have it delivered using a third-party that holds a Consumer Delivery (CD) Permit.
  • Alcohol can't be opened or consumed on or near the premises.

Brewpub License (BP)

  • Refer to secondary Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) or Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE) for the ability to deliver alcohol to consumers.
  • Brewpubs that hold a Wine and Beer Retailer's Permit (BG) are not authorized for delivery.

Winery Permit (G)

  • Direct shipping of wine is allowed as normal.
  • Can sell wine and have it delivered using an entity that holds a Carrier's Permit (C), or the winery may deliver it themselves if it holds a Private Carrier Permit (O).

TABC Licensing

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code authorizes distillers to manufacture alcohol, convert it into a medicinal product such as hand sanitizer, and then sell it without additional TABC licenses or permits (See TX Alc. Bev. Code Chapter 38).

Excise Taxes

There is no Texas excise tax or TABC reporting required for hand sanitizer (but keep records because there may be federal tax implications).

TABC Label Approval

There are no TABC label approval requirements for hand sanitizer.

State and Federal Requirements

Distiller seeking to produce and sell hand sanitizer should make sure they consult with other state and federal entities:

  • The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends that a distiller ensures that the resultant product remains at least 60% alcohol content.
  • The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has issued public guidance.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published a temporary policy for producing hand sanitizer during the public health emergency.

Selling and Donating Unfit Alcohol Products to a Distillery

Any TABC licensee or permittee may sell or donate their unfit products to a distillery for use in the production of hand sanitizer. Manufacturing tier members may also arrange for a distiller to turn their unfit product into hand sanitizer, which will remain the property of the manufacturer.

Transferring the Unfit Product to a Distillery

A brewery, distillery, or winery may transfer an alcoholic beverage in bulk that it produced to another brewery, distillery, or winery so long as the alcoholic beverage is used only for manufacturing purposes, and if the transfer is allowed under federal law. (TX Alc. Bev. Code. Sec. 109.63).

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) defines bulk product as being "in containers having a capacity in excess of one wine gallon."

Neither party to the transfer is required to submit a report to TABC related to the transfer. However, both parties must document the transfer and retain operational records in accordance with TABC Rules 41.23 and 41.35. Additionally, you may need to keep documentation for the TTB.

TABC Tax Credit

If the product has already been packaged, canned, bottled, or kegged, the product manufacturer can apply for a TABC tax credit.

Follow the same process that you would if you were applying for a standard product destruction credit by filling out an Application for Destruction of Alcoholic Beverages form and submit it to your local TABC office. Please contact your local TABC office or email excise.tax@tabc.texas.gov if you have any questions.

Federal Guidelines for Shipping Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer

Several federal regulations apply to distilleries transporting hand sanitizer in their own vehicles and to common carriers like FedEx and UPS. The regulations cover things like the size of the containers, labeling, placards on shipping vehicles, and the shipping papers that must accompany shipments.

Training provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation is available here.

Promotions Involving Hand Sanitizer

  • License/permit holders may offer hand sanitizer for sale in a packaged deal.
  • Example: "Buy two bottles of vodka and a container of hand sanitizer for $XX.XX"
  • If giving hand sanitizer away for free, avoid conditioning this on the purchase of an alcohol product (TABC Administrative Rule 45.101).

TABC has released guidance on removing and replacing malt beverage products in unbroken original packages from retailers affected by COVID-19. Read the Industry Notice here.

This is allowed thanks to a waiver issued by Gov. Abbott on March 15, pursuant to his disaster proclamation issued March 13.

Audit Postponement or Rescheduling

You can postpone or reschedule your audit. Please contact your local TABC office.

Audit Education Classes

Contact your local TABC office for guidance on your specific situation.

For More Guidance

Visit the Texas Department of State Health Services' Coronavirus webpage for the latest information and guidance from state health officials.