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We live in a world where nearly anything can be delivered to your home whenever you need it. You can deck out your entire wardrobe without leaving your couch, get your juice cleanse fix shipped right to your front door, buy plane tickets and book an Uber to the airport, and order every meal takeout. While these solutions aren’t always the most economical, they are convenient, and if you’re trying to save time or avoid in-person shopping because of the pandemic, then ordering online is the way to go.
The latest craze to hit the e-comm scene? Convenient wine, beer and other alcohol delivery services. With sites like Drizly and MiniBar up and running in most major cities, you don’t have to schlep all the way to the corner store before your pregame to stock up on your favorite go-to Pinots, craft beer, tequila and craft cocktail supplies. Of course, the legality of alcohol delivery depends on which state you live in, as well as the state laws currently in place. Due to the legal restrictions placed on alcohol purchases, which vary state by state, knowing whether you’re actually allowed to order your favorite gin for delivery can be confusing. Thankfully, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to.
Alcohol shipping and delivery is a state-specific issue. And, like you may have already guessed, each state’s laws differ in ways ranging from small discrepancies in the number of liters permitted to wholesale bans on specific types of booze. There are some states where you can’t get any alcohol delivered to your residence at all (damn) and some states with restrictions on the quantity of alcohol you can buy. Most states do allow wine to be delivered, and it’s a safe bet that anywhere you live is going to require you to be present for the delivery and have a legal ID that proves you’re over the legal drinking age of 21.
Because these rules can be confusing and vary so widely from state to state, we’ve put together a guide to frequently asked questions about buying alcohol online. In addition to answering these common questions, we’ll also share a state-by-state breakdown of alcohol delivery laws. Keep in mind that this is not official legal advice, and you should consult your state laws if you have any further questions. Of course, we’d like to remind our readers that this guide is for adults age 21 and over, and we encourage you to drink responsibly.
How Do You Order Alcohol Online?
In general, there are three ways to order alcohol online: on-demand alcohol delivery, retail alcohol services and subscription services. Most states allow you to purchase alcohol online, although the rules vary from state to state. There may also be different rules of different types of alcohol, with varying laws for beer, wine, liquor and pre-made cocktails.
What Are On-Demand Alcohol Delivery Services?
On-demand alcohol services like Drizly have a similar business model as Grubhub or Doordash. They connect you to local liquor stores. Once you place an order, a delivery person will pick up your order and bring it to you. Drizly operates in many major U.S. cities and is a quick and convenient way to get alcohol, beer and wine delivered, sometimes in as little as 30-60 minutes.
What Are the Best Online Liquor Stores?
Online shoppers can find many online alcohol stores like Reserve Bar or Total Wine. These retailers operate like any other online store, although delivery options will depend on the state you live in.
Is It Legal To Order Alcohol Online?
You can order alcohol online in 48 of 50 U.S. states (every state except Alabama and Utah), although there are restrictions on the type and amount of alcohol that can be delivered in some states. Regardless of location, you will likely be required to show a valid government-issued ID upon delivery proving you are over 21 years old.
Can You Order Alcohol Online in Utah or Alabama?
If you live in Utah or Alabama, then we’re sorry because we have bad news: you can’t get any alcohol delivered whatsoever. If you live in Mississippi, your laws are a bit of a question mark, and it’s best to err on the safe side and head to a store instead.
The Best Places To Order Alcohol Online?
In our experience, the best places to buy alcohol online are Drizly and Reserve Bar. Drizly is an on-demand delivery service that connects you to local liquor stores, while Reserve Bar is a great place to find top-shelf liquor for shipping. If you’re looking for a monthly subscription service, we also love Flaviar and First Leaf Wine Club.
Ordering Alcohol Online: Laws for All 50 States
Now, here’s a state-by-state breakdown of what’s allowed, and how much of it, to be shipped and delivered to you. Some states have augmented their laws about alcohol delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic to help restaurants and bars stay afloat. I’ve included these updates in this list below.
No alcohol deliveries whatsoever. In fact, 26/67 counties in Alabama are dry, meaning they don’t permit the sale of alcohol at all.
Alaska – Alaska allows businesses with a permit to sell and ship wine in quantities of five gallons or less to an area where possession of alcohol is legal.
Alcohol deliveries are allowed with a valid license.
Arkansas allows one case of “vinous liquor” to be delivered to a customer per quarter, a.k.a wine. These purchases must have been made at a winery, and deliveries can only happen during legal purchasing hours.
Shipments of up to two nine-liter cases can be delivered to any California resident adult per month. The shipment needs to be clearly labeled with how much and of what is inside, and the recipient cannot be drunk.
Colorado allows wine to be delivered to those over the age of 21.
Deliveries of up to five gallons of wine to an adult are permitted every two months. You can also get beer delivered but it has to be in a gift basket via a valid gift basket retailer permit on behalf of the seller. We didn’t even know gift basket permits were a thing…
Delivery of alcohol is not allowed at a private residence.
District of Columbia
Washington D.C. allows shipments of wine, spirits and beer. During the Coronavirus pandemic they passed an emergency relief bill for bars and restaurants that allowed alcohol delivery within the city.
Businesses with proper licenses can ship alcoholic beverages directly to consumers with no obvious limits or restrictions.
Customers can receive up to six nine-liter cases of wine to their address annually. Drink up!
Direct shipments of wine are permitted.
Any adult who’s a resident in the state can receive up to 12 cases of wine per year. In 2015, Illinois also made it legal for breweries to make deliveries, and amidst the pandemic unopened alcohol is legal to pickup or deliver from restaurants, bars and breweries.
You can only receive 216 liters of wine per year to a private residence. Why such a specific number?
Wine shipments are allowed.
Consumers can receive up to 12 cases of wine a year, and during the COVID-19 outbreak all liquor-license holders can offer curbside wine, beer and liquor pickup or delivery.
You can receive alcohol deliveries if you purchased it in person.
Alcohol deliveries of all kinds are legal to a person 21 years or older.
You can’t ship more than 12 cases a year to a single recipient.
Recipients can receive up to 18 nine-liter cases of wine or pomace brandy (?) to their address in one year. You must be 21 years or older to accept the package.
Residents can receive up to nine liters of wine per shipment, but there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the number of shipments annually. Breweries can also ship beer to customers if they have the proper license.
Direct wine sales are allowed.
Local deliveries are strict when it comes to IDs and licenses of delivery drivers, but you can get wine, beer and other spirits delivered.
The state doesn’t specify whether booze deliveries are legal, but the Department of Revenue does specify that wine ordered online cannot be brought into the state. This one’s bizarre, just avoid it.
Private residences can receive up to 2 cases of wine a month.
As a resident, you can receive up to 18 nine-liter cases of wine each year. You can also receive up to 12 cases of beer from a brewery out of state each year.
Anyone 21+ can receive up to nine liters of liquor per month. Nebraska has also augmented the rules for Class I and Class A liquor license holders who are now legally able to sell beer, wine and spirits for takeout and delivery.
As a vendor, you can ship up to a gallon of spirits per month or 12 cases of wine to a private residence each year.
New Hampshire allows the delivery of beer, wine and liquor — with limits of 60 one-liter containers of wine and 27 gallons of beer — each year.
You’re allowed to receive up to 12 cases of wine per year.
Wine or cider shipments are permitted, you’re allowed up to two nine-liter cases of wine per month. This includes alcohol purchases made online.
A statewide order was passed during the pandemic allowing breweries and restaurants to sell liquor for takeout along with food orders.
Proper permits are required for everyday customers to receive shipments, so it might be easier to just head to the store.
You’re allowed 27 liters of wine, 288 fluid ounces of beer or nine liters of a spirit to be delivered per month.
A private household can purchase up to 24 cases of wine each year and get them delivered.
While alcohol deliveries are not normally allowed in this state, they’ve issued a temporary order during the COVID-19 pandemic that allows wine, beer and spirits to be delivered to customers.
Oregon allows the shipment or wine, cider or malt beverages with proper permits.
Deliveries of wine, beer and spirits are allowed.
Alcohol deliveries are legal to adults who show photo ID, and they need to be made during legal hours for alcohol sale, and there needs to be a detailed invoice of what’s inside the shipment.
Businesses are allowed curbside pickup of beer and wine, shipments are allowed to be delivered with proper ID.
Shipments of wine, beer and spirits are allowed with proper ID upon delivery.
Shipments of wine are allowed to private residences.
Texas has also passed a temporary policy during the COVID-19 pandemic where liquor, beer and wine can be sold along with takeout orders at restaurants.
Direct sales of alcohol to residents are not permitted.
Direct shipments of malt beverages and wine are permitted.
Shipments of beer and wine are allowed, and during the COVID-19 pandemic businesses that have a liquor license on the premise can sell wine or beer for pickup or delivery without a delivery permit.
The state allows direct wine shipments, and is allowing businesses to sell beer, wine and spirits for takeout or delivery during the pandemic.
Wine deliveries are allowed and require an electronic signature upon acceptance.
Wisconsin allows wine to be shipped to its residents.
Wine shipments are allowed to residents with proper permits on behalf of the seller.