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April 2020

New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Extends the 2020-2021 License Renewal Deadline to September 30, 2020

Last updated April 21, 2020

As a result of the unprecedented health hazard posed by COVID-19 and its significant impact on each tier of the liquor industry and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (the “ABC”) operations, Acting Director Graziano has exercised his broad authority under Title 33 (“the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act”) to extend the 2019-2020 license term for all municipally issued liquor licenses, state licenses and state permits until Wednesday, September 30, 2020.These licenses and permits would have otherwise expired on June 30, 2020.

New Jersey requires that municipally issued retail liquor license holders renew their licenses annually through the online ABC POSSE system.

The licensee must:

  1. File a renewal application with the Division; and

  2. Pay the State renewal fee; and

  3. Pay municipal renewal fee to the issuing authority; and

  4. Obtain proof of New Jersey Sales Tax Clearance; and,

  5. The municipal issuing authority must pass a resolution renewing the license.

Without completing all of these steps on or before June 30, the privilege to sell and serve alcoholic beverages would have lapsed effective July 1.

As a result of COVID-19 and the declared Public Health emergency resulting in the mandatory closure of bars and ban on on-premises dining, the ABC recognizes that many licensees will not be able to complete all necessary steps to renew their licenses by June 30, 2020. Therefore, the ninety (90) day extension until September 30, 2020 was necessary to allow licensees to organize their business operations, reopen, financially recover, and complete the renewal process.

We strongly recommend, however, that all licensees should still seek to complete the renewal filing process as soon as possible, and well in advance of September 30, 2020, to provide enough time for processing and for the municipal issuing authority or Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to take the required action (i.e., adopt a resolution renewing the license for the 2020-2021 license term) without a lapse in the license. In addition, no license renewals may be considered without a tax clearance certificate issued by the NJ Division of Taxation. Under normal circumstances, it can take a period of thirty (30) days or more to obtain a Tax clearance Certificate. Licensees should expect delays in processing due to the Public Health Emergency and should consider starting their renewal process as soon as possible, regardless if they are currently open or closed.

If a licensee is not renewed by municipal resolution on or before September 30, 2020, that licensee must cease the sale and service of alcoholic beverages, unless the licensee obtains an ad interim permit issued by the Division effective October 1, 2020, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:2-2.10.

The deadline for renewal has also been extended for “State licenses,” including but not limited to: plenary, limited and craft distillery licenses; plenary, limited and wine wholesale licenses; limited and restricted brewery licenses; plenary and farm winery licenses; public warehouses; sporting facility; and out-of-state winery licenses.

Finally, the deadline for renewal has also been extended for “State issued licenses and permits” including but not limited to: Annual State Permits (known as “Special Concessionaire’s Permits”), Transportation License Insignias, Omnibus, Gratuitous Gifts and Samples, Donations, Sampling, Marketing Agent, Off Premises Storage of Records, and Special Golf Facility.

To read the Division of ABC’s Administrative Order (AO 2020-02), please click here.

If you require any assistance in renewing your liquor license, or have questions about the extension of time to renew, please do not hesitate to contact your CSG attorney or one of the authors listed below. 

For additional information pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit CSG's COVID-19 Resource Center.


This publication contains general information on recent legal developments and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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