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Shippers and Common Carriers

Shipper's License

Virginia ABC is authorized to issue a shipper's license to persons licensed in their state of domicile as:

  • Winery
  • Farm winery
  • Brewery
  • Or persons authorized to sell wine and beer at retail for off-premise consumption
 

Fees

  • Wine shipper's license: $95
  • Beer shipper's license: $95
  • Wine and beer shipper's license: $95
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $65 is required to be submitted with the application for a license.
 

Privileges

The sale and shipment into or within the Commonwealth of no more than two cases of wine or two cases of beer per month to any person in the Commonwealth to whom alcoholic beverages may be lawfully sold for personal consumption and not for resale.

A case of wine is defined as any combination of packages containing not more than nine liters of wine. A case of beer is defined as any combination of packages containing not more than 288 ounces of beer.

 

Application Process

In addition to completing the standard Virginia ABC license application (PDF)—no posting and publishing requirements necessary—all applicants for shipper's application must:

  • Submit copy of charter status for a corporation or limited liability company.
  • Submit copy of articles of incorporation or organization.
  • Submit copies of federal/state licenses or permits that authorize the applicant to manufacture wine and/or beer (wineries, breweries or farm wineries).
  • Submit copies of state licenses that authorize the sale of wine and/or beer at retail.
  • Submit list of brands of wine/beer that applicant will ship.
  • Any winery, farm winery or brewery must notify any wholesalers licensed in Virginia to distribute their brands that an application for a shipper's license has been filed. Send ABC a copy of the letter, or a letter stating you have no wholesalers in Virginia.
  • Have a Virginia state sales tax number. You may apply online at www.tax.virginia.gov.
  • Submit copies of federal label approvals for any products to be shipped into Virginia that do not have Virginia label approvals.
  • Applicants for shipper's license who do not own or have rights to control the distribution of the wine/beer identified in the application must provide written consent of the winery, farm winery or brewery whose brands will be shipped. 
Please note: Posting and publishing of notice to apply for a license is not required for a shipper's license. Criminal background checks are no longer required for a shipper's license as well.
 

Conditions/Restrictions

All shipments shall be made only by common carriers approved by Virginia ABC (see below). All wine/beer shipped into the Commonwealth shall be approved for sale in Virginia by Virginia ABC.

 

Reporting Requirements and Forms

All shippers' licensees shall keep complete, accurate and separate records of wine and/or beer products sold and shipped to persons in the Commonwealth. Licensees shall remit on a monthly basis to Virginia ABC an accurate account stating whether any wine or beer products were shipped, and if so, the quantities and the price charged. Such report shall also include the name and addresses of the purchasers to whom wine and/or beer was shipped.

Shippers' licensees on a monthly basis shall, on forms prescribed by the Virginia ABC, report the quantities of wine and/or beer sold and shipped into or within the Commonwealth and remit the appropriate excise tax to the Virginia ABC. This report and remittance shall be required on alcoholic beverages in which the Virginia wine and beer excise taxes have not already been paid. (Virginia-licensed retailers are not required to submit excise taxes since those taxes are remitted by the wholesaler at the point of transfer to retail, but are still required to submit the reports).

Direct shipper's report, with instructions (PDF)
Direct shipper's report, instructions only (PDF)
Direct shipper's report, without instructions (Excel)

Common Carrier Approval

Submit on company letterhead a written request to be an approved common carrier of wine and/or beer shipped by holders of a Virginia ABC shipper's license, as well as evidence of approval as an interstate common carrier, to the attention of the Virginia ABC Tax Management Section.

  • Include contact person's name, complete address of the company, telephone number, fax number and email address.
  • Also include a statement that, as a common carrier, you are aware of the requirement that common carriers are required to file a monthly report to Virginia ABC of all shipments to individual consumers in Virginia.

Approved common carriers shall refuse delivery when the proposed recipient appears to be under the age of 21 years and refuses to present valid identification.

 

Reporting

Approved common carriers shall keep complete, accurate and separate records of wine and/or beer products delivered to persons in the Commonwealth.

Approved common carriers on a monthly basis shall, on forms prescribed by Virginia ABC, report the quantities of wine and/or beer delivered into or within the Commonwealth. Such report shall also include the name and address of the purchasers to whom wine and/or beer was delivered.

Common carrier’s monthly reporting form (PDF), requires legal-sized paper (8.5 x 14 inches) for printing.

 

ABC-Approved Common Carriers

  • Meadow Lark Transport #1486
  • FedEx Express #1000
  • United Parcel Service #1001
  • FedEx Ground #1002
  • Central Hauling Co. #1126
  • Calark #1127
  • DHL #1003
 

ABC Special Agents

Special agents are the primary resource for questions related to operating a business with an ABC license. Contact a special agent via your regional ABC office.