How to Obtain a North Carolina Liquor License for a Wedding Reception

the head table at the reception of a wedding. image by Matthew Antonino from

North Carolina state law requires that events serving liquor or fortified wine hold a liquor license. You do not need a liquor license for your wedding reception unless your party will be bringing the liquor to a facility because reception facilities that provide and serve have their own liquor licenses and caterers have a mixed beverages catering permit. The person responsible for bringing the liquor or fortified wine must obtain a limited special occasion permit from the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC Commission).

Download the application for a limited special occasion permit from the ABC Commission website, at

Fill out all parts of the application in pen or with a typewriter. This includes the name and contact information of the person responsible for bringing the liquor and information about the location where the wedding reception will be held.

Go to the office of a notary or other person qualified by law to administer oaths. Read the conditions listed above the signature line, sign the application and have it notarized.

Have the owner of the wedding reception site fill out the portion on the back of the application to give their permission for you to serve alcohol on their property. Alternately, you can include a copy of your lease or rental agreement with your application if the agreement specified in writing that you have permission to serve alcohol.

Get a cashier’s check, money order or certified check for $50.00 payable to the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

Obtain a certified copy of your criminal record check from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Place the completed application, copy of your rental agreement if needed, $50 fee and criminal record check in an envelope. Mail to:

NC ABC Commission 4307 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-4307

by USPS regular mail, or to:

NC ABC Commission 3322 Garner Road Raleigh, NC 27610

by USPS express mail, FedEx or UPS.