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Preparing for Liquor License Renewal 2023-2024: Requirements, Updated Deadlines and Best Practices

May 3, 2023

All liquor licenses issued by the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission (“MLCC”), including all on premises, off premises, manufacturer, wholesaler and importer licenses, must be renewed by May 5, 2023. All liquor licenses issued by the MLCC are effective for periods of one year each and expire April 30 of each licensing year. Exceptions exist only for certain sales representative and vendor permits, which are valid for terms of three years. However, on May 1, 2023, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission extended the renewal period for liquor licenses until midnight on Friday, May 5, 2023.

For those with licenses currently in escrow, different rules for renewal apply, but these licenses must also be renewed, despite the non-active nature of the license. Finally, no exceptions to the renewal rules exist for recently issued licenses: liquor licenses issued in the 2022 – 2023 licensing year must be renewed on or prior to May 5 as well.

In order for restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other liquor licensed operators to retain their licensed status with the ability to furnish and/or sell alcoholic beverages, whether at retail or wholesale, each Michigan licensee must renew their existing licenses on or prior to the extended deadline. The failure of an active licensee to timely renew a license is a violation of the Michigan Liquor Control Code and will subject the license to termination.

Renewal Process Modifications

The MLCC has recently modified the renewal process by adding a credit card option for liquor license renewal payments. The online renewal portal now accepts payments using Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Payment by electronic funds transfers (EFT) from bank accounts continues to be an available option too. If there are multiple transactions, you need to allow five (5) minutes in between transactions of the same amount with the same account information. Otherwise, the system thinks it is a duplicate payment.

Licensees can now print their own renewal license online. If licensees have no changes to their renewal license application, they may print their own license for the May 5, 2023, renewal date. If a renewal application has been mailed to the MLCC prior to April 1, 2023, it may also be printed online. Licensees can only print active licenses for the current renewal year. Escrow renewals do not contain licensing documents that require printing. Instructions for printing renewal licenses can be found here.  

Typically, the administrative staff of the MLCC will mail renewal packages in the middle of March. The members of Varnum’s Hospitality and Beverage Control Law Practice Group are currently responding to several license inquiries and are handling the renewal of the licenses for a number of our clients when so requested. If you would like to obtain our assistance in this regard or have any other questions, please contact us. We would be happy to review and submit the appropriate documentation to the State of Michigan to assure that your license is properly renewed and delivered to you on a timely basis to avoid any suspensions of your license.

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