Alcohol Shipping Laws In All 50 States

Shipping Alcohol

It is reasonable to say that this year has ushered in a new level of respect for delivered goods. If we choose to have anything delivered, we will take it.

There has been a significant surge in internet alcohol sales, especially since the pandemic began. And these figures do not appear to be decreasing.

Can you ship alcohol to someone? No. A consumer can’t send alcohol to someone. You can only do so by placing an order through an authorized distillery or vendor. Shipping alcohol in the United States is complicated. Alcohol cannot be shipped via USPS, but it can be shipped via FedEx and UPS with limited restrictions.

Shipping alcohol is subject to several regulations. If you have ever thought about sending alcohol to someone, this post is for you.

Shipping Alcohol In All 50 States

Unfortunately, as a consumer, you cannot transport alcohol to yourself. Shipping alcohol is unlawful for consumers unless they have the legal licenses and authorization to distribute alcohol for some purpose.

But why is that? These federal laws were enacted after the United States opted to reinstate the 21st Amendment. This law permits people to drink in some state-by-state direction.

One of the prerequisites for exporting alcohol would be that it was not available to consumers.

Now, whether it is a vineyard or a tequila start-up, licensed alcohol merchants are a different story.

Licensed alcohol sellers and retailers will prioritize obtaining the legal permits to ship alcohol to avoid encountering too many roadblocks. This law is applied whether domestically or internationally.

One must know the state and municipal rules and regulations regarding the shipment of alcohol. One must also know the other state delivery requirements. So, unless you are a certified alcohol vendor, you cannot send someone their favorite bottle anytime soon.

Alcohol Shipping Laws

“Can you ship liquor?” Many people living in the US ponder this question a lot! In reality, the common questions about exporting alcohol are:

  • Is it illegal to ship alcohol?
  • Can you ship beer?
  • Who ships alcohol?
  • Who ships wine?
  • What states can you legally ship wine to?
  • How to ship wine to a friend?
  • How to ship alcoholic beverages?

The laws governing the transport of alcoholic beverages are notoriously complex. It is because each state has its own set of rules.

However, the above-mentioned broad rules are pretty standard: the shipper must have a license, and the state to which they are shipping must allow people to receive alcohol. The two most crucial alcohol shipment laws are as follows.

Alcohol transportation rules in several states are highly severe. Utah, Mississippi, and Kentucky are the three states with the most stringent laws.

For example, it is illegal to ship alcohol directly to consumers in Utah. Florida, Minnesota, and Alaska are three of the least authoritarian states.

States That Prohibits Allow Alcohol Shipping

If you want to know which states you can mail alcohol to, here is a list of states where alcohol cannot be shipped to citizens.

  • Maine
  • Montana
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • West Virginia
  • Mississippi
  • Maryland
  • Delaware
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Kentucky

If you try to send alcohol to ordinary citizens in any of those states, you might end up in legal problems. Knowing the liquor shipping rules by the state for the states you wish to ship to is a good idea.

Couriers That Allows Alcohol Shipment

UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL are the four major shipping firms most typically utilized by vendors transporting alcohol. There are a few things that all carriers that accept alcohol shipments will have in common.

Apart from these few similarities, these carriers will differ in many ways. First and foremost, you must specify that the package contains alcohol.

Alcohol contents will have a different delivery surcharge. And, of course, the cargo must be signed for by an adult over the age of 21.


UPS exclusively accepts shipments of spirits from merchants, distributors, and producers permitted to sell alcohol. These shipments maybe, depending on the legislation of the destination state, these shipments may be:

  • Have a license. UPS will transport alcoholic beverages from one permitted organization to the next. Consumers will not be able to receive these shipments.
  • Consumer-to-consumer. Spirits are delivered directly to customers by a licensed company to sell, distribute, or make spirits. The consignee will be listed as the buyer.
  • Shipments from distilleries across state lines. Direct shipments to consumers from out-of-state distilleries.
  • Shipments from distilleries within the state. Direct shipments to consumers from in-state distilleries.

Before attempting any alcohol shipments, check with your local laws. Some states allow all of the possibilities while others do not. Furthermore, you must obtain any necessary shipper licenses from the destination state.

Shipping Beer Via UPS

Yes, one can ship beer via UPS, but there is a restriction. Ups will only accept shippers with a valid retailer or brewery license in their native states.

Penalty For Shipping Alcohol UPS

The company and court can fine you if you try to circumvent UPS laws by secretly transporting alcohol via UPS.

UPS is a licensed alcohol carrier. As a result, sending alcohol via UPS is not prohibited.

UPS may punish you if you have no license to sell and ship alcohol. The courier will immediately seize your cargo. However, there are no legal consequences.


The criteria for FedEx alcohol transportation are very similar to UPS, but some differences make it a FedEx-specific experience. The supplier must comply with the following FedEx alcohol shipment requirements:

  • Have a FedEx account that is up to date. Customer service can connect you with a FedEx account executive.
  • Sign a FedEx Alcohol Shipping contract.
  • Use an electronic shipping solution, such as FedEx Ship Manager® or a FedEx-approved third-party system.
  • There must be an identification with all alcohol shipments by selecting alcohol in the shipping program.
  • One must strictly follow all FedEx alcohol packaging standards.
  • One must note all the alcohol contents for shipment on a shipping label.
  • For all alcohol packages, you must be able to provide an adult signature upon delivery.

Penalty For Shipping Alcohol FedEx

FedEx, like UPS, is legally permitted to ship alcoholic beverages. Attempting to ship alcohol through FedEx is not unlawful in and of itself.

FedEx has an internal policy of only shipping with licensed organizations. You will only be violating the terms of service, not federal or state law.

As a result, you may face a fine. Plus, the courier will also seize your shipments.


DHL is a shipping company that focuses on international deliveries. The following are the conditions for transporting alcohol via DHL:

  • To transport alcoholic beverages, you must sign the company Alcoholic Beverage Transport Agreement.
  • Shippers must follow all FDA and TTB standards and regulations.
  • For shipping, you must supply DHL with all appropriate state or international alcohol permits.
  • Copy of federal essential and correct state-issued shipping permits are required.
  • To receive the correct shipments, import clients must have the necessary licenses and licenses.

Penalty For Shipping Alcohol DHL

Countries have their own import rules and agreements so that DHL shipping restrictions may apply.

The Global Import Guidelines of DHL are an excellent resource for identifying specifically banned commodities that you might encounter when delivering cross-border. If you try to sneak alcohol into your cargo, the company will seize it.


Because of Prohibition rules implemented in the 1920s, the United States Postal Service does not authorize the transport of alcohol! Seriously. That is not to imply that USPS will forever prohibit the shipment of alcohol in the future.

Former Postmaster General Patrick Donahue proposed allowing the USPS to deliver beer, wine, and spirits to the customers’ doorsteps in 2013.

He estimated that alcoholic beverage deliveries earn the Postal Service up to $50 million each year. That is a significant sum!

Nonetheless, Donahue offered the notion years ago. However, there are no visible movements in that direction shortly. In our opinion, do not get your hopes up.

Are There Any Exceptions?

There are certain exceptions to this rule. Cold medicines, cooking wine, and mouthwash can all be shipped via USPS if they contain the lowest alcohol levels.

Any liquid with 0.5 percent or higher alcohol content, on the other hand, is not mailable. So, USPS prohibits delivering beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages.

How To Ship Alcohol

There are packing standards that everyone must consider when delivering alcohol. All are part of these alcohol shipping legal guidelines.

Because alcohol shipments include both liquids and glassware, it is understandable that the packaging requirements are broad and detailed. UPS even provides free packaging services to ensure that all alcohol shipments arrive safely.

Shippers must avoid breaking within the parcel to prevent wasted alcohol sales and product loss. Different varieties of alcohol will have distinct requirements depending on their contents. Make sure to think about the finer points before ordering a shipping label.

Properly wrap and label boxes as delicate to ensure that the cargo is handled carefully. It will ensure that the alcohol shipping effort is worthwhile.

Shipping Liquor

If you are an alcohol retailer shipping beer by freight, keep several things in mind. These things will ensure that the beverages arrive safely and be consumed once they get to the delivery destination.

Regardless of your beer storage preferences, the boxes should be shrink-wrapped to the pallet. This method of packaging will adequately secure your beer shipment.

  • Bottles: Shipping beer in glass bottles is a dangerous transportation strategy that could result in product leakage during transit. This is the least desirable option for transportation, particularly long distances, although it may be done with care.

  • Cans: Although less breakable than glass and marginally easier to package, cans are still not the best choice for transporting beers. You run the risk of cans exploding, especially if the frothy beers are agitated along the way.

  • Kegs: Beer kegs are a common way to carry beer near and far from alcohol retailers. They’re great for shipping but not so great for convenience.

Shipping Wine

Wine shipping is something that many businesses wish they could do. This is particularly true for wineries and vineyards that generate extensive wine.

If you have been attempting to find out how to send alcoholic beverages, the first step is to obtain a shipping license.

It is illegal to ship without a legal license, regardless of your living state.

Afterward, you need to figure out where you can transport wine. When you have determined where you can ship it, you can do it through UPS Freight or FedEx Freight. Then, with UPS or FedEx, you need to form a customized contract.

Shipping Whiskey

Whiskey can be shipped in the same way that wine or liquor can. You’ll need a license and a specific UPS or FedEx contract. You can only ship it to people in states where it’s legal.

If you’re shipping to a merchant, you could have to pay additional taxes or tariffs. Everything is dependent on where the whiskey is being shipped.

How To Pack Liquids For Shipping?

Alcoholic beverages are frequently packaged in glass bottles, which are more fragile than their plastic counterparts. When transporting glass wine bottles, beer bottles, liquor bottles, or liquids in other delicate containers, you must exercise extra caution.

You may use strong cardboard boxes with trays inside. It will offer divisions for each bottle that should be used to convey alcoholic beverages safely. This will keep the bottles apart and prevent them from colliding.

You can also protect the bottles by wrapping them with bubble wrap. If you’re transporting costly wine, you might want to do this.

After that, you can stuff the box with packing peanuts before closing it and taping it tight. The boxes should next be carefully stacked inside the truck.


To conclude, when you are unsure about something, you can directly ask your carrier. UPS and FedEx have many rules to observe if you are shipping alcohol.

However, UPS and FedEx have a considerable number of customer care representatives ready to assist you at any time. Just remember to avoid using USPS on this one, at least until the regulations alter.


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