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Expired IDs: Updated Guidelines for Licensees

Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) staff have recently received requests for information about verifying age when a customer’s ID is expired. Recently the Washington’s Department of Licensing (DOL) updated the state guidelines to extend the amount of time that an expiring ID will be considered valid. The new timeframe allowed is listed below.
WA Licenses/ State IDs expiring in 2020
According to the DOL website, it breaks down like this:
  •  March 1 – April 30: extended for 270 days (considered valid for nine months after expiration)
  • May 1 – June 30: extended for 180 days (considered valid for six months after expiration)
  • July 1 – Sept. 30: extended for 90 days (considered valid for three months after expiration)
  • Oct. 1 – Dec. 31: extended for 90 days (considered valid for three months after expiration)
While the LCB does not mandate that IDs of every customer be checked, it is a good tool for making sure age-restricted products aren’t sold to underage customers. Licensees are responsible for ensuring that customer age is assessed before selling age-restricted products. Learn more about age verification requirements here

Businesses must also follow COVID-19 guidance, including making sure all employees and customers wear masks. Find information on COVID-19 requirements here.

Agency Re-Organization: Policy and External Affairs

Chief Justin Nordhorn is transitioning from his role as Director of the Enforcement and Education Division to a new position as Policy and External Affairs Director. In that capacity, Justin will be overseeing and working closely with Policy and Rules Manager Kathy Hoffman and her team, as well as the yet to be formed outreach team consisting of existing LCB staff. More work is ahead as we continue to develop an outreach strategy to directly engage stakeholders and licensees to further education, understanding of and compliance with our rules and policies.
As the Policy and External Affairs Director, Justin will bring his decade of executive leadership and 22 years in law enforcement experience to oversee agency rules and stakeholder outreach programs. His balance of public safety experience and big picture thinking will be an invaluable asset to the agency and stakeholders going forward.
 Justin’s transition to the new position will not be immediate. He will continue to lead the Enforcement and Education division as the agency recruits and hires a new chief.

Are Your Cocktails-To-Go Containers Compliant?

On May 6, the LCB announced that any restaurant with a Spirits, Beer and Wine (S/B/W) license may sell pre-mixed alcohol drinks for consumption off the licensed premises during the Covid-19 Stay Home – Stay Health order. Many licensees across the state now serve and sell “cocktails-to-go” as a result. The LCB is doing its part to help restaurants continue business and also wants to make sure safeguards are being followed so that impaired driving and public consumption do not result.
Please do your part to take a second look at your cocktails-to-go packaging and make sure you are adhering to guidance:
  • Package the cocktail in a manner designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap.
  • Package the pre-mixed cocktail in a container with a secure lid or cap.
  • Lids with sipping holes or openings for straws are not allowed, even if taped over.
  • Fountain drink-style cups and coffee cups are not allowed.
  • Mason jars, screw top bottles, or capped bottles are some compliant options.
  • Additional examples of do's and don’ts may be found here.
 We are counting on you to help ensure that patrons do their part as well by:
  • Posting this customer notice about open container laws.
  • Delivering cocktails to the trunk of the vehicle or beyond the immediate reach of the driver.
  • Confirming that the person accepting the order or delivery is 21 or over.
 See full announcement from May 6, 2020 here.

Legal Stuff

The Licensing team cannot give you legal advice, but we do want to share information that will help you operate within the rules. 
Interested in internet sales?
If you'd like to work with a third party service provider to process online payments, create an online shopping portal, or deliver alcoholic beverages, the LCB must approve the contract before you can proceed. To receive approval, submit the Added Activity form on our website and licensing staff will work with you.  
We may ask you for a copy of your contract to make sure it complies with the rules. Some of the common things we look for include:
  • The service provider should be charging a service fee per transaction.
  • Service fees cannot be based on a percentage of sales.
  • The service provider must transfer proceeds from the sale to the licensee right away. The service provider cannot hold proceeds from the sale or disburse payments in a lump sum.
  • Liquor must be sent from the licensed retail location to the buyer.
  • The Licensee is responsible for all deliveries made on its behalf.
 You can find the rules for third party service providers in WACs 314-03-020, 314-03-030, 314-03-035, and 314-03-040.
Changes to your Corporation or LLC
Anytime you make a change to your corporate or LLC officers, stockholders, managers, or members, you must report those changes to the LCB right away. The law requires us to approve these changes so that we can track who is operating the license. To begin the process, complete the Change in Governing Persons Application on the Department of Revenue’s Website.
Updated Special Occasions License Rules
On October 31, 2020, we updated the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) rules for special occasion licenses. These updated rules modernize and clarify existing language and timelines for the application process. No new requirements were created. For more information, please check out the updated rules on our website. If you have questions about special occasion licenses, please contact specialoccasions@lcb.wa.gov.

Liquor License Starter's Guide: Guiding Light

The Licensing Division engaged with licensees to create a starter’s guide for new liquor license applicants, named Guiding Light. We created the guide to help new business owners navigate the licensing process by providing tips, quick links, and consolidated resources. This effort was part of the Results Washington’s Agency Design Challenge.
Click here or the image to view the Starter's Guide.

Upcoming Business Fair (Biz Fair)

LCB’s current online systems are outdated and can be difficult to navigate
The LCB’s online system is made up of a variety of very outdated applications that manage licensing and agency business processes for cannabis, vapor products, tobacco, beer, spirits, wine, and our enforcement and education services. Maintaining these old systems is costly and limits the ability to make improvements to functionality and ease of use. The risk of system failure is also a significant concern.
Developing a new system that meets requirements and improves functionality
The agency is working on a project called Systems Modernization Project (SMP) to develop a new system to replace the outdated systems with an integrated system. The new system will be called Licensing, Enforcement, Education, and Administrative Data Systems (LEEADS).
Learning what licensees need and want from an online licensing system
The project team includes staff experts from each LCB area to ensure the new system meets the needs of staff and licensees from each area. Project staff have been contacting licensees from a variety of license types to get insight into their needs and experiences with LCB’s systems. As the project moves forward, licensee feedback will help shape the development of the LEEADS system. A selection of licensees will also be contacted for help in testing the system. The project team will be providing updates to the Alcohol Advisory Committee, and all licensees will be kept updated on LEEADS progress via this newsletter and other ways. If you have questions please email the project team at SMP@lcb.wa.gov.

Rules Updates and Recently Adopted Rules

The LCB adopted final rules (CR 103) related to the special occasion licenses chapter at the September 30, 2020 Board meeting. The rules became effective October 31, 2020. To learn more, see:
 The LCB filed a rule proposal (CR 102) related to the permits chapter and implementation of 2019 legislation (EHB 1563) related to the student tastings permit at the September 30, 2020 Board meeting. To learn more, see:
 The LCB is in the pre-proposal (CR 101) stage of developing rules related to several alcohol bills enacted during the 2020 legislative session, including:
  • HB 2412 (Domestic brewery/ microbreweries; Keg registration requirements);
  • ESSB 5006 (Brewery/Winery on-premise consumption endorsement);
  • ESSB 6095 (Common carriers);
  • SSB 6392 (Local wine association license); and
  • E2SSB 5549 (Distilleries).
 To learn more about the development of rules related to HB 2412, ESSB 5006, ESSB 6095, and SSB 6392, see:
 To learn more about the development of rules related to E2SSB 5549, see:
To sign up for email notifications regarding WSLCB Rulemaking, please follow this link to join our GovDelivery Rulemaking subscriber list.
Questions about the rules in progress or rulemaking process? Email rules@lcb.wa.gov
Washington State Capitol Dome and Legislative Offices

Contact Us 

The LCB has made many changes over the last few months to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. Our website addresses general questions about the latest allowances. If you have additional questions about retail liquor licenses like taverns, nightclubs, restuarants, or liquor stores, please email RetailLiquorLicensing@lcb.wa.gov. For non-retail questions about wineries, distilleries, breweries, or distribution, please email NonRetailLiquorLicensing@lcb.wa.gov.

Promote public safety and trust through fair administration and enforcement of liquor, cannabis, tobacco, and vapor laws.
-WSLCB Mission Statement
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