This page provides updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including public health information, State of Iowa mitigation efforts, and changes to ABD operations that may impact our licensees.
This page will be updated on a rolling basis as new information is released and/or new changes are implemented. Please bookmark this page and check back often.
Any alcoholic beverage-related questions not addressed on this page may be sent to email@example.com.
Last Update: 7/28/20
Scroll down to see all of the updates or choose a topic below:
- Public Health and Mitigation Effort Updates
- Appointment-Only Access to ABD Offices
- Recordkeeping Requirements
- Mass Gatherings and Events
- Tobacco/Vaping Stores
- Theaters and Performance Venues
- Dramshop Insurance
- Temporary Off-Premises Sales Privileges for Class “C” Liquor Licensees
- Outdoor Service Areas for Selling and Serving Alcohol
- Alcoholic Beverage Deliveries to Consumers
- Alcoholic Beverage Returns to Wholesalers by Retailers
- Growler Sales
- Temporary Suspension of Alcohol License Expiration
- Refunds for 6- or 8-month or 5- or 14-day Licenses/Permits
- Temporary Deferral of Beer Barrel Tax and Wine Gallonage Tax Reporting and Remittance
- Electronic Transfer of Beer Between Brewpubs and Beer Wholesalers
- Temporary Postponement of TTB Document Reporting to ABD
- Moratorium on Can/Bottle Redemption Requirement for Retailers
- Information on Manufacturing Hand Sanitizer
- Expired Driver’s License/ID
Public Health and Mitigation Effort Updates
The latest public health information related to COVID-19 issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health can be found here.
The latest updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds on the State of Iowa’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts can be found here.
A collection of COVID-19-related information from Iowa state agencies can be found here.
All of the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) COVID-19-related news and guidance can be found here.
Appointment-Only Access to ABD Offices
ABD is committed to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. There will be no access to the building by the general public without an appointment. If you need an in-person appointment or have questions, please contact 515-281-7400.
It is important that all license/permit holders maintain accurate records including, but not limited to, income statements, balance sheets, purchase and sales invoices, and purchase and sales ledgers especially for sales related to new privileges extended through the Governor's proclamations.
Mass Gatherings and Events
Effective until 11:59 p.m. on August 23, 2020:
A social, community, recreational, leisure, or sporting gathering or event, including but not limited to a parade, festival, farmers market, auction, convention, or fundraiser, of more than ten people may be held, but only if the gathering complies with all other relevant provisions in this Proclamation and the following requirements:
Social distancing: The gathering organizer must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual attending alone.
Other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The gathering organizer shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each gathering to ensure social distancing of gathering participants, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health and, for any food service, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.
Last updated 7/24/20
Effective until 11:59 p.m on August 23, tobacco or vaping stores in all counties may reopen or remain open to the extent that the store implements reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Per Iowa Code section 142D.2(18), “retail tobacco store” means a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is incidental to the sale of tobacco products.
Tobacco, alternative nicotine, and vapor products may also continue to be sold in the following manner:
Tobacco products, cigarettes, and cigars can be purchased curbside on the premises, but they cannot be mailed, shipped, or otherwise delivered (e.g., cannot be delivered to the consumer’s home). It is federal regulation - not state regulation - that prohibits mailing/shipping/delivery.
Alternative nicotine and vapor products can be sold curbside, and can be mailed, shipped, or otherwise delivered under the conditions listed on the Iowa Department of Revenue's website that can be found here.
Tobacco or vaping stores that hold an alcohol license or permit authorizing the sale of alcoholic liquor, wine, and/or beer for off-premises consumption are allowed to open to the public under the above social distancing guidelines and may continue to sell alcoholic beverages via delivery or curb-side pickup.
Last updated 7/24/20
Effective until 11:59 p.m on August 23, restaurants, bars, wedding reception venues, wineries, breweries, distilleries, country clubs, or other social and fraternal clubs may reopen or remain open to serve food and beverages on their premises but only to the extent that they comply with the following requirements:
Social distancing: The establishment must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking alone. Seating at booths closer than six feet may satisfy this requirement if the booths are separated by a barrier of a sufficient height to fully separate seated customers. All patrons must have a seat at a table or bar, and an establishment must limit patrons from congregating together closer than six feet.
Other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The restaurant shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each restaurant to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and the Iowa Department of Public Health.
If you have further questions related to food safety guidelines, please email the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) at firstname.lastname@example.org. DIA also has additional guidance related to food service available on their website.
State and local peace officers have a duty to enforce lawful public health orders within their respective jurisdictions. Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of the public health emergency declaration or a lawful order of an officer is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has information available for business owners who are impacted by a COVID-19-related closure.
Last updated 7/28/20
Theaters and Performance Venues
Effective until 11:59 p.m on August 23, any theater or performance venue at which motion pictures are shown or live performances are held may reopen or remain open, but only to the extent that the theater complies with the following requirements:
Social distancing: The theater or performance venue must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual attending alone when seated in the theater.
Other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The theater shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each theater to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health and, for any food service, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.
Last Updated 7/24/20
On-premises licensees and permittees are reminded that a dramshop insurance policy must be in effect in order to hold an active license/permit.
The Iowa Insurance Division is very aware of the difficulties this pandemic has placed on consumers, businesses, and the insurance markets. While this is a contractual matter between the consumers and the insurers, the Iowa Insurance Division's Market Regulation Bureau is tasked specifically with receiving and reviewing complaints from consumers / businesses to ensure that insurance coverage was applied as per the contract.
The Insurance Division has not issued directives to carriers to adjust their payment arrangements and renewals/cancellation policies with policyholders except in the instance for Individual and Small Group Coverage Impacted by COVID-19 described in Bulletin# 20-04. You may monitor Insurance Division activities at https://iid.iowa.gov/news-reports-legal-info.
The Insurance Division has learned that some insurance carriers have begun to institute various adjustments for policyholders that have experienced hardships due to COVID-19. We would recommend that you contact your insurance company to discuss your specific situation and how this may impact your insurance policy contract you have with your company.
If you still have concerns after speaking with your company, you may file a complaint at https://iid.iowa.gov/insurance-consumer-complaint. Consumers may also call the Insurance Division at 515-281-6348.
Temporary Off-Premises Sales Privileges for Class “C” Liquor Licensees
These temporary privileges expired June 29th, upon enactment of HF2540.
HF2540 allows liquor, wine, and mixed drinks to be sold for off-premises consumption. For further information please visit this page.
Last updated 6/30/20
Outdoor Service Areas for Selling and Serving Alcohol
Alcohol licensees are able to add outdoor service areas to their licensed premises, or expand outdoor service areas already designated in their licensed premises, for the selling and serving of alcohol.
To add or expand an outdoor service area, please log in to ABD’s eLicensing site. Step-by-step instructions for submitting an outdoor service application once logged in can be found here. All outdoor service applications require a dramshop carrier endorsement, local authority approval, and ABD approval. There is no additional licensing fee to add or expand an outdoor service area.
Please note that any area to be added to the licensed premises as an outdoor service area must meet the following requirements:
- The area must touch or share a common border with the currently-licensed premises.
- The area must be owned or under the control of the licensee. Control of the area may be demonstrated by a lease or other agreement.
- A sketch of the outdoor service area must be submitted to the local authority. The sketch must show the area’s boundaries and its relationship to the licensed premises.
Some cities may have local ordinances restricting outdoor service areas in their jurisdiction. Licensees will need to work with their local authorities to ensure that a proposed outdoor service area is allowable.
If an outdoor service application is approved, the licensee and the local authority will receive email notification from ABD. Once an outdoor service area has been licensed, only those alcoholic beverages allowed to be sold by the licensee’s license/permit may be served (ex: class “C” liquor licensees could sell beer, wine, or alcoholic liquor for on-premises consumption in the outdoor service area).
Licensees with questions regarding outdoor service areas, please email email@example.com.
Last updated 5/22/20
Alcoholic Beverage Deliveries to Consumers
Licensees and permittees authorized to sell alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer in original unopened containers for off-premises consumption may deliver alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer to a home, another licensed premises if there is identical ownership of the premises by the licensee or permittee, or other designated location in this state. Deliveries are limited to alcoholic beverages authorized by the licensee’s or permittee’s license or permit.
All deliveries of alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer are subject to the following requirements and restrictions:
Payment for the alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer must be received by the licensee or permittee at the time of order.
Alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer delivered to a person must be for personal use and not for resale.
Deliveries must be made to persons in this state who are twenty-one years of age or older.
Deliveries cannot be made to a person who is intoxicated or is simulating intoxication.
Deliveries must occur between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Sunday.
Delivery of alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer must be made by the licensee or permittee, or the licensee’s or permittee’s employee. Deliveries cannot be made by a third party.
Delivery personnel must be 21 years of age or older.
Deliveries must be made in a vehicle owned, leased, or under the control of the licensee or permittee. If an employee of a licensee or permittee uses their personal vehicle to make a delivery, that vehicle is considered under the control of the licensee or permittee.
Valid proof of the recipient’s identity and age (21 or older) must be obtained at the time the alcohol is delivered. Due to COVID-19 transmission concerns, the person delivering the alcohol may document that the recipient's ID has been validated instead of having the recipient sign for delivery.
Licensees and permittees are required to maintain records of deliveries which include the quantity of alcohol delivered, the recipient’s name and address, and validation that the recipient of the alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer was 21 years of age or older. The records shall be maintained on the licensed premises for a period of three years.
Orders delivered to another licensed premises shall contain only those alcoholic beverages authorized for sale by the liquor control license or retail wine or beer permit covering the premises to receive the delivery.
Orders delivered to another licensed premises shall be fulfilled using the alcoholic beverages inventory owned by the licensee or permittee who received the order for delivery. If the recipient refuses or fails to pick up the delivery, or is ineligible to receive the delivery, the alcoholic beverages shall be returned to the licensee or permittee who fulfilled the order.
Alcoholic Beverage Returns to Wholesalers by Retailers
On-premises retailers who have been impacted by temporary shutdown orders due to COVID-19 are authorized by ABD and the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to return alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer in original, unopened containers to the appropriate wholesaler, provided:
- The original sale of the alcoholic beverages by the wholesaler to the retailer was made without the privilege of return as part of the sales agreement,
- The wholesaler consents to the return. Wholesalers are under no obligation to accept returns.
ABD may accept alcoholic liquor returned to class “E” liquor licensees by class “C” liquor licensees under the following conditions:
- The alcoholic liquor is in its original, unopened container.
- The alcoholic liquor was purchased from the class “E” liquor licensee on or after March 1, 2020.
- The class “E” or class “C” liquor licensee has a sales invoice showing the alcoholic liquor being returned to ABD was sold to the class “C” liquor licensee.
ABD may accept alcoholic liquor returns from class “E” liquor licensees who purchased the alcoholic liquor in anticipation of selling it to class “C” liquor licensees under the following conditions:
- The alcoholic liquor is in its original, unopened container.
- The alcoholic liquor was purchased from ABD on or after March 1, 2020.
ABD is adhering to TTB’s guidance on returns due to event cancellations related to COVID-19, which states:
"Given the unexpected and widespread nature of the concerns involving COVID-19, TTB will not consider returns of alcohol beverage products purchased to sell during such cancelled events to violate federal consignment sales rules provided the products were not initially purchased or sold with the privilege of return. Even though such returns are lawful, a producer or wholesaler is not required to accept returns of such products."
This temporary privilege expired June 29th, upon enactment of HF2540.
HF2540 allows orders for growlers to be placed over the phone or by other electronic means for the following license types: class B liquor license, class C liquor license, special class C liquor license, and class B beer permit. For further information please visit this page.
Last updated 6/30/20
Temporary Suspension of Alcohol License Expiration
On July 24, the Governor extended previous proclamations temporarily suspending expiration of alcohol licenses/permits. If you have one of the following licenses/permits that has an expiration date of 5/6/2020 or after, you will receive notification from ABD as to next steps to ensure that your license/permit is renewed in a timely manner following the termination of this proclamation. Your license/permit fee for your renewal will not be withdrawn from your account until after the proclamation terminates (a date uncertain at this time).
- Class A Liquor License
- Class B Liquor License
- Class C Liquor License
- Special Class C Liquor License
- Class B Beer Permit
- Class C Native Wine Permit
Last updated 7/24/20
Refunds for 6- or 8-month or 5- or 14-day Licenses/Permits
Any licensee or permittee issued a 5- or 14-day temporary license/permit that no longer needs or intends to use the license/permit because of an event postponement, cancellation, or other circumstance due or related to COVID-19 may request a refund of the license/permit fee provided:
- The request is made before the effective date listed on the license/permit.
- The request for refund is received on or before August 23, 2020.
Any licensee or permittee issued a 6- or 8-month seasonal license/permit that no longer needs or intends to use the license/permit because of an event postponement, cancellation or other circumstance due or related to COVID-19 may request a refund of the license/permit fee provided the request for refund is received on or before August 23, 2020.
Requests for refunds should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
- The name of the person seeking a refund.
- The license/permit number of the issued license/permit.
- The specific circumstances leading to a refund being sought.
- A telephone number at which the requester can be contacted in the event of questions.
Any person who has submitted an application for a 6- or 8-month or 5- or 14-day license/permit and would like to withdraw the application is encouraged to contact ABD via email at email@example.com immediately. Please include in the email the application number (ex: LC_V_1234) and a telephone number at which you can be contacted.
Last updated 7/24/20
Temporary Deferral of Beer Barrel Tax and Wine Gallonage Tax Reporting and Remittance
Reporting and remittance of beer barrel tax and wine gallonage tax has been deferred for the months of February, March, April, May, June, and July 2020. At this time, reports and remittance for the months of February, March, April, May, June, and July will be due September 1, 2020. The 10 percent penalty for late filing for the February, March, April, May, June, and July reports may appear as owed but will be waived.
Last updated 7/24/20
Electronic Transfer of Beer Between Brewpubs and Beer Wholesalers
ABD has determined that current law allows a beer wholesaler to accept an electronic transfer of beer inventory from a brewpub and then invoice a sale back to the brewpub. Beer wholesalers are under no obligation to participate in the electronic transfer of inventory. Brewpubs and their beer wholesaler will need to both agree to engage in electronic transfer transactions.
More information on best practices for the electronic transfer of beer inventory can be found in ABD’s newest Regulatory Bulletin found here.
Temporary Postponement of TTB Document Reporting to ABD
On March 31, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced that it would postpone several filing and payment due dates for 90 days where the original due date falls on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020. More information can be found here.
Per ABD Regulatory Bulletin RB-2019-02, Iowa liquor manufacturers, native distilleries, native breweries, brewpubs, and native wineries are authorized to submit their TTB documents to ABD on the same schedule that they are filed with TTB. Please submit all documents filed with TTB to ABD according to TTB’s new scheduled reporting dates.
Moratorium on Can/Bottle Redemption Requirement for Retailers
Effective July 26, the suspension of the requirement for retailers to accept empty bottles and cans for redemption of the container deposit is expired. Retailers who engage in the sale of alcoholic liquor, beer, wine, carbonated beverages, and other beverages on which an Iowa beverage container deposit is made shall again follow the requirements pursuant to Iowa Code 455c.
Last updated 7/24/20
Information on Manufacturing Hand Sanitizer
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has issued guidance on the production of hand sanitizer by distilled spirits permittees here.
Alcohol manufactured in Iowa pursuant to an experimental distilled spirits plant permit or its equivalent issued by TTB is not an “alcoholic liquor.” As such, ABD does not regulate this type of manufacturing. Therefore, ABD does not need to waive any regulations and does not have any additional requirements for Iowa liquor manufacturers and native distilleries manufacturing hand sanitizer.
Expired Driver’s License/ID
The Iowa Department of Transportation has issued guidance regarding expired driver’s licenses and IDs.
Either of the following may temporarily be considered valid proof of identification, assuming it meets all other requirements (such as date of birth, etc.):
- An expired Iowa driver’s license plus 6-month extension notice (sample attached) from the Iowa DOT,
- An expired Iowa driver’s license or ID card with an expiration date of January 16, 2020 or after that date.
Last updated 5/28/20