Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
Department of Revenue Alcohol & Tax Operations Division

Effective January 5th, 2024, applicants for new alcohol licenses will be required to upload all relevant documentation into eLAPS before being able to submit the application.
For details, see Update to eLAPS Documentation Requirements.



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Which licensing system should I use?

If you are renewing or applying for a 12-month Class "C" Retail Alcohol License (LC):

For all other licensing applications, use eLAPS.

If you need to change an existing license, use eLAPS

  • Adding or removing Outdoor Service
  • License transfers
  • Ownership changes
  • Dram changes

Application Process & Obtaining a License

The Iowa Department of Revenue Alcohol & Tax Operations Division (Division) makes every attempt to process applications for licenses and permits in a timely manner. Due to the high number of applications being received, we ask that you apply at least 45 days in advance of your event. In addition, your application should be approved by the local authority and forwarded to the Division at least 15 days prior to the effective date.

Missing information and errors may delay the application process, and may then delay the license or permit to be issued by the requested effective date. Please note that selling alcohol without a license or permit is a violation of the law.

Iowa law requires all alcoholic beverages retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, importers and brokers to apply for and obtain a license or permit before doing business in the state.

The licensing process for Iowa liquor license and beer, spirits, and wine permit holders is entirely online.

Licensing Laws & Requirements

Just starting your business?

Visit the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) website (External link, opens in a new window). If your business sells food on-site or to go, visit IDR (External link, opens in a new window) to learn which foods are taxable and which are exempt.


  • eLAPS

    The electronic Licensing and Permitting System (eLAPS) is now available to all users.

    Sign Into eLAPS