As a result of the unprecedented health hazard posed by the Coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) and the significant impact on the hotel and hospitality industry, the acting director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (the “ABC”) has exercised his broad authority under N.J.SA. 33:1-39 to extend the 2019-2020 license term for all municipally-issued liquor licenses until Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

New Jersey requires that retail liquor license holders renew their licenses annual through the ABC POSSE system. The licensee must file a renewal application, pay the municipal and state renewal fees and be issued proof of New Jersey Sales Tax Clearance on or before July 30 each year or such licensee’s ABC privileges will lapse (e.g., the ability to transport, purchase, sell and serve alcoholic beverages).

As a result of COVID-19 and the mandatory closure of bars and on premises dining, the ABC understands that many licensees will not be able to take all the necessary steps to renew their licenses by June 30, 2020 and has therefore determined that a ninety (90) day extension ( to September 30, 2020) is necessary for licensees to stabilize their financial situation, reopen their business operations and complete the renewal process.

We caution however, that Licensee’s should still endeavor to complete the renewal filing process prior to September 30, 2020 to provide enough time for processing and for the local issuing municipal council or alcoholic beverage control board to take the requisite action (i.e., adopt a resolution renewing the license for the 2020-2021 license term) without allowing a lapse in the license. In addition, no license renewals will be approved without a tax clearance certificate having been issued by the NJ Division of Taxation. Typically, it can take a period of thirty (30) days or more to obtain such certificate. Licensees can expect further delays in processing and should consider starting their renewal process as soon as possible.

For more information please click the link to read the order authorizing the extension of the license renewal period.



As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice.  For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.