General Information

Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission 

Indiana Government Center South, Room E-114
302 W. Washington Street 
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-2430 (voice)
(317) 234-1520 (fax) 

Website: https://www.in.gov/atc/ 

 

The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission serves to regulate the manufacturing, sale, possession, and use of alcohol and tobacco. The commission regulates around 15,000 alcohol licenses for restaurants, bars, clubs, wineries,  and hotels among other businesses.  Beyond the business itself, the commission also regulates the permits for every bartender, salesperson, waiter and waitress. 

 

The commission is governed by four members appointed by the Governor of Indiana. Each county within Indiana also has their own alcohol board that oversees the license application process for their area. Enforcement of all Indiana laws and the ATC rules and regulations are handled by the Indiana State Excise Police. 

 

Licenses-1

Licenses

 

While the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission sets the rules and regulations regarding the manufactoring, sale, possession and use of alcohol,  the local beverage and alcohol commission of each county handles the licensing process. Below we have explained each step in the licensing process.

 

Important Information

 

  • Apply for a liquor license at least 90 days before your anticipated opening date 

 

 

NEW APPLICATIONS

 

STEP 1: License Availability 

 

99% of each county's license allotment is filled. As a result, it is essential to contact the ATC and speak with with a processor to determine your area's license availability. To determine which license you require, reference the License Type Chart for the license number. 

 

Each county has a quota set in place that determines the number of liquor licenses available in each area. These quotas are determined by population and the only way for the quota to change is through a change in population verified by an U.S census. 

 

STEP 2: Completing  Application 

 

Once you have verified the license's availability the ATC can send you the necessary application materials. Application materials are also available online. The completed application must also be returned with the license fee . 

Application Fees

License Type Fee
Beer only or Wine only  $500

Beer and Wine

$750
Beer, Wine, and Liquor  $1000

 

  

STEP 3: Submitting Application 

 

Once submitted, your application can take anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks to be processed.  For license renewal the process can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks. Following submission there are three more steps to the process before approval. 

  • Local alcohol board recommendation is required. This is given at a hearing that you must attend. The hearings are held regularly and are open to the public for discussion before an official vote it held by 3 locally appointed board members and a State Excise Police Officer. The meeting schedule can be found here.  The meeting agenda is released in advanced to notify you of when your application will be brought for a vote. 
  • ATC members will then vote on the local alcohol board's recommendation.
  • Final inspection, performed by the State Excise Police, of the location seeking a license. 

 

A detailed diagram explaining the process after an application has been submitted can be found here.

 

RENEW APPLICATIONS

 

Renewal applications must be submitted at least 90 days before your current license expires. Payment must be included with the application.

Application Fees

License Type Fee
Beer only or Wine only  $500

Beer and Wine

$750
Beer, Wine, and Liquor  $1000

 

Compliance-1

Inspections

The State Excise Police task force conducts inspections throughout the year.  Along with standard inspections of the premise State Excise Officers conduct a series of other efforts dedicated to decreasing the sell and consumption of alcohol by minors,  Survey to Alcohol Compliance is dedicated to this goal. The inspections are handled by the Excise Police Task Force along with a hired youth (18-20 years of age). The teen will attempt to purchase alcohol from your establishment and those that fail the inspection and serve the underage individual will face fines or even prosecution. You will not be notified when the inspection is to occur or given a time, but expect an inspection once a year. 

 

 
 
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Education & Training

 

In the state of Indiana there are several requirements for waiters, waitresses, and bartenders. Below are the requirements for each position in your restaurant. 

 

All trainings are completed through your local Excise Police District. A list of certified training programs can be found here

 

Bartender

  • Minimum Age to Serve: 21
  • Employee Permit Required 
  • Length of Permit: Standard 3 years 
  • Application or Permit Renewal 
  • Certificate must be obtained within 120 days of hiring 

 

Waiter/Waitress over 21

  • Employee Permit Required
  • Length of Permit: Standard 3 years 
  • Application or Permit Renewal
  • Certificate must be obtained within 120 days of hiring 

 

Waiter/Waitress under 21

  • Minimum Age to Serve: 19
  • Required Permits: Those under 21 must earn a restricted ATC permit before being able to serve. The individual must first complete the training and return the certificate with the restricted ATC permit application. 
  • Length of Permit: 2 years 
  • Servers that are 19 or 20 must successfully complete an ATC approved server training program to receive a Restricted ATC Permit. This permit allows this individual to serve alcohol in a dinning area of restaurant or hotel, but NOT a bar room. 
  • Individuals Under the age of 21 must be supervised by an employee that is older than 21 and had successfully completed the state certified training program. 
  • The employee may not mix drinks,  draw beer from a tap or spigot into a pitcher or mug, or pour pre-mixed beverages into containers to be served at a table or dining area.
  • The employee may garnish a drink prepared by a licensed bartender and uncork and pour wine from a bottle at a customer's table in the dining area of a family room if the customer orders a bottle of wine
  • Once the employe turns 21 they are required to obtain an unrestricted permit in order to continue to serve alcohol. This requires a $45 fee

 

 

Legal-1

Legal

Laws regarding the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission are passed by the Indiana General Assembly and Enforced by the State Excise Police Officers along with local law enforcement. It is important to be knowledgable of the laws put in places in order to avoid fines, suspension or loss of alcohol permit. This is just a short list of some of the most pertinent alcohol laws in the state of Indiana. To learn more refer to Title 7.1: Alcohol and Tobacco or ATC Policy Explanations. 

 

Identification: Excise Police Officers encourage the checking of Identification of anyone appearing to be under the age of 26 when serving them alcohol. Acceptable forms of identification include drivers license, state ID, and US government identification. 

 

Sale Hours: Alcohol can be sold and served  Sunday through Saturday from 7 am till 3 am.  The consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted 30 minutes after legal hours as long as the beverage was purchased and received by the customer before 3 am. After the 30 minutes has past all containers that are holding alcohol or have had alcohol in them must be cleared from tables, the bar, etc. (IC 7.1-3-1-14) (905 IAC 1-10-1) 

 

Sale to Intoxicated Individuals: The sale of alcohol to an intoxicated individual is a criminal offense and the provider can face civil liability if death or injury occurs as a result. (IC 7.1-5-10-15)

 

Food Services: Food service is required to be available as a long as alcohol is being served, for at least 25 individuals.  Minimum service includes hot soup, sandwiches, coffee, soft drinks, etc. (IC 7.1-3-20-9 & 905 IAC 1-20-1)

 

 

Drink Discounts:  It is against the law to differentiate between purchasers by offering a price discount, allowance or service charge that is not available to all . As a result, promotional sales such as Happy Hour are illegal. (IC 7.1-5-5-7 & IC 7.1-5-10-20)

 

 

Other information

Other Information

The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association is the trade organization representing restaurants in the state. The Wine and Spirits Distributors of Indiana is the trade organization representing wholesalers for wine and spirits and the Indiana Beverage represents beer wholesalers.

 

You can also refer to the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Comission's events calendar for information regarding upcoming events and specifically board meetings. 

  

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