General Information

 Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division 


Address: 1918 SE Hulsizer Road Ankeny, IA 50021

Phone: Toll-Free (866)469-2223  Local (515)281-7400



The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission consist of 5 members appointed by the governor. The Commission's responsibilities include creating, reviewing, affirming, and amending all policies regarding the wholesaling of liquor and the licensing and regulation of Iowa's alcoholic beverage industry. 

Liquor control

Liquor Control

Controlled Alcohol:  Spirits


The state of Iowa publishes a monthly product and price listing. This includes a general price book/booklet, markups,  and markdowns. The necessary pricing information can be found here


Currently, the state of Iowa uses an online ordering system to streamline and simplify the ordering process. To log in or create an account click here


 Below is more information regarding Iowa's Liquor Control policies.

  • The state law prohibits dry localities. Therefore all counties are wet. 
  • The state of Iowa does permit the shipping of wine and more information can be found here.



Liquor Licensing


There are several different steps in gaining or renewing your liquor license. Here we will breakdown all the information you need to know to gain your liquor license. 


New License Application 

Beyond the standard application and fees, there are a few elements to be aware of when applying for a liquor license. All new applicants are subject to an extensive background check conducted by local authorities and the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.  The determination from your background check is by Iowa's classification of a "good moral character". Below we have included the different elements that define a good moral character according to the state of Iowa. 

  • U.S Citizen and Iowa resident in good standing with the Iowa Secretary of State's office
  • Has not been convicted of a felony within the last 5 years
  • No financial interest in an Iowa liquor, wine, or beer license that has been revoked within the last 2 years. 
  • Has a good reputation and financial standing that indicates the applicant will comply with all laws and rules

These requirements apply to all officers, directors, and shareholders of a corporation, all general partners, and to the applicants spouse (except citizenship and resident requirements)  if the business is operated under a sole proprietorship.  


Premise Requirements, the following requirements are criteria the licensee's location must adhere too. 

  • Premise must be owned or under the control of the applicant
  • Within the jurisdiction of approving local authority 
  • Clean, litter free, and in good repair
  • Have men's and women's toilet facilities
  • Running water from a source approved by the local health department
  • Have table and chairs sufficient to seat a minimum of 25 people at one time 


License Types and Fees

Below are a list of different licenses and their applicable descriptions. For information regarding License/Permit Fees refer to the the Fee Information Sheet  



Class A: For non-profit clubs (member and guest only) to sell alcoholic liquor, wine, beer and wine coolers for on-premises consumption only; no carry-out sales. Sales are restricted to members and guests


Hotels and Motels

Class B: Locations with 20 or more sleeping rooms to sell alcoholic liquor, wine, beer and wine coolers for on-premises consumption, including room service. Allows carry-out sales of beer and wine coolers in original unopened containers


Taverns, Bars, Restaurants, etc 

Class B Beer: Allows commercial establishments to sell beer and wine coolers for on-premises consumption. Also allows carry-out sales of beer and wine coolers in original unopened containers


Class C: Allows commercial establishments to sell alcoholic liquor, wine, beer and wine coolers for on-premises consumption. Allows carry-out sales of beer and wine coolers in original unopened containers.


Special Class C: Allows commercial establishments to sell wine, beer and wine coolers for on-premises consumption. Also allows carry-out sales of beer and wine coolers in original unopened containers



The current application process is completed through the online eLicensing portal. To access the portal click here. For more information about the eLicensing portal and how to successfully apply refer to the Electronic Licensing User Guide. Along with the application a Notary Form is also required for all new applications. 


Renew License 

Licenses are renewed through your local authority and a 70-day renewal notice from your local division will be delivered through the mail. Once you have received the notice it is advised that you begin the renewal process immediately. Some local authorities require renewal applications to be submitted 30 to 60 days before the license expires, so be sure to check with your local division.


Sunday Sales License 

To sell or serve alcoholic beverages on Sundays licensees must have Sunday sales privileges. This is not a stand-alone license and is only an extension of your general liquor, beer, and or wine license. This option can be selected when going through the application process. This license must be renewed annually.   

Inspections and Compliance


Inspections occur periodically while your license is valid. Every time a new license application or renewal application is completed you sign an affidavit permitting the following individual access to your premises during business hours. 


  • Representatives from the Alcoholic Beverages Division and Department of Inspections and Appeals.
  • Law enforcement officials from the Department of Public Safety, police, and sheriff departments.
  • Fire, health, and Building code inspectors 


They have the ability to enter the premise to examine and inspect it for compliance with the laws, rules, and ordinances. To have an understanding of what inspectors are looking for refer to the Establishment Checklist to ensure you are prepared for your next inspection. 


Training and Education


While beverage service training is voluntary in the state of Iowa, they provide various resources to help you train your staff and set the appropriate workplace standards. Below is a list of the programs and how you can participate. 



This voluntary compliance training program seeks to prevent illegal sales of alcohol through education and enforcement. The program educates participants on the key identifying elements of current and previous versions of the Iowa driver's licensee, how to spot fake IDs, information on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, and learn different techniques for refusing to sell alcohol with minimal confrontation. Those who sell and serve alcohol, along with door attendants/security are all encouraged to take the training. Once completed participants receive a printable certificate of completion. 


Begin the training here



This tool is a great way for licensees to develop a guide for their business to enable them to stay compliant with Iowa Liquor Laws. I-Alert allows licensees to develop a list of policies to best protect their business by preventing violations, control of liquor service, and ensure a safe and compliant work environment. 

Through the use of the I-Alert website you can choose which policy elements best fit your establishment and the website will generate your new policy guide.




Minors and Alcoholic Beverages

Minors are allowed to be in licensed establishments. However local authorities may have ordinances prohibiting them, so check with your local municipalities. It is against the law to sell or give alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21. Those that fail to adhere will be charged a fine and/or administrative sanction. 

    • 1st violation within 2 years: $ 500 civil penalty or 14-day license suspension
    • 2nd violation within 2 years: $1,500 civil penalty and 30-day license suspension
    • 3rd violation within 3 years: $1,500 civil penalty and 60-day license suspension
    • 4th violation within 3 years: License Revoked 
    • Committed by Licensee: $1,500
    • Committed by Employee: $ 500


Identification Information 

 Iowa does not govern acceptable forms of identification. If it is believed that the form of identification is falsified or altered the licenses may confiscate the license or card from the customer. The confiscated item must be turned over to local authorities within 24 hours and a written report about the circumstances of the interaction must be filed. Also, a receipt with the time and hour of confiscation must be given to the person whom the ID was taken from. 


Hours of Sale

Alcoholic Beverages can be legally sold and served during the following hours 

Monday-Saturday 6AM-2AM

Sunday 8AM-2AM

Sunday sale privileges are required for all on-premise liquor, wine, and beer licenses that are looking to serve on Sundays. To learn how to receive a Sunday Sales license refer to the license section above. If New Year's Eve falls on a Sunday, a Sunday Sales Privilege is not required for a licensee to sell or serve liquor, wine, or beer. 


Business Operation


  • Server Ages: A server or employee must be 18 years of age to sell and dispense liquor, wine, or beer. These age restrictions apply to the licensee's family members as well. If there is a local ordinance in place that governs minors in licensed establishments, it takes precedence. 


  • Record-Keeping: Iowa law requires licensees to maintain their business records on-premise at all times and to make them available to law enforcement and Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division employees


  •  Licensees must display their liquor, wine, or beer license in full view to the public 


  • Local Ordinances: Local authorities may enact ordinances that govern license establishments. The ordinances may be more restrictive than the state law but can not conflict with the law. 


Other Information

Other Information

Along with the information above, we have included additional information regarding events, distributors and other resources you may need as a liquor license holder in the state of Iowa. 


  • The Commission meeting schedule varies, for information regarding the next meeting or past meeting minutes refer to Commission Materials.  
  • For optional signs and posters for your business click here. These materials include drink-responsible posters and drink moderation facts among other sources. 
  • The state of Iowa's beer association and a list of Iowa beer distributors 


Iowa Wholesalers Beer Distributors Association


Iowa Beer Distributors 


Download a PDF version

Fill out the form on the right and we'll email you a PDF version to download and print as a quick reference sheet.