Apply Early: NYS Liquor Authority’s Online Permit System Encountering Frequent Issues

November 17, 2023

By: Jennifer L. Tsyn

Many New York State liquor license holders including restaurants, caterers, breweries and wineries, may sometimes cater off-site events, such as weddings or holiday parties. These licensees will generally apply for “special event” permits from the New York State Liquor Authority to authorize such off-site alcohol service. These permits can include one-day beer and wine permits and/or catering permits (which allow for the service of “full” liquor).

The Liquor Authority recently upgraded its online permit system, which launched on Oct. 10, 2023. However, many licensees are encountering issues with the new system.

A frequent issue that applicants are encountering is an inability to connect the required individual login credentials (as created using a link from the Liquor Authority's website) to the business’s liquor license. This process is called “claiming” the business, and instructions are available on the Liquor Authority’s website.

However, frequent issues being encountered by licensees include the following:

  1. If another employee of the business has previously “linked” the business to their New York State online access credential for other purposes (e.g. tax filings), that may present an issue.
  2. The Liquor Authority acknowledges that not all records transferred correctly to the new system, and that the system may not recognize the business as having a liquor license.
  3. The name of the entity being entered by the user may not match the name shown in the new system. Licensees can try using the Liquor Authority’s “LAMP” database (available through the Liquor Authority’s website) to confirm exactly how the Liquor Authority’s system lists the name of their business. For example, the Liquor Authority’s system may shorten words in the business name (e.g. “Rest” for “Restaurant”), may or may not include commas, etc.
  4. If there are two licensees listed on the liquor license, attempting to claim one of the businesses may present issues.

Those applying for permits should start trying to do so as much in advance as possible. If unsuccessful, the applicant can try emailing the Permits Unit for assistance by using the following email address:

Jennifer Tsyn represents businesses and individuals in a variety of business law matters, with a focus on liquor licensing issues. If you have any questions about this information memo, please contact Jennifer or any member of Bond’s hospitality and tourism practice.