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Can You Ship Alcohol?

Gifting alcohol to celebrate a special occasion is always welcome, but what if the person you’d like to send your gift to lives in another county or state?

With wine or other alcoholic beverages, you can’t simply pick up the packing tape and send it through the mail. It’s actually illegal, and only a handful of delivery services are authorized to ship alcohol. 

The good news: if you’re a business looking to ship wine, use the DRINKS WaaS® (Wine as a Service) platform to market award-winning wines almost anywhere with full compliance.

Keep reading to find out how to ship your alcohol gift safely and hassle-free while abiding by the necessary rules and regulations.

Happy couple opening a box | DRINKS

Image Source: @jcomp

Can You Mail Alcohol?

Prohibition may have ended in 1933, but wine and spirit shipping is no less complicated as the package must abide by local and state laws. If you send spirits from one state to another, both states’ alcohol laws must be followed.

On top of that, one must have a license to ship, which is not very common unless you own a winery or distillery. 

The sender and receiver must also be at least 21 years of age, and the shipping label must disclose that there is alcohol inside. 

Below are the specific requirements depending on the shipping method.

Can You Ship Alcohol Via UPS?

According to UPS packaging requirements, the company can only deliver beer, wine, and spirits from shippers licensed under applicable laws and who have signed a contract with the company.

Can You Ship Alcohol Via FedEx?

Like UPS, FedEx can only mail alcohol from licensed shippers who have entered a FedEx-approved contract. 

Not only must you have the applicable licenses, but you must also be an approved business to send to another licensee or directly to consumers. 

What About the United States Postal Service?

Unfortunately, the United States Postal Service (USPS) prohibits sending packages containing alcohol under any circumstance.

Are you curious about which states allow alcohol delivery from out of state? See our list below.

What States Can Alcohol Be Shipped?

The reason why shipping alcohol is so complex is due to a need to comply with federal, state, and international regulations. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau requires businesses to be current on licensing, but most alcohol shipping requirements are state-specific.

There are only eight states that currently allow alcohol shipments from outside the state:

  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

If you want to ship beer or bottles of wine to states like Mississippi or Utah, unfortunately, these states prohibit the shipment of alcohol across state lines.

Other states, like Kentucky, only allow spirit delivery from licensed businesses within the state, while Texas restricts wine shipments to within counties.

Keep reading to find out how exactly to send wine, beer, or liquor as a gift without worrying about researching the specific laws yourself. 

How to Ship Alcohol Infographic | DRINKS

How to Mail Alcohol as a Gift

Due to the strict rules and laws both federally and state to state, it’s best to seek out services specializing in the type of alcohol licenses required for delivery.

Here are some of the best options:

Order Alcohol Online

The world of alcohol e-commerce is thriving, so there are plenty of opportunities for easy wine shipping. 

With our Shopify services at DRINKS, you can also sell wine directly to your customers with flexibility and real-time compliance.

A licensed online retailer can send alcohol directly to consumers with the click of a button, meaning you never have to personally worry about the proper licenses, we’ve got you covered.

You may want to look at the local laws in your gift receiver’s area, as not all states allow this. However, the retailer will likely disclose which states do and don’t allow the shipment of alcoholic beverages. 

As long as you’re at least 21, you can send custom cases, packs, and even gift baskets full of wine, cheese, crackers, and chocolate with the assistance of a licensed online retailer.

A man shipping wine | DRINKS


Does your gift receiver have a favorite winery or whiskey distillery near their residence? If their state doesn’t allow outside alcohol shipping services, a local business may be the answer. 

Local Liquor Store 

This is another excellent choice if your gift receiver’s state only allows local alcohol shipping services. Call their local liquor store and see if they’d be happy to deliver your gift.

Alcohol Delivery App

Did you know there are now several apps for sending alcohol locally? If the person you’d like to send alcohol to is nearby, apps like Drizly and Minibar are a great option. Like other meal delivery apps, someone will pick up your order from a local store and deliver it. 

Now that we know how to ship alcoholic beverages locally and state to state, what happens when you need whiskey delivery abroad, for example?

Can You Ship Alcohol Internationally as a Gift?

If you want to mail alcohol abroad, FedEx is the only shipping service permitted for international gifting. But, you still must be a licensed alcohol business. 

FedEx can ship to many other countries from the U.S., but not all of them, so it would be wise to look at their list here to see which ones will accept the shipment.

Sadly, direct alcohol shipments are not authorized in nearby countries such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

If your selected retailer cannot ship internationally, finding a local service within the desired country might be best. 

Shipping bottles of wine | DRINKS

Bottom Line: Can You Mail Liquor and Wine?

While it’s possible to send wine as a gift to another state and locally, depending on the specific state laws, remember that you must be a licensed alcohol provider to ship alcoholic beverages yourself. Individuals are not authorized to mail alcohol.

The best option is to seek out an online retailer, local winery, liquor store, distillery, or use a wine app, as all of these options will comply with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

If you’d like to enrich your wine knowledge further, check out our Podcast and Wine Online 101 for everything related to the world of wine.

As a leader in the alcohol e-commerce wine industry, we can’t wait to share our expert knowledge with you.