Members are reminded that the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is actively conducting sting operations and wineries should review their procedures to ensure compliance with Michigan’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) law. Specifically, direct shippers must verify that the person placing the order is at least 21 years of age by either obtaining a copy of the purchaser’s government issued photo identification or utilizing a state-approved age verification service provider, such as LexisNexis.
Wine Institute’s Code of Advertising Standards recommends using an age verification service that will verify the legal drinking age of online purchasers of wine at the point of purchase for all transactions, even if a particular state does not require it. Members should be mindful that age verification is separate from an age affirmation mechanism on their website that requires the user/purchaser to confirm that they are at least 21 years of age. Employing an age affirmation mechanism does not satisfy age verification requirements.
As of March 29, 2017, wineries shipping into Michigan are no longer required to include their Michigan wine shipper license number and the order number on the outside of each shipping container. The Michigan brand label registration number of approval for each wine no longer has to be included on the invoice or packaging slip accompanying the shipment. Wine product labels, however, must be registered with the MLCC prior to being shipped to MI consumers. Labels may be registered through the Michigan Wholesale Product Registry (MWPR) online platform.