Pennsylvania Launches Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Program

On Aug. 8, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board began accepting requests for various new licenses and permits authorized under Act 39 of 2016, which became effective on that date. Requests for direct wine shipper licenses, wine expanded permits and other licenses may now be submitted through PLCB+, a new online licensing platform introduced earlier this year.

Act 39 replaces a rarely-used and complicated shipper license available to a limited number of wineries with a new license similar to that used in other states. The Act allows in- and out-of-state wine producers to ship up to 36 cases of wine per year to a Pennsylvania resident for personal use. The license has a $250 application fee and is subject to an annual $250 renewal fee. Wine sold through direct wine shippers is subject to Pennsylvania state and local sales tax, and a new $2.50/gallon wine excise tax. Wineries must verify the age of shippers and label boxes as containing alcohol.

As wine shipper licenses are approved, they will be viewable in the public PLCB+ license search. They will also be accessible through a page on the PLCB website explaining direct wine shipment options for consumers. Those few wineries previously licensed as direct wine shippers should be approved in a matter of days, assuming the applicant meets all statutory requirements, passes tax clearances and verifies information required by PLCB.

In order to apply for licenses through PLCB+, industry members must first register to use the system using an access code provided by the PLCB. Current licensees were provided access codes by email and letter earlier this year. Those without an access code may send an email to: to obtain one. Pending applications and permits and licenses granted by the PLCB may be searched through the public PLCB+ license search. Additional details regarding new license and permit types, as well as other Act 39 changes, are available in the PLCB’s Summary of Act 39 of 2016.

Also launched are applications for new wine expanded permits which allow hotel and restaurant licensees to sell up to 3 liters of wine-to-go per transaction. Wine-to-go sales may take place from 7 am to 11 pm Monday through Saturday, and with limited Sunday hours if the licensee also holds a Sunday sales permit. There is a $2,000 application fee for this permit and an annual renewal fee of 2% of the cost of wine purchased from the PLCB for off-premises consumption. Wine expanded permit holders purchasing smaller amounts of wine may begin selling wine that is already listed by PLCB in August. Licensees requiring larger quantities of wine or products not currently in stock (Special Liquor Orders – SLOs) may wait longer to receive those products. PLCB aims to begin shipping wine from distribution centers to high-volume to-go permittees in October.