Licensing Policies During Coronavirus Response

Is the Licensing Bureau still processing applications?

Yes!  We are still reviewing applications; however, we, like everyone else, have limited our workforce in response to the coronavirus; therefore, processing will likely slow for the time being.  Rest assured that our mission is to maintain core operations, and licensing businesses is one of them.  We understand timing is critical to our applicants and appreciate your understanding as we continue to work expeditiously to process applications.

I would like to add outdoor space to my licensed premises to accommodate tables and chairs for patrons, how can I do this?
If you wish to expand your licensed premises, an alteration application must be filed with, and approved by, the Authority prior to doing so.  The application can be found HERE. There is no fee to file an alteration application.  

My municipality has discussed allowing the use of streets and sidewalks to provide additional space for tables and chairs; can I serve alcohol there?

Yes, you may, provided your business is in a Phase 2 region and you follow our guidance, found HERE.

What will the Authority require for my alteration application?
Complete requirements can be found on the applications itself.  However, applicants should be able to document that they have control over the space they wish to add (i.e. lease, easement, etc.), and that there is a plan to supervise the consumption and sale of alcohol.  Additionally, licensees are required to submit diagrams to demonstrate how the space will be delineated and controlled.  

I would like to make changes to my licensed premises; do I have to notify my municipality or community board of the changes?
Licensees whose premises are located within the City of New York must provide at least 30 days’ notice.  This notification should be made to the community board whose jurisdiction covers the area of the licensed premises.  Generally, this applies to licensees with on premises beer, wine, and/or liquor licenses.  Please refer to sections 110-B and 99-D of the ABC law to verify your requirements as a licensee.

Are the SLA’s service windows still open?

At this time, the New York City service window is closed.  The service windows in Albany and Buffalo are still accessible, however, you may experience wait times due to workforce limitations.


What are the SLA’s service windows current protocols?

While the SLA strongly encourages customers to complete their transaction online, by telephone or through the mail when possible, our offices are allowing limited in-person transactions. All customers are required to have an appointment prior to appearing at any of the agency’s office locations. Customers with an appointment may drop off documents, however, to avoid gatherings in the waiting area, customers may not wait for a license or permit to be issued. Additional information on in-person transactions can be found HERE.


My renewal is coming due, but I don’t have the funds available to pay the renewal fee.  Is there something that can be done?

On May 13, 2020, the SLA Board voted to approve an extension for on-premises licensees, wholesalers, and manufacturers with licenses expiring on May 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 to defer payments for renewals until July 31, 2020. 

Previously, on March 24, 2020, the SLA Board voted to allow businesses with licenses expiring on March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020 to defer payments for renewals until May 31, 2020.  The due date for submitting payments for these renewals has also been extended until July 31, 2020. At that time, all renewal fees which were deferred will come due. 

Other businesses with licenses expiring on May 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, including liquor stores, grocery stores and pharmacies, may request a deferral by submitting a letter of hardship explaining the COVID-related effects on their business income.  Licensees demonstrating COVID-related financial hardship will be granted an extension.  Requests should be emailed to: [email protected]

If a renewal was submitted without a payment, subsequent payment can be remitted to:

NYS Liquor Authority

80 South Swan St Suite 900

Albany, NY 12210

With the serial number on the memo line of the check.


I have been asked to provide additional documents for my application via a deficiency letter.  I cannot comply with the date listed on the letter; what should I do?

We understand that documents and information may not be as readily available as they once were.  If you cannot comply with a deficiency letter, you should request an extension by sending a request to:

[email protected]

This will let the examiner know you are actively trying to address the deficiencies and they can continue to review the application accordingly.  We’re happy to grant a temporary extension if one is requested and there is a legitimate need. 


I understand that I must send municipal notice, via certified mail, overnight mail or personal service, when I file an application or a renewal in New York City.  Due to COVID-19, I cannot make it to a post office or municipality, can notification be given via electronic mail instead?

On-premises license applicants are required to notify their municipality or community board by certified mail, overnight mail, or personal service prior to applying for a license; licensees in New York City are also required to provide such notification for renewals.  The Board has temporarily waived these service requirements, provided the municipality has asked for email notification, the applicants notify their municipality via email, and the applicant provides the SLA an email from the municipality acknowledging receipt.


I have a Temporary Retail Permit I need to extend.  Where can I send the application and payment to?

Given that our service windows in NYC and Buffalo are closed.  Applications for an extension should be mailed 7-10 days in advance to:

NYS Liquor Authority

80 South Swan Street Suite 900

Albany, NY 12210


I have been working with a specific person at the Authority on my application, and when I reach out, I get no response.  Who should I contact?

Due to workforce limitation measures, many staff are not working in the office.  This means they may not be accessible by telephone or e-mail.  If you have questions regarding a licensing matter that requires an immediate response, you may contact:

[email protected] or call (518) 474- 3114 then press #1, then #3 to speak to someone at our Call Center.

From there, we can address your questions and direct you to the proper Unit.  Please note that response and wait times may be longer than usual. 


I have an approved temporary, one-day permit (Beer and wine or Catering).  Due to COVID-19, I’ve had to cancel my event.  Can I get a refund?

Unfortunately, the ABC Law does not allow for temporary permit fees to be refunded.  We will, however, honor another date in the future if you have one.  While we will allow you to reschedule the event, we cannot offer a credit for a future date if no date has been set.  The request for a rescheduled date must be made within 30 days from the originally scheduled event.