Utah House Bill 453 went into effect on May 14, 2019, and requires every Utah liquor transporter to apply for a license and obtain a surety bond in the amount of $10,000. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is requiring the bond for any individual who may transport liquor from a state store or package agency to a retail licensee.
What is a liquor transporter?
A liquor transporter in Utah is anyone who picks up liquor from a package agency or state store on behalf of a retail licensee using the licensee’s funds and transports the liquor directly to the retail licensee. Essentially, liquor transporters are the middleman between the buyer and the seller. Liquor transporters are allowed to bring liquor from package agencies across state lines and, therefore, must be aware of and comply with surrounding state laws.
Requirements to become a licensed liquor transporter
To obtain a liquor transporter license in the state of Utah, applicants are required to submit an application to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The following materials must all be included for an application to be complete:
- Completed application form provided by the department
- $300 non-refundable application fee
- $2,300 refundable license fee (if the department does not issue a license)
- Copy of current business license
- A surety bond in the amount of $10,000
- Evidence of sufficient commercial auto liability insurance
Liquor transport licenses expire annually on May 31. To renew a liquor transport license, the licensee must submit a renewal application along with a renewed bond by April 30. Unlike the original licensing requirements, a renewal application must also include a report that details the number of deliveries made to each type of retail licensee, each package agency from which liquor was picked up, and any breakage or shrinkage for the period since the license was obtained. Failure to submit satisfactory information to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will result in forfeiture of the liquor transport license.
How much does a liquor transport license bond cost?
A liquor transport license bond will cost a small percentage of the total bond amount, which is $10,000. Depending on your credit score and other financial information, you can expect your bond to be between $100 and $500. This bond must be renewed on a yearly basis and is payable to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Why does Utah require surety bonds for transporting liquor?
The purpose of this bond is to ensure that liquor transporters are faithfully complying with the Liquor Transport Act. If a liquor transporter acts unlawfully, the bond will protect the state of Utah and harmed parties up to the amount of the bond. If a liquor transporter does not obtain a surety bond in the full amount, their license will be revoked. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control may charge a fee in the case of a liquor transport license being canceled due to the licensee’s negligence. Not obtaining the required surety bond is also against the law and is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Utah, punishable by steep fines and up to a year in jail.
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