Planes, Trains, and Shopping Carts: Permissible Vehicles for Transporter-for-Hire Licensees
Not all licensees can deliver alcohol in Pennsylvania. However, a transporter-for-hire license allows a company to transport alcohol throughout Pennsylvania.
There are three types of transporter-for-hire licenses. Class A permits the licensee to transport liquor and malt or brewed beverages to customers. Class B permits transportation of only malt or brewed beverages. Class C is limited to commercial transportation of liquor parcels.
Several important rules govern these licenses:
- The sale must be fully completed at the licensed premises from which the transporter picks up, and payment may not be accepted at the time of delivery.
- Multiple orders may be delivered to one customer, but the quantity is limited by the type of licensee that sells the alcoholic beverages. For example, a pizza place with an R (restaurant) license can only sell up to 192 fluid ounces of alcohol, but if two orders are separated for a husband and wife, the delivery can be double.
- Transporter-for-hire licensees may transport only alcohol that they do not own. They cannot transport alcoholic products they own. For the pizza place example, the customer owns the 6 pack of beer when they pay over the phone or on-line. Cash or payment on delivery is not permitted.
- Delivery must occur in an approved “vehicle” that bears the licensee’s name, address, and transporters’ license number. Magnetic signs are permitted.
- At time of delivery, the customer must provide age identification, and the transporter must record the age verification.
“Vehicle” is defined as “[t]rucks, buses, cars, wagons, scooters, motorcycles, aircraft, watercraft or other means of transportation.” The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“PLCB”) interprets “other means of transportation” to include hand-powered or non-motorized devices.
Interestingly, in a recent advisory opinion, the PLCB found shopping carts are a permissible vehicle in which to transport alcohol. Previously, the PLCB found bicycles to be a permissible vehicle for brewery and distributor licensees to deliver their products.
This recent advisory opinion shows the PLCB expansively interprets “other means of transportation” to include various four-wheeled vehicles. However, it remains to be seen if the PLCB will extend this holding to include four-legged animals like donkeys!
For information about national and state liquor law matters or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact our Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group: Liquor Law Department Chair Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire; David C. Berger, Esquire, for Pennsylvania and New Jersey retail and manufacturing licensing; Anthony M. Brichta, Esquire, for federal manufacturing, distribution, formula, and labeling issues; Benjamin P. Sheppard, Esquire, for general state and federal licensing questions, or contact our office at (610) 391-1800.