Renew a Liquor License

The Colorado State Liquor Enforcement Division will notify the licensee 90 days before the expiration date of an existing license by first class-mail at the business' last-known address.

How to Submit an Application

There are several ways to submit a new or renewal application to the Department of Excise and Licenses. If renewing, include your business file number.

  1. All license applications not available online can be submitted by email to EXLSubmit@denvergov.org. When applying, attach all documents to one email. Visit the email application process page for more information.
  2. You can mail your application with fees to:

City and County of Denver
Department of Excise and Licenses
201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202

Make checks payable to: Manager of Finance

3. You can pay fees online or by phone after the application has been submitted. You will receive an invoice and you can pay virtually. Visit the online payment process page for more information.

For questions, email licenses@denvergov.org or call 311.

How to Renew a Liquor License

Application due date

No paperwork should be sent to the Colorado state offices. All forms should be submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.

The Colorado State Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division will send a renewal application.

The application must be submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses no later than 45 days and no earlier than 60 days before to an expiration date.

For example, if a license expires on Dec. 31, the renewal application must be submitted by Nov. 16.

If the application is lost or not received, you can fill out the Colorado Retail Liquor or 3.2 License Renewal Application.(PDF, 252KB)

License renewal applications will not be approved by the Department earlier than 60 days before the expiration date of the existing license.

All documents submitted for renewal, including Colorado state applications, must be submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. 


Required documents

Application forms and business entity documents are required for the applications process. All documents must be submitted in duplicate – one for the City and County of Denver and the original for the state of Colorado. Documents must be printed in black ink or typewritten. Photocopies are accepted.

All documents should be submitted to:

Department of Excise and License
201 W Colfax Ave., Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202

Late renewals

Licenses must be renewed on or before the expiration date to avoid penalty fees. 

90-day grace period

  • There is a 90-day grace period from the expiration date during which licenses can be renewed by paying the license fee and a penalty fee.
  • Late application fee:  $500 made payable to the Manager of Finance
  • A late application for renewal will require the fees and penalties be paid by cash, cashier's check, certified check, or checks written on an attorney's account.
  • A licensee who has filed a late renewal application and paid the requisite fees can continue to sell alcohol until state and city have approved the renewal application and the licenses are issued.


Expired Licenses

  • If the liquor license is expired, the licensee must stop the sale of all alcohol. 


Insufficient funds

If funds paid to renew an existing liquor license are insufficient, the following procedures will be followed:

  • If the 90-day grace period has not expired, the licensee must pay a $500 penalty to the state and a $500 penalty to the City and County of Denver.  Fees must be paid in addition to license fees for all renewals.
  • If the 90-day grace period has expired, a new application will be required unless the licensee can demonstrate "compelling reason" to allow a late renewal.
    • The director of the Department of Excise and Licenses will decide what constitutes a "compelling reason."
    • The director reserves the right to take administrative action against a licensee who failed to renew its licenses in a timely fashion.


Public hearings

  • The Department of Excise and Licenses can determine a valid basis exists to conduct a public hearing on an application to renew a liquor or beer license. 
  • Procedures will be followed regarding posting, publication, and notification of the public hearing.
  • An area is designated around the location where residents and business owners/mangers can sign petitions and testify.
  • The licensee must post a sign on the premises with notice of the hearing for at least 20 days before the hearing.  Upon written request of a relevant registered neighborhood organization, the posting will be extended and the hearing rescheduled, for an additional 25 days.
    • The posting sign must:
      • Be white, sturdy, and measure 22 inches wide by 26 inches high with letters not less than 1 inch high
      • Show the type of license to be renewed, the date and time of the hearing, the name and address of the licensee and any partners or officers of the licensee.
      • Be posted in a conspicuous place so it is plainly visible and legible
      • Content to be included on the posting sign will be established by the Department of Excise and Licenses.
    • A licensee who has timely submitted a renewal application can continue to sell alcohol pending the outcome of the renewal hearing even if the license has expired.
    • Failure to post correctly will result in the public hearing being postponed.  If the hearing is postponed for this reason, the licensee will not be allowed to sell alcohol until the Department has issued a ruling on the renewal.
  • The city bears the burden of proof in a renewal hearing.
  • Presentation of evidence at the hearing will be limited to allegations concerning good cause for non-renewal.
  • Parties who can present evidence at a renewal hearing include:
    • The licensee or an attorney representing the licensee
    • The Department of Excise and Licenses
    • A representative of a registered neighborhood group whose boundaries encompass any portion of the designated area for the licensed location
    • Residents and business owners/managers in the neighborhood
  • Once the public hearing is held, the presiding hearing officer will issue a written recommended decision.
  • Applicant, any party in interest who testified at the hearing, and the City Attorney's Office will have 10 calendar days from the date of mailing the decision to file objections to the recommended decision.
  • The Director of Excise and Licenses will issue a final decision.


Read more about public hearings.  


Renewal policies

  • Department of Excise and Licenses inspectors will attempt to locate and notify business license holders of the approaching expiration date.  Failure of an inspector to notify a delinquent licensee that their license has expired does not excuse the licensee from any applicable late penalty.