About Us

The Department of Excise and Licenses: 
  • Issues all of the business licenses for the City and County of Denver except those concerning motor vehicles and building/development.
  • Determines the qualifications of applicants, conducts background checks, determines which licenses should be issued, collects fees, grants, renews, and denies applications.
  • Holds hearings regarding liquor applications and violations 
  • Serves as the City's licensing authority for administering the Colorado Liquor and Beer Codes.
  • Works in conjunction with the State of Colorado managing medical marijuana licenses 


The Department employs inspectors who are assigned to inspect businesses for compliance of the Denver Municipal Code and Colorado State Statutes. The inspectors: 

  • Are responsible for ensuring that all businesses that are required to be licensed obtain the proper licenses and that all licenses are kept up to date.
  • Investigate complaints and respond to questions from citizens and businesses.
  • Are authorized to issue administrative citations.
  • Are authorized to issue summons and complaints into Denver County Court for violations of the Denver Revised Municipal Code.

Our Laws and Ordinances

LawsThe Department of Excise and Licenses ensures compliance with and enforces the Denver Revised Municipal Code and the Colorado Statutes concerning business and liquor  licenses.  

Read More . . .

Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures pertaining to liquor and 3.2 beer licenses of the Department of Excise and Licenses have been written to interpret and implement the state statutes and municipal ordinances.

They set forth the standard practices of the Department for informational and guidance purposes only and may be modified or adapted in the discretion of the Director of the Department, as required to address particular matters and to the extent permitted by law.

EL Liquor 3 2 Beer and Cabaret Policies

EL Evening Hearing Procedures


Hours of Operation

8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Shortest wait time 
8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Longest wait time 
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.


Conducted at the Department of Excise and Licenses 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. daily.

 Background Checks

You may obtain your CBI, $6.85, background check here by using our lobby computers until closing.

 Herdic Testing

8:00 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.Tuesdays and Thursdays


The last test will be administered at 2:30 p.m.


Office Closures
Event Start Title
8/31/2012 Furlough Day
9/3/2012 Labor Day
11/12/2012 Veteran's Day
11/22/2012 Thanksgiving Day
11/23/2012 Furlough Day
12/25/2012 Christmas Day