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Renew a Liquor License

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

How to Submit an Application

There are a variety of ways that you can submit your New or Renewal application to the Department of Excise and Licenses. If renewing, please make sure to include your Business File Number (BFN) with the submittal.

1.      In an effort to protect public safety, in-person customer service at Excise and Licenses is being offered by appointment only. Please visit our appointments website to make an appointment. 

2.      All license applications not available online can be submitted via email,, during this health crisis. Please visit our email application process page for more information on submitting email applications.

3.      You may also mail in your application with fees to:

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

Make checks payable to: Manager of Finance

You may also pay for your applications online or via phone once you have submitted your application to Excise and Licenses. We will send you an invoice and you may pay virtually. Please visit our online payment process page for more information on how to submit payment for your applications.

For questions, please email or call 311.

Excise and Licenses will not offer fingerprinting services on site. This website offers information on fingerprinting services authorized by Colorado Applicant Background Services.

How to Renew a Liquor License

No paperwork should be sent back to the Colorado State Offices. All forms should be submitted directly to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.

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

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

Example:  If a license expires on December 31, the renewal application must be submitted by November 16.

If the application is lost or not received, you may fill out the Colorado Retail Liquor or 3.2 License Renewal Application.

License renewal applications will not be approved by the Department earlier than 60 days prior to 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. 



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

All documents should be submitted to the Department of Excise and Licenses, 201 W. Colfax Ave. #206,  Denver, CO  80202  


Please Note new law mandates certain changes to the type of liquor license your establishment currently holds. This law is in regards to Retail 3.2 Beer On/Off Premises Licenses (FMB On-Off), Retail 3.2 Beer On-Premises License (FMB On), and Retail 3.2 Beer Off-Premises License (FMB Off).

No more Issuance or renewals of FMB On/Off licenses as of June 4, 2018:

● No Retail FMB On-Off licenses shall be issued new or renewed by the local or state

licensing authority.

● Upon their annual renewal, an existing FMB On-Off licensee must convert to a FMB

On or FMB Off.

● In order to facilitate this request, the licensee must submit along with their renewal

application a written notification to their local licensing authority and state licensing


● If you have recently submitted a renewal application, the state licensing authority or

local licensing authority will be in contact with you so that you can communicate your

preference in writing.

● When you receive renewal paperwork from the state licensing authority 90 days prior to license expiration, this letter will accompany your renewal paperwork reminding you of this change.

● Submit your renewal application to your local licensing authority first . Notify them

in writing of your selected licensing preference.

Your license will not be renewed until this information is conveyed to your local licensing authority.

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:  $500.00 made payable to the Manager of Finance
  • A late application for renewal will require that 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 may continue to sell alcohol until both 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 alcoholic beverages and beer. 

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

  • If the ninety (90) day grace period has not expired, the licensee must pay a $500.00 penalty to the State and a $500.00 penalty to the City of Denver.  Penalty fees must be paid in addition to license fees for all license renewals.
  • If the ninety (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.


  • The Department of Excise and Licenses can determine that a valid basis exists to conduct a public hearing on an application to renew a liquor or beer license. 
  • Procedures will be followed with regard to posting, publication, and notification of the public hearing.
  • An area is designated around the location from which residents and business owners/mangers can sign petitions and testify at a public hearing.
  • The licensee must post a sign on the premises with notice of the hearing for at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing.  Upon written request of a relevant registered neighborhood organization, the posting will be extended and the hearing rescheduled, for an additional twenty-five(25) days.
    • The posting sign must:
      • Be white, sturdy, and measure 22 inches wide by 26 inches high with letters not less than one inch high
      • Indicate 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 on the premises so that it is plainly visible and legible to the public
      • 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 may 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 may not be allowed to sell alcohol until the Department has issued a ruling on the renewal issue.
  • 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 may 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 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 ten (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 written decision.


Read more about public hearings.  

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


State Statutes

Colorado StatuesColorado Liquor
and Beer Laws


Municipal Code

Denver Revised Municipal Code

Chapter 6 - Alcohol

Fees:  Chapter 32

Plan Extra Time!

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Inspections and paperwork can take longer than you expect. Plan extra time to get your license.