Can You Ship Alcohol

Can You Ship Alcohol? Legal Aspects of Shipment

Can you ship Alcohol? One may wonder. Alcohol is one complicated commodity because not everyone readily accepts it. On that note, we will be dealing with the shipping of alcohol and the legal aspect of shipping it.

Can You Ship Alcohol?

The permissibility of mailing alcohol varies. In some states, sending alcohol through the mail is entirely prohibited, while in a few others, it is allowed without restrictions. In most states, it is legal, but the regulations surrounding it can be quite diverse.

On December 5th, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, signifying the official end of the Prohibition era in the United States.

However, this amendment not only brought back alcohol into daily life but also granted individual states the authority to oversee alcohol usage within their own boundaries.

This led to the emergence of a complex and perplexing array of state-specific regulations governing the handling of alcohol.

Now let’s look into in-state and out-state Alcohol mailing because not every state accepts the mailing of alcohol.


In-State Alcohol Mailing

Sending alcohol within the same state is less complicated compared to sending it across state lines since you only need to comply with the regulations of one state when shipping beer, wine, or liquor.

However, it’s important to note that certain local government bodies, such as individual counties and cities, might have their own specific regulations.

Prior to shipping alcohol within your state, it’s essential to be well-informed about any state or local laws that may impact how you can send alcohol.

Out-of-State Alcohol Mailing

The complexity of shipping alcohol becomes doubly challenging when it involves crossing state borders.

This is due to the fact that when sending beer or other alcoholic beverages to another state, you must navigate and adhere to not only the regulations of your own state and local government but also those of the destination state where the shipment is headed.

In Which States Is it Illegal to Mail Alcohol?

Mailing alcohol directly to consumers is prohibited in the United States, in just two states: Mississippi and Utah.

If you reside in either of these states and cherish the convenience of having your preferred beverages delivered to your home, you might want to consider relocating.

In the remaining 48 states, the rules governing the shipment of alcohol range from lenient to highly stringent.

The National Conference on State Legislatures offers a valuable resource on its website, providing comprehensive information on the specific regulations for shipping alcohol in each state.

This resource can be extremely helpful in understanding the regulations in detail.

Can You Ship Alcohol with USPS?

Is it possible to send alcohol via postal mail? Regrettably, the answer is no. The United States Postal Service strictly prohibits the shipment of alcohol in any situation.

Moreover, you cannot repurpose an old beer or wine box to send other items either. If the exterior of the box displays any alcohol-related branding, the USPS will not accept the shipment, irrespective of its contents.

Can You Ship Alcohol with UPS?

Fortunately, there’s more positive news in this regard. UPS offers the option to ship wine, beer, and spirits, but there’s a specific carriage contract you need to establish for each type.

It’s crucial that you possess the necessary government licenses for shipping the particular category of alcohol you intend to send, both in your own state and, where applicable, in the destination state.

UPS mandates an individual carrier agreement for beer, wine, and spirits, as each type of alcohol has its distinct licensing and shipping prerequisites.

UPS permits various shipping arrangements, including direct-to-consumer shipments and other types like shipments between alcohol licenses, intra and interstate retailers, and brewery shipments, as long as these comply with the relevant laws and regulations.

As you might imagine, shipping alcohol with UPS comes with lots of requirements and restrictions — too many to list here.

The process for entering into a contract with UPS to ship each type of alcohol and the specific shipping requirements for each can be found on the UPS website as noted below.

Can You Ship Alcohol with FedEx?

Similar to UPS, FedEx will receive alcohol shipments directly to consumers and from one licensee to another, as long as it adheres to legal regulations.

However, FedEx exclusively acknowledges shipments from alcohol shippers who possess FedEx’s approval.

Unlike UPS, FedEx doesn’t differentiate between wine, beer, and spirits in terms of carrier agreements. Instead, they follow a unified procedure for approving alcohol shippers.



Shipping alcohol involves a complex web of legal regulations that vary from state to state in the United States. While some states permit it with varying degrees of restrictions, others strictly prohibit it.

The 21st Amendment in 1933 ended Prohibition but left alcohol regulation primarily in the hands of individual states, resulting in a diverse landscape of alcohol shipping rules.

Sending alcohol within the same state is less complicated, but local regulations may apply. Crossing state lines adds another layer of complexity, necessitating compliance with the rules of both the sender’s state and the destination state.

While the legality of shipping alcohol can be a challenging terrain to navigate, it is possible with the right knowledge and adherence to the relevant regulations and carrier requirements.

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