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ABC License Types and Classes

ABC licenses in DC are issued based on license type and class. 

License Types

The seven alcoholic beverage license types are:

  1. On-premise retailers: Establishments where alcoholic beverages may be consumed on the licensed premises. On-premises retailers include restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, hotels, multipurpose facilities (theaters and sports facilities) and common carriers (passenger-carrying ships and trains).
  2. Off-premise retailers: Liquor stores and other types of stores where alcoholic beverages may be purchased but may only be consumed off the licensed premises.
  3. Manufacturer: Operates a plant that manufactures beer, wine or spirits.
  4. Wholesaler: Sells alcoholic beverages to other ABC licensees in DC for resale.
  5. Caterer: Sells and serves alcoholic beverages at catered events as part of the licensee’s preparation and service of food.
  6. Solicitor: Permitted to transport samples to ABC-licensed establishments on behalf of a vendor and to take orders on behalf of the vendor the solicitor represents.
  7. Temporary: Authorizes non-licensees to temporarily sell and serve alcoholic beverages at special events such as banquets and block parties.
  8. ABC Manager: Individual certified to manage one or more ABC establishments.

License Classes

License class determines the kinds of alcoholic beverages an establishment can sell. 

  • Class A: Permits liquor stores and wholesalers to sell beer, wine and spirits. Permits a manufacturer to manufacture beer, wine and spirits.
  • Class B: Permits grocery stores and wholesalers to sell beer and wine. Permits a manufacturer to manufacture beer and wine.
  • Class C: Permits restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, hotels and multipurpose facilities (on-premise retailer's) to sell and serve beer, wine and spirits.
  • Class D: Permits restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, hotels and multipurpose facilities (on-premise retailer's) to sell and serve beer and wine.
  • Class F: Permits a temporary licensee for a special event to sell and serve beer and wine for up to 4 consecutive days.
  • Class G: Permits a temporary licensee for a special event to sell and serve beer, wine and spirits for up to 4 consecutive days.

Class C Licenses

Class C licenses are referenced as follows for each type of establishment:

  • C/R: Permits a restaurant to sell and serve beer, wine and spirits.
  • C/T: Permits a tavern to sell and serve beer, wine and spirits.
  • C/N: Permits nightclubs to sell and serve beer, wine and spirits.
  • C/H: Permits hotels to sell and serve beer, wine and spirits.
  • C/X: Permits multipurpose facilities to sell and serve beer, wine and spirits.

Class D Licenses

Class D licenses are referenced as follows for each type of establishment:

  • D/R: Permits a restaurant to sell and serve beer and wine.
  • D/T: Permits a tavern to sell and serve beer and wine.
  • D/N: Permits nightclubs to sell and serve beer and wine.
  • D/H: Permits hotels to sell and serve beer and wine.
  • D/X: Permits multipurpose facilities to sell and serve beer and wine.