For Potential Licensees

FAQs: For Potential Licensees; Miscellaneous inquiries

overseas/international shipping or transport for personal use; military personnel


The State of New Mexico has no objection to service members or an individual bringing a reasonable amount of alcohol into the State for personal consumption only -see NMSA 1978 60-7A-3D Transportation into state without permit; exportation of alcoholic beverages without permit; importation for private use; reciprocal shipping; when unlawful.

Pursuant to NMSA 1978 7-17-5 Imposition and Rate of Liquor Excise Tax, per the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, no excise tax would be due on alcohol transported into the State by an individual for personal consumption.


There is no exact amount defined.


Click for copy: Memo: Alcohol for Personal Consumption

What is the 300 Foot Rule?

CLICK HERE to view the statutes and regulations pertaining to 300 Foot Rule.

Prior to issuing a Liquor License, Applicant must establish that they are not located within 300 feet of an active church or school.

How do I get a liquor license in New Mexico?

You may apply for a Non-Dispenser License by submitting an application.

  • Small Brewer, Winegrower, Craft Brewer, Bottler, Wholesaler, Manufacturer, Governmental, Public Service, and Clubs
  • Restaurant Types:

Restaurant A (Beer and Wine): 
Restaurants that want a Beer and Wine License must be a full service Restaurant with staff to serve both food and beer/wine.

Restaurant A +NM Spirits:
Restaurants that want to serve beer, wine and NM produced spirits only must be a full service Restaurant with staff to serve both food and alcohol.  At least 60% of gross revenue must come from the sale of food.  May not operate as a bar.

Restaurant B: (Beer, Wine & Spirits):
Restaurants that want to serve beer, wine and spirits only must be a full service Restaurant with staff to serve both food and alcohol. At least 60% of gross revenue must come from the sale of food.  May not operate as a bar.

New Mexico is a quota state and has a limited number of Dispenser type Licenses and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division has issued all liquor licenses allowed  by law.

Some examples of businesses that need a Dispenser License are: Bars, full service Restaurants that have a bar, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, Wine Bars, Gift Shops, Nightclubs, and Package Liquor Stores.

Licenses of this type are bought and sold, transferred to new locations or leased, with the prior approval of the Division.  You must obtain information on licenses available for sale or lease on your own or contact a Liquor License Attorney or a Broker.  ABC does not provide this type of information.  We do have a list of recently sold licenses.

    Applicants can either lease or purchase Dispenser type liquor licenses from current holders of these licenses.


    For legal reasons, the Division is unable to assist you with Licenses that may be available for Lease or Purchase.  Our responsibility lies with issuing licenses and monitoring the sale and lease of licenses.  This precludes us from being involved in referring a potential buyer/lessee with seller/lessor.

    Please consult an attorney, liquor license broker or a real estate agent that specializes in liquor licensing.  You may also check the Business Opportunities section of the newspapers, the telephone book or the internet.    Finally, it may be helpful to inquire with some of the local business owners for recommendations.

    FINGERPRINTS: Do I have to submit my fingerprints when applying for a liquor license?
    • YES.  All Liquor License Applicants, License Holders, Managers, all Principal Officers, Directors, Shareholders, Partners and Members, and any of the following that own 10% or more in the Business/Partnership/Company: Stockholders, Partners, Owners, Members, MUST OBTAIN FINGERPRINT CLEARANCE prior to obtaining a Liquor License in the State of New Mexico.
    • Because the Liquor Control Act does not allow for a convicted felon to own or be an officer on a liquor license this agency requires such persons to be fingerprinted to receive the background reports from the State and Federal level. Therefore, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requires the following notice:
      Applicant Notification and Record Challenge
      Officials at the governmental institutions and other entities authorized to submit fingerprints and receive FBI identification records under this authority must notify the individuals fingerprinted that the fingerprints will be used to check the criminal history records of the FBI. The officials making the determination of suitability for licensing or employment shall provide the applicants the opportunity to complete, or challenge the accuracy of, the information contained in the FBI identification record. These officials also must advise the applicants that procedures for obtaining a change, correction, or updating of an FBI identification record are set forth in Title 28, C.F.R., § 16.34. Officials making such determinations should not deny the license or employment based on information in the record until the applicant has been afforded a reasonable time to correct or complete the record, or has declined to do so. (Title 42, U.S.C., §14616, Article IV (c); Title 28 C.F.R., § 50.12 (b))
    Does the Division approve the sale and/or lease of all liquor licenses?
    • Yes. All applicants must submit an application for the approval of the sale or lease of Dispenser type liquor license. These applications are thoroughly reviewed by ABC and sent to the Local Option District for their approval.
    • The Division reserves the right to deny a sale or lease application if the safety and public health is threatened by issuance of such license.
    What are the requirements for the issuance of a Restaurant license?
    • Applicant must have a valid and current Food Service Establishment Permit.
    • Applicant must demonstrate that the primary source of revenue for the restaurant will be from food and not from alcohol.
    • As a condition of renewal, the licensee must provide proof that at least 60% of the total gross receipts are from the sale of food.
    • Menu cannot consist of just fast foods, as defined in the Liquor Control Act, including, but not limited to items such as soups, salads, sandwiches and other fast foods.
    who needs to obtain a license to sell tobacco and tobacco products?

    Anyone who sells cigarettes or other tobacco products is required to be licensed pursuant to the Tobacco Products Act. This includes retail establishments, distributors, manufacturers and persons or businesses who ship tobacco products directly to New Mexico residents.

    where do i register my labels?

    New Mexico uses Product Registration Online (PRO) to manage its label registrations. New Mexico is a franchise state and only one wholesaler per brand may be designated.  Click here for the PRO website. 

    Skip to content