It is that time of year again! All restaurant, bar, hotel, tavern, pub, and club owners should be pulling together their renewal forms for their local licensing authorities. The deadline of November 30th is rapidly approaching. This year, the renewal has a twist for a few pilot towns, where renewals are required to be processed through the ABCC’s eLicensing portal. This means that license holders in Boston, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Dedham, Lawrence, New Bedford, Salem, and Somerville will be renewing their licenses for the first time online (in addition to paper requirements from your local licensing authority). The portal requires registration and the linking of current licenses, so be sure to give yourself some extra time if you will be participating in this new process, or let us know if you need some help navigating the new system.
In order to keep your license active, make sure to satisfy all of the renewal process requirements pursuant to Massachusetts G.L. Ch. 138 § 16A by Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 5:00 PM. You should have received a renewal package from your local licensing authority a few weeks ago, detailing the step by step process for renewals. Please note that outside of Boston, some local licensing authorities set earlier deadlines for submission of the renewal paperwork. Also note, for the cities in the pilot program mentioned above, the local licensing authorities will only be accepting applications through the eLisensing portal. If you are a license holder in one of the pilot towns you should have received information from the ABCC on how to set up an account and link your license(s) to it. Failure to submit the required renewal forms and supporting documentation will result in 1) the expiration of your licenses as soon as the ball drops in Times Square at midnight, and 2) having to start from scratch to apply for a new license.
One would hope that the renewal rush will be lessened with the new eLicensing program. However, in the towns that are not renewing online, try to get there a few days early to avoid lines and delays. Early is always better in this instance, as it is important to make sure that the Board does not require further documentation.