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Planes, Trains, and Shopping Carts: Permissible Vehicles for Transporter-for-Hire Licensees

Planes, Trains, and Shopping Carts: Permissible Vehicles for Transporter for hire licensees.

Not all licensees can deliver alcohol in Pennsylvania. However, a transporter-for-hire license allows a company to transport alcohol throughout Pennsylvania.

There are three types of transporter-for-hire licenses. Class A permits the licensee to transport liquor and malt or brewed beverages to customers. Class B permits transportation of only malt or brewed beverages. Class C is limited to commercial transportation of liquor parcels.

Several important rules govern these licenses:

  1. The sale must be fully completed at the licensed premises from which the transporter picks up, and payment may not be accepted at the time of delivery.
  2. Multiple orders may be delivered to one customer, but the quantity is limited by the type of licensee that sells the alcoholic beverages. For example, a pizza place with an R (restaurant) license can only sell up to 192 fluid ounces of alcohol, but if two orders are separated for a husband and wife, the delivery can be double.
  3. Transporter-for-hire licensees may transport only alcohol that they do not own. They cannot transport alcoholic products they own. For the pizza place example, the customer owns the 6 pack of beer when they pay over the phone or on-line. Cash or payment on delivery is not permitted.
  4. Delivery must occur in an approved “vehicle” that bears the licensee’s name, address, and transporters’ license number. Magnetic signs are permitted.
  5. At time of delivery, the customer must provide age identification, and the transporter must record the age verification.

“Vehicle” is defined as “[t]rucks, buses, cars, wagons, scooters, motorcycles, aircraft, watercraft or other means of transportation.” The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“PLCB”) interprets “other means of transportation” to include hand-powered or non-motorized devices.

Interestingly, in a recent advisory opinion, the PLCB found shopping carts are a permissible vehicle in which to transport alcohol. Previously, the PLCB found bicycles to be a permissible vehicle for brewery and distributor licensees to deliver their products.

This recent advisory opinion shows the PLCB expansively interprets “other means of transportation” to include various four-wheeled vehicles. However, it remains to be seen if the PLCB will extend this holding to include four-legged animals like donkeys!

For information about national and state liquor law matters or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact our Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group: Liquor Law Department Chair Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire; David C. Berger, Esquire, for Pennsylvania and New Jersey retail and manufacturing licensing; Anthony M. Brichta, Esquire, for federal manufacturing, distribution, formula, and labeling issues; Benjamin P. Sheppard, Esquire, for general state and federal licensing questions, or contact our office at (610) 391-1800.