New Jersey Pocket License
New Jersey Liquor License Attorney
In New Jersey, when you do not have an active “site” for your liquor license, the license becomes a “Pocket License.” A “Pocket License” is a type of inactive license which does not have a site or licensed premises. Therefore, it is said to be “in the licensee’s pocket” until a place-to-place transfer is approved by the issuing authority to a licensed premises. This means that if your lease is terminated or you sell the real property (but not your license) then your license will automatically become a pocket license. A licensee needs to be aware that a pocket license must still be renewed annually. Furthermore, because New Jersey wants licenses to remain active, it is imperative that you show that you a intending to reactivate and “re-site” the license even when it is in-pocket.
For assistance in filing a N.J.A.C. 33:1-12.39 Petition with the Director of ABC or transferring your license for reactivation, call the ABC liquor licensing attorneys at Proetta & Oliver. Our attorneys can be reached seven days a week by calling (732) 858-5857.
What is 12.39 Relief?
An inactive license may be renewed by a municipality two times after the term in which the license became inactive. If the license has been inactive for more than two license terms (two years), the Local Issuing Authority can not renew your license unless you have first obtained relief from the Director of ABC, pursuant to 33:1-12.39. Essentially, this means that if you inactivated your license on December 1, 2017, then you would be able to renew in July 2018, July 2019 and July 2020 without issue. However, you will require relief to renew in July 2021.
Additionally, if you fail to obtain relief under 12.39 and you are not renewed before the renewal date, then you will also need 12.18 relief to renew your license after July 31st. If these procedures are not followed then you risk having your liquor license “retired” and never be able to renew and activate the license. This process can be overly complicated and requires the attention of an experienced attorney to ensure compliance and renewal of your New Jersey liquor license.
ABC Attorneys in NJ
If you need assistance activating your Pocket License or filing a petition for 12.39 relief, call the ABC attorneys at Proetta & Oliver at (732) 858-5857. Former Deputy Attorney General of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, William C. Fay, IV, can assist you in any liquor licensing or compliance matter you may be facing.