A special licence allows the sale or supply of alcohol on a given premises or conveyance (boat, plane or bus) for the duration of a specific occasion or event such as weddings, birthdays, client functions, quiz nights, sports events or social gatherings on a hired premises.
When is a special licence required?
A special licence is needed when:
- No on licence or club licence exists for the premises.
- The caterer doesn't have an endorsed off licence.
- There are non-club members present on a club licensed premises.
- The function is outside of the hours or the area authorised by an already existing on or club licence.
- The holder of the special licence must control the sale and supply of alcohol at the event and ensure statutory responsibilities are observed at all times.
You are not required to hold a special licence if:
- you are supplying liquor to your guests in your own private residence.
- your guests are bringing liquor to your own private residence.
How to apply
Special Licences cannot be renewed. However, if you know the dates of future events to be held at the same venue, you can obtain a Special Licence for those on one application, so long as the events are the same in nature and around the same size.
Applications must be lodged no less than 20 working days prior to the event to ensure that it will be processed in time.
To avoid any delays please ensure that all required information is provided with the application, and the application fee paid promptly after you receive the invoice.
To apply for a special licence, click here.
The following information and documents are required to be supplied with your application.
- A scale plan showing
- those areas that are to be used for the sale and supply of alcohol; and
- those areas (if any) that the applicant intends should be designated as 'restricted' or 'supervised' areas.
- A menu/sample menu (if applicable).
- Where the applicant is not the owner of the premises - Written confirmation from the owner to show that they have no objections to the granting of a liquor licence for their premises.
- If the manager acting on behalf of the licence holds a Managers Certificate from another district - A copy of the current Managers Certificate.
- If application is for a large scale event - A management plan describing how the applicant proposes to deal with matters such as security, interaction with local residents and public health concerns.
Licence applications for events over the Christmas period
If you want to apply for a special licence for an event over Christmas – New Year period you need to get the application in before 16 November to be processed in time (unless exceptional circumstances apply where the event could not have been predicted earlier, eg funerals).
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 has a close down period for processing of licence applications from 20 December to 15 January. We regret applications received late may not be able to be issued for events over the Christmas period.
Fees and Charges (for 2023/24 year)
With the introduction of the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 a new fee schedule has been established based on a national three tier framework.
Number of events
Number of people
Special Licence Application - Small
|1 - 2
|Up to 100
Special Licence Application - Medium
|3 - 12 small scale events (<100 people)
OR; 1 - 3 medium events
|100 - 400
Special Licence Application - Large
|1 large event of > 400
OR; More than 3 medium events
OR; More than 12 small events