On this page:
- When do you need a licence?
- Activities that are not licensed
- Activities that are licensed
- Businesses that make and sell their own alcohol
- Apply for your temporary limited licence
- Information needed in your application
- Applications made to supply alcohol after 1 am in the City of Yarra, Port Phillip, Melbourne and Stonnington
- Venue management plan
- Red line plan
- Applying for multiple events
- Events with multiple suppliers of liquor
- Temporary outdoor areas policy for licensed venues
- Current outdoor area temporary limited licence holders
- New temporary limited licence application for seated drinking outdoors on public land
- New temporary limited licence application for seated drinking outdoors on private land
- New temporary limited licence application for non-seated drinking outdoors
- Permanent licence to supply liquor for consumption in an outdoor area after 30 June 2023
Temporary limited liquor licences allow individuals or organisations to supply alcohol at a one-off event or a series of one-off events.
They can also allow individuals and licensees to temporarily increase trading hours or the size of the licensed premises.
There is a fee to apply for a temporary limited liquor licence. See the page Liquor licence application fees for information.
When do you need a licence?
Activities that are not licensed
A temporary limited licence is not needed when:
- you are holding a private event in a private home where alcohol will be supplied free of charge
- alcohol is being supplied through a catering company, instead your catering company will need to hold a liquor licence
- the premises you have hired for a private event is licensed and the licensee is running the event (for example a licensed restaurant, pub or sporting club with a bar where the licensee receives the proceeds from sales).
A temporary limited liquor licence is only needed for a raffle when each participant wins a prize and that prize is a liquor product.
Activities that are licensed
Category 1: One-off events or trading hour and area extensions
One-off events include:
- a wedding, birthday party, fundraising night, music, food or liquor event.
- a permanent licensee seeking to temporarily extend their trading hours
- a permanent licensee seeking to temporarily extend the area of a licensed venue
- a farmers’ or craft market.
Category 2: A series of one-off events
A series of events are those that are held within a 3-month period and show a common theme/connection such as:
- a summer outdoor movie season
- a theatre group production running over several weeks.
Category 3: Sports events (seasonal)
A series of sporting events are those that are licensed for the period of the sporting season such as:
- a point of sale that is required for match days
- a point of sale that is required for finals series
Businesses that make and sell their own alcohol
If you make your own alcohol products to sell you may be eligible for a Producers licence. Producers licences can have a promotional event codition endorsed which allows attendance of promotion events such as farmers markets.
Apply for your temporary limited licence
If you are applying for a licence to run a one-off event such as a fete or fundraising event at a school, the right organisation or entity must apply. Make your application under the name or the organisation that will be responsible for the purchase, supply and sale of liquor and who will be receiving any funds raised.
Information needed in your application
To be granted a temporary limited licence, you need to show that you only want to supply alcohol in a limited way.
In your application form describe your event or activity, explaining how alcohol will be supplied.
Information you provide might include, but is not limited to:
- range of products (including the types of alcohol and number of individual products supplied)
- trading hours
- size of the licensed premises
- means of delivery or supply to customers
- duration of the event or activity
- provision of food.
Applications made to supply alcohol after 1 am in the City of Yarra, Port Phillip, Melbourne and Stonnington
The following council areas have restrictions on liquor licences past 1am:
- Port Phillip
- Melbourne (including Docklands)
If you are applying for a liquor licence to service alcohol past 1 am in these areas you need to show:
- the event is one of significance like a cultural festival, major tourist, live music or charity event or New Year's Eve
- the relevant local council supports the application
- there is a venue management plan in place.
Venue management plan
Your venue management plan should show you have a strategy for the management of their venue and its risks.
Applicants should include the following in their venue management plan where relevant:
- details of the liquor licence sought/held – refer to definitions in the Liquor Control Reform Act
- hours of operation of your premises
- any proposed special events and specific management strategies for dealing with such special events
- training of staff including:
- Responsible Service of Alcohol
- first aid
- patron management
- provision of free drinking water
- staff familiar with venue management plan
- security arrangements including:
- the number of personnel and their hours of work
- strategies for responding to drugs and weapons
- planned response to theft on the premises
- strategies for dealing with intoxicated, drunk and disorderly patrons
- patron management including:
- maximum number of patrons to be permitted on the premises
- managing entry and exits and pass-out arrangements
- venue evacuation procedures
- plan to minimise queuing outside the venue
- plan on outside areas of the venue and how to minimise impacts on the amenity of nearby properties
- smoking in and around the venue
- public transport services such as taxis for patrons
- lighting and security cameras including:
- lighting within boundaries of the premises
- lighting outside the premises
- security camera locations, operation and management
- processes for managing waste including:
- litter in and around the venue
- waste storage and removal including time of pick up for:
- general rubbish
- noise reduction measures (if applicable):
- doors, windows or other noise reduction devices
- limiting noise such as music, emptying bins, generators and from patrons in and around the licensed venue
- a complaint handling process. The process should outline:
- how complaints received from neighbouring and nearby businesses and residents will be managed
- a complaints register to be kept at the premises. The register must include:
- details of the complaint received (who, when, where, what)
- what action was taken
- response to the complainant
- any other management strategies relevant to your business.
All persons involved in the supply or service of liquor must have completed a RSA course approved by Liquor Control Victoria.
You may be required to produce evidence of completion of RSA.
Red line plan
Your red line plan defines the area where alcohol can be supplied. This plan needs to be included in your application. The red line plan page has information on how to create and change your plan.
Applying for multiple events
Requirements for obtaining a temporary limited licence to run multiple events are under review. Please visit this page for updates.
Currently, individuals or organisations can apply for temporary licences to cover generally up to six events over a calendar year. Applicants must have the right to occupy the premises during the event.
Holders of a producer’s licence may apply for a temporary limited licence to attend and sell liquor at up to 6 farmer's or craft markets in any one calendar year. A holder of a producer’s licence may be eligible to vary their licence to include promotional event authority.
Events with multiple suppliers of liquor
Events such as fetes, markets and festivals can often include the supply of liquor by more than one party. This may include:
- licensees who want to sell alcohol they have produced themselves
- more than one business wants to sell liquor to attendees.
The most common licensing arrangements for multiple suppliers at an event are:
- both the event organiser and individual supplier are licensed
- only the event organiser is licensed
- only the individual suppliers are licensed.
If you are unsure which licence you need for your event, phone 1300 182 457 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Temporary outdoor areas policy for licensed venues
Licensees can apply to temporarily extend their existing licensed areas outdoors until 30 June 2023.
Outdoor area temporary limited licences extend the licensed area of a venue, but do not increase the patron capacity. These temporary licences also require that food be available.
The temporary outdoor area policy was introduced during COVID-19 to help licensees operate COVIDSafe during restrictions. The Victorian Government has extended the policy to 30 June 2023.
Three licensing options are offered for outdoor areas:
- seated drinking on public land
- seating drinking on private land
- standing drinking on public or private land.
For help with your application, please contact Liquor Control Victoria at 1300 182 457 or email email@example.com
Apply for your outdoor area temporary limited licence.
Current outdoor area temporary limited licence holders
You can now apply for your new outdoor area temporary limited licence to 30 June 2023.
All you need before you start your application is:
- your permanent licence number
- your current outdoor area licence number
- copy of your existing outdoor area licence
- your local council permission, if applying to use public land.
Please read our step-by-step guide on how to lodge your application for a new outdoor area licence.
Local council permission for use of public land
Make sure your permission from the local council to use the outdoor area is current and covers the date of your new outdoor area temporary limited licence. You may need to re-apply to your council for an extension.
Your local council’s temporary permission to use the public outdoor area and council-endorsed plan must be available for inspection on request by a liquor inspector or Victoria Police.
New temporary limited licence application for seated drinking outdoors on public land
A permanent licensee can apply for a temporary limited licence for seated drinking outdoors on public land if they have:
- never held an outdoor area licence for public land, or
- had a licence that expired before 15 December 2022.
You will need to provide the following documents from your local council with your application:
- Written permission from your local council allowing you to use the outdoor area (this may be a permit, licence, or letter issued by the local council). Please ensure that this permission has an end date. The absence of an end or expiry date will delay the processing of your application.
- A plan that clearly describes the boundary of the outdoor area endorsed by your local council (this can be part of the written permission under item 1).
- Specified trading hours for the outdoor area, from your local council (this may be part of the written permission under item 1).
In providing these documents, LCV will endeavour to process your application within 3 business days. If your application is missing any of these documents, this will cause delay and you will be contacted and asked to submit the missing documents.
New temporary limited licence application for seated drinking outdoors on private land
A permanent licensee can apply for a temporary limited licence for seated drinking outdoors on private land if they have:
- never held an outdoor area licence for private land, or
- held a licence which expired before 15 December 2022, or
- the owner's permission to use the private area expired before 15 December 2022.
You must have written permission from the owner of a privately owned outdoor area to be granted a licence.
New temporary limited licence application for non-seated drinking outdoors
Applications by licensees who are seeking to provide alcohol to non-seated outdoor areas are required to provide:
- Written permission from your local council allowing you to use the outdoor area (this may be a permit, licence, or letter issued by your local council).
For public outdoor areas this permission must specify that non-seated drinking is allowed in the area to be licensed. Please ensure that this permission has an end date. The absence of an end or expiry date will delay the processing of your application.
For privately-owned outdoor areas evidence must be provided that your local council does not object to the land being used for non-seated drinking. This may be a letter issued by your local council. This evidence is required to demonstrate that your local council has had the opportunity to consider any risks to the amenity of the local area from the proposed changed from seated drinking to non-seated drinking in the outdoor area.
- A plan that clearly describes the boundary of the outdoor area
For public land this plan must be endorsed by your local council (this can be part of the written permission under item 1).
For a privately-owned outdoor area see the Plan of licensed premises factsheet here for assistance in developing this plan.
- Trading hours
For public outdoor areas, the specified trading hours for the outdoor area from your local council (this may be part of the written permission under item 1)
For privately-owned outdoor areas, if you seek trading hours after 11pm, evidence of permission from your local council is required (this may be part of the written permission under item 1).
Permanent licence to supply liquor for consumption in an outdoor area after 30 June 2023
If you are a licensee who would like to supply liquor in a public outdoor area on an ongoing basis, you can apply to vary the licensed (red line) area of your permanent to include the outdoor area.
Please apply well before your outdoor area licence expires as variation applications take 8 weeks to assess and determine due to legislated objection periods. You must also publicly display your variation application and it must be served on Victoria Police and local council.
Reviewed 02 April 2023