About Special Events Alcohol Licenses
The City of Atlanta Police Department - License and Permit Unit issues special events alcohol permits to allow hosts to serve or sell alcohol at outdoor events. If your event has more than 75 people and is outdoors, you will also have to submit an Outdoor Festival application. This application needs to be submitted to the Mayor’s Office of Special Events 90 days before the event.

Important: To ensure you have enough time to gather all the appropriate documents, we recommend you submit your application 90 days before your event. 

If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact Detective Scandrick at the City of Atlanta Police Department. He can provide over the phone at (404) 546-4470 or in person consultation.

How to Obtain your Special Events Alcohol License

Make sure you have read through and secured all of the appropriate paperwork before you make an appointment at the License and Permit Unit for review. If all paperwork is in place for that appointment, you will receive documentation that you will then need to submit to other agencies.

STEP ONE – Fill out an application and secure the required documents

Returning Agent: 
If you have held a City of Atlanta Special Events License before, you only need to deliver items 2a-c along with your application fee.

New Agent: If you are a new agent (never held an alcohol license in the city of Atlanta), you need to submit items 2a-d.

Submitting your application: 

  1. The Alcohol permit application can be downloaded here
  2. To ensure enough time to process paperwork, make an appointment with an APD officer 90 days before your event. The number to make an appointment is (404) 546-4470. For the appointment, bring:
    1. Two original copies of the completed application. Type or write with black ink two applications completely. Both applications must be notarized.
    2. 2 - Passport-size photos (2 in. x 2 in.)
    3. A copy of the lease or a valid document which shows you have legal access to the proposed premises (deed, lease, sublease, rental agreement, etc.) The document should include the name of lessor and lessee, signatures from both parties, the address of the proposed event site, the dates of the event, the times of the event and the times of set-up).
    4. A money order for $20 made out to “City of Atlanta” for on-site fingerprinting.
      e. If you are a non-profit, provide a copy of your IRS tax determination letter proving your 501(c)3 status. You can request a copy here. (http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Determination-Letters---Need-a-Copy-or-a-Correction%3F)
    5. A Federal Clearance letter verifying that neither the applicant/licensee agent nor spouse has been convicted of a crime within the past ten years. You can obtain this document for $30 from the Federal Courts in the Richard b. Russell Building located on 75 Spring Street Atlanta, GA 30303. Filing information can be found here.
    6. The Certificate of Residence, which is provided in the application package, needs to be signed by the county clerk in which county you reside and notarized.

STEP TWO – Submit your application in person and meet with an inspector

At your scheduled appointment, bring your application and required documents. An inspector will go over the next steps for your application and also issue you paperwork to send to the County Health Department, the Office of Buildings and the Atlanta Fire and Rescue. The inspector will also issue you a tentative date to appear in front of the License Review Board.

STEP THREE – Additional regulatory sign-offs

If all paperwork is in place for your appointment with the Atlanta Police Department, you will receive a notice from APD to send to the other regulatory agencies that you need to get approval from:

  • County Health Department
    • Fulton County 
      Department of Health and Wellness
      Environmental Health Services
      99 Jesse Hill Jr Dr. NE Atlanta, GA 30303
      Phone: 404.613.1301
      (Inspections may vary in price)
    • DeKalb County
      DeKalb Central Health Center
      440 Winn Way Decatur, GA 30030
      Phone: 404.508.7900
      (Inspections may vary in price)
    • Clayton County Health Department
      1117 Battle Creek Rd., Jonesboro, GA 30236
      Phone: 678.610.7199
      (Inspections may vary in price according to type and size)
  • Buildings
    • City of Atlanta
      Office of Buildings
      55 Trinity Ave. Suite 3900, Atlanta, GA 30303
      Depending on the square footage of space you plan to operate on, you will need to pay a fee. Be prepared to bring a copy of your 501©3 tax determination letter if you are a non-profit.
  • Fire Department
    • City of Atlanta
      Atlanta Fire and Rescue
      Public Safety Headquarters
      226 Peachtree St. SW, 1st Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303
      Phone: 404.546.7000
      They will sign the letter and give you a receipt. 
    • A site plan needs to be provided before approval is granted

STEP FOUR – License Review Board

The License Review Board meets on Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. twice a month. At the review, you must describe your event, state your name, address, county in which you reside, and demonstrate you are familiar with Chapter 10 of the City of Atlanta Municipal Code. The Board will vote to pass or deny and send its recommendation to the Mayor’s Office with either a favorable or an unfavorable recommendation.

STEP FIVE – Mayoral approval

Once the Mayor’s Office of Special Events receives the approval from the License Review Board and ALL of the notices from the inspections, they give you a call and ask you to pick up the license at the Business License Office at the first floor of City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave Suite 1350. The Mayor’s approval may take up to 60 days to approve.

If your event is on a Saturday or a Sunday, you must also obtain a delivery license and a storage license. This is to cover the distributor for not delivering on the weekend. This delivery license can be processed at the License Business Office. The fee for the storage license is $50 per day for nonprofit or $500 per day, per license for a for-profit company. A storage license will be needed for events on a Saturday and/or Sunday.

STEP SIX – Apply for your state license
Now that you have the City of Atlanta Special Events permit, you can now begin the process of applying for a state license.

Alcohol cannot be sold or served unless a license has been approved by the state.


Processing Application and Background Check Fee: $50.00
Fingerprint Fee: $20.00 
Special Events Alcohol Permit Fee:

  • If you are a non-profit, the application fee will be $25.00
  • If you are a for-profit, the application fee will be $100.00

Required Documents
Special Event Alcohol Application