F.A.Q.: I just received a letter from the Division of Liquor Control, which says that my liquor permit expired and I cannot sell alcoholic beverages. I need my liquor permit! What can I do?

The letter that you received is known as a "Cancel For Failure To Renew" or "CFRE" letter. The Division is saying that you failed to file your annual renewal application and pay your renewal fee, and YOU HAVE NO PRIVILEGES TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. You now have several options for proceeding.

The CFRE letter explains that you can still file your renewal application, pay your filing fee, and pay the required 10% penalty, by a specified, automatic cancellation date. If that date hasn't passed yet, the easiest thing to do is immediately FILE THE RENEWAL APPLICATION, PAY THE FILING FEE, AND PAY THE 10% PENALTY. The Division will then process your renewal application.

If the automatic cancellation date has passed, the Division has canceled your permit. At this point, the Division will not accept your renewal application or your fees.

However, you may take the steps outlined in the CFRE letter and appeal the cancellation of your permit to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission (Commission). You have 30 days after the automatic cancellation date to file an appeal with the Commission. You can hire an attorney to file your appeal with the Commission, or you can do it yourself. (Please note that a corporation must be represented by legal counsel.)

The Commission is comprised of three members who are like judges in a court. They decide cases involving liquor permit holders.

The Commission will notify you when it receives your appeal and set a date for a hearing at its offices in Columbus, Ohio. You or your attorney should be prepared to go to the hearing on the date that they specify. If you or your attorney cannot appear on the date that the Commission selects, at least five days before the scheduled date of the hearing, you can ask them to continue the matter to a later date.

At the hearing, a representative of the Ohio Attorney General's Office will present the Division's case to the Commission members. The Assistant Attorney General will present evidence and testimony. You or your attorney will then be given the chance to present evidence and testimony as to why the permit should be renewed. You will receive an Order from the Commission after the hearing telling you whether your appeal was successful.

If your appeal was successful, the Commission will overrule the Division's action canceling your permit. You will then be advised by the Commission on how to proceed.

If your appeal is not successful, the Commission will affirm the Division's action canceling your permit. Commission decisions are appealable. You have 21 days from the mailing date of the Commission's Order to file an appeal with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. If no appeal is filed, the Order of the Commission is final.

The above information is not intended as legal advice, but rather as general guidance. Each situation is unique and must be reviewed on a case by case basis. You may wish to retain private legal counsel for comprehensive legal advice. Only legal counsel who has reviewed the totality of the facts and circumstances affecting your liquor permit can advise you in an accurate and comprehensive manner.


Division of Liquor Control
6606 Tussing Road
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Phone 614.644.2360

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