Is there a test you need to pass to get a liquor license?

Reader Question: Is there a test on knowledge and skill you must pass to get a liquor license or is it based on background checks.

And how much is the application process – Is it free? Are there yearly fees for being a holder of the license?


Although the New York State Liquor Authority does not administer a written test to obtain a license, a background check is conducted and persons are required to complete a Personal Questionnaire which asks for five year work and residence history.  Fingerprints are required of individuals.

The licenses and permits are not free, and do require fees to the NY State Liquor Authority both upon submission of an initial application, and upon license or permit renewal.  The fees vary depending on location and license type classes, with class terms ranging from one to three years.