Applicants and permittees must be aware of, and comply with, any provincial or regional health restrictions in place at the time of their event or be subject to fines or other enforcement action.
A Special Event Permit (SEP) is for any individual, organization or business that sells or serves liquor in any location that is not a
Selling liquor includes direct and indirect charges for the liquor
There are many occasions when a SEP is needed, including
A special event may be held in a licensed establishment, but the establishment is required to temporarily suspend their liquor licence in order to be eligible for a Special Event Permit.
Visit the Special event permittee resources and information page to learn more about event types and if your event requires a SEP.
You can apply for up to 3 events per month or 24 per year without an exemption from the LCRB.
You should submit your application well in advance of your event. Approval times can vary depending on the size and complexity of the event.
Events that do not require police or LCRB review are approved instantly.
You must have written permission from your local governing authority to provide liquor service if you plan to hold an event on land or premises owned by a
If your event has requirements that are outside of the LCRB's regular policies, you may need to provide additional information or rationale to explain your need for an exemption.
An exemption may allow you to do one of the following:
Learn more about exemptions on the Special event permittee resources and information page.
Local police will review applications for events with 500 or more attendees or with liquor service outside of standard liquor service hours before the LCRB can issue a permit.
The police may suggest to the LCRB that additional terms and conditions be placed on a permit should they identify potential public safety concerns; additional terms and conditions are subject to LCRB approval.
An additional fee may be required where an inspector has worked with event organizers or if additional inspection services are needed during an event. If your event requires a liquor inspector to attend, inspector services fees will be billed after the event.
You must report maximum liquor quantities and drink prices if you are selling drinks at your event. You may report total liquor amounts for an event held at multiple locations. You must report liquor quantities before your event.
Maximum suggested drink servings for your event are calculated on your application. You may increase or decrease drink servings to better suit your event but remember that you are responsible for the safety of your guests and are required to prevent over-service and intoxication.
The standard calculation for drink servings takes into account the number of guests (over 19) multiplied by the number of liquor service hours of your event to give you the maximum suggested drink servings.
Roughly calculated as:
# OF GUESTS x # OF LIQUOR SERVICE HOURS = TOTAL DRINK
All individuals hosting or serving liquor at a SEP event – including family events - are required to complete a Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training program.
You can still apply for a SEP if you don’t have your certificate yet. However, you cannot host your event until you complete the course and pass the exam.
Anyone that holds a valid SIR certification doesn’t need to take the SES program.
You must follow B.C.’s liquor laws and the SEP terms and conditions at all times (specific terms and conditions may be printed on your permit). Make sure to review the:
Check with the property or facility where your event will be held before applying for a SEP to make sure liquor service is approved for your event space or if other local conditions apply.
The LCRB may request confirmation that the local authority approves during the application or after your SEP has been issued. If you do not provide confirmation, your permit may be refused or cancelled.
The LCRB will work with you and local authorities to determine whether approval can be granted. This may include adding approval conditions that were not part of the original permit application or that change or restrict the permit.
Read more about local approvals on the Special event permittee resources and information page.
BC Services Card
B.C. residents who are eligible for a BC Services Card must use one to log in to the Special Event Permit application page
Visit BC Services Card to learn:
If you have a BC Services Card mobile app on your mobile device, you are no longer required to visit a physical Service BC office to verify your identity. You have the option to have your identity verified by video call using an iPhone, iPad or Android device. You can find instructions on the BC Services Card website.
Applicants with a BC Services Card and a mobile device can find instructions to set up their mobile BC Services Card at How to Set Up a Mobile Card.
You must have a BCeID to log in to the Special Event Permit application page if you are
Learn which BCeID is right for you below.Show 2 items
Once your permit is approved, you can download it in the liquor and cannabis licensing portal.
You must follow B.C. liquor laws and the terms and conditions of your SEP at all times. Be sure to review
Before your event date, contact local authorities for additional rules that may apply to your event.
Once your SEP application is approved, you can buy liquor for your event.
All liquor sold and served at a SEP event must be purchased from one of the following:
UBrew and UVin products can be served (but not sold) at an event licensed under a family or hobbyist competition SEP.
You cannot permit guests to bring their own liquor to your event.
You must keep the following documents on-site at your event:
On your event day, you should print, sign, and post your SEP in the designated liquor service area. You must also display, as applicable
Refer to the terms and conditions for more information on each document.
Learn more about site plans and security plans below.Show 1 item
After your event:
You may return unused and un-opened product purchased from BC Liquor Stores back to the point of purchase. Liquor product returns after an event are subject to the Liquor Distribution Branch’s Product Return Policy and restocking fee.
You have up to 60 days after your event to submit a summary of event revenues and expenses along with proof that proceeds, after expenses paid, were directed to a charitable purpose. You can submit your own report, financial statements or complete the Charity Fund-Raising Event Revenue Report:
Proof of proceeds can include: a letter, cancelled cheque or newspaper article.
Read more about charitable fundraisers on the Special event permittee resources and information page.