Alcoholic Beverage Control Office

To legally sell alcoholic beverages in Lexington, businesses must have an Alcoholic Beverage Control license through two governing agencies:


  1. Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  2. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (Lexington ABC)




December 1: New Frequently Asked Questions posted

November 10: ABC License fees waived for 2020

Mayor Linda Gorton issued an executive order relating to a 12-month waiver for renewal fees paid to the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Office.

  • Renewal fees for the 2020 calendar year are hereby waived. Licensees who have already paid these fees will have their 2021 fees waived.
  • This executive order applies only to renewal fees for the following licenses:
    •  Brewer’s License
    • Caterer’s License
    • Extended Hours Supplemental License
    • Limited Restaurant License
    • Microbrewery License
    • NQ1 Retail Drink License – convention centers, racetracks, state parks, etc.
    • NQ2 Retail Drink License – restaurants, hotel restaurants/bars, airport restaurants, etc.
    • NQ3 Retail Drink License – private clubs, bed and breakfasts, etc.
    • NQ4 Malt Beverage Drink License – supplemental for small farm wineries, breweries, etc.
    • Qualified Historic Site License
    • Quota Retail Drink License (bars)
    • Special Sunday Retail Drink License
    • Supplemental Bar License
    • Entertainment Destination Center License

License renewal

Annual alcoholic beverage licenses expiring on or before December 31, 2020, shall remain in effect and authorize alcoholic beverage sales until December 31, 2020. Licensees must submit license renewal applications to continue alcoholic beverage sales thereafter.

Last call

Effective September 15, 2020 restaurants and bars will be allowed to have last call at 11 p.m. and close at midnight. 

ABC Requirements for Expanded Business Footprint

In conjunction with the requirements set forth in LFUCG Ordinance 42-2020 passed on May 19, 2020, the Lexington ABC Office will need the following information provided by any licensed ABC establishment desiring to expand their current operating premises during the effective time of the ordinance.  No additional application will be required, but these documents must be submitted to our office via email at before using the expanded area so the files can be updated.

  1. A letter from the landlord or property owner granting permission to expand the business to the proposed area. 
  2. A detailed diagram of seating and the new boundaries that will be used for service.  Describe the means of separating the new temporary area of service from public areas such as the use of temporary fencing, rope and stanchion, or other method.  Keep in mind the distancing to meet ADA requirements.
  3. A plan on how the business will monitor the expanded premises to ensure compliance with current applicable ABC regulations, such as ensuring patrons are not leaving the premises with open alcoholic beverage containers.

How to apply for an ABC license

*Note: scroll down for information on a Temporary ABC license*


Step 1

Complete the Kentucky State ABC license application first. Complete all local forms and email them to A check sheet has been provided on the last page of the local application packet.

NOTE: Supporting documentation must include a criminal background check from each state the applicant has resided in during the past five years. The background check(s) MUST be obtained from the approved list included in the local application packet.  

Kentucky state forms

Local application forms


Step 2

Lexington ABC licensing fees MUST be paid prior to the submission of an application. Refer to the ABC License Fee Schedule to determine your license fees and complete the Fee Payment FormRemit payment via certified check, cashiers check or money order to the:

City of Lexington Revenue Office
200 E. Main St.
Lexington, KY 40507  

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person payments are not currently accepted. You may drop the payment in the LexServ box in front of 200 E. Main Street along with this fee payment form and the correct form of payment with ATTN: Revenue. NO CASH ACCEPTED.

The fee payment form must be marked paid by the Revenue Office before bringing it to the LFUCG ABC Office. Checks or money orders should be payable to LFUCG. 


Step 3

The Lexington ABC Final Inspection Form MUST be signed by representatives from the Division of Planning and the Division of Revenue offices prior to the submission of the application. Signatures from a representative of the Fire Prevention Bureau, Division of Building Inspection, and the Environment Health Services MUST be obtained and submitted before the Lexington ABC License will be issued.


Step 4

Include a diagram/floor plan of the establishment including all detached structures and parking areas.


Step 5

Include a photocopy of a driver’s license or photo I.D. for all individuals on which a background check has been conducted during the basic application.

Please Note:  A dance permit is required for any Lexington ABC licensed establishment allowing dancing by patrons. The dance permit process is separate from the ABC application process.


Dance permit

A dance permit is required for any ABC licensed establishment allowing patrons to dance. 

Dance permit application


How to apply for a special temporary license

A special temporary license may be issued for any regularly organized fair, exposition, racing association or other party.

You must be a non-profit organization, racing association or political campaign function. If you are a for-profit individual or organization, the event must be part of a bona fide civic event or community-sponsored event.

State special temporary license application

Local special temporary license forms   


Malt beverage keg registration ordinance

Lexington ABC retail licensees are required to purchase keg tags and registration forms at the LFUCG Division of Revenue Office prior to selling kegs of six or more gallons. 

To purchase the required tags, the licensee will need to complete a Keg Tag Order Form. The fee for each tag and registration form is $5. The fee must be paid in advance at the:

Revenue Office
200 E Main St.  
Lexington, KY.  


Beverage service training

Lexington requires any person who sells or serves alcoholic beverages to obtain training in certain areas.

Approved server training programs in Lexington, Ky:


This ABC Responsible Server Training Pamphlet must be included in all Lexington ABC-approved server training programs.