U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Apply for a One-Day Alcohol and Entertainment License

License Commission

The License Commission issues one-day alcohol, one-day entertainment and one-day alcohol and entertainment licenses pursuant to and in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws c. 138, § 14, and/or c. 140, §§ 181 and 183A. One-day licenses can be issued for up to 30 consecutive days. 

The applicant who applied for the One-Day License MUST come in person to pick-up license prior to event once approved. 

One Day licenses should be submitted two weeks in advance to allow enough time to be processed and approved by the Board of Commissioners. 

How to Start

Step 1:

Fill out the application online, and submit the application to the License Commission at least 2 weeks prior to the event. The application will be reviewed for accuracy by staff and reviewed by the police detail office to verify whether a police detail is required.  If the event location is on university or DCR property you will be required to upload a police sign offs from the regulating authority.  
You must provide any further information or documentation, if requested by the Board.

Step 2:

You can pay for the license once staff have reviewed it for accuracy. You can pay online via credit card or e-check (there is a processing fee set by the vendor). You can also pay at our office 831 Massachusetts Avenue via check or cash (no processing fee).

Step 3:

If the Board grants the license, and payment has been made, you will be required to come into pick up the license in person if it is alcohol related or you may print online if it is an entertainment only license.  

Step 4:

If the one-day alcohol license is granted, the licensee must purchase the alcohol from an authorized source licensed under G. L. c. 138, § 18, 19, 19B, or 19C or from a holder of a special permit to sell issued under G. L. c. 138, § 22A. You can obtain a list of authorized sources from the ABCC One Day Authorized List.


All Alcoholic Beverages:

  • $100.00 (1-100 attendees)
  • $120.00 (>101 attendees)

Wine/Malt Only:

  • $55.00 (1-100 attendees)
  • $75.00 (>101 attendees)

Entertainment $50.00


Harvard and MIT On-Campus Events 

One Day licenses for Harvard or MIT need to be initiated with the University. 

The Dean’s Office must approve the event and sign-off on the Party Request/Event Registration form. This form must be uploaded with your application.


One day licenses for MIT need to be initiated with the Institute. To begin the process, you must register your MIT event through the Atlas event registration system. For more information please see the MIT event registration page


Contact the Harvard University on-campus police department in person or at Scheduling@hupd.harvard.edu to obtain the Event Registration forms. The applicant should complete this form and submit it to the college police department for approval.

Please Note:
  • The completed application with police sign-off must be submitted to the License Commission at least two weeks prior to the event.

  • Alcohol licenses may only issue to a natural person who is 21 years old or older. The applicant must present proof of age with either a passport, MA driver’s license, MA liquor identification card, MA identification card, or active US military identification card upon submission of the application or pick-up of the license. Student ID cannot be used as an acceptable form of ID.

Additional Information

  • Submit the completed application to the License Commission at least two weeks prior to the event.
  • Alcohol licenses may only issue to a natural person who is 21 years old or older. The applicant must present proof of age (passport, MA driver’s license, MA liquor identification card, MA identification card, or active US military identification card) upon submission of the application or pick-up of the license.
  • All alcohol licenses will only issue to non-profit applicants unless a for-profit applicant submits proof that the event is a not-for-profit event.
  • Non-profit applicants must submit proof of non-profit status. 
  • Certificates of Inspection and Place of Assembly permits may be required before Licenses are issued.
  • The application will be voted upon by the Board during a public hearing.  The applicant's attendance at the hearing is not necessary unless informed otherwise in writing by the License Commission.  Applicants may be required to submit further information or documentation in support of their application.
Page was last modified on 7/24/2023 8:12 PM
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement

Service Requests

Enter a service request via SeeClickFix for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc.