October 1st Brings New Direct Wine Shipping Regulations to Montana

Montana House Bill 402 was signed by Governor Bullock on April 12, 2013 and creates workable direct wine shipping laws in the state. The new law, effective on October 1, 2013, will replace the flawed consumer licensing system presently in place for wine shipping in Montana.

Current regulations require that out-of-state wineries ship only to residents who hold a “Connoisseur’s License“; proof of the consumer license and a special sticker to affix to the shipping box must be provided to the winery before the shipment can be made. The new regulations will require out-of-state wineries to:

  • Register as a Foreign Winery or Importer. Many wineries already hold this license as it allows a winery to sell to a Montana distributor (cost of license is $0 to $400 annually, depending on volume sold in Montana; no-cost product registrations are required as part of becoming licensed)
  • Apply for a $50 annual direct shipping endorsement
  • Supply to Montana the name and address of any utilized fulfillment warehouses
  • Submit written acknowledgement of contracting only with common carriers that agree to deliver wine only to individuals who are of age and who provide a signature upon delivery
  • Ship no more than 18 cases of wine annually to an individual consumer (up from 12 cases/year)
  • Submit excise tax and shipment reports by the 15th of every month

While Montana’s regulations for direct wine shipments are changing, the connoisseur’s licensing system remains in place for shipments of beer from out-of-state breweries. UPS and FedEx, however, do not accept shipments of beer or spirits for delivery to consumers.

We will keep you informed of any updates from the Montana Liquor Control Division regarding the endorsement process once the details become available.


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  1. Marybeth Adams

    Please clarify if individual consumers can purchase from sites such as Wine Exchange for delivery to their homes. Thank you!

  2. Stewart

    Clarification, please. Can I have wine shipped from California if I purchase the $50 annual direct shipping endorsement?

    • Rachel Bush - Marketing Coordinator

      Hello, Stewart! Under the new Montana direct shipping laws, it is the responsibility of the winery to obtain an endorsement to direct ship to Montana residents; the connoisseurs license is no longer valid for wine (but is still in existence for beer). I hope this is helpful!

  3. Stephen Linder

    Can an out of state retailer ship to a Montana resident?

  4. Desmond Jones

    In a modern world, with wonderful on-line shopping possibilities, Montana consumers continue to be constrained from the purchase and shipping of wines and spirits direct from out-of-state retailers. This is ridiculous, especially when you consider the poor fare offered at elevated prices in most of the state-run liquor stores here.
    When will consumers rise up and force change to this archaic situation; contact your state legislators and demand reform now.

  5. Donnell Achziger

    I’m wanting to begin a direct selling business for wine, but the wine is shipped from California, if I pay the 50.00 fee can it be shipped?

    • Alex Koral


      Thanks for your question. In order to ship wine to consumers, you have to follow the rules of the state in which those consumers are located, which can vary quite a bit. In order to ship from California to Montana, you will need to comply with the rules of Montana, which means getting a license from that state, paying the associated fees, and comply with volume limits, tax payment, and reporting requirements that go along with having that license. One thing to note, however, is that Montana only makes this license available to wine producers, so you’ll have to have a Type 02 license issued by the California ABC before anything else in order to ship wine to Montana residents.


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