A special licence allows the sale or supply of alcohol on a given premises or conveyance (boat, plane or bus) for the duration of a specific occasion or event such as weddings, birthdays, client functions, quiz nights, sports events or social gatherings on a hired premises.
When is a special licence required?
A special licence is needed when:
- No on licence or club licence exists for the premises.
- The caterer doesn't have an endorsed off licence.
- There are non-club members present on a club licensed premises.
- The function is outside of the hours or the area authorised by an already existing on or club licence.
The holder of the special licence must control the sale and supply of alcohol at the event and ensure statutory responsibilities are observed at all times.
You are not required to hold a special licence if:
- you are supplying liquor to your guests in your own private residence.
- your guests are bringing liquor to your own private residence.
How to apply
Special Licences cannot be renewed. However, if you know the dates of future events to be held at the same venue, you can obtain a Special Licence for those on one application.
Applications must be lodged no less than 20 working days prior to the event to ensure that it will be processed in time.
To avoid any delays please ensure that all required information is provided with the application, and the application fee paid promptly after you receive the invoice.
To apply, complete our online application.
Please note: It is recommended you create a new account or login to your existing account in order to apply online. Having an account means you can save your work!
The following information & documents are required to be supplied with your application.
- A scale plan showing
- those areas that are to be used for the sale and supply of alcohol; and
- those areas (if any) that the applicant intends should be designated as 'restricted' or 'supervised' areas.
- A menu/sample menu (if applicable).
- Where the applicant is not the owner of the premises - Written confirmation from the owner to show that they have no objections to the granting of a liquor licence for their premises.
- If the manager acting on behalf of the licence holds a Managers Certificate from another district - A copy of the current Managers Certificate.
- If application is for a large scale event - A management plan describing how the applicant proposes to deal with matters such as security, interaction with local residents and public health concerns.
With the introduction of the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 a new fee schedule has been established based on a national three tier framework.
Please note that the application fee is non-refundable once the application has been received by our licensing committee.
Special licence fee class definitions
A 'small size' event is an event that the Territorial Authority (TA) believes (on reasonable grounds) will have less than 100 attendees.
A 'medium size' event is an event that the TA believes (on reasonable grounds) will have between 100 and 400 attendees.
A 'large size' event is an event that the TA believes (on reasonable grounds) will have more than 400 attendees.