View the recent COVID-19 information for licensees
Temporary limited licences are often required by individuals or organisations holding a one-off event such as a ball, a presentation night or an event requiring an extension of trading hours or temporary increase in size of the licensed premises.
During the Declared State of Emergency (COVID-19) response, our processing of temporary limited licences has changed.
Existing licensees impacted by the current Declared State of Emergency (COVID-19) can fast track a temporary limited licence application and we will endeavour to determine these within 72 hours (3 business days). Please note that in some circumstances, including where applications are incomplete, this may take longer.
For more information, see:Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for licensees
Before planning an event, applicants and event organisers can contact the VCGLR for advice and more information on the application process, timelines and requirements.
Processing times for permanent applications
Liquor licence applications should be lodged at least eight weeks before a licence is required as approval isn’t automatic. The time taken to process an application will vary depending on a range of factors including the complexity of the application and any objections raised. Permanent applications need to be reviewed by Victoria Police and local council, which require their own time frames.
Applications seeking to trade past 1am require a minimum of 50 days to process and may require a public notice to be displayed for 28 days.
A temporary limited licence authorises the licensee to supply liquor subject to the conditions and during the times specified in the licence.
For example, a temporary limited licence may be granted:
To grant a temporary limited licence, the Commission must be satisfied that the scale and scope of the supply of liquor is limited in nature.
Various ways in which the scale and scope of supply may be limited include the:
A temporary limited licence is generally not required for private events where liquor will be supplied free of charge. A licence will always be required if the supply of liquor is contingent on the sale or purchase of some good or service. If liquor is being supplied through a catering company, the catering company will require a liquor licence. This is because the liquor is being purchased through the catering company.
If the premises hired for the private event is licensed (for example a licensed restaurant), then a temporary limited licence is not required. The licensee of that premises is responsible for ensuring that liquor is supplied in accordance with the conditions of its licence.
However, if the premises hired for the private event is unlicensed and falls within one of the below categories, then a temporary limited licence will be required:
Examples of premises in the above categories include an unlicensed restaurant, unlicensed boats selling refreshments or an unlicensed football club. A function hall with a commercial kitchen would not fall within this category as the premises are not used “ordinarily” to serve food to the public.
A Major Event Liquor Licence is required if you plan to sell alcohol at an event where a large crowd (over 5000 patrons) is expected, or your event is likely to have a significant impact such as:
If you fit one or more of the above criteria you will need to apply for a major event licence (Event with more than 5000)
Applicants seeking to vary licence conditions for a live music venue and applicants subject to the late-night liquor licence freeze in the municipalities of Melbourne (including the district known as Docklands), Stonnington, Yarra and Port Phillip, must provide a venue management plan.
This allows licensees or licence applicants to demonstrate they have a strategy for the management of their venue and its risks.
Applicants should include the following in their venue management plan where relevant:
Individuals or organisations may apply for temporary licences to cover a maximum of six one-off events at a venue over a 12-month period. A maximum of three events will be accepted per application.
Where an application is made for a series of events over a limited season, the season must extend for no longer than three months.
Applicants must have the right to occupy the premises during the event or season nominated.
Holders of a producer’s licence may apply for a temporary limited licence to attend and sell wine at up to 12 farmer's or craft markets in any one year under the one licence.
Events such as fetes, markets and festivals can often include the supply of liquor by more than one party. This may include licensees seeking to supply liquor that they have produced themselves or where several businesses have been engaged to supply liquor to attendees. The most common licensing arrangements for multiple suppliers at an event are outlined in the scenarios below.
Scenario 1: Both the event organiser and individual suppliers are licensed
In this scenario the event organiser can apply for a temporary limited licence, or if the event involves more than 5000 patrons, a major event licence.
Individual suppliers at the event would also apply for a temporary limited licence, or a major event licence, allowing the licensee to supply liquor at the point of sale (such as from a booth or similar) for consumption in the area licenced by the event organiser.
The event organiser is responsible for maintaining an environment that encourages and ensures liquor is consumed responsibly within the event. The event organiser is also responsible for submitting a red line plan as part of their application. The event organiser’s responsibilities might include engaging crowd controllers, providing barriers to licensed areas, and ensuring that persons aged under 18 either do not enter the premises or are clearly identifiable as being underage if they do.
Individual suppliers who attend the event are not required to submit a red-line plan with their application, but they are responsible for ensuring that they supply liquor in a responsible manner.
Importantly, in this scenario both the event organiser and the individual suppliers can be held liable for any breaches of their responsibilities as licensees.
Scenario 2: Only the event organiser is licensed
In scenario 2 the event organiser can obtain a temporary limited licence or major event licence that covers all liquor supplied at the event. This means that the event organiser is responsible for maintaining an environment that encourages the responsible supply and consumption of liquor.
As in scenario 1, the event organiser is required to submit a red line plan with their application.
At events licensed in this way suppliers can display their products however, they must not supply any liquor directly to patrons. As the event organiser is the only licensee, they are the only business or person which can supply liquor to patrons.
In this scenario, if individual suppliers supply liquor to the event organiser who in turn supplies liquor to patrons, the supplier must ensure that they already have a permanent licence which allows them to do this.
Scenario 3: Only suppliers (not event organiser) are licensed
For some events, like a small daytime market or school fete, it may be possible for only the individual suppliers to be licensed.
In this scenario individual suppliers should apply for a temporary limited licence that allows for point of sale supply, which means there is no need for the event organiser to have a liquor licence. Individual suppliers will be responsible for ensuring that liquor is supplied in a responsible manner and a red line plan is not required.
It should be noted that this scenario can only apply if the event occurs in a space where the consumption of liquor is not banned. e.g local laws do not prevent consumption of liquor.
If you are unsure which licence you need for your event, phone 1300 182 457 or email [email protected]
To apply for a temporary limited licence to run an event (such as a fete or fundraising event) at a school, the right organisation/entity must apply. Applications should be made under the organisation/entity that will be responsible for the purchase, supply and sale of liquor and who will be receiving the funds raised.
For example, if the “ABC Kindergarten Association Inc.“or the “Friends of Animals Charity Inc.” is applying to run an event at ABC Primary School, the licence should be applied for by (in the name of) “ABC Kindergarten Association Inc.” or the “Friends of Animals Charity Inc.”. On the other hand, if ABC Primary School is running the event on its own behalf, it should apply under the name “ABC Primary School”.
Where a raffle is conducted in such a way that each participant has a chance of winning a prize and one or more of those prizes are liquor, a liquor licence is not required. This is the common method of conducting a raffle. However, if a raffle is conducted on the basis that each participant wins a prize, and each prize is liquor, then a liquor licence is required.
For more information phone 1300 182 457 or email [email protected]
When applying for a temporary limited liquor licence, please check if your event requires approval under the Victorian Government’s Public Events Framework.
The Public Events Framework is administered by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
Information on the Public Events Framework for event organisers can be found at coronavirus victoria public events information for organisers.
To find out if your event requires approval under the Public Events Framework the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions have published a Public event self-assessment tool which can be found coronavirus victoria public event self assessment tool or you can email [email protected].
If your event requires approval under the Public Events Framework this approval is required to be provided to the VCGLR with the liquor licence application for your event. Where this approval is not available at the time you lodge your liquor licence application the VCGLR will seek this information during the application process.
Application forms should specify the operating hours of the temporary limited licence.
Applications seeking to trade past 1am in the Cities of Yarra, Port Phillip, Melbourne (including Docklands), or Stonnington are also required to satisfy the VCGLR that:
Plans for temporary limited licences
When a liquor licence is granted, it is for a defined area indicating where liquor can be supplied and consumed. This is shown by a red line drawn on a plan of the premises (a red line plan).
A plan is required to be submitted to the VCGLR as part of the application process and may also be required upon request at any time.
What form should a plan take?
The plan must:
Application fees for a Temporary or Major Event licence are to cover our administrative costs to assess an application.
Should the event that you are applying for be cancelled in response to COVID-19, a refund of this fee may not be possible. In these circumstances, if your application has been assessed and a licence granted, the application fee will not be refunded.
If we have received your application but not assessed it, the application fee will be refunded. If you wish to just change the date of your event, this may be possible and it will be of no cost to you. If this is the case please contact us on 1300 182 457 to discuss.
Applications can be made securely online via the temporary limited licence online form. Payment is made by a credit or debit card.
If you require further information or help with your application form, please contact Client Services on 1300 182 457 or email [email protected]
For information about the application fees associated with temporary limited licences, see: Liquor licence fee fact sheet.
Transcript for Temporary licences for limited events video.