Beer / Wine / Liquor Licenses


The sale and serving of alcoholic beverages requires that a Liquor License is obtained. Licensing individuals that are involved in the sale and/or serving of alcoholic beverages is a cooperative effort between the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, the applicant and the City of Dubuque, known as the local authority. 
Please visit the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Website to get started on the licensing application. In addition to the electronic filing of the application, you can find a plethora of information on the Iowa ABD general website.

Along with the Iowa ABD application requirements, the City of Dubuque has additional requirements which must be met before new or renewal licenses are issued.

If you have any questions please feel free to call Trish Gleason, Assistant City Clerk at 563.589.4120.

Applicant Requirements

In order to be eligible to hold a liquor, wine or beer license, the law requires the applicant to meet the standards of good moral character. Under Iowa law, applicants are considered to be of good moral character if they: 

  • Are a U.S. citizen and an Iowa resident, or incorporated to do business in the state. The corporation must be registered and in good standing with the Iowa Secretary of State's office.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony during the past five years.
  •  Have not had any financial interest in an Iowa liquor, wine or beer license which was revoked during the past two years.
  •  Have “good financial standing” and a “good reputation” to indicate that the applicant will comply with all laws and rules governing the license.

Requirements apply to all officers, directors and shareholders of a corporation and general partners in a partnership.
A number of City inspections will be required to determine your eligibility to hold or to renew a liquor license. These inspections will take at least 30 days to complete. Please assist us by forwarding all applicable forms and paperwork in a timely manner. The City Council will determine if the applicant is eligible to hold a liquor license in the City of Dubuque. City Council meetings are on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. Please keep this schedule in mind as it relates to when you would like your license to go into effect.

If access to a computer is problematic, you may utilize a public computer at the Carnegie–Stout Public Library located at 360 West 11th St. or you may call the Iowa Alcohol Beverage Division at 1-866-469-2223 (option 1 then 1 again) for help to renew your license. You will also need to be able to access your bank accounts online in order to allow for the electronic transfer of funds for new and renewal applications. 

Iowa Alcohol Beverage Division (ABD) information regarding the online alcohol training program has been named the Iowa Program for Alcohol Compliance Training (I-PACT). This program allows employees and prospective employees to go through alcohol compliance training and receive a certificate upon completion. Establishments choosing to participate in I-PACT training are granted an affirmative defense, which may be used once in a four-year period.