The USPS Might Soon Be Able to Ship Alcohol — Here's What You Need to Know

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Thanks to social media, it's easy to find interesting wineries, breweries, and distilleries all over the country. But if traveling for a pint doesn't fit in your schedule, the next best thing is to order alcohol from the company. The only catch? It's difficult for businesses to ship booze, as every carrier has different rules. Companies also have limited choices, as the USPS is restricted from shipping alcohol.

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That might be changing soon, though. According to a press release on Rep. Jackie Speier's website, a bill has been introduced to lift the Prohibition-era ban that restricts the USPS from shipping alcohol. (The bill, called the USPS Shipping Equity Act, can be viewed here.) Ending the ban would give alcohol manufacturers another opportunity to reach customers beyond their local clientele, ultimately helping them grow and expand. It could also give the USPS a competitive edge, according to the press release.

After all, more and more people are doing their shopping online. From groceries to medication, almost everything can be ordered and shipped these days. If the ban is lifted and the USPS is allowed to ship booze, you might be able to support alcohol businesses around the country, no matter their location. Fingers crossed!

What else is the USPS not allowed to ship?

According to the USPS website, the USPS will not ship the following items:

  • Ammunition
  • Air bags
  • Gasoline
  • Explosives
  • Marijuana

In addition to alcohol, other items can be only be shipped via the USPS under special circumstances:

  • Aerosols
  • Nail polish
  • Perfumes
  • Cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco
  • Cremated remains
  • Dry ice
  • Perishable items
  • Firearms
  • Fragile items
  • Lithium batteries
  • Matches
  • Medicines
  • Prescription drugs
  • Live animals
  • Poisons
  • Paints
  • Glues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hemp products, including CBD

To learn more about USPS shipping restrictions, visit the USPS website.

How can you get your alcohol shipped?

Companies can ship alcohol via UPS, FedEx, and other private mail carriers. However, in most cases, they'll need to meet specific requirements. For example, in order to ship wine through the UPS, a company needs to be licensed to do so. What's more, not all states allow the direct shipment of alcohol to consumers. Some states that ​do​ allow it might impose certain regulations. So, even if Congress lifts the alcohol shipping ban, be sure to check your state laws first.

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Kirsten Nunez is a journalist and author focusing on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, PopSugar, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in Beacon, New York.