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Types of Bernalillo County Liquor Licenses

As a business entrepreneur, you must secure an alcohol license in Bernalillo County to sell liquor to your customers. In New Mexico, Bernalillo County is located in the central part of the state. The county has a population of about 676,000 - making Bernalillo County the highest populated county in New Mexico. Most of these residents live in Albuquerque, NM, which is the largest city in the county and also the county seat. There are many things for locals and tourists to enjoy in Bernalillo County, such as the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, the ABQ BioPark Zoo, the Petroglyph National Monument, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, the Albuquerque Museum, the Sandia Peak Tramway, and the Explora Science Center and Children's Museum of Albuquerque. In addition to these attractions, every year, the New Mexico State Fair takes place in Albuquerque, with a rodeo, rides, food, livestock, and entertainment.


To start selling liquor at your Bernalillo County business, we offer online Bernalillo County liquor license auctions for the following permit types:


  • Dispensers License: Permits restaurants and bars to sell all liquor -- beer, wine, and spirits -- for consumption on and off-site in Bernalillo County.
  • Inter Local Dispenser: Permits restaurants and bars to sell all liquor -- beer, wine, and spirits -- for consumption on and off-site. Once a Dispenser liquor license has transferred out of the original Option District (LOD), it becomes an Inter Local Dispensers license and can no longer be used to permit off-site or “to-go” alcohol sales in Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
  • RET: Permits all liquor sales -- beer, wine, and spirits -- for off-premises consumption in Bernalillo County, NM.


Each New Mexico liquor license grants the holder the right to sell in a specific New Mexico county, such as Bernalillo. Liquor licenses are not transferable between counties. They are, however, transferable between owners, which means you can legally buy or sell any Bernalillo County ABC liquor license.

How to Buy a Bernalillo County Liquor License

In New Mexico, a buyer has two ways to procure a liquor license in Bernalillo County. One route is to purchase an alcohol license from the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC). The alternative route is to go through the secondary market using a liquor license broker, like Liquor License Auctioneers, to help you secure an alcohol license in Bernalillo County, NM.


There is a limited number of Bernalillo County liquor licenses available at any time. The typical way that buyers have to obtain an alcohol license in Bernalillo County, NM, is through the open market. Even still, sometimes, there is a waiting period until a seller is able to sell a liquor license in Bernalillo County.


This is our area of expertise. Over the years in the business, we have developed valuable connections with both business owners and lawyers in this industry. These relationships have given us the ability to offer exclusive Bernalillo County alcohol licenses that are only available on our bidding platform. This means that no other alcohol permit broker can sell these same licenses, giving us this opportunity to offer the liquor licenses at fair prices. If you don’t see the alcohol permit you need for your business, reach out to us, and we can locate one through our network.


How to Apply for a Liquor License in Bernalillo County, New Mexico:


  1. Preliminary Review of Application: After your ABC Application has been thoroughly reviewed, if there is any information or documentation lacking, you will be sent a Notice of Deficiencies explaining what must be provided to complete your application for a Bernalillo County liquor license. Appointed Representative - If the Bernalillo County alcohol license applicant submitted authorization along with their application that they are being represented by a CPA, attorney, or broker, then your Representative will be contacted on your behalf at this time.
  2. Posting Request Sent to Department of Public Safety (DPS): This step is done by the Special Investigations Unit. Your Hearing Officer sends a request, and the assigned Agent will reach out to you directly, notifying you to post the Certificate at your business establishment. This Certificate must be posted for 20 consecutive days prior to preliminary approval. 
  3. Notice of Preliminary Hearing: The preliminary hearing must be held within 30 days of receipt of your ABC Application for a Bernalillo County liquor license, as mandated by statute. At this stage of the application process, you will be served a Notice of the date and time of your preliminary hearing, and you’ll be given the name of the Hearing Officer assigned to your application. The preliminary hearing will be either conducted in person or by phone, and you can inform the Hearing Officer of your preferred choice.
  4. Notice of Publication: The Applicant of the Bernalillo County alcohol license is required to publish a notice of the hearing in a local newspaper with general circulation at least 72 hours in advance of the preliminary hearing. This allows the general public to submit letters of support or letters of objection to approving the ABC Application for a liquor license in Bernalillo County. These letters will be forwarded to the Local Option District. If you fail to publish notice of the hearing and provide proof of publication within 48 hours of your hearing date to your assigned Hearing Officer, your preliminary hearing may be rescheduled or canceled. The Bernalillo County alcohol license Applicant is instructed to publish the Notice provided to them in the legal section for one day, and written instructions are included.
  5. Notice of Deficiencies: This Notice lists the items that either need to be corrected or included to complete your ABC Application for a Bernalillo County liquor license. The listed items in the Notice of Deficient Documents must be provided prior to the preliminary hearing, if possible, and no later than at final review. Note: If the ABC Application is not submitted in a timely manner, or the supplemental information is not provided in a timely manner, the application for an alcohol license can be delayed or canceled.
  6. At Preliminary Hearing: This is a public hearing where the ABC Application and supporting documents will be read into the record. After your preliminary hearing, any remaining items should be completed and submitted within 10 days to avoid delays in processing your application. 
  7. Issuance of Hearing Officers Recommendations: After the closing date of Posting and after the ABC Application has been reviewed by the Legal department, if required, you will be contacted to revise or supplement any documentation still needed before you receive preliminary approval. 
  8. Review of Recommendations by Director for Preliminary Approval: When the Director has reviewed the ABC Application and the Recommendations, your application for a Bernalillo County liquor license will be forwarded to the local governing body in which you propose to conduct business.
  9. Application Forwarded to Local Option District and Public Hearing at Local Option District Level: The local governing body is then required to publish notice of a hearing at the local governing body and conduct a public hearing before the local governing body within 45 days of receipt of ABC Application.
  10. Decision by Local Option District: After you have your hearing with the local governing body, the governing body has 30 days to provide us with the signed documentation. 
  11. Notice to Applicant of Final Deficiencies and/or Licensing Fee: At this point, your Hearing Officer will reach out to you about any pending documentation needed and to finalize payment of the Licensing Fee prior to issuance of the Bernalillo Countyliquor license.
  12. Final Approval by Director: When your ABC Application is complete and payment has been received, the Director reviews all documents. After your application has been approved, the Bernalillo County alcohol license is issued to you, and you’ll receive a packet that includes your Liquor License, Resident Agent License, if applicable, and copies of the Approved Floor Plan, signed application pages, and Mandatory Posters, with a copy of Rules and Regulations and State Statutes available and accessible on the New Mexico Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) website. All deposited fees are non-refundable, and the entire application process should take approximately 120-150 days to complete.


Our experienced alcohol license brokers can assist you with the following eight steps to secure a Bernalillo County liquor license.


  1. Secure the location: Choose a location where you will operate your business, and the premises must be rented, leased, or purchased.
  2. Select your liquor license: Depending on the type of business you are running, you’ll need to select the proper type of Bernalillo County alcohol license. You can either obtain a liquor license from the NM ABC or on the secondary market using a liquor license broker, such as Liquor License Auctioneers.
  3. Open your escrow account: Create an escrow account where all monetary transactions associated with the Bernalillo County liquor license will be placed. Ideally, the escrow account should be opened with a third-party company.
  4. Survey the location: Employ a contractor to perform a survey of your business premises. Our team at Liquor License Auctioneers can complete this step for you.
  5. Complete your ABC Application: Submit the filled-out ABC Application and corresponding documents to the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC). They will then review your ABC Application for a Bernalillo County alcohol license. Our liquor license brokers can help complete the ABC Application.
  6. Post a notice: Once the New Mexico Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) approves the application for a Bernalillo County liquor license, they will mail a notice of intent to sell alcohol. When you receive the notice, you are required to post it at your business location for a total of 30 days.
  7. Submit to investigation: When the 30 days have passed, the New Mexico ABC will conduct a final inspection of your property to determine if your business passes the checklist to sell liquor safely. 
  8. Receive the liquor license: If all of the previous seven steps have been completed, the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) will send you the official Bernalillo County liquor license in the mail. This official alcohol permit must be prominently displayed at your business.


Following these aforementioned eight steps makes sure that you have met all of the requirements for acquiring an alcohol license in Bernalillo County as set by the New Mexico Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC). It’s a good idea to check to see if your local municipal government has additional stipulations as well when procuring a liquor license in Albuquerque, NM, as this will accelerate the process.


There are many businesses in Bernalillo County competing for liquor licenses. Each grocery store, bar, liquor store, and restaurant require the business owner to secure a Bernalillo County alcohol license before they can sell liquor to customers. With our many years of experience in this industry, our exceptional knowledge of alcohol licenses, ethical business model, and expert liquor license brokers, we have the ability to expedite the process of obtaining a Bernalillo County liquor license. Browse all of the Bernalillo County alcohol permits that are currently available on our online auction platform. Then, place a bid on a Bernalillo County liquor license for sale.

Bernalillo County Liquor Licenses for Sale

Liquor License Auctioneers was created in 2012 by a former CA Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Investigator to provide an ethical auction platform for Bernalillo County liquor licenses. Buyers and sellers can purchase and list their Bernalillo County alcohol licenses for sale using our innovative bidding platform. View all of the available liquor licenses in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Make an offer, and purchase a Bernalillo County alcohol permit now.

Contact Liquor License Auctioneers

Procuring a proper liquor license in Bernalillo County, NM, can be a time-intensive process. Select our expert alcohol license brokers to help guide you through the process of acquiring an alcohol permit in Bernalillo County. We can help you expedite the process from applying for an alcohol license to receiving one, so you can start selling liquor to your patrons. Please contact us at 818.345.2226, or send us an email to get started.