TTB Permits Online: Everything You Need To Know in 2017

The TTB permit process can be quite a headache. I have decided to put together this guide for those looking to file their TTB permits online. Trust me, if you don’t do it right you will be waiting and waiting while your business loses money so make sure you do it right the first time.


The average Processing times for TTB applications vary from month to month. The good news is that the TTB processing times have shortened in 2017 over the past 2-3 months, helping craft beverage producers to launch faster than ever if their application is well prepared and not in need of extensive revisions.

TTB Permit Processing Time for Breweries

The processing times have been reduced for breweries by about 2 weeks. A current brewery applicant should expect processing times of about 2 months, perhaps even as short as 53 days.

TTB Permit Processing Time for Wineries and Cideries

The processing times have been reduced for wineries and cideries as well. By about 6 weeks. A current winery or cidery applicant should expect processing times of about 3 months, perhaps even as short as 78 days.

TTB Permit Processing Time for Distilleries

The processing times have been reduced for distilleries by about 6 weeks. A current distillery applicant should expect processing times of about 3 months, perhaps even as short as 84 days.


The regulations and procedures of TTB permit filing can be intimidating. It can be difficult because it is an online permit process and not particularly user intuitive. There are several types of online TTB permit applications that can be filed by craft beverage producers. These are the most common:

Brewery/Brewpub/Alternating Proprietorship: A brewery may be established to produce malt beverages, operate a brewpub or micro-brewery or conduct an alternating proprietorship with another brewery.

Distilled Spirits Plant – Beverage: A distilled spirits plant (DSP) may be established to produce, bottle, rectify, process or store beverage spirits. Examples of beverage distilled spirits include neutral spirits or alcohol (i.e. vodka or grain spirits), whiskey, gin, brandy, blended applejack, rum, Tequila, cordials and liqueurs.

Saké Brewery: Anyone wishing to produce saké must qualify as a brewery (See brewery application packet) and also must file an application for a basic permit to produce and blend wine.

Winery/Taxpaid Wine Bottling House: Anyone wishing to operate a wine premises (bonded winery (BW or BWN), bonded wine cellar (BWC) or taxpaid wine bottling house (TPWBH) must first apply to TTB and receive permission to start operations. Winery, bonded wine cellar and/or taxpaid wine bottling house operations may not begin until approval is given.


For each Original Application filed through the TTB’s Permits Online system, an applicant will be required to upload supporting documents. These vary depending on the application type, applicant entity type and your proposed operations. You will need to select the method of submission from a dropdown list for each of these documents (Uploaded or On File and Previously Approved by TTB). This selection does not upload the documents. You must follow the detailed instructions on how to upload the documents. TTB may consider an application incomplete and abandon it if these required attachments are not received within 15 days of submitting your application.

Once you submit an application, a page will be shown acknowledging that the application has been successfully submitted, give you a tracking number and directing you to print out a Cover Sheet. This Cover Sheet uses the information you provided in the Statements and Documents section and will assist you in the submission of any required documents.

The TTB Online Permits system generates several types of tracking numbers. If you begin an application and save it prior to submission, you will receive a Temporary Tracking Number. You may reopen the application, and complete and submit it at a later time. An example of a Temporary Tracking Number is 2010TMP-003245.

Once an application has been submitted, you will receive an email providing you with an Initial Tracking Number. If you previously received a Temporary Tracking Number by saving an incomplete application, that number is no longer valid once the application is submitted. An example of an Initial Tracking Number is IW-2010-00165.

The IW stands for Importer/Wholesaler. In this example, a customer completed a New Importer/Wholesaler (IW) application, and could have applied for approval to become an importer, a wholesaler, or both.

For some submissions, including most original applications, you will receive a second email providing you with one or more new Application Tracking Numbers after TTB initially reviews the application and accepts it as complete enough for further processing. Examples of Application Tracking Numbers include 2010-IMP-00248-O and 2010-WHL-00317-O. In this example, the customer applied for both an importer and a wholesaler’s Basic Permit, and the Initial Application was separated into two individual applications. If you received one or more Application Tracking Numbers, they replace the Initial Tracking Number and the Initial Tracking Number is no longer needed.

For an Application for Owner and Officer Information, as well as most Amendments, the Initial Tracking Number you receive is also your Application Tracking Number.


Have a TTB Tracking Number and you can’t figure out what it is for? This group of sample of Tracking Numbers might help you:


Owner or Officer Information Application Tracking Number

(Is associated with the related commodity application)


Temporary Application Tracking Number

(Is replaced by the commodity application after it is submitted)


Parent Importer/Wholesaler Application Tracking Number


Child Importer Original Application Tracking Number


Child Wholesaler Original Application Tracking Number


Parent Tax-free Alcohol User Application Tracking Number


Child Tax-free Alcohol User Original Application Tracking Number


Parent Specially Denatured Spirits User Application Tracking Number


Child Specially Denatured Spirits User Original Application Tracking Number


Parent Specially Denatured Spirits Dealer Application Tracking Number


Child Specially Denatured Spirits Dealer Original Application Tracking Number


Parent United States Government Application Tracking Number


Child United States Government Tax-free Alcohol User Original Application Tracking Number


Child United States Government Specially Denatured Spirits User Original Application Tracking Number


Parent Alcohol Fuel Plant Application Tracking Number


Child Alcohol Fuel Plant (Medium /  Large) Original Application Tracking Number


Child Alcohol Fuel Plant (Small) Original Application Tracking Number


Child Alcohol Fuel Plant (Small) Original Application Tracking Number


Child Importer Original Application Tracking Number



Parent Distilled Spirits Plant Application Tracking Number


Child DSP Beverage Original Application Tracking Number


Child DSP Industrial Original Application Tracking Number



Child DSP Beverage and Industrial Original Application Tracking Number


If any of the information is your Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Basic Permit application changes, you will need to amend the application so it reflects the most current information. You must have the change approved by the TTB before you can operate with the change. Failure to do so can lead to fines or criminal violations for noncompliance.

What information requires an amendment?

A change in ownership, management or control of permitee’s business (shareholders with more than 10% voting stock, officers, directors must be listed)

Change in permitee’s name or trade name

Change in permitee’s address

Making changes to your Brewer’s Notice can be easily done through the TTB’s Permits On-Line system. 

Here is a step-by-step guide for amending your application for the Brewer’s Notice:

1. Log into Permits On-Line

2. Go to “Search My Applications”

3. Find your Original Approved Application Tracking Number (the one ending in the letter “O”)

4. Once located, scroll all the way to the right of screen and select “Create an Amendment”

5. Choose Category “Amended  – All Commodities – Commonly Filed” or “Amended – (Name of Commodity)”

6. Select “The Type of Amendment Needed Here”

7. Complete the application fields that come up and submit

8. Receive an e-mail containing a New Tracking Number for this amendment

9. You will be notified by e-mail when the amended permit(s) have been completed and the copies can be accessed in your Original Approved Application Tracking Number (the one ending in the letter “O”).

Need to amend several applications? Simply repeat these steps for each permit to be amended.  If you have any questions you can send them to the TTB e-mail address for permits online or call the TTB toll free line at (877) 882-3277.

Check out our TTB Policy FAQ for more specific question and answers about TTB procedure and policy.

The TTB Online permit portal is available at You’ll need an account and may want to take the video tutorial on how to use the system

Want to work with a team who the TTB Examiners have several times been emailed that the applications they submitted were one of the best prepared applications ever reviewed? That’s our team! Give us a call and see how we can help you open your new craft beverage business, add to your existing licenses or amend your current TTB licenses.