SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services announced a major shift in how it manages the day-to-day operations for licensing and permitting.

In an unprecedented move by the State of Utah concerning DABS, the state agency will now conclude business online for all organizations using their services. Businesses will now maintain records, make payments, and manage their licenses through an online portal.

Governor Spencer J. Cox made note of these changes in his monthly press conference today. Gov. Cox happily noted this was a great stride for the state agency and one he was glad to see finally happen years after it should have.

“We’re only about 20 years too late, but better now than later,” Cox remarked. “This is something we pushed really hard for when I took office, and I am grateful for the [Executive] Director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services Tiffany Clason who has been working to modernize that system.”

Cox pointed out this was a priority initiative when he took office and realizes the benefit to restaurants, bars, hotels, gas stations, and grocery stores here in the state of Utah.

“What that means is they can apply and make payments completely online, getting rid of the very antiquated paper system.,” he explained. “It’s a huge win for our hospitality businesses here across the state and for consumers, and so thanks to everyone at DABS who has been working so hard to modernize.”

Clason echoed the governor in agreeing the system would make things easier for the industry.

“The new system is a game changer for business owners, event organizers, and everyone who interacts with the DABS to legally manage their operations,” said Clason. “This long-overdue system will save businesses and organizations a lot of time while improving transparency in interacting with the department and providing safe, reliable, consistent record keeping.”

To get started, Clason says businesses and organizations need to create an account in the new system and follow the steps to match existing records to their account portal. Information and tutorials are available on the DABS website.

To support those getting started in the new system, including the 1,200 Utah restaurants that must renew licensing by September 30, 2023, the department will be hosting two virtual demonstrations to walk users through the system on August 22 and August 30. Registration for the demonstrations is accessed through the licensing & permitting website.

The new system also changes how DABS compliance specialists perform audits. Clason says that now the compliance checks will utilize tablets so that information will be added to the digital system in real-time, improving transparency and consistency for both department staff and businesses that receive audits to maintain licensing.

In a press release from DABS the agency reported the online system is one of several service improvements promised. Those include the help desk which launched earlier this year and other projects still in development and implementation phases, including IT infrastructure in state liquor stores, a new Click & Collect: Buy Online, Pickup In Store program, and a wine subscription program.