Monday, July 6, 2009

How to get a Permit to Drink Liquor for Ahmedabad Expats

Gujarat is the only Indian state where alcohol is prohibited. But this applies only to Indians. If you have a non-Indian passport / green card holder/ PR status, you can get an alcohol permit valid for one month by going to a liquor shop large hotel and purchasing one at their liquor shop. Hotels that have liquor shops include: Comfort Inn President Hotel at CG Road among others open from 12 noon to 8 pm Monday to Saturday ph no. +91 79 26467575. Many local people will be able to direct you because they can purchase alcohol on a 'health' license. If you are non-resident of Gujarat, then one can get liquor permits issued at liquor shop on showing proof of travel to Ahmedabad like (1) Air/Train/Bus ticket,(2)any Identity proof by Govt. with Photo, Address & birthdate preferably driving licence and (3a)your Ahmedabad Local address proof like Residence Address of Local friend/relatives electric/telephone bill/ driving licence or (3b)Proof of stay at hotel.

However, if you are staying longer you will need a non-resident permit. For that, you will need: a photocopy of passport including your entry stamps, a photocopy of visa, a photocopy of a local resident’s ID card (drivers license will probably be easiest, if you have it) and your lease copy. As of January 3rd 2009, 1000 INR (although the person may ask for Rs. 50 extra as a bribe but should not be given). Note: If you can get a local person to go with you, the entire experience will be a lot easier.

Directions-- 1) Get your copies notarized as ‘true’ copies. If you don’t have easy access to someone who can do this, the Prohibition and Excise Department will direct you to a nearby office. This will cost about 10INR per copy. 2). Go to Prohibition and Excise Department which is just off the Ellis bridge on the Victoria garden side of old city . 3). Pick up the bank payment form, and get copies notarized if you haven’t already done this. 4). Fill in the name and local address for the permit holder 5). Get a rickshaw and go to the State Bank of India which is very near by. If a rickshaw is not available, the bank is in walking distance. 6). Pay 1050 (or the asked fee) at the State Bank of India 7. Get an ink stamp on form from bank 8). Take your copies, your payment slip and your forms back to the Prohibition and Excise Department. 9). The Department office will provide you with form F.L. /A-1. Fill out form and ask for more than the maximum allowed (ask for about 6 units) to ensure you get the maximum. 10). Pay 2 rupees at the Department office. Receive two stamps which are to be stuck onto get form F.L. / A-1 form to show you have paid.

You will either be able to pick up the license immediately, or in a few days. Once you have your license, you take it to a large hotel where they have a liquor shop, and make your purchases.

But booze is strictly a private affair and don't expect to order a drink at a restaurant (obviously there are no bars here) and you will have to drink in your hotel room or at someone's home. If someone invites you to a party, there is a good chance you will be offered a drink there. Under a new amendment to the law prohibiting alcohol, you cannot be arrested or detained for consuming alcohol illegally unless you misbehave under influence or indulge in bootlegging. However, it is best to consume alcohol at your hotel room or at a very close friends place. Majority of the guests staying at a hotel consume it in their rooms and there is always an implied consent from the hotel who will serve you ice, soda and glasses.


manas_dr said...

it was of great help, but can you please tell me how can i get license if i am not a NRI. i live in different state but will be settled in gujarat. please help me. you caan mail me at

Reasa Selph said...


I am not an NRI either and the same process works for me and other expats.

Just take the listed items and it should not be an issue. But it sometimes does take a day or more.

Please let me know if I can help anymore or if this did not answer your question.

Thank you for reading my blog.

I did try to email you this response but it did not go through.

adi said...


I am an NRI, am a Green Card Holder, and i want to once again make sure that they give permit's to grenn card holder's too

For NRI"S As what i have heard from fellow Nri's is that now they dont issue liquor permits to NRI people with Indian Passport, need to have a foreign citizenship or some health issue.

Can anyone please give perfect information.

Reasa Selph said...

Hello Adi,

As long as you are not a legal resident on this state and have the required documents that I have listed you can get it. I have helped several of my green card holding friends get their permits without any issues. And many more have gotten it without my help. There should be no issue.

Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance and thank you for reading my blog.

Reasa Selph

adi said...

Thanks Reasa for the Information,

Also i wanted to know, wether this procedure of obtaining a permit on green card can be obtained from Airport too or have to go the the Nashaa-bandhi Office mandatorily ;)

& are there are restrictions like, only certain amount of alchohol can be bought ?

Reasa Selph said...

You can get it from the airport but that is temporary permit and cannot be renewed unless you depart the country and renew upon arrival. So, to get a permit that is at least 6 months you must go to the Ellis Bridge office.

If you get a temporary permit then you are allowed 6 units but only for 30 day period. The regular permit is allowed 4 units per month for the duration of your permit, either 6 or 12 months .

A unit is- 20 small bottles of beer or
10 large bottles or 3 bottles of wine or 1 bottle of liquor.

All the offices carry about the same inventory but sometimes you can check around the different offices and find something a bit different.

I hope this helps.

Please let me know if you have anymore questions. Again, thank you for reading my blog.


Reasa Selph

capt. ricchie said...

i am green card holder going to visit surat next week , i already called 2 hotels and they told me i have to have US passport or something , they cant give me on green card and i have liquor permit from US indian tourism office , they gave me permit
please help ... how to show them legal proof that they can sell me liquor .... please email


capt. ricchie said...

i am green card holder and going to visit , surat next week , i already have permit but i called liqour stores in surat they told me i have to have NON INDIAN passport to get it , can u please help me how to show them that its legal tht they can sell me liquor , i talked to some PSI (police) also in that liquor store

please please help


Reasa Selph said...

I am unsure as to what the issue is. I know in Ahmedabad, it should be the same in Surat, the all you need is your passport, greencard, maybe an arrival travel ticket and something showing your legal address. It is strange we have never had the issue. My suggestion is not to call and just go there.

Thank you for supporting my blog and if you have more questions please let me know.


Reasa Selph said...

Buying liquor here is legal for anyone that is not a resident of the state. That even means if you are an Indian visitor from another state.

Kamlesh said...

First of all, a big thank you for providing such a nice Hi, I am an Australian Resident. I am in India from mid may. Can I get a permit as you have guide on the blog? I still hold the indian passport with a PR Stamp. Thank you

Kamlesh said...

First of all a big thanks to be so informative. I am an australian resident and have been in ahmedabad since may 2009. I am holding an Indian Passport with PR Stamp on it. WIll I be eligible for the permit?


Reasa Selph said...


When you say you have a PR stamp, do you mean a permanent resident stamp for Australia? If so, then you should have no issues (just follow the instructions) as long you are not a "legal resident and citizen" of this state.

Thank you for supporting and reading my blog. If you have anymore questions please let me know.

Thank you,
Reasa Selph

ravi padia said...

dear sir..

i have resident permit of 1 year of nigeria and i would like to have a temp permit or perm. permit for liquor

so can you help with this or tell me what is the procedure please mail me at

m living near Rajkot

rips said...

Hi Reasa Selph ,

Thanks a lot for nice article. It really gives aptly nice information.

I am travelling from houston to Ahmedabad tomorrow, I am Green Card holder, Can I carry a bottle of liquor at Ahmedabad Airport from duty free shopping at U.S. airport ?

Please reply at your earliest convinience.

Truely appreciated,
Ripan Modi

Reasa Selph said...


Yes, you can carry up to 2 bottles of duty free. Just as a note most times you are required to check it so wrap it good and check with the airline to make sure.

Have a safe trip and thanks for reading my blog.


Darshak said...

I am travelling from london and will be arriving at international airport in ahmedabad. I have indian passport but I am staying in London on Work visa which is till 2012. Can I get 2 x 1 litre bottles of liquor? I don't have permit.
Please let me know at the earliest.

Reasa Selph said...

Yes, you may travel into the country with 2 bottles of liquor. it is best if you put them in your checked luggage because Mumbai airport will not allow that to carry the bottles as carry ons.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you have any more questions please let me know.

Darshak said...

Hi thanks for the reply....

I will be arriving directly to ahmedabad....

Thanks a ton again for your response....

sagar said...

hi ,,,,thanks a ton for the info you are providing..

i am an indian holding indian passport & work permit for southafrica & srilanka..for southafrica i have until 31st december 2010 & for srilanka i have untill 31 june 2010.both for same companies.i am currently in srilanka & i have left southafrica in feb 2009.

i will be going for vacation in april to surat my home it possible to get a permit for me in surat for this circumstances.i m holding NRI status.if yes then please tell me how can i do that?

Thanks a million.

Anonymous said...

Hello I am in US right now and i am on Work Visa over here from almost Year and half. CAn i get a permit or they do give permit to only GC Holder or PR of US only.I am flying back to India after more than 1 year will i get permit.

Anonymous said...

Hello Reasa,
I would apreciate if u can help/guide me to obtain liqour permit
at Gandhinagar
I am NRI and living abroad since 1975.
However I have Indian passport and My indian address in Passport is of Gandhinagr,Gujrat where I stay during my visit to India.
I approached Hotel Haveli's liquor shop today and they have denied to give me permit stating following two reasons.
1, I am indian passport Holder and
2, I already crossed five days since my arrival ( today is 7th day of my arrival)
Could you please advise what are rules and since we wre from Gujrat,althogh living abroad, are not allowed to have permit.
Hoping for your quick response and guidance.

vihan shah said...

my cousin from mumbai arrived & i took him to the permit room & they denied him permit though he had driving licence(mumbai's), train ticket(arrival of same day), local address proof(driving licence)where he stayed & the officer refused on grounds that he should be staying over a week as he even showed him his return ticket(1 day from arrival). This happend at president hotel off. c.g. road. Are the rules changed & different for different permit shops. Then i took him to inder residency hotel near gujarat college. There he showed the same documents & the officer refused to give him on the grounds that he should have one more photo id proof(voter id card) in addition to his driving licence.This is strange.

Anonymous said...

Hi Reasa,

I have a quick follow-up question also. I am a US citizen and will be visiting Gujarat soon for a friend's wedding. I also have a lot of friends (all foreign citizens - US, EU, AU) who will be coming - we are all coming for the wedding.

I understand we can all legally drink in our hotel rooms (which is a silly provision - why would anyone want to drink in our rooms alone!), but I am trying to understand what is permitted in terms of other settings -

1) Can we drink at a local person's house (in which case, any Indian citizens there are out of luck, I guess!)

2) Can we drink at another venue - where one of the wedding functions will be held. It would be a private venue rented out for the evening - so it isn't a public area. I would think that technically, drinking should be permitted for (visible) foreigners - and the Indians need to stick with lassis and juices. But it is Gujarat, so who the heck knows.

Any insight you could provide would be most appreciated.



Debi Talukdar said...


That was a fantastic amount of information. Thanks for that!

I'm travelling from London (am an Indian passport holder with an English work permit till 2013) with 2 bottles of liquor to Bombay, staying there for day, then flying domestically to Baroda for 4 days and then to Bangalore ultimately.

The bottles need to reach Bangalore and will not be opened for those 5 days (through Bombay and Baroda) till I reach Blore.

Is it possible for me to carry these bottles through Baroda domestically?

If not, is there any other way I can work around this?

Thanks in advance!