Changes to who can buy takeaway alcohol

Changes to the NT Liquor Act

On 1 October 2019, liquor laws changed in the Northern Territory (NT).

The information below is currently under review.

For more up to date information, contact Licensing NT.

All Territorians and visitors to the Northern Territory (NT) must show photo ID to buy takeaway alcohol.

How it will work

To purchase takeaway alcohol, an approved form of photo ID will be required. The ID will be scanned at all takeaway liquor outlets.

If you are not on the Banned Drinker Register you will be able to purchase takeaway alcohol. A person who is on the register will have their purchase refused.

A green light to the seller indicates a purchase may continue while a red light indicates that a purchase may not continue.

Your personal information

No personal details will be retained and no information recorded about your purchases.

If you are a banned person your identity will not be shown on the scanner.

ID you can use

You will be able to use the following forms of ID to buy takeaway alcohol:

  • Australian and most international driver’s licence
  • Australian and most international passports
  • Evidence of Age Card
  • NT Ochre Card
  • Australia Post Keypass Card.

Who can be banned

There are a number of ways someone is banned from purchasing takeaway alcohol and placed onto the register. These include:

  • any combination of three alcohol-related protective custodies or alcohol infringement notices in two years
  • two low range drink driving offences or a single mid-range or high-range drink driving offence
  • being the defendant on an alcohol-related domestic violence order
  • having an alcohol prohibition condition on a court order (including child protection orders), bail or parole order
  • by decision of the registrar after being referred by an authorised person such as a doctor, nurse or child protection worker, or a family member or carer
  • self-referral for any reason.

How long bans will last

The length of a ban depends on the circumstances leading to it.

A ban made by police will initially be for three months, with a breach of the ban leading to an increase to six months. Further breaches will result in a 12-month ban.

Each time a 12-month ban is breached, it starts again at day one.

A ban made by the registrar may be for three, six or 12 months following assessment and report by a clinician.

A ban resulting from an alcohol prohibition in a court order or a parole order will run for the period that is set in the specific court order.

Appeal a ban

Where someone believes they have been placed on the register in error, decisions made by police and the registrar may be reviewed by the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT).

To find out more contact NTCAT.

Get help

You do not have to be placed onto the register to access therapeutic help.

Any person who thinks they have a problem associated with alcohol use can seek support.

If a person is on the register they can seek help regardless of the length of their ban, and at any stage during the ban.

Read more about alcohol and your health, including how to get help.


Find out more about the Banned Drinker Register program at the Department of Health website or email

Last updated: 17 May 2017

Give feedback about this page.

Share this page:

URL copied!