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How Idaho State Police Automates Alcohol License Renewals

paper in an envelope

The Problem

In the State of Idaho, a restaurant or bar serving beer or wine must register their business with the city, county, and state. The Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau handles the state portion of the renewal process.

Before using Laserfiche, the bureau was manually printing out all their license renewals from all 44 counties in Idaho. At the beginning of every month, renewals were printed per county and sent via mail. The licenses relied on the postal system to be processed, and once received, they were issued payments by check. The process was long and complicated, with minor errors delaying the process extensively as all of it was done via mail.

The Solution

Annually, the state processes over 7,000 renewals. By automating this process, the Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau (ISP ABC) eliminated the mailing and printing costs as well as reduced the rate of errors and time it takes to complete renewals.

Using Laserfiche, their current process allows them to send a link via email that licensees can open at their convenience. They fill out a Laserfiche Form that once it’s submitted, can be reviewed, and approved in just 10 minutes. Access Idaho, an online government service for secure payment processing, then sends out a payment link to the licensee. Once paid, the ABC bureau receives a notice, and they are then able to issue the license and provide a copy via email.

By automating their renewal process, the ISP ABC bureau estimates a $10,000 savings.

The cost savings include eliminating the need for special licensing paper, postage, and other materials required to send these items back and forth in the mail. The savings of time, for both ABC bureau employees as well as their business customers is more difficult to calculate, but none the less valuable.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISP ABC bureau was able to smoothly continue its business processes. They had no issues continuing their workflows as employees worked remotely with online access to Laserfiche and its repository.

Outside of the licensure process, the ISP ABC bureau uses Laserfiche to store records. In Idaho, they must retain your liquor licenses indefinitely. The bureau stores more than 200 banker boxes full of past historical liquor license information at the Idaho Historical Society. ABC bureau employees took those boxes and scanned all of the information into their Laserfiche repository, which means they no longer have to involve the Historical Society for public records requests. Litigation files and other ABC functions are also now assisted by Laserfiche including using Forms for Premises and Building Inspections.

The Future

The Idaho State Police Department Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau plans to automate more of its business processes, including retail liquor licensesnonprofit permitsdirect shipper licenses, and certificates of approvals in a similar manner as their retail beer and wine licensure process.