What Are the Rules for Checking Alcohol and Do You Need a Receipt for Your Items?

I purchased some alcohol while traveling recently and was surprised when I was told by a TSA agent that I needed a receipt for all of my alcoholic purchases in order to check my bag.  I asked him who looked at the receipt and whether it needed to be on my person or not.  (Note to self, never put alcohol in my bag while at the airport again).

The other TSA agent nodded in agreement saying that I just needed to have a receipt somehow that I could produce if questioned.

As someone who has frequently thrown wine and vodka in my bag, this didn’t make sense to me.  So I did what anyone should do when what the TSA says doesn’t make sense.

I stepped off to the side, whipped out my cell phone, and checked the TSA website.

I confirmed that these are the rules for checking alcohol in your bag:

You can’t take alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol content (140 proof), including 95% grain alcohol and 150 proof rum, in your checked luggage.

You may take up to five liters of alcohol with alcohol content between 24% and 70% per person as checked luggage if it’s packaged in a sealable bottle or flask.

I even checked on Alcademics.  If anyone would know rules on checked-liquor, it would be them.  (They are dedicated to the study of alcohol–they have a new reader).

But they confirmed. It just can’t be such high proof that would explode while in the air.  They don’t require a receipt to be on your person or displayed in your checked bag.

The TSA agent advised me to mail my alcohol back to myself.  So I went off to the side.  Placed it in my luggage.  And checked my bag.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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