Formerly the Liquor Control Board, the Department of Liquor Control was established in 1951 in Montgomery County (Code Alcoholic Beverages Article, secs. 25-301 through 25-314). In July 2019, the Department was renamed the Alcohol Beverage Services (Chapter 673, Acts of 2019).

Alcohol Beverage Services operates liqour wholesale and retail establishments throughout the County.

Under Alcohol Beverage Services is the Division of Licensure, Regulation, and Education. The Alcoholic Beverages Advisory Board, and the Board of License Commissioners also assist Alcohol Beverage Services.

The Division of Licensure, Regulation, and Education regulates liquor license compliance. When allegations of alcohol and tobacco code violations are made, the Division conducts inspections and may issue citations or fines if violations are found. The Division also is responsible for collecting all related fines. In cases related to alcohol code violations, appeals are heard by the Board of License Commissioners. In tobacco violations, or alcohol sales to minors, cases are heard by the District Court.

Working with law enforcement agencies, the Division conducts compliance checks of businesses licensed to sell alcohol and tobacco in the County. Annually, the Division reports the results of these checks to the County Council and Alcohol Beverage Services.

For Alcohol Beverage Services, the Division provides public outreach to inform residents and businesses of regulations related to alcohol and tobacco. The Division works with law enforcement agencies, and local businesses and community organizations to provide classes and events to share information on regulations and safety trends.


The Board of Electrical Examiners administers the electrical licensing exam for the County. The Board advises the Director of Permitting Services on standards and regulations related to electrical licenses and permits. In addition, the Board reviews the electrical code, and advises the County Executive and the County Council on considered changes.

Appointed by the County Executive with County Council consent to three-year terms, the Board consists of five members (County Code, secs. 17-12 through 17-17).


Authorized in August 1996, the Department of Permitting Services is responsible for code enforcement, inspection, and licenses. It also oversees ecological and efficient land zoning and development.

The Department issues licenses and permits for building construction, street vendors, road work, or any construction within areas designated as public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks and bike paths. In addition, the Department hears complaints regarding construction and renovations without a permit, sign installation without a permit, impediment to streets and sidewalks caused by construction, and sediment control violations. Zoning violations such as fences, signs, and improper uses of a property or building, also are heard by the Department (County Code, chapters 8, 19, 47, 59).

Under the Department are six divisions: Commercial Building Construction, Customer Support and Outreach, Fire Prevention and Code Compliance, Land Development, Residential Construction and Intake, and Zoning and Site Plan Enforcement. The Department is assisted by the Department of Permitting Services Advisory Council.

In October 2020, the Customer Support and Outreach Division was created.

The Division administers and issues permits related to building, land development, and zoning. It also assists with applications and licenses, information requests, pre-design consultations, and other specialty services.

The Commercial Building Construction Division originated as the Building Construction Division, and later adopted its present name.

The Division enforces standards set by construction and zoning codes. It also reviews building plans and specifications, building permits, and occupancy permits for compliance with the fire prevention law. The Division consults with the Chief of Fire and Rescue Services in all matters involving the interpretation or application of fire prevention laws and codes.

The Fire Prevention and Code Compliance Division started as the Customer Service Division. It reformed under its present name at a later date.

The Division processes records, receipts, and information requests related to licenses and permits. During disasters, the Division assists the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in damage assessments, and recovery estimates.

Through the Green Tape Program, the Division aids commercial revitalization in designated areas, as well as affordable housing programs throughout the County. Under this program, the Division works with State and local agencies, as well as commercial entities, to expedite building permits deemed valuable to neighborhood development.

The Case Management Program also is overseen by the Division. Through this program, residents and contractors encountering issues and impediments in the permit process may apply to be assisted by a case facilitator. Facilitators serve as liaison between clients and the Department of Permitting Services, review plans and permits, identify and resolve any permit impediments, and supervise the permit and construction process to ensure that projects remain on schedule. All Green Tape Program projects, and places of worship, automatically qualify for the Case Management Program.

The Land Development Division is responsible for ensuring that land development and construction plans and permits are ecologically sound, and in compliance with federal and State regulations regarding development of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Issued through the Division are permits for public right of way, driveways, grading, paving, storm drains, utilities, and special use. Gutter and drainage system permits also are managed through the Division.

To regulate water runoff management and sediment control, the Division issues permits for wells and septic systems. In addition, the Division conducts well and soil tests, and undertakes floodplain studies.

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