01/16/2015 04:09 EST | Updated 03/18/2015 05:59 EDT

Liquor licensing for special events like weddings, festivals moves online in B.C.

VANCOUVER - Liquor licensing for special events is moving online in British Columbia, beginning with a pilot program in Vancouver and Burnaby.

The pilot launches Feb. 2 and will test a new online application process meant to speed up approvals for small events like weddings and fundraisers.

Applicants will no longer have to fill out paper applications, make multiple visits to liquor stores or go to police stations and municipal halls.

The province aims to have the online system fully implemented in early April.

Attorney General Suzanne Anton says the new system will help free up police resources as officers and liquor inspectors will be able to access event licences online.

The B.C. government processes up to 25,000 special occasion licences every year.