Bartending License

You’ll need a bartending license if you want to start your own bar or a restaurant that offers alcoholic beverages. Some states require people who wish to work as bartenders to get a bartending license or certification, whilst others do not.

Every state has a legal minimum age for selling alcohol and that’s why licensing requirements vary. Bartenders must be at least 18 years old to get a license to serve alcohol, however, the minimum age requirement varies by state. A bartending license varies from a bartender certification in that it may not need the same level of study as a bartender certification. Similarly, state licenses vary in terms of the kind of alcoholic drinks that a bartender can serve. Some states, for example, require you to obtain a license before you can start working as a bartender. The other states, however, allow you to work for 180 days while you obtain your license.

Obtaining  your bartending license

In the U.S, for some states having a bartender’s license is a must, but you don’t have to go to a formal school to acquire one. There are many high-rated online schools, where you can study and pass the required training. Thus, you obtain the state bartending license:

  • First, you must get acquainted with the laws of the land in order to obtain your license. With minor exceptions, most of the states have the same requirements. However, there are some states that have notably different requirements. For example, in Utah, you have to repeat the certified licensure test every two years, but Oregon’s license is valid for five years. In many states, you are not allowed to sell alcohol before you obtain the bartending license, but some states allow you to work for sixty days while waiting for your bartender’s permit.
  • Secondly, you need to choose a certified course. Certified courses are authorized by the state. Courses must meet all of the standards for the examination that you must pass before receiving your permit. Remember that after you choose your course and pay your tuition, it’s in your hands to finish your program as soon as possible. Your study schedule is flexible and self-paced. You must pass a final test once you have completed the course.

Passing the test is the final step in your education. Different states require you different minimal scores that you must meet in order to receive your certificate. In most of the states, a minimal score is at least 70%.

Generally, you can obtain your license even in a day

Bartending license classes typically demand 40 hours of study time and take two to three weeks to finish. However, meeting the very minimal requirements to work as a bartender is frequently as simple as attending a legally needed alcohol awareness course. It varies from state to state, and you can even obtain your license in a day. You just need to search and find your state’s requirement for a bartender’s license. For example, Louisana requires 2 weeks of training, then an exam and you will obtain your license valid for 4 years.

In fact, today, there are more and more self-paced courses that you can apply for. Here, usually, you choose your schedule and it is fully up to you when you will finish. What concerns to the certificate, some websites offer you to go back In a week and print it.
However, offline courses differ. Whenever you apply for an offline course, you must consider at least 2 weeks of training. After that, you just need to pass an exam and obtain your license.

Fees for a bartending license

The cost of bartending schools that provide forty-hour training ranges between $200 and $600. Tuition, registration, books, and supplies are all covered by this payment. Some online bartending lessons go from $80 to $150. These fees may or may not include materials, bartending supplies, and movies. You must always be careful while choosing a course: some of them are not legally accredited.

You can also obtain your bartending license online. The disadvantage of earning your bartending license online is that you will be missing out on the practical experience. If you are a new bartender, you should most likely take an offline course to get also practical knowledge. But if you just need a license to work, an online course is more convenient. Sometimes filing an application for taking the exam may not be a state requirement. But you may still need to arrange your exam with your bartender certification school.

Age Requirements

Various states in the United States have different age requirements for bartending, although the age range is between 18 and 21 years old. For example, Colorado requires the bartender to be at least 18 years old while California requires you to be at least 21 years old.

Bartenders are required to be at least a certain age in various situations. Younger staff, on the other hand, may fill coolers with alcoholic beverages or serve clear alcoholic beverages from tables. On-premises bartenders under the age of 21 are subject to certain restrictions in several states. When a person is tending bar, for example, a manager or supervisor 21 or older must be present. It may also be necessary for a bartender under the age of 21 to complete specific beverage server training.

Usually, bartending courses cover the following subjects:

  • What effects does alcohol have on the human body
  • Detecting customers that are inebriated
  • Disturbance avoidance
  • Laws and punishments that apply to minors
  • Refusing to sell
  • Liquor regulations that are particular to each state

Bartending License vs Bartending Certificate

In numerous aspects, bartending licenses and bartending certification differ, including the quantity of study necessary for each. Depending on the state you apply for licensing in, a bartending license may simply enable you to sell beer and wine. The state license that allows bartenders to offer alcoholic drinks is known as a bartender license. Employees who want to get a state bartending license usually have to go through a brief licensing program that is approved by a state or federal liquor authority. These seminars might include instruction on state and federal liquor regulations, as well as the ethics and principles of properly providing alcohol.

Obtaining a bartender license might take as little as a few weeks but obtaining a bartending certification requires extra training. It also requires necessary courses on liquor regulations and responsible service. Usually, this training includes information and practice about mixology fundamentals, such as combining diverse cocktail recipes, adding innovative garnishes, and background knowledge on different liquor brands used in restaurants and bars. The certification training covers all state legislation as well as industry best practices. It also gives you legal protection so that you can acquire jobs that pay you the industry norm.

How to obtain a bartending license?

Depending on your state’s regulations, you may usually acquire your bartender certification by following a few basic procedures. You simply must fulfill an hourly requirement in addition to mixology courses.

You just need to start by researching your state’s specific requirements. The next step will be finding a bartender certification program that fulfills your state’s criteria. Consider institutions that provide hands-on training behind a mock bar so you can learn how to utilize the glassware and product bottles. Maintaining state-mandated hourly labor requirements may be part of your curriculum. After this, you can already take your certification test once you’ve finished the prerequisite coursework.

What states do require a bartending license?

Nearly half of all states in the United States require aspiring bartenders to get a state-issued bartending license. You will be eligible for a certificate if you are old enough to serve. Even though you don’t need a license in your state, it’s still a good idea to get one. It provides you an advantage over other bartenders.

  • In the US, the following states require bartending licenses:
  • Washington requires a Permit for Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST)
  • Oregon requires a permit from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)
  • Arizona has a set of rules that you must follow: Certification for Sellers and Servers of Alcohol in Arizona
  • Alaska’s requirements are as follows: Alcohol Seller Certification in Alaska
  • New Mexico requires Alcohol Server Permit
  • Nevada has made it mandatory to have an alcohol education card.

The other states have their own regulations. Some of them, for example, Honolulu, have their own liquor commission. Honolulu requires potential applicants to complete Server Training and pass an examination before receiving a Liquor Card. Others have their specified training to sell alcohol.

Whenever you obtain a bartending license, you can apply for a job. Nowadays, it is quite a booming industry. So you should have no problem finding a job if you satisfy all of the requirements.

Generally, Nevada, South Carolina, New Jersey, Florida and California are the best options where you can find a job.

Amalik B

Amalik B

Amalik is a junior content writer. She has graduated from YSU as a pedagogy philologist of the French language. During a year of her experience as a content writer, Amalik has written content for several websites and took part in some social media campaigns. Since 2017, she has been a volunteer in PAVU being an interpreter in various events. Nowadays she is also volunteering in Children of Regions, and in the frames of some projects teaches English and French.