Hawaii Alcohol Seller-Server Training

How do I get my Hawaii Alcohol Server Certification?

The process for getting alcohol server certification depends on where you work in Hawaii. Generally speaking, you'll take a course or study materials provided by the county's liquor control authority, then you'll take an exam. You may need additional paperwork to register with the county.

Please note: In Hawaii, required liquor card training must be taken through the county. If your training is required by county regulation, you can't complete your requirements through any third-party provider.

Does Hawaii law require an Alcohol Server License?

It depends on the jurisdiction where you work. In Hawaii, counties regulate alcohol sales and service rather than the state. That means each island or county has its own training requirements.

The City/County of Honolulu requires managers, assistant managers, and bartenders of licensed establishments on Oahu to successfully complete the Honolulu Liquor Commission's alcohol server training program. Once you pass the exam, you'll get your Certificate of Registration, also known as a liquor card.

Kauai County requires managers and assistant managers of licensed establishments to pass an exam provided by the Kauai Department of Liquor Control after studying their free materials. A "blue card" is required for on-premises establishments, and a "red card" is required for off-premises establishments. You must earn your liquor card before you begin serving as a management.

Maui County requires alcohol server certification for one person 21 years of age or older designated by the licensee. The alcohol server certification is provided by the Maui Department of Liquor Control. That individual must be on premises during all operating hours.

Hawaii County has similar requirements: one designated individual on premises at all times and certified through the Hawaii County Department of Liquor Control.

Some employers may require employees to be trained beyond county requirements. For example, some employers in Kauai County may want bartenders or wait staff to take alcohol server training even though the county only requires it of management.

In these cases, you should find out from your employer what kind of training is acceptable before you sign up for any third-party course.

Please note, Learn2Serve alcohol seller/server training is not recognized by state or local governments in Hawaii.

How long does a Hawaii liquor card last?

Each county has its own expiration period:

  • Honolulu liquor cards are valid for four years.
  • Kauai blue and red cards are valid for five years.
  • Maui certificates are valid for four years. You renew by re-taking the exam.
  • Hawaii County liquor cards are valid for five years.

Why should I take Hawaii alcohol server training?

Depending on your job and county, alcohol server training may be required by law.

In other cases, your employer may want you to learn local liquor laws and best practices for safe and legal alcohol service. After all, if you break any of those laws, you may be putting your employer's license at risk—or at the very least, costing them a hefty fine. Penalties vary by county, but selling alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons is taken seriously everywhere.

Alcohol server training can also play an important role in reducing drunk driving in Hawaii. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were a total of 484 people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Hawaii from 2003 to 2012. That's higher than the national average when you consider population size.

By learning how to recognize and refuse service to people who are already intoxicated, you can help bring that number down.

What jobs can I get with my alcohol seller training?

In Hawaii, alcohol server training can qualify you for managing licensed facilities and make you an attractive candidate for other positions. That includes jobs where alcohol is consumed on-premises, like bars, restaurants, and resorts, and jobs where alcohol is sold for off-premises consumption, like liquor stores.

And if you’re curious about how much money you can expect to make, here is some basic wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for bartenders and barbacks in Hawaii.


Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Bartender $26.47 $55,060
Bartender Helper (Barback) $17.76 $36,930

If you are in the top 90th percentile of bartenders, you can make much more money: $41.36 an hour.

Where can I get more information about alcohol training in Hawaii?

Check with your county's liquor control authority to learn more for your jurisdiction.

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