TABC Certification & License

How do I get my TABC Certification?

Taking an online alcohol seller course is the easiest way to get your TABC Certification. As soon as you complete the course and pass the final exam, you get a certificate of completion that you can print right away. Enroll now in our Texas alcohol server training course to get your TABC Certification!

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TABC Certification + Food Handler Training

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TABC Seller-Server Training

Start your Texas alcohol seller training now to earn your TABC Certification online.

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What is a TABC Certification in Texas?

Created in 1935, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (formerly the Texas Liquor Control Board) regulates the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas. Part of the TABC’s role is to set the curriculum for seller-server training. So once you complete a training course, you are TABC Certified.

Who needs a TABC License?

Typically when you're looking for information on who needs a TABC license, it's a business that needs to get a permit so they can operate legally.

Examples of different types of liquor permits include brewer's, caterer's, package store, brewpub, winery, and many more. The TABC licensing division processes applications for getting a permit and investigates any potential violations from licensees.

Who Needs TABC Certification?

While a TABC license allows employers/owners to serve and sell alcohol for their business, it's the employees who need to earn a TABC certification.

So if your job involves selling, serving, dispensing, or delivering alcoholic beverages, getting your TABC certification ensures that you’ve completed training and understand the state laws relevant to your job.

While TABC doesn't administer the course itself, the agency approves private institutions to offer training and certification programs.

You can complete a short online alcohol seller-server training course from an approved provider, such as Learn2Serve by 360training, to get TABC Certified. Then, your employer can confirm your certification on the TABC's website.

Does Texas law require TABC Certification?

TABC Certification isn't required by state law, but many employers in Texas require it. That's because it limits their liability if an employee sells to someone they shouldn't.

Known as the Safe Harbor Act, this act protects your employer from the TABC taking administrative action against a license/permit when an employee sells or serves an alcoholic beverage to a minor or intoxicated customer, as long as:

  • The person selling/serving is not the owner or an officer of the company;
  • The person selling/serving holds a current seller-server training certificate from a TABC-approved school;
  • All employees engaged in the sale, service, or delivery of alcoholic beverages, as well as their immediate managers, are certified within 30 days of their hire date;
  • The employer has written policies for responsible alcohol service and consumption and ensures that each employee has read and understands these policies; and
  • The employer does not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate the law.

How long does a TABC Certification last?

Your TABC Certification expires two years after the issue date. After that, you’ll need to complete your alcohol seller course again.

How old do I need to be to get TABC Certified?

By law, you can't start serving alcohol in Texas until you're 18. If you're 16, it's legal to sell beer or wine for consumption off-site (at a grocery store check-out, for example).

However, TABC Certification has no minimum age. That means if you want to get a seller-server job as soon as possible, you can take the course early and have your TABC Certification ready to go.

Can I get a TABC Certificate if I have a DWI or felony conviction?

Yes! There are no criminal history restrictions on certification. However, it doesn't guarantee that an employer will hire you.

Why should I take Texas alcohol seller training?

First of all, you’ll learn about your role in keeping the public and your customers safe. You’ll also be keeping yourself and your employer safe in case you make a mistake and accidentally violate a law.

The TABC enforces stiff penalties for underage drinking.

  • It’s a class A misdemeanor to make alcohol available to minors, and you can face a $4,000 fine, plus up to a year in jail. And if you’re convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days.
  • If you’re 21-years old or older and you knowingly give alcohol to a minor, you can personally be held liable for any damages they cause.

This is why most employers require TABC Certification even though it’s not required by law.

Additionally, if you’re serving alcohol, you have a responsibility to ensure the people you serve are not intoxicated. You can help keep your customers safe and prevent drunk driving in Texas, which is a major concern.

For example, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that in Texas from 2003 to 2012, a total of 13,138 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver—which is higher than the national average.

One of the topics the TABC course covers in detail is how to recognize intoxicated customers and strategies for refusing a sale. Check out our Texas TABC Certification course to learn about additional topics the training covers.

What jobs can I get with my TABC Certification?

In Texas, the restaurant and hospitality industries are growing at a rapid rate. So, if you’re looking to get a job at a bar, restaurant, or catering company in Texas, getting your TABC certification makes you an attractive candidate to potential employers.

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 Texas.

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Bartender $13.10 $27, 240
Bartender Helper (Barback) $9.96 $20,720

However, if you are in the top 90th percentile of bartenders, you can make much more money: $23.13 an hour. And depending on your preference, skill level, and career goals, working as a bartender offers many different opportunities:

  • Private events, such as weddings and parties, where you can make extra money on the side
  • Craft breweries where you can learn more about the beer-making process
  • Fine-dining restaurants that want master mixologists to develop their bar menu
  • Neighborhood bars that want a friendly bartender to chat with customers

Besides bartending, you can also work as a cashier at any store that sells alcohol to consume off-premise, such as a grocery store or convenience store.

Where can I get more information about TABC Licenses and Certifications?

You can find more information on the TABC’s website, including:

  • The number of people certified in Texas
  • What the penalties are for counterfeiting certifications
  • Where to send a complaint about a training school
  • Information about checking ID cards

If you are looking for more course-specific information from us check out our Texas-specific alcohol seller training.

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