In Indiana, anyone who serves or sells alcohol MUST be certified by the state. Unfortunately, the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) for the state of Indiana makes this a very confusing process.

Indiana Bartending

This is where we come in… and bare with us. The ATC requires a lot (too many in our opinion) of steps.

For starters, the state of Indiana has 2 types of employee permits. One is for 19&20 year olds. This is called their “restricted permit”. While the other exists for persons 21&up. This is called the “unrestricted permit”.

  • When the restricted employee becomes 21, the employee must obtain an unrestricted permit in order to continue to serve alcoholic beverages.
  • There is a $45 fee to obtain/transfer permit
  • The unrestricted employee permit is valid for 3 years

Regardless of age, any certification MUST be obtained no later than 120 days from the date of hire at an alcohol establishment.


Restricted Permit Laws and Information (for employees who are 19&20 years old)

*All 19&20 year olds MUST successfully complete a state-certified server training program PRIOR to applying for a restricted permit.

  • The training is provided through the Excise Police District in your area.
  • HERE is a list of scheduled Server Training Programs (PDF)

IMPORTANT: Before browsing through the above link for training providers, the Indiana ATC offers a free online training program that meets all the requirements for server certification. The programs provided in the PDF document above will most likely come with a fee.

  • There are 2 ways to access this (free) training:
    • 1. If you are applying online for a new employee permit, you are offered the option to complete the training DURING the application process.
      • HERE is the link to start the Employee Permit application process
    • 2. If you have already applied for and have received your permit by using a paper application…  follow this link HERE to start the Online Training

**Once the employee successfully completes the training program, the restricted employee should THEN submit an application to the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission with the certification attached along with the other required information.

Notable Laws & Regulations For The “Restricted Employee”

  • In order for the restricted employee to serve alcoholic beverages, the employee must be supervised by someone who has successfully completed a state-certified server training program
  • The restricted employee may not act as a bartender or serve alcoholic beverages in the bar room
  • The restricted employee may NOT mix drinks as well as:
    • Draw beer from a tap or spigot into a pitcher or mug
    • Pour pre-mixed beverages into containers to be served at a table or dining area
  • The restricted employee may ONLY serve in family areas of retail establishments.
  • The restricted employee is ALLOWED to garnish a drink prepared by a licensed bartender and MAY uncork and pour wine from a bottle at a customer’s table
  • The restricted employee may not serve drinks in a recreational area such as a pool room, arcade room, or in the stands at a sports arena
  • The restricted employee MAY serve alcoholic beverages in the banquet room of a hotel or restaurant but may NOT serve over a bar or act as a bartender.

Minimum Age To Be A Bartender In Indiana:

  • 21

Unrestricted Permit Information: (for those 21&up)

Although an employee may be over the age of 21, the state still requires everyone who serves/sells alcoholic beverages to be certified.

For those that are applying for their “unrestricted” employee permit for the first time:

  • Follow this link for new employee permit registration. The Indiana Online Licensing site will provide the application steps along the way.

Please note: The Indiana ATC offers a free online training program that meets all the requirements for the server certification. You are offered the option to complete the training DURING the application process.

    1. HERE is the list (pdf) of State-Approved Third-Party Training Providers (..will most likely cost money)

**Employees must understand that they have to (1) successfully complete a state-approved training program and (2) complete application process with the ATC for an Employee Permit

RENEWAL NOTE – Please remember these certifications expire every 3 years. If you are up for renewal, please follow this link.

  • If you are up for renewal and do not know your permit number, you can look it up HERE

Qualifications and Other Limitations:

  • If you have not been living in the state for the past 10 years, you will have to provide an out-of-state driving record.
  • Also, if you have had any OWI or DUI charges within the past 10 years… this may affect your application process

Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:

  • Driver’s License or Passport
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Be able to stand long periods of time
  • Knowledge of basic drink recipes

Looking for a different state? Visit our friendly map here.

For more information, please contact your local City Clerk’s office.

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One Thought on “Bartending License Requirements for Indiana”

  • I live in Ohio, I’ve held a Indiana bartending license before for years. I moved to Ohio 6 yrs ago and would like to help my friend out in a bar in Indiana. Can I get a bartending license, even if I resigned in Ohio, with a Ohio license?

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