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.
So we’re here to help but 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:
1.) The Restricted Permit – for 19 and 20 year olds.
2.) The Unrestricted Permit – for persons 21 and up.
- When a restricted employee becomes 21 year of age, the employee must obtain an unrestricted permit in order to continue to serve alcoholic beverages.
- There is a $45 fee to obtain/transfer the 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.
This post was updated on April 1, 2020.
Minimum Age To Be A Bartender In Indiana:
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). Online providers appear at the end of the list.
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 likely come with a fee.
There are 2 ways to access this free training:
1.) When 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
- Restricted employees may ONLY serve in family areas of retail establishments.
- A 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.
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 to register for a new employee permit. The 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. The program will offer the option to take the free training during the application process.
- HERE is the list (pdf) of State-Approved Third-Party Training Providers. This will most likely cost money… and online providers will appear at the end of the list.
Employees have to (1) successfully complete a state-approved training program and (2) complete application process with the ATC for an Employee Permit
Unrestricted Permit Renewal Indiana
If you are up for renewal for a bartending license in Indiana, simply follow this link. These certifications expire every 3 years.
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
- Proper Non-slip Bartending Shoes
- Knowledge of basic drink recipes
For more information, please contact your local City Clerk’s office.