As of July 1, 2018, in the state of Illinois, all bartenders and servers are required to be licensed in order to serve alcohol.
The bartending certification that you receive must come from a provider that has been approved as a BASSET program by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC).
Note: When researching online you may come across websites claiming to be approved in the state of Illinois to provide bartender training. Unfortunately, many of these websites are lying. That’s why we are here… to walk you through the entire process.
This post was updated on August 21, 2023.
Illinois BASSET Certification
As we stated above, bartenders and servers in Illinois as of 2018 are required to receive a bartending certification from an approved BASSET provider.
As of 2023, there are more than 200 licensed and approved providers, making it very easy to get certified quick and easy. Most Illinois municipalities allow for online training, but it is worth noting that some do not. Below we will cover both options.
Online BASSET Training Providers:
If your jurisdiction allows for online testing, congratulations, as your life just got much easier. As of August 21, 2023, there are more than 20 providers approved to provide online BASSET training. You can see the entire list here.
Our suggestion: We recommend the online training provided by Serving Alcohol. Their course provides you with the necessary knowledge and techniques needed to be a responsible seller/server of alcohol at the lowest price available. Find out more here.
In-Person BASSET Training Providers
Unfortunately, in Illinois not every municipality allows you to receive BASSET training online. To find in-person training providers, the ILCC provides a somewhat up to date list here. Most likely though, you will be able to be certified online.
Something To Note: On-Premise VS. Off-Premise
Something you may come across in your research of BASSET certifications is information regarding On-premise vs Off-premise. So to avoid any confusion, let’s clear this up.
On-Premise refers to those who serve alcohol in an establishment as a bartender or waiter. Think, bars, restaurants, taverns, night clubs, and banquet halls.
Off-Premise refers to those who sell alcohol but not serve it such as a liquor store or gas station. Think, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and liquor stores
How Long Does It Take To Complete a BASSET Course?
For on-premise establishments (as covered above), BASSET training is required to be four (4) hours long.
For off-premise establishments (again, as covered in the section above), training must be at least 3 hours long.
What Happens After the Certification?
Once you have gone through the approved training at a BASSET provider and assuming you have passed the exam, you will receive a temporary certificate of completion from the provider.
The licensed provider will then send a list of those who have passed their exam to the ILCC which will grant an official state-issued BASSET card to you. Be sure to keep it handy.
How Long is a BASSET Certification Good For?
Since July 1, 2015, BASSET cards from an approved trainer are good for three (3) years from the date of issuance.
To check when your BASSET card expires, you can use the ILCC’s handy card lookup database here. Just type in your first and last name and it will provide you details regarding your expiration date and license number.
What to do if you lost your BASSET card
If you somehow lost or misplaced your BASSET card, you can simply look up and print your license from the ILCC database here. If you have further questions or need help, you can contact the ILCC BASSET program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minimum Age Required To Serve or Sell Alcohol In The State Of Illinois
A seller or server of alcohol in the state of Illinois must be at minimum 18 years old.
With that being said, the Illinois Liquor Control Act allows local municipalities or jurisdictions to have control over the age limit. In short, some municipalities in Illinois may have a higher minimum age to serve alcohol.
For example, in Chicago, alcohol sellers and servers must be 21 years old. Furthermore, other municipalities may have rules that specify different ages for selling, serving, pouring, drawing, and/or opening of alcoholic beverages. To find out the exact law for your municipality, the ILCC provides what it calls a “Local Survey” on their website.
- To find the specific details regarding alcohol laws in your municipality, use the Survey of local liquor-related ordinances in Illinois located here.
- Illinois state Happy Hour laws