Bartending License Requirements for Texas

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In Texas there aren’t any state regulations in place that require a server or bartender to be licensed in order to sell alcohol.  

It is important to keep in mind though that some employers will require bartenders to complete such courses regardless of state or city laws.

If you decide to become certified, or your employer requires it, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) handles the certification of bartenders and waitstaff.

What is the TABC Seller/Server Certification?

TABC, which stands for Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, is a state agency that regulates everything to do with alcohol in Texas, including the approval of TABC Seller/Server Certification providers.

As explained above, bartenders are not required to have a TABC Certification. With that being said, thousands of bars and restaurants in the state of Texas require tens of thousands of bartenders to be certified every year.

If you decide to become certified, or your employer requires it, you are able to become certified either online or offline. You can find all approved providers here. The certification is valid for two years from the date of issuance. You can learn everything you need to know about TABC by checking out our guide to TABC here.

Our suggestion: Take the Serving Alcohol TABC course provided here. It is quick, cheap, and easy. Plus it will put you one step ahead of the competition.

Minimum Age To Sell & Serve Alcoholic Beverages In Texas

The minimum age to sell or serve alcoholic beverages in a bar or restaurant in Texas is 18 years old. Please note, this is different from working in a liquor store where you must be 21 years old and a Wine-only store where you may be 16.

So, although you must be 18 years old to become a bartender in Texas, you can attend a seller/server training course at any age. This means that when you decide to apply for a job at 18 years old, you can have a leg-up on the competition if you are licensed. We suggest taking the course provided by Serving Alcohol TABC here.

Texas Responsible Alcohol Delivery Certification

If you are a delivery driver who delivers alcohol to customers on behalf of a retail business your employer may require you to take the Texas Responsible Alcohol Delivery (TRAD) Certification.

Although TRAD is not required by the state of Texas, in our experience nearly 100% of businesses that offer alcohol delivery will require their delivery drivers to be licensed. That’s because having delivery drivers licensed protects the business (and the driver) for liability if there are legal violations.

Required age: 21 years old
Cost: $25
Length of validity: 2 years
Other requirements: Must have a valid driver’s license

If you are interested in becoming TRAD certified, you can do so here.

For more information, please contact your local City Clerk’s office on the TABC website here.


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