In Washington, those who sell or serve alcoholic beverages in a restaurant, lounge or conduct tastings at a grocery store MUST receive a permit. This includes, by law, managers, bartenders, and employees that supervise the sale of alcohol.
Searching for various state-approved training providers, however, can sometime be a headache. Also, states like Washington have specific requirements for those who wish to bartend or serve.
This is where we come in…
Here, you’ll find all of the important information you need to jump-start your employment as a bartender/ server in the state of Washington.
Training process and information – Washington
For starters… the state of Washington has two different types of permits for employees who sell and/or serve alcohol:
- Mandatory Alcohol Server Training – M.A.S.T. also known as a Class 12 or Class 13 Permit and
- Responsible Vendor Program – R.V.P.
**An employee only needs a RVP Permit if he/she sells alcohol at a store to be taken off-premises. (examples – liquor and grocery stores) To find further information on the RVP permit, please follow this link.
Getting a Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) Permit
MAST is a program required, by law, for those who serve, mix, sell, or supervise the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption at liquor licensed establishments. The MAST course must be taken within the first 60 days of employment.
- The MAST permit is good for five (5) years
- Training is provided by (1) third party state-approved providers or (2) through trainers certified by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB)
- Classes are offered online or in a classroom setting.
- The WSLCB does not regulate the costs of training programs. Thus, costs vary usually between $10 to $45 (Online classes are typically cheaper)
- Classes are usually over 3 hours long with an exam conducted afterwards
- Upon successful completion of the course and exam, your provider will issue you a MAST permit and will report the completion to the WSLCB within 30 days.
**There are two (2) types of MAST permits — Class 13 & Class 12 — your age will determine which one is for you.
The Class 13 Permit – for ages 18 to 20
This permit will allow you to:
- Take alcohol orders
- Carry alcohol to the customer and pour it into a customer’s glass at the customers table
*To upgrade from a Class 13 to a Class 12 permit once you have turned 21 years of age, contact the provider or trainer that issued the permit to you
The Class 12 Permit – for ages 21+
This permit will allow you to:
- Draw alcohol from tap and mixed drinks
- Manage the establishment
- Conduct alcohol tastings at an approved location with a tasting endorsement
HERE is the link for the list of MAST Training Providers (both online and in-person)
If you have not received your permit within 30 days, contact the provider and/or trainer. If you still do not receive it, contact the WSLCB MAST program at firstname.lastname@example.org
*IMPORTANT*: You should have your MAST permit and a valid form of ID on you at all times while working. This is because law enforcement inspections can happen randomly. For convenience, we recommend you make a copy of your permit for your employer. You should keep the original permit with you at home in a safe place.
- Violation of this law could result in a criminal citation with penalties up to $500
For additional educational material surrounding alcohol awareness and prevention. Follow this link
Can You Renew a Washington Permit?
The MAST permit is NOT renewable. To prevent working without a valid permit, it is advised that you take a new course 45 days prior to your current permit expiration. **There is no grace period to obtain a new permit once your original permit expires.
Checking The Status of Your Permit
Follow this link HERE to access your current permit information. You will need to either enter your full name and date of birth, or your permit number. **Your information will not appear if your permit has expired!
Minimum Age to become a bartender in the state of Washington:
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
For more information, please contact your local City Clerk’s office