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Q: Do you need a license to bartend in California? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Do you need a license to bartend in California?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: lucemcapio-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 30 May 2005 02:10 PDT
Expires: 29 Jun 2005 02:10 PDT
Question ID: 527213
Is a permit or license required to be a bartender in California? If
so, how do I get one. Would a food permit be required? I'd like to
know what licenses I need (if any) to bartend in California before I
start applying for jobs. I know other states require a license/permit
to be a bartender, but I can't seem to figure out what you need in
California from the State websites.
Subject: Re: Do you need a license to bartend in California?
Answered By: hummer-ga on 30 May 2005 07:06 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi lucemcapio,

There are no California State licensing requirements for bartenders
but you should contact your local city and county offices to make sure
there are no local requirements. That said, you would do well to
complete the LEAD (Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs) and TIPS
(Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers of Alcohol) training
programs even if they are not required in your locality.

Are your Bartenders And Wait Staff Certified?
"There are no state laws regulating server or bartending training.
Some cities or counties may require server and bartending training as
part of their Conditional Use Permit process (e.g., City of Dana Point
in Orange County or Taylor Hall in Claremont or The Carousel in Santa
Monica Pier)."

>> What is the LEAD Program?
"The LEAD Program is a free, voluntary prevention and education
program for retail licensees, their employees and applicants. It began
on January 1, 1991 with a grant from the California Office of Traffic
Since February 1995, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has
funded the program. Since 1991, the LEAD Program has trained over
100,000 people.
The curriculum is designed for licensees, managers, and employees.
There is no separate management curriculum. Program length is 3-1/2
hours, except for Fairs/Special Events Training, which is 2 hours."

Lead: Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

>> TIPS Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers of Alcohol:
"A server is anyone who attends any of our eight TIPS programs and
learns how to prevent the misuse of alcohol. Servers attend TIPS
sessions, conducted by TIPS trainers, and are certified for a period
of three years."

TIPS Trainers
Click on "Upcoming Server/Student Training"
Click on "Trainer Referral Database"
Choose "CA" Search

Additional Links of Interest

Miss Charming's Bar Resume
"This page is to help assist you in making a Bartender's Resume".

MADD: California Laws

Bartending Laws for the state of California

California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please post a
clarification request *before* closing/rating my answer and I'll be
happy to reply.

Thank you,

Google Search Terms Used:

server and bartending training california
california bartenders "Server Training"
Training for Intervention Procedures. tips
bartending license law ca
california state law bartending
california state law "bartending certification"
california "bartending license"

Request for Answer Clarification by lucemcapio-ga on 30 May 2005 11:12 PDT
Thanks for the great answer! I was wondering if you found anything
about needing a food handlers permit to bartend? I don't think there
is a CA statewide permit requirement, but I couldn't find out for
sure. Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by hummer-ga on 30 May 2005 14:14 PDT
Hi again, lucemcapio,

It's always easier to find evidence of something that exists rather
than something that doesn't, isn't it? There isn't a CA statewide food
handling permit for bartenders (if there were, it wouldn't be that
hard to find), but again, check to find out local requirements. For

How do I get a San Bernardino County food handler's card?
"The San Bernardino County Code requires food workers employed in San
Bernardino county to possess a valid, unexpired Food Worker
Certification Card. County Code defines food workers as waiters,
waitresses, bartenders, buspersons, cooks, dishwashers, hosts,
hostesses managers, meat cutters, deli persons, etc.
 This card must be issued by a County approved training institution.
All food workers must obtain certification within fourteen (14) days
of employment. Classes are available in English and Spanish."

All wait staff from BartenderGirl? are certified food workers, from
the county of San Bernardino Environmental Health Services.

General Alcohol Regulation in California: Laws Regulating Server Training

Good luck!
(p.s. would love to hear if/when you get the job!)
lucemcapio-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thanks for the prompt, great answer and followup!

Subject: Re: Do you need a license to bartend in California?
From: hummer-ga on 31 May 2005 10:49 PDT
Lucemcapio, thank you for the nice note, rating, and tip - they are
appreciated. Sincerely, hummer
Subject: Re: Do you need a license to bartend in California?
From: bahamamix-ga on 03 May 2006 11:54 PDT
Earlier today I sent an email to a member of the ABC of California.
Basically she told me the same thing that hummer-ga told Lucemcapio.
"The Department does not license bartenders in California." My
question to her was "I'm inquiring about the license to bartend in
general. I am 21 years old
and have completed the North Carolina license to bartend. I am about to
move to California and need to know if my license is transferrable to
that state. Is it? Or will I have to be re-licensed in Califonia?" I
don't find that either her answer or hummer-ga's answered my question,
so am I asking the wrong question? Or was I just not clear enough?
Subject: Re: Do you need a license to bartend in California?
From: hummer-ga on 03 May 2006 13:49 PDT
Hi bahamamix,

Simply, you do not need a license to bartend in California. Check with
the local city and county offices to make sure there are no local
requirements, but as far as California goes, no transfer or
re-licensing will be necessary. "LEAD" and "TIPS" would still be good
things to look into.


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