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Do You Need a Bartending License in Florida?

do you need a bartending license in florida

You don’t need a bartending license to work as a Bartender in Florida. However, many vendors prefer their employees to hold a certification proving that the employee has undergone training for responsible alcohol service.

This post will show you how to get a bartending certification in Florida and kick-start your Bartender career.

What Is a Bartending License?

A bartending license is an official document that is required to serve alcoholic beverages for immediate consumption in open containers. However, since laws vary across the country, there are some states where holding a bartending license isn’t mandatory.

In Florida, you don’t have to get a bartending license. As long as you meet the age requirements and other criteria, you can work behind the bar and serve alcohol.

What Is a Bartending Certification?

A bartending certification proves that you’ve successfully passed a bartending course. Oftentimes, this encompasses enrolling in a bartending school.

These schools offer practical training aimed at teaching you important Bartender skills. Additionally, they cover topics such as responsible alcohol service and best practices for alcohol-related situations.

Some schools also offer quick courses that only cover serving alcohol responsibly and can be taken online.

Holding a certification isn’t mandatory to get hired as a Bartender. However, the government of Florida encourages vendors to have their employees earn the Florida Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) certification.

What Is RVP Certification?

Completing the Florida Responsible Vendor Program (RVP) proves that the owner, manager or Bartender has successfully passed the necessary training to serve alcohol in a legal and safe manner. The program covers topics such as the laws regarding selling alcohol, how to identify fake IDs and how to deal with intoxicated customers.

The objective of the program is to teach you how to serve alcoholic beverages responsibly and react in alcohol-related situations.

Vendors in Florida are incentivized by the government to have their employees complete the program. If they do and adhere to all the regulations, they may be eligible for a reduction in their liability insurance premiums.

How To Get a Bartending Certification in Florida?

To earn your bartending certification in Florida, you have to enroll in a bartending school or take an online course. You’ll pass the training and take a final exam to earn your certification.

You can take a Florida-specific course or one that is valid nationwide, such as the TIPS On Premise course:

Florida TIPS On Premise

The Florida TIPS On Premise online course is a nationally recognized course you can take to earn your Bartender certification. Additionally, it meets the requirements of Florida’s Responsible Vendor Act.

This course is designed to teach Bartenders how to serve alcohol responsibly and deal with any alcohol-related situations. It covers topics such as recognizing fake identification, de-escalating difficult situations and learning common behavioral cues of intoxicated individuals.

The cost of taking the course through the TIPS website is $38.

In addition, TIPS offers an off-premise course which caters to individuals selling alcohol in liquor stores. It also has specific courses for those serving alcohol in gambling facilities and concession services.

How Much Is a Bartending Certification in Florida?

The cost of obtaining a certification varies depending on the Florida bartending school you choose to enroll in.

Some of them offer practical training and are designed to help you improve your bartending skills while also teaching you important practices of responsible alcohol service. Such schools typically charge more.

Others operate as online schools and only focus on selling alcohol responsibly. They usually charge less and take no more than a few hours to complete.

The cost earning a bartending certification in Florida varies between $12.95 and $650, as seen in the list below:

What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Bartender?

Although the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, laws for serving alcohol aren’t the same in all states. In Florida, you can legally serve alcohol once you’re 18.

Establishments are also not allowed to hire Bartenders who have, in the past five years, been convicted of a felony.

Although earning a Bartender certification isn’t mandatory, it’s a smart thing to do before you start applying for the role. Many establishments prefer to hire candidates who have completed a training course, as this proves the candidate has the essential skills for bartending and handling difficult alcohol-related situations.

Extra Tips for Beginner Bartenders in Florida

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