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How To Renew Your Bartending License

how to renew your bartending license

Renewing your bartending license is an important step to remain compliant with your state’s laws and regulations for serving alcoholic beverages. You have to do it every few years and complete all the necessary steps in the process. This article will show you how to renew your bartending license and ensure your Bartender career remains uninterrupted.

Where Can You Renew Your Bartending License?

Where you can renew your bartending license depends on the state you’re based in. It’s important to understand that only some states in the U.S. require you to get a bartending license in the first place. In states where this is mandatory, there are multiple places where you can renew your license.

Most schools that offer training and grant you a bartending license can also renew it upon expiration. It’s also possible to renew your license directly through government websites, depending on your location.

What Do You Need To Renew Your Bartending License?

Each U.S. state has its own requirements for renewing your bartending license. However, the process is usually similar and involves:

Gathering Necessary Documentation

When renewing your bartending license, you have to fill out an official form for your state. This doesn’t take long and usually only includes filling in personal information.

Most often, this includes proof of identity such as a passport or driver’s license and other personal details. Depending on local laws and regulations, you may also have to link to a bartending school you attended and attach confirmation that you’ve successfully completed a program.

Completing Required Training or Courses

Some states require you to complete a training program or course every time you renew your license. This ensures you’re knowledgeable about responsible alcohol service and up-to-date with local laws and regulations.

Most often, completing required training or course when renewing your license doesn’t take more than a few hours. You can do it by passing an online exam regarding safe and responsible alcohol serving practices. These programs usually cover laws regarding service of liquor, steps for recognizing fake IDs, handling intoxicated customers and more.

Some schools also offer practical training to improve your bartending skills. While this may help you be viewed as a more hireable candidate when applying for the role of a Bartender, it’s usually not required to complete such training to receive or renew your license.

Whether you’re renewing your current license or obtaining it for the first time, it’s important to complete a program that is compliant with your state’s licensing requirements. Make sure you check whether this is the case before applying.

How Often Do You Need To Renew Your License?

The frequency of bartending license renewals also varies by state and you may have to undergo the process every two to five years depending on your location. The table below shows you for how long your license is valid in each state that requires it:

StateRenew Frequency
Alaska3 years
California3 years
Delaware4 years
Illinois3 years
Indiana3 years
Louisiana4 years
Montana3 years
Nevada4 years
New Mexico3 years
Oklahoma3 years
Oregon5 years
Pennsylvania2 years
Rhode Island3 years
Tennessee5 years
Utah3 years
Vermont2 years
Washington5 years

Once you first obtain your license, it’s important to check local laws and regulations and set reminders for yourself a few months before it’s set to expire. Avoid any lapses in the renewal process to ensure nothing disrupts your ability to work legally as a Bartender.

Submitting Your Renewal Application

Once you fill out a form, it’s time to submit your renewal application. Keep in mind that renewing your bartending license comes with a fee. Therefore, you have to make sure you’ve made a payment before you submit your application.

The renewal fee also varies by state but typically ranges between $35 and $90. Also, remember that some states (Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota and Wyoming) have different laws and regulations regarding bartending licenses on county levels and the fee may not be the same in all of them.

Receiving Your Renewed Bartending License

After submitting your renewal application, you may have to wait from a few days to several weeks to receive your renewed license. That’s why most states recommend applying 30 days before your license is set to expire. Still, it’s also possible to receive a temporary license or digital confirmation to continue working during the process.

Depending on laws and regulations in your state, the renewal process includes checking your criminal record. This is because some states don’t allow individuals who’ve been charged with a felony to work as a Bartender. Even states that don’t require licensing for Bartenders, such as New York and Florida, have laws against working as a Bartender while having a felony conviction.

In case your background check shows any concerns regarding your conviction record, a governing body will contact you and ask you to appear before them. In case you fail to do so, your renewal application may be denied.

Once you pass all the checks and your renewal is granted, your extended license is either mailed to you or made available for download, depending on the system your state uses. Most often, renewed licenses are sent in digital form and only printed upon request. However, all applicants have the ability to print it themselves.

Some states also offer systems for tracking the progress of your renewal, ensuring that you stay up-to-date with it.

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