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How to Obtain a Wisconsin Bartender License

To qualify for an operator's license, you must...

  • be at least 18 years old
  • meet criminal record requirements
  • complete a Wisconsin certified responsible beverage server course. (www.servingalcohol.com)
  • obtain a Wisconsin Bartender License (Alcohol Operator License) from the municipality where you work. The city clerk typically issues the Wisconsin Bartender License.  The requirements can be different for each municipality. See below for a listing of Wisconsin cities, towns and villages. There are links to websites and in some cases to the applications for a Wisconsin Bartender License for that municipality. 

You need to take this Wisconsin Bartender License course to get a license, unless you have taken this course in the past two years, or have had a valid Wisconsin Bartender License in the past two years (in any municipality).  Of course the municipality may have additional requirements.

You may work under the "immediate supervision" of another licensed bartender (or the licensee) without a Wisconsin Bartender License.  The licensed person must immediately supervise each sale.

 All of the Wisconsin clerks are aware of our program and consider us a valuable vendor.

 The last requirement can be waived if it is a renewal application or if you held an alcohol beverage license, including an operator's license, within the past two years. The municipality may issue you a provisional operator's license if you are enrolled in a responsible beverage server course when you apply. An operator's license is only good in the municipality that issues it. For instance, if you are issued an operator's license in the City of Milwaukee, you may not use it in a suburban municipality, like Franklin.

A criminal record may prevent you from getting a license, see the municipality you want to work in below, ask the city clerk about specifics if they are not mentioned in the Bartender's License Instructions below.