Wisconsin Bartending License Certification
This is the required and state approved Wisconsin bartending license certification course for all bartenders, servers and managers in all counties. This course is approved and required for both on-premise and off-premise situations by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. It's also known as the Wisconsin alcohol server license or WI beverage server license. This Wisconsin alcohol certification course fully complies with the state and was created for informing servers, bartenders, and managers about Wisconsin statutes 125.04, 125.17, and 134.66. Our Wisconsin alcohol certification course gives you with the tools to learn to serve WI beverage service responsibly both on-sale and off-sale.
Click this link for the current listing of many of Wisconsin's city clerk offices.
More links to town websites in Wisconsin: city clerks directory
Since 1985, we have alcohol certified tens of thousands of individuals and businesses in Wisconsin over the last 35 years. This course is created by former bar and restaurant managers, bartenders, and servers. Free certificate and wallet card are given and downloaded immediately after completion of the course. When completed, take our Wisconsin alcohol certificate to the city clerk's office in the city or town where you are working. We cover topics in our Wisconsin bartending certification course about how old you need to be to become a bartender and how to get your bartender license. For reference, we have a web page dedicated to some helpful bartender career statistics in the US. For general information on obtaining a bartending license (not specific to any state), see our Ultimate Guide to Getting a Bartending License.
Quick and Easy
It's easy to begin and complete in one sitting or take our training course at your leisure. Leave and come back to the course as many times as needed. When you return, the training will pick up where you last had left.
Use Any Device
Our courses can be completed on any computer, laptop, tablet, or cellphone. Your certificate is available to you immediately upon completion of the course. Complete it tonight and email to your manager your Wisconsin alcohol certificate before going to work tomorrow. Select your course, click Enroll Now, complete the course and print your certificate!
Required By State & Insurance Carriers
The state of Wisconsin does require anyone who sells and serves alcohol to be Wisconsin alcohol certified. Plus, most liability insurance carriers for alcohol serving establishments (restaurants, bars, taverns, night clubs, etc.) require all employees to be alcohol certified. They will require your staff remain current with state rules, regulations, and laws, in regards to the service of alcohol. As a result, more businesses are requiring our alcohol seller server certificate as a condition of employment.
Serving Alcohol Inc Wisconsin alcohol certification course (also known as a Wisconsin Bartending License) is regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue - Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement division
Wisconsin alcohol age to sell or serve
- Age to consume: 21
- Age to serve: 18
- Age to sell (retail): 18
- Age to pour: 18
What time can you buy alcohol in Wisconsin?
- On-Premise Establishments Hours of Operation
- Sunday thru Thursday 6:00 a.m. - 2 a.m. (the next day)
- Friday & Saturday 6:00 a.m. - 2:30 a.m. (the next day)
- There is no closing time for the New Year's holiday.
- No carryout sales between 12:00 midnight - 6:00 am - local ordinances may further restrict carry-out sales hours
- Off-Premise Hours of Operation
- Wine & Liquor
- Monday thru Sunday, 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
- Wine Sampling 11:00 am until 7:00 pm
- Monday thru Sunday, 6:00 a.m. until Midnight
- Beer Sampling 11:00 am until 7:00 pm
- Wine & Liquor
Bartending can be a fun time. It gives you the ability to work in a lively and fun social environment, meet some interesting people, and most of all, leave with some extra cash in hand. Since bartending is primarily night work, it leaves your days free to work another job or finish college. Bartenders are subject to legal requirements that govern the alcohol industry. In Wisconsin, applying for and obtaining a bartender license is required. Meeting bartender license requirements for Wisconsin is the first step to becoming a professional bartender.
Wisconsin Alcohol Statutes
Wisconsin bartender license requirements are outlined by Wisconsin statutes 125.04, 125.17, and 134.66. If you’re planning to complete online or in-person coursework to satisfy requirements, make sure bartending schools are in compliance with the regulations set forth in these statutes. Qualified schools will state that they are in compliance with these statutes in promotional materials; coursework must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
All of the Wisconsin clerks are most aware of our course and consider us the most recommended training provider.
Qualifications To Get A WI Bartender License
In order to receive a Wisconsin bartenders license, applicants are required to be over age 18, meet criminal record requirements, and be certified by an approved school, according to the website DOR Alcohol Seller/Server - Wisconsin Department of Revenue. You do not need to currently hold a bartending job in order to apply for and receive a Wisconsin bartending license. Licenses are only valid within your municipality; if you move, you’ll need to seek additional licensing. Municipalities are defined as the city, town, or village where you live; requirements and regulations may vary depending on location.
To qualify for a Wisconsin bartender license, you must...
- Be at least 18 years old
- Meet criminal record requirements
- Complete a certified Wisconsin responsible beverage server course
- 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 responsible beverage server 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). The municipality may have additional requirements.
You may work under the "immediate supervision" of another licensed bartender (or the licensee) without a Wisconsin responsible beverage server course. The licensed person must immediately supervise each sale.
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 Wisconsin bartending license, see the municipality you want to work in below, and ask the city clerk about specifics if they are not mentioned in the Bartender's License Instructions below.
- Read more about operator licenses at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's Website
Wisconsin's DRAM Shop Law
125.035 Civil liability exemption: furnishing alcoholic beverages.
(1) In this section, a person has the meaning given in s. 990.01 (26).
(2) A person is immune from civil liability arising out of the act of procuring alcoholic beverages for or selling, dispensing or giving away alcoholic beverages to another person.
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the persons procuring, selling, dispensing or giving away alcoholic beverages cause their consumption by force or by representing that the beverages contain no alcohol.
(4) (a) In this subsection, provider means a person, including a licensee or permittee, who procures alcoholic beverages for or sells, dispenses or gives away alcoholic beverages to an underage person in violation of s. 125.07 (1) (a).(b) Subsection (2) does not apply if the provider knew or should have known that the underage person was under the legal drinking age and if the alcoholic beverages provided to the underage person were a substantial factor in causing injury to a 3rd party. In determining whether a provider knew or should have known that the underage person was under the legal drinking age, all relevant circumstances surrounding the procuring, selling, dispensing or giving away of the alcoholic beverages may be considered, including any circumstance under subds. 1. to 4. In addition, sub.(2) does apply if all of the following occur:
1. The underage person falsely represents that he or she has attained the legal drinking age.
2. The underage person supports the representation with documentation that he or she has attained the legal drinking age.
3. The alcoholic beverages are provided in good faith relying on the underage person’s representation that he or she has attained the legal drinking age.
4. The appearance of the underage person is such that an ordinary and prudent person would believe that he or she had attained the legal drinking age.
5. Subsection (2) does not apply to civil forfeiture actions for violation of any provision of this chapter or any local ordinance in conformity with any provision of this chapter.
Below are a few links for the major municipality and their city clerk’s office contact information. Take our Wisconsin alcohol certificate with you to apply for the bartending license from the city clerk’s office in the town where you are serving alcoholic beverages. For the state of Wisconsin, you MUST have your Wisconsin Alcohol Seller Server certificate to get your local bartending license permit. The links below are to the city clerk’s office information or are to the Bartender/Operator License application for the municipality. Please note that the League of Municipalities has different applications depending if you are a new licensee or a renewal licensee. If your city is not listed below, go to the state’s full listing below.
Or download the complete listing from below.