Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Training

Wisconsin Bartender License Training

To obtain your Wisconsin bartender license, you will need to complete the responsible beverage server training. The course is designed to educate sellers and servers to understand and identify the rules and regulations in selling and consuming alcoholic beverages responsibly. The objective of this training is to promote legal and preventive measures for alcohol sellers and servers in order to eliminate possible liabilities, ensure the safety of customers and the public, promote the legal and responsible sale of alcohol and consumption, prevent underage drinking and recognize the signs of an intoxicated customer. This online course is approved by the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Enroll Now - $14.95 Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Training

Obtain your Wisconsin Bartender License by completing the two steps below:

Why Choose BeverageTraining.com?

  • Approved Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) Course
  • Recognized and Trusted by Employers, Insurance Firms, and Law Enforcement
  • 100% Online and Interactive – No Classroom Hours Required!
  • Self-Paced and Accessible on Desktop, Mobile, or Tablets
  • Pass Guarantee – Retake the Final Exam at No Extra Cost!
  • 24/7 Toll-Free Customer Support
  • Printable Certification Upon Completion
Course Name Hours Price Checkout
Wisconsin Responsible Beverage + Food Handler Training 6 $18.00 Enroll
Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Training 4 $14.95 Enroll
Learn2Serve Food Handler Training Course (ANSI Accredited) 2 $10.00 $7.00 Enroll
Tobacco Seller 2 $9.95 Enroll
ID Checkpoint 1 $4.95 FREE Enroll
Wisconsin Wins: Trained Employees, Tobacco-Free Kids. 1 FREE Enroll

To obtain your Wisconsin Bartender License, you need to be at least 18 years of age, meet the criminal requirements, and complete an approved responsible beverage server training. Once you have completed our course, please print your certification and take it to your local municipality so they can issue you a Wisconsin bartending license.

Wisconsin Server License Training Course Description:

Our online training is a 4-hour interactive session that includes full audio narration and real-world scenarios to help you make informed decisions on the job! Our course can be accessed through tablets, smartphones, laptops, and PC. The course player allows you to go back to review materials from previous lessons in the event you need to refresh your understanding of a particular topic. You can complete the course in one sitting or at your own pace and convenience.

From registration, you will have 6 months to complete your online training. Upon successful completion of the responsible beverage server training and the final exam, you will be able to immediately print your online certificate of completion.

Certificate of Completion

A certificate of completion will be available for you to print immediately at the end of your course. You are also able to login into your account and print the certificate at any time after the successful completion of our online training.

Enroll Now (WI)

Wisconsin Bartenders License

Once you have completed the course, please print your certification and take it to your local municipality so they can issue you a Wisconsin bartending license.

In order to be eligible for your Bartender license, you have to fulfill the following conditions:

  1. Be of at least 18 years of age
  2. You must not have any criminal record


As of 2019 Wisconsin Department of Revenue requires all students in the Alcohol Seller/Server course must read the study guides and pass the TOBACCO CHECK-TEST before a certificate of completion can be validated.

This Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Training satisfies the Wisconsin state bartender training requirements. It is a self-paced course with the final exam that tests for basic responsible alcohol service. Upon passing the exam, you will receive your course completion certificate.

Click here to take the Wisconsin Wins: Trained Employees, Tobacco-Free Kids.

Enroll Now (WI)

What Is A Wisconsin Operator’s License?

Wisconsin’s Operator’s License (also known as a Wisconsin bartender license or sales clerk license) authenticates that you’re eligible to serve alcohol in the state and you’ve completed an approved Responsible Beverage Server Training Course, such as the one we provide at BeverageTraining.com.

The license is issued to an individual to serve alcoholic beverages at a retail licensed/permitted premises.

What are the qualifications for obtaining Wisconsin’s Operator’s License?

Applicants for operators’ licenses must meet the following qualifications:

  • The applicant must be at least 18 years of age when the license is issued, although the applicant is not required to be a Wisconsin resident.
  • Subject to Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Law, ch. 111, Wis. Stats., the applicant must not have been convicted of a felony or be a habitual law offender.
  • Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Law prohibits the denial of a license based on a pending arrest or conviction record unless the record substantially relates to the licensing activity.
  • The applicant should have successfully completed an approved responsible beverage server training course. A list of approved courses is available at revenue.wi.gov.
  • Applicants are not required to complete the training course if they are renewing an existing operator’s license, have completed the training course within the last two years, or have held a retail license, manager’s license, or operator’s license anywhere in Wisconsin within the last two years.
  • An application for an operator’s license must be made in writing to the municipality where the applicant intends to serve alcoholic beverages.
  • The applicant must pay any fee established by the municipality for the operator’s license, if applicable.

Who needs a Wisconsin bartender license certification?

All individuals selling or serving alcoholic beverages must undergo certification with the following exception:  Individuals without a valid license must work under the immediate supervision of the licenses, Liquor/Beer Agent, or someone with a valid Operator’s License.

The Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Training course (for bartenders or waiters) is required to obtain your Wisconsin Bartender License. This training course is designed to promote the legal and responsible sale and service of alcoholic beverages in Wisconsin.

A Wisconsin Bartender License is required for anyone serving drinks in a bar or restaurant. Bartenders, waiters, and their managers, who complete this training, are more successful in stopping underage drinking and in recognizing the signs of intoxication.

This Responsible Beverage Course meets the standards set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and complies in its entirety with statutes 125.04 and 125.17.

What are the objectives of the Responsible Beverage training program?

Responsible Beverage Server Training is regulated training that teaches you about signs of intoxication, minors and alcohol, techniques you can use to stop service, and the laws & regulations in the state of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue requires applicants for an Operator’s or Bartender’s License to complete a responsible beverage server course unless:

  • you are renewing a Wisconsin retail or an operator’s license,
  • you were the agent of a corporation that held a Wisconsin retail license within the past two years,
  • you held a Wisconsin retail or operator’s license within the past two years, or
  • you completed a Wisconsin state-approved server training course within the past two years.

Why should I get my Wisconsin bartender license certification?

If you are serving alcohol, you are required to take the course. If you want to serve or sell alcohol in Wisconsin, completing the course is required by law.

It will also help you learn Wisconsin liquor laws so that you stay protected from liability and avoid accidentally violating them.

Selling and serving alcohol in the United States is a serious responsibility. In Wisconsin doing it vigilantly requires focused attention, effort, and training. Taking a course in responsible beverage server training is a smart move! It gives you the tools and techniques to:

  • Determine levels of intoxication
  • Learn how to refuse service if someone has had too much to drink
  • Learn how to properly check IDs and spot fake ones, and
  • Learn how to keep minors out of your establishment

The consequences of not following the law can be severe, above all the penalties for serving or selling alcohol to minors under the age of 21. For a first offense, you can face a fine of up to $500. Repeat offenders can face fines up to $10,000, up to 9 months in prison, or both.

Worse, if that minor dies or is seriously injured as a result, you can be charged with a Class H or Class G felony.

Alcohol servers play a critical role in public safety. In Wisconsin between 2003 and 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 2,577 people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver, which is higher than the national average. Responsible beverage server training arms you with best practices for refusing service to intoxicated persons safely, so that you can be part of the solution.

Why is certification important?

The Responsible Server program’s main objective is to adequately train and educate sellers and servers to serve alcohol responsibly. Through systematic training about the alcoholic beverage industry (via RESPONSIBLE SERVER programs), the number of drunk driving fatalities should decrease. It is intended to promote the responsible selling and serving of alcoholic beverages and can reduce sales and service to minors by vigilant ID checking.

Alcohol servers must be made familiar with the concept of BAC and how a BAC chart can help you judge a customer’s BAC level. BAC chart indicators are simply one factor to consider when making a decision to serve a customer alcohol.

Every server of alcohol must also use their discretion to make this decision on their own, because a BAC chart may not be a great tool to help decide if a customer has consumed additional amounts of alcohol prior to your serving them.

What skills will I gain in a Responsible Server class?

State-licensed Responsible Server programs train course participants in prevention, intervention strategies, and age-verification techniques. They learn how to recognize if a patron is intoxicated and/or has been over-served.

Servers will be taught signs and behavioral cues to identify when a drinker is intoxicated. They will learn what to say and how to handle an intoxicated patron to discontinue the service of alcohol at a liquor establishment. Training programs properly instruct sellers/servers regarding age-verification techniques, which helps deter underage sales and service.

Make sure you select the training and establishment type that’s right for you.

Does Wisconsin Law Require Responsible Beverage Server Training?

Yes, it does. The State of Wisconsin requires all alcohol servers and sellers to attain an operator’s license, and Responsible Beverage Server Training is a mandatory part of the licensing process.

You need to take a training program approved by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) like the one Learn2Serve by 360training offers.

Also, before you can earn your certificate of completion and apply for your operator’s license, you must first pass a short online Tobacco test to ensure you understand the laws for preventing underage tobacco consumption.

If any, what are the differences between a Wisconsin bartender license and an operator’s license?

The differences are apparently small but still important. The following are qualifications for obtaining a bartenders license:

  • Allowed to drink legally in the United States (21)
  • Lived continuously in Wisconsin for at least 90 days
  • Have a seller’s permit from Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue

To obtain an operator’s license you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Meet specific requirements regarding your criminal record, and
  • Have completed the responsible beverage server course (this can be waived if you are renewing your application or have held a Wisconsin bartender license in the last 2 years)

How long does Wisconsin bartender license certification last?

Depending on your municipality in the state of Wisconsin, your Responsible Beverage Server certificate is valid for 2 years, from the date of issuance. You must re-sit the training and test to get the certification re-issued.

What jobs can I get with my Wisconsin bartender license certification?

If you’re looking to get a job in Wisconsin, getting your Responsible Server certification makes you an attractive candidate to potential employers because you will be familiar with state laws and best practices for serving alcohol.

Depending on your preference, skill level, and career goals, there are many different establishments you can work with your Wisconsin server license card, such as:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Convenience stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Casinos
  • Liquor stores
  • And more…

Any business that requires someone to check ID cards before selling alcohol is a place you can work.

If you want to know just about how much money you can expect to make tending bar, here are some basic wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for bartenders and barbacks in Wisconsin.

Bartender $10.93 $22,740
Bartender Helper (Barback) $9.64 $20,060


However, if you are in the top 90th percentile of bartenders, you can make much more money: $15.37 an hour.

Where can I get more information about Wisconsin alcohol regulations?

You can find more information on alcohol sales on the Wisconsin DOR’s website, including:

  • A listing of existing permit-holders and permit applications
  • Categories of retail licenses and licensee responsibilities
  • Wisconsin alcohol beverage statutes and administrative rules
  • Alcohol beverage tax information

If you are looking for more course-specific information from us, check out our Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Training course.

Other Wisconsin Alcohol Laws – Frequently Asked Questions

Minimum Ages

Young people seek part-time jobs in hospitality. Youths must know eligibility ages for working with and around alcohol. What is an eligible age to tend bar? To serve alcohol in a restaurant? To sell alcohol that is purchased in a store but will be imbibed elsewhere?

Wisconsin alcohol laws permit adults aged 18 or older to be bartenders. They are also permitted to be servers in venues that sell alcohol for consumption on-site. And they are further allowed to sell alcohol for consumption off-site.

The legal drinking age in Wisconsin is 21. This is also the age at which a person can enter or be on licensed premises. Those under the legal drinking age may be served, possess, or consume alcohol if they are with a parent, legal guardian, or spouse who is of legal drinking age. Those aged 18 to 20 may also possess (but not consume) alcohol as part of their employment.

Persons under age 21 may possess and consume alcoholic beverages if they are with their parents, guardians, or spouses of legal drinking age; but this is at the discretion of the licensee. The licensed premises may choose to prohibit consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages by underage persons.

Can “teen nights” or “alcohol-free nights” be held at taverns?

There are several legal ways that allow underage persons on licensed premises.

  • A municipality (town, village, city) may pass an ordinance allowing underage persons to be in a room on a Class B premises where no alcohol is sold, furnished, served, or consumed by anyone when the underage persons are present. Each time this happens, the local police agency must authorize it in writing. [Sec. 125.07(3)(a)8., Wis. Stats.]
  • Underage persons may be present on Class B premises when no alcoholic beverages are consumed, sold, or given away. In other words, the place is closed for the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. The beer, wine, and liquor must be in locked storage unless the licensee, agent, or person with an operator’s license is present. The licensee must notify the local police agency in advance of when this will occur. No written authorization from the police is required. [Sec. 125.07(3)(a)10., Wis. Stats.]
  • Underage persons may be in a dance hall or banquet or hospitality room attached to Class B licensed premises for the purpose of attending a banquet, reception, dance, or other similar events. [Sec. 125.07(3)(a)11., Wis. Stats.]

Are there any places an unaccompanied underage person can possess alcoholic beverages?

An underage person can possess alcoholic beverages if that underage person is employed by a brewer, brewpub, beer and/or liquor wholesaler, or producer of alcohol fuel. If working at retail licensed premises. However, the underage person must be at least 18 years of age and hold an operator’s license or be working under the immediate supervision of the licensee, agent, or licensed operator. If working at a campus, the underage person must be at least 18 years of age and under the immediate supervision of a person 21 years of age or older. Alcohol possession must be during the course of employment. (Sec. 125.07(4)(bm), Wis. Stats.)

As a licensee, how do I ensure that the person across the bar, at the counter, or at the table is old enough to be there and to drink?

Check the person’s identification (ID). If anyone appears to be under 21, you must demand proof of age. Wisconsin residents must show either a valid Wisconsin driver’s license with a photo, a valid Wisconsin identification card, a valid military identification card with the person’s photo or a valid U.S. passport or a valid identification card issued by a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band in this state (containing the person’s photograph and date of birth). (Sec. 125.085, Wis. Stats.)

A lot of fake IDs are out there. How do I protect myself against being fooled?

Anyone who is responsible for checking IDs and drivers’ licenses must make themselves familiar with current valid driver’s licenses and IDs. Compare the questioned ID with a standard, like your own ID. These are just basic guidelines to be trained thoroughly, you must undergo certification. As a standard be suspicious if it looks like the card was altered or tampered with, if it is discolored, or if any of the letters, logos, or photos are poorly applied or partially missing. Do not accept IDs you’re unfamiliar with. See Publication 302Wisconsin Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Laws for Retailers, for ID checking guidelines. (Sec. 125.085, Wis. Stats.)

Is it a serious violation to make a fake ID?

Making and using fake IDs is a crime punishable by fines and jail time. If you are caught making and selling a fake ID, it is a felony in Wisconsin, punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 3 years in prison. If you know someone who makes and sells fake IDs, please contact the Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement Unit at (608) 266‑6701 or report it to your local law enforcement agency. (Sec. 125.085(3), Wis. Stats.)

If an underage person can work at licensed premises, does this mean any age?

No. They must be over age 14. Children over the age of 12 may work under the direct supervision of their parent or guardian in connection with the parent’s or guardian’s licensed premises. In addition, they must not be serving, selling, dispensing, or giving away alcoholic beverages unless they are at least 18 years of age. If over age 18 and they do not have their own operator’s license, they must be under immediate supervision by the licensee, agent, adult member of the licensee’s immediate family (a person living in the same household), or a person with an operator’s license. (Secs. 125.32(2) & 125.68(2), Wis. Stats)

Are there any restrictions for underage persons who are musicians or other performers?

If the performer is 16 or 17, he or she may perform on Friday, Saturday, or any other day not followed by a school day. If the performance is in a hall rented to celebrate a special event like a wedding, holiday, birthday, or anniversary, the underage performer may work until midnight on Sunday. There are no such restrictions for performers over 18. (Sec. 125.07(3)(a)9., Wis. Stats.)

Can I get into trouble if somebody I serve goes out and injures or kills somebody?

Wisconsin does not have a “Dram Shop” law that holds you responsible for mayhem caused by persons you serve, as long as they are of legal drinking age. However, if they are minors (under age 18), you may be convicted of a felony, punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 6 years in jail, or $25,000 in fines and 10 years in jail. (Sec. 125.075, Wis. Stats.)

Does Wisconsin have a prohibition on hosting underage drinking parties?

Wisconsin law prohibits an adult from knowingly permitting or failing to take action to prevent the illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages by an underage person or person(s) on any property that is owned and occupied by the adult or occupied by and under the control of the adult. This prohibition applies to a lodging establishment (defined as a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, tourist rooming house, or campground) only if the adult has furnished payment or security for the lodging. (Sec. 125.07(1)(a)3., Wis. Stats.)

The above information is based on statutes enacted​ as of September 25, 2019: Chapter 125, Wis. Stats.

Laws enacted and in effect after September 25, 2019, new administrative rules, and court decisions may change the interpretations in this document. Guidance issued prior to September 25, 2019, that is contrary to the information in this document is superseded by this document, pursuant to sec. 73.16(2)(a), Wis. Stats.


MS 6-40
Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement
PO Box 8933
Madison, WI 53708-8933
Phone: (608) 266-6701
Fax: (608) 261-6240
Email additional questions to DORAlcoholTobaccoEnforcement@wisconsin.gov

Guidance Document Certification: https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/Certification-Statement.aspx

Please visit the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue for regulatory information and requirements.