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TABC Certification and Why You Should Get Certified

What Is a TABC Online Certification?

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) believes that trained sellers, servers and managers are more equipped to refuse sales of alcoholic beverages to minors, intoxicated individuals and non-members of a private club. The TABC offers certifications through authorized online courses (Texas Seller Server is an approved seller/server training school). TABC certification online courses go over Texas laws that relate to the sale and service of alcohol. They cover how to identify and refuse sales when necessary.

Who Should be TABC Certified?

All bartenders, servers (working in restaurants and/or catering environments) and anyone else who sells, serves, dispenses or delivers alcohol in the state of Texas should be certified. Texas also suggests that anyone who immediately manages, directs, supervises or controls the sale or service of alcoholic beverages should be approved as well. This covers managers, shift supervisors and even owners.

How To Get Your TABC Certificate Online

Texas Seller Server offers an online course that is 100% certified by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Our course is completely online, and it is the simplest way to obtain a TABC certification available. We guarantee an affordable price for online seller/server training and once you’re done, simply print your official TABC Certificate.

More importantly, we will also report your course completion to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for no additional charge. This means you can sign up for the course, complete it and have your results sent to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission all in a few weeks. The entire course should only take you two hours, but it is completely self-directed and can be completed at your own pace.

More About Our Course:

How Long Does It Take?

Our two-hour course is 100% online, approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and it can be completed in one sitting. Of course, you are welcome to take as much time as you need—at your own pace. Our course is available 24/7, and we save your progress as you go along. All you need to do is sign back in using your username and password, which you create when you sign up, and you can complete the course in the time frame that works for you.

Course Curriculum Requirements

If you are interested in reading more about the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s Administrative rules, you can download the document here. Chapter 58 is devoted to the ins and outs of TABC Certification.

Our Course Covers These Mandatory Topics:

  • The definition of intoxication
  • The law pertaining to intoxicated persons
  • The law pertaining to minors
  • The law pertaining to proper identification
  • How to detect intoxication
  • How to detect minors
  • How to detect improper identification
  • How to monitor customer behavior
  • How to use a chart showing the effects of alcohol based on: the size, type and number of drinks; body weight; the sex of the drinker; and the passage of time
  • The dangers of alcohol poisoning
  • Intervention pertaining to intoxication
  • Intervention pertaining to minors
  • Sanctions for employee violations

What Does Our Course Look Like?

Our reading-based course consists of four main modules. At the end of each module, you will be required to answer five questions (this is a state requirement). As mandated by the state of Texas, you must answer at least four out of five correctly. If you miss more than one question, you will simply be required to take the module again. At the end, there will be a final exam, which you are allowed to take twice. In accordance with Texas state laws, you need to pass with a score of 70% or higher. We will give you questions throughout the material to help you prepare for the final.

Course Overview

Our four modules will cover the following information:

  1. Module 1: TABC Seller-Server Training Overview—This first module will take 25 minutes and will provide an overview of TABC requirements and training processes.
  2. Module 2: Minors and Alcohol Sales—This module will take 60 minutes and will go over the law pertaining to minors, how to detect minors, the law pertaining to proper identification, how to detect improper identification (fake IDs) and intervention pertaining to minors.
  3. Module 3: Intoxicated Persons and Alcohol Sales—This module takes 30 minutes and will cover the definition of intoxication, the law pertaining to intoxicated persons, how to detect intoxication, how to monitor customer behavior and intervention pertaining to intoxication.
  4. Module 4: Other Permits—This module takes five minutes and will cover other permits available to further your career and expertise in the food and beverage industry.
  5. Final Exam

Information for Bartenders and Servers—Why Get TABC Certified?

Most restaurants and bars in Texas require it.

Legally, you are not required to be TABC certified before you sell alcohol, but you will be a more attractive candidate to potential employers. If you are already certified before applying for a new position, you will be at a significant advantage.

You’ll be a more responsible member of your community.

You’ll learn about criminal and civil liability, you’ll be better equipped to keep your customers safe and you’ll learn when and where it is appropriate to stop serving a patron.

You’ll learn how to protect yourself.

Criminal charges can be filed against you if you run afoul of the law. If you’ve overserved someone, served a minor or served an already intoxicated person and they cause personal injury or property damage, you can be sued. Our course teaches you to protect against ways in which you may be liable.

You’ll be protecting your establishment.

There are laws that protect bars, restaurants and other permitted establishments only when their employees are TABC certified. Not only will you be armed with the knowledge that a certification entails but you will also have taken action to protect your employer.

Information for Restaurateurs, Bar Owners, Liquor License Holders

What Does TABC Certification Mean for You?

  1. Your servers and bartenders will know and understand Texas laws as they relate to alcohol sales.
  2. The course covers refusing sales to minors, intoxicated people and non-members of private clubs.
  3. When your servers and bartenders understand the law, they are less likely to accidentally break it. As retailer, this will ultimately protect you and your establishment.
  4. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has the power to take administrative action against your liquor license. TABC certification will protect against this.
  5. This protection is known as the Safe Harbor Act.

What is The Safe Harbor Act?

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission can legally take administrative action against your liquor license if your employees break certain laws pertaining to alcohol sales. The Safe Harbor Act—also known as Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §106.14(a)—ensures that TABC will not take action against your license or permits as long as:

  1. The person selling is not the owner or an officer of the company.
  2. All employees engaged in the sale, service or delivery of alcoholic beverages, as well as their immediate managers, are certified within 30 days of their hire date.
  3. The employer has written policies for responsible alcohol service and ensures that each employee has read and understands these policies.
  4. The employer does not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate the law.
  5. Three or more of these types of violations are in a twelve month period.

Your permit or license to sell alcohol can be suspended or canceled as the direct result of your servers’ infractions. For a first offense, your license or permit could be suspended for up to 90 days. For a second offense, it could be suspended for up to six months (or canceled). For a third offense within three years, it could be suspended for up to 12 months (or canceled).

Finally, if an illegal sale is made to someone who is involved in a fatal accident, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will immediately begin the process to cancel your permit or license.

The TABC certification does not necessarily protect your server or bartender from legal action. He or she is legally responsible for refusing service to minors, intoxicated individuals and non-members of private clubs (they will learn their own responsibilities and liabilities during the course). Your permit, on the other hand, is protected as long as you meet the above criteria.

Which Employees Need to Be Certified?

According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission anyone who “sells, serves, dispenses or delivers alcoholic beverages under the authority of a license or permit, including persons who immediately manage, direct, supervise or control the sale or service of alcoholic beverages” should be certified.

Does Texas Seller Server Offer Group Discounts?

Yes. If you’re interested in getting a group of your employees certified, inquire about our special group discounts. If you have two or more employees that need TABC certifications, Texas Seller Server offers discounts that range from 10% to 30% off.

TABC Certification Online and Food Handler Package

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) requires anyone in Texas who works with unpackaged food, food equipment and utensils and anyone who will come in contact with food to be trained in the proper techniques to reduce the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks. This covers all kitchen staff, bussers, bartenders, servers, hostesses, managers and even restaurant owners who may come into contact with food.

Texas Seller Server offers a Food Handler Course for only $9.99. This is a very simple course that covers all of the basic course materials as mandated by the state of Texas. There are no quizzes, tests or exams. Your food handler card will be instantly available for download once you’ve completed the course material.

If you need both the TABC and Food Handler Course, Texas Seller Server offers a discounted package that includes both courses. It is only $21 and meets all of the requirements by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

How can I find out whether or not I am certified?

If you believe you may have already taken a course that offers certification, if you’ve lost your certificate or if you need to prove to your employer that you are certified, you can access your information on TABC’s website and print out proof of certification. Simply complete your certificate inquiry request.

How long does my certification last?

Your TABC certification is valid for exactly two years after the date that it is issued.

How do I get recertified?

There is no official process for recertification. If your two-year certification has lapsed and is no longer valid, you’ll need to retake the course to get recertified.

Do all bartenders and servers have to be TABC certified?

No. You are not legally required to be TABC certified before you sell alcohol, but there are many benefits to being certified, especially before applying to a new position.

Can I be certified if I have had a DWI or other felony conviction?

Yes, but you may be required to report this information to your employer during the application and hiring process. While your criminal history will not exclude you from obtaining your TABC certification, it could potentially prevent an employer from hiring you.

Can I get TABC certified if I am under 18?

Yes. There are no minimum age requirements to complete your certification. Age restrictions exist for serving alcohol, though. To work in most grocery or convenience stores, there are no age restrictions. If you work at a bar or restaurant (this requires an on-premises license or permit), you must be 18 or over to serve/sell. If you work at a liquor store, you must be 21 or over.

What happens if I sell alcohol to an intoxicated person?

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission explains that selling alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine anywhere from $100 to $500. In some cases, the punishment includes up to a year in jail. Bartenders, staff and store employees are legally required to look for any indication of intoxication and to stop serving anyone who appears to be intoxicated. To learn more on this topic, consult section 101.63 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

What happens if I sell to a minor?

According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, selling alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by a fine of not more than $4,000, by confinement in jail for up to one year or by both.

What is the difference between a TABC certification and a TABC license/permit? Do I need both?

No, only businesses need TABC licenses or permits. As a seller (this covers bartenders, caterers, servers, etc.), you only need to obtain your TABC certification online.