Applicable for Existing Student/Customers Only
TABC Certification Requirements

Texas TABC Certification Requirements

Approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)



Everyone deserves to kick back, relax, and have a good time every now and then — and for many people, that involves heading to their favorite bar or restaurant and enjoying a few beers or cocktails at the end of a long day. But as everyone knows, alcohol consumption has significant effects upon the human body. So how does one prevent an evening of drinking from turning into a dangerous — or even deadly — situation?

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has sought to answer this question by providing an alcohol server training program that seller/server establishments may participate in. While not mandatory by the state, many businesses in the state of Texas will require completion of a training course by all employees either before or directly after being hired. The state recognizes that while patrons should exercise their own good judgment and responsibility when drinking alcohol, there are many people who won't... and it is up to the servers and bartenders themselves to be the people who ensure that all rules are followed and everyone stays safe.

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TABC Training Requirements

To comply with TABC recommendations, many providers of alcohol training courses (including Seller Server) follow the guidelines outlined in the TABC administrative rules. The Texas Seller Server training requirements are as follows:

Servers/bartenders must be at least 18 years of age to earn a seller/server permit at a bar or restaurant, and 21 years or older for a liquor store

  • The course must be at least 2 hours in length
  • The course must include topics laid out by the TABC, including:
    • Texas alcohol laws and regulations
    • The effects of alcohol on the body, and the consequences of over-intoxication
    • How to properly check identification and spot fake IDs
    • How to spot intoxication in customers and safely refuse service
  • The student must pass the course with a score of 70% or higher
  • The student has two (2) attempts to achieve a passing score; otherwise, they will be required to take the course over again

Checking IDs and Fake IDs

While the law does not require that anyone provide identification to order alcohol, any server who unintentionally sells or serves to a minor will be held criminally liable. Therefore, most establishments make it a policy to always ask for ID before serving alcohol to anyone at their business.

There is a defense to prosecution if the minor in question falsely represents themselves as being of the legal drinking age (by providing a fake ID which accurately describes their physical features, and they respond correctly to any validation questions the server might ask). Although it is the server's job to be able to spot these fake IDs, they will be safeguarded from any liability should this situation occur.

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How Does Training Help?

By ensuring that every single staff member is schooled in the dangers and proper responsibilities associated with alcohol service, the chances of a dangerous incident occurring decrease significantly. Servers will be able to identify when a patron is already drunk, or is in danger of being over-served. They can also prevent customers from being involved in hazardous situations after they leave the premises, including getting behind the wheel of car.

There is another huge benefit to the establishment by having a fully-trained staff: liability prevention. Even if a customer has left the business, the establishment can still be held liable should that customer get into a DUI-related accident or suffer alcohol poisoning. However, if their employees have been required to take a TABC alcohol training course, the business is able to distance itself from the incident, as it can claim that it did all in its power to prepare the server to make responsible decisions with that particular customer. While the server may still be held responsible for the incident, the business itself is safe.

Beyond liability prevention, however, the business' first and most important goal is to maintain the safety of everyone on the premises, including that of their customers AND employees. Intoxicated patrons can get unruly and sometimes even violent. Staff members who are fully prepared for any and all situations have a far greater chance of preventing them from ever happening in the first place.