Posted on: January 12, 2023

How to Get a Bartender's License in Indiana

How to Get a Bartender's License in Indiana

Do you enjoy socializing and learning about drinks or cocktails? If you answered yes, you might find a career in bartending exciting. However, getting your bartender’s license in Indiana may be confusing. 

To put it into perspective, Indiana alcohol laws have a reputation for being stricter when compared to other states. Anyone who serves or sells alcohol in Indiana is required to be certified by the state. Unfortunately, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) procedure may be challenging to understand fully.

That’s why we’re here, to help guide you through the steps required by the ATC to get your bartender’s license and become a bartender in Indiana

How to get a Bartending License in Indiana

In the State of Indiana, the Indiana Alcohol Tobacco Commission (ATC) licenses and regulates the permits of: 

  • Bartenders 
  • Waiters  
  • Waitresses 
  • Salespersons and clerks associated with the sale or service of alcoholic beverages 

Simply put, to receive your Indiana bartender license, you must complete the following steps:  

  1. Complete a state-approved training program 
  2. Complete the application process with the ATC for an employee permit 

To begin, the state of Indiana has two types of employee permits:

  1. The Restricted Permit – for persons who are 19 and 20 years old. 
  2. The Unrestricted Permit – for persons 21 and up. 

When a restricted employee turns 21, the employee must obtain an unrestricted permit to continue serving alcohol. The Unrestricted Employee Permit is valid for three years, and there is a $45 fee to receive/transfer the license. 

Now, let’s go into detail about each step you need to take to obtain your Indiana bartender license. 

1.) Meet the Age Requirement 

Before applying for any bartending position, confirm that you meet all the qualifications if you want to work as a bartender in Indiana. The first factor is your age. Although you must be at least 19 years old to work in an establishment that serves alcohol, you must be at least 21 years old before you can serve drinks to customers.

2.) Complete the Alcohol Training Program 

The next step is to complete an Indiana alcohol server training program approved by the Indiana State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC), which includes the program we provide. A course offered by Tips for this training is Indiana ATC On-Premise Alcohol Server Training. Previous alcohol server training is one of the most critical prerequisites for obtaining your bartending license. 

Although an employee may be older than 21, the state still requires a certification for any individual who serves or sells alcoholic beverages. It's important to remember that to qualify for the license, regardless of age, you must complete the training within 120 days from the date of your employment. 

3.) Fill out the Indiana Bartender License Application

Once you've completed the training program, you can easily download an employment permit application from the ATC website. Once you’ve finished filling it out, submit it with your certification and the other required information and fees. 

4.) Obtain Your Bartending License Indiana 

Once your Indiana bartender license application is approved, you will receive your permit within a few days, and you can get hired as a bartender anywhere in the state. Remember, you are not eligible to work as a bartender in Indiana without a license. Your unrestricted permit will be valid for three years. 

Other requirements to consider include the following: 

  • If you have not been living in the state for the past ten years, you must provide an out-of-state driving record.
  • It may affect your application process if you have had any OWI or DUI charges within the past ten years.  

How old do you have to be to be a bartender in Indiana? 

Normally, you must be 21 years old to obtain an ATC employee permit. An employee permit allows the individual to serve alcoholic beverages as a clerk in a package liquor store, a bartender, waiter, waitress, or manager in a retail establishment. 

According to the official website of the Indiana State Government, in Indiana, you must be 21 years old to be a bartender. However, an individual that’s at least 19 years old but less than 21 years of age and who completes an ATC-approved server training program may serve alcoholic beverages in a dining area or family room of a restaurant or hotel under appropriate supervision as authorized by statute. You can find more information on the Restricted Server Guidelines webpage. 

How much is a bartender's license in Indiana? 

Along with the necessary state fee, you'll also need to pay for approved alcohol seller/server training. The provider and the format will affect how much the training will cost. For instance, online training is always less expensive than traditional teaching.

A 3-year Employee Permit costs $45 from the Indiana ATC, and a Restricted Employee Permit costs $30. 

How long does it take to get a bartending license? 

The total time it will take to get your Indiana bartender license depends on various factors such as: 

  • The alcohol server training program you decide on (the completion time may vary) 
  • How long it takes you to fill out the ATC permit application 
  • How long the license takes to arrive once the permit is approved 

This will affect the total time, depending on the person and their specific situation. 

How do I get my Indiana Alcohol Server Program Certification? 

Completing an online alcohol server course is the easiest way to get your alcohol server certification, which is required to obtain your Indiana bartender license. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Complete a course from an approved provider 
  2. Pass the short multiple-choice exam 
  3. Get a certificate of completion for your employment permit application

Sign up today for our Indiana alcohol server training course to become a bartender in Indiana! 

How to Renew Your Bartending License in Indiana 

Restricted Employee Permits are valid for two years or less since Indiana requires you to upgrade to an unrestricted permit when you turn 21.

However, you’ll have to renew your Indiana unrestricted permit every three years. For unrestricted permit renewal in Indiana, you can find more information on the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission Online Services webpage. Permits qualify for renewal 90 days before expiration and can be renewed up to 120 days after their initial expiration.