Operator License (Bartender)

Operator Licensing aka “Bartender License”

Operator Licenses are required by law in order to serve or sell intoxicating liquor at an establishment or a store. Not all bartenders must hold operator's licenses, but there must be at least one licensed operator in charge of the premises. If the premise is large, with several serving areas, bar areas, etc., licensed operators must be in charge of each discrete area, in order to supervise and direct unlicensed persons who may be selling/serving.

Operator License                                           2 years - $50.00

                                                                    1 year  - $30.00

(Provisional licenses for Operator Licenses can also be purchased for an additional $15.00)

Provisional licenses are used when individuals apply for their new or renewal license and are waiting for the approval process to take place - which can be up to a one month process from the date of the application depending on what time of the month the application was submitted.

(Temporary Operator Licenses can also be purchased for $15.00)

Temporary Licenses may be issued only to operators employed by, or donating their services to, nonprofit corporations.  No person may hold more than 2 temporary licenses per year.  A temporary license can be valid for any period from one day to 14 days.


How do I qualify for an operator's license?

To qualify for an operator's license, you must

    1. be at least 18 years old,
    2. meet criminal record requirements, and
    3. have completed a responsible beverage server course

What are responsible beverage server training courses?

These courses are required to hold alcohol beverage licenses, with some exceptions. They cover alcohol beverage laws, signs of intoxication, safe serving of alcohol beverages, etc.

 While the following Responsible Beverage Server training courses have been approved for certification in the state, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue does not endorse nor administer any of these programs. Any issues you have concerning registration, student certification, fees, certificates, etc., MUST BE DIRECTED TO THE INDIVIDUAL VENDOR FOR RESOLUTION.

  1. CARE
  2. Learn2Serve
  3. Rserving.com
  4. Seller/Server.com
  5. ServerLicense.com
  6. Serving Alcohol Inc. - Wisconsin Alcohol Seller/Server Course
  7. ServSafe Alcohol (WRAEF/NRAEF)
  8. TEAM
  9. TIPS
  10. Wisconsin Technical Colleges

Operator licenses can be issued for one year or two years.  All licenses expire on June 30th of expiring year.

 Renewals should be made in May of the expiring year to ensure issuance before expiration date.