Seller/Server Training FAQ

General Questions         Retailer Questions

General Questions

  1. How often are seller/server training courses offered and where are they held?

    You can find information and a list of Private Providers, including computer based/internet courses here: Seller Training - Course Providers

    If you have a problem with an internet or video course, please contact the school, the customer service number is usually listed on the opening page of the website. TABC does not have access to their computer servers and cannot solve any computer problems with the course.

    If you have a complaint about a school, please contact the TABC seller training division at seller.training@tabc.texas.gov or (512) 206-3420.

  2. How do I find out if I am certified?

    You can verify the certification status at the Certificate Inquiry screen located at: Certificate Inquiry
    You will need your social security number and birthday.

  3. I lost my seller training certification card. How can I obtain another copy?

    You can print proof of certification that will contain the issue date, expiration date, certificate number, status, name and date of birth for an individual from our website at: Certificate Inquiry

  4. Are there additional requirements to becoming certified? Can I be certified if I have had a DWI or other felony conviction? Can I become certified if I am under 18?

    There are no additional requirements to become certified. There is no minimum age requirement to attend a seller training course, and there are no requirements regarding criminal history. However, your age or criminal history may prevent an employer from hiring you.

  5. Do bartenders and wait staff have to be certified sellers/servers in order to sell or serve alcoholic beverages?

    At the present time, it is not a requirement of the state law, but many employers do require certification for employment.

  6. How long is seller training certification valid?

    The Seller Training certification is valid for two years from the date it is issued.

  7. If I have been through the seller training once, do I have to go again every two years? Or is there a test I can take to become recertified? Is there a different (shorter) course to take for recertification?

    To maintain certification you must attend the full seller training course every two years. There is no way to "test out" of the class, and there is not a different, shorter recertification class.

  8. What is the cost of a seller training course?

    The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission does not regulate the fee for the course. Each school sets its own fee, however courses usually cost between $20 and $30 depending on the provider.

  9. What are the consequences to a seller/server, if they serve or sell alcohol to an intoxicated person?

    An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, by confinement in jail for not more than one year, or by both.
    If a person has been previously convicted of this violation, or the sale to a minor, a second violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, by confinement in jail for not more than one year, or by both.

  10. What are the consequences to a seller/server if they serve or sell alcohol to a minor?

    An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $4,000, by confinement in jail for up to one year, or by both.

  11. What are the consequences to the minor if alcohol is served or sold to them?

    The purchase, attempt to purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $500, alcohol awareness course, community service and driver's license suspension.

Retailer Questions

  1. As an employer, what are the advantages of requiring all of my employees to be seller trained?

    The laws concerning the sale and service to minors and intoxicated customers are covered in the training, as well as techniques for intervention to ensure that sales are not made to minors or intoxicated customers.

    Additionally, TABC will not take administrative action against a license/permit when an employee sells or serves an alcoholic beverage to a minor or intoxicated customer, as long as:

    • The person selling is not the owner or an officer of the company;
    • The person selling holds a current seller-server training certificate from a TABC approved school;
    • 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;
    • The employer has written policies for responsible alcohol service and ensures that each employee has read and understands these policies;
    • The employer does not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate the law; and
    • There are not more than three of these type of violations within a twelve month period.

    This relief is commonly referred to as "safe harbor." If an illegal sale is made, the seller/server will probably be arrested, but the retailer's permit/license will have protection from administrative action by the TABC.

  2. As a retailer, which of my employees must be certified in order to comply with the seller/server requirements?

    The definition of an employee is "one 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."

  3. How do I find out if an employee or prospective employee is certified?

    You can verify the certification status of any employee at: Certificate Inquiry You will need the employee's social security number and birthday.

  4. What are the consequences to a retailer if alcohol is served or sold to an intoxicated person?

    The retailer could have their license/permit to sell alcoholic beverages suspended for up 60 days, or even canceled. If there is evidence that the illegal sale was made to someone involved in a fatal accident, TABC will move for cancellation of the license/permit.

  5. What are the consequences to a retailer if alcohol is served or sold to a minor, or if a minor is caught possessing or consuming alcohol on the premises?

    The retailer could have their license/permit to sell alcoholic beverages suspended for up 90 days, or even canceled. For a second offense, their license/permit may be suspended for up to six months, or canceled. For a third offense within a period of 36 consecutive months, their license/permit may be suspended for up to 12 months, or canceled.