Bartending is a popular career choice for many people, as it offers a unique opportunity to be creative and social while also earning a living. If you are considering a career in bartending in the state of Oregon, it’s important to understand the licensing requirements and regulations in place.
In this article, we will discuss the bartending license requirements for Oregon, including what an alcohol service permit is, who needs one, and how to obtain one. Whether you are a seasoned bartender or just starting out, this information will help ensure that you comply with the laws in Oregon and are ready to start your career in the bartending industry.
Is a Bartending License Required in Oregon?
No, in Oregon, a Liquor License is only required by businesses that want to sell alcohol. Bartenders and other staff need an Alcohol Service Permit from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC). For staff, the permit lasts five years from its date of issue. Courses are available online and in person and require passing an exam.
What Are the Requirements To Be a Bartender in Oregon?
To obtain an alcohol service permit, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and successfully complete an approved alcohol server education program set by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (formally the Commission Oregon Liquor Control Commission).
Find a Class and Training Providers
You can find a list of schools here on the OLCC website. The program provides training on responsible alcohol service and the laws and regulations related to the sale and service of alcohol in Oregon.
Getting an Alcohol Service Permit requires passing a 50 questions test that you must score 70% or higher to pass.
What Can Deny Your Application?
The OLCC will reject an Alcohol Service Permit Application if:
- You have a prior conviction for a felony drug offence or a crime of violence if you have one such conviction within two years of your application or two or more convictions with two incidents happening within four years of your application.
- You have a history of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) or supplying alcohol to minors, with two or more diversions or convictions that took place within four years of your application.
- A combination of DUII, furnishing, or felony drug or crime of violence convictions, with four or more incidents happening within ten years, and one incident or arrest was within two years of the date of your application.
However, the OLCC may consider any written evidence that you were diagnosed with an addiction to alcohol or drugs at the time of your crimes involving these substances when deciding whether to approve or deny your permit application.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Serve Alcohol in Oregon?
In Oregon, the minimum age to obtain an alcohol service permit and work as a bartender or server is 18. However, if you are between the ages of 18 and 20, there are certain restrictions to your duties and responsibilities in regard to serving and handling alcoholic beverages.
If you’re under 21, you can obtain a minor service permit, which allows you to serve, pour, and draw alcoholic beverages only in areas of the business where alcohol service is secondary to food service and minors are not prohibited. However, you cannot mix drinks or work as a bartender or cocktail server.
Oregon Service Permit Replacement
If your unexpired Alcohol Service Permit has been lost or stolen, you can obtain a replacement. The process is free of charge, and there is no fee for the replacement card.
If you have previously submitted an application via the portal, simply log into your account to print a new, valid permit.
If you have not used the portal, reach out to the OLCC office by calling 503-872-5200 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary copy of your permit.
Oregon Service Permit Renewal
Every five years, you must reapply for your Alcohol Service Permit. To do so, you need to create an account on the Alcohol Service Permit Portal, as paper applications are no longer accepted.
You can reapply up to 6 months before your permit expires, and your permit will remain valid for five years from the date it was issued.
Additionally, to renew your permit, you must complete an approved Alcohol Server Education class, available from both in-person and online providers. Note that separate renewal classes are no longer offered.
How Much Money Do Bartenders Make in Oregon?
According to websites like Indeed and Intuit, the average base salary is $15.30 or $27,000 per year as of 2023, according to Intuit Mint’s data based on tax returns. Keep in mind that bartenders tend to make a lot of their income from tips, which can vary depending on where and when you’re working in Oregon.
Difference Between Liquor Licenses and Alcohol Service Permits in Oregon
A liquor license is mandatory for individuals, companies, or businesses that want to sell, manufacture, import, or distribute alcohol in Oregon. The liquor license comes in two types:
- Annual License for individuals, companies, or businesses that will be selling, manufacturing, importing or distributing alcohol continuously.
- Temporary/Special Event License: for selling and serving alcohol at a specific event.
An Alcohol Service Permits Is Required For:
- Servers (such as waitstaff, bartenders, managers, etc.) who mix, sell, or serve alcohol at a business that allows customers to drink alcohol on the premises (such as a restaurant, bar, tavern, winery, temporary special event, etc.).
- Managers who directly supervise servers who mix, serve, or sell alcohol.
- Owners who mix, serve, or sell alcohol or manage servers at a business and whose name is not listed on the liquor license.
A service permit is not necessary if:
- You do not mix, serve, or sell alcohol on the premises or supervise those who do
- You work in a grocery store selling manufacturer-sealed beer, wine, or cider containers for off-premises consumption.
- You have a liquor license in your name.
In conclusion, being a bartender in Oregon involves meeting certain requirements set forth by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
- You must be at least 18 years old and have a minor service permit if you are between 18 and 20.
- A criminal history that involves convictions or diversions for drug offences, crimes of violence, DUII, or furnishing alcohol to minors may result in a denied application for an Alcohol Service Permit.
- You must reapply for your permit every five years, and during this process, you must take an approved Alcohol Server Education class.
The Alcohol Service Permit Portal is the easiest and quickest way to reapply and receive a copy of your permit. By following these guidelines and meeting the requirements, you can be well on your way to becoming a successful bartender in Oregon.
If you’re interested in bartending in other American states, we’ve written an article about bartending requirements across America here.