How to Get a Bartending License In South Dakota

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 4 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon Associate, and other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

In this guide, we will take you through the bartending license requirements for South Dakota, explore the types of jobs you can secure with a bartender license and responsible alcohol server certificate, and delve into the age requirements and costs involved.

Key Takeaways

  • South Dakota does not require a certification or “bartender licence” to make and serve drinks. However, local regulations may apply.
  • You must be 18 years old to serve drinks and 21 or over to work unsupervised.
  • Staff under 21 can not work in places that make most of their sales from selling alcoholic beverages.

Does South Dakota require a bartending license?

No, South Dakota has no statewide bartending license requirement, but local regulations may apply.

The only requirement is you are at least 21 to make drinks. You can start serving drinks at 18, but you must be under the supervision of someone 21 or order. Also, if you are under 21, you can’t work in a place with alcoholic beverages or a retail establishment that derives more than half its sales from alcoholic beverages, meaning you can work in a restaurant but probably not a bar or nightclub (source).

How old must you be to work as a bartender in South Dakota?

Most sources say you must be 21 to sell alcohol or bartend, meaning drawing, pouring or mixing alcoholic beverages.

You can start as wait staff serving drinks at 18, subject to some conditions:

  • If under 21, you need to be supervised by someone 21 or older
  • You can not work in a place that makes most (over 50%) of its sales from selling alcoholic beverages.

South Dakota Alcohol Training Programs

Approved South Dakota Alcohol Training Programs include TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures), ServSafe, SureSell, TAM (Techniques of Alcohol Management), Responsible Alcohol Server Training, Ready Training Online course, and Online Responsible Alcohol Training.

While South Dakota doesn’t mandate certification for alcohol servers and sellers, these programs are endorsed by the state to provide education and training in responsible alcohol service practices.

You can get TIPS trained and certified online with 360Training.


As you embark on your journey towards becoming a licensed bartender in South Dakota, you will be part of a community committed to responsible alcohol service. Your role goes beyond simply serving drinks; it involves safeguarding public safety, preventing underage drinking and drunk driving, and upholding the law. This is more than just a job; it’s a vital part of South Dakota’s commitment to responsible alcohol service.

If you’re interested in bartending in other American states, we’ve written an article about bartending requirements across America here.


Who regulates alcohol sales in South Dakota?

The South Dakota Department of Revenue is responsible for regulating and overseeing the alcohol service industry within the state. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent issues like underage drinking and drunk driving, ensuring that those who serve alcoholic beverages do so in a responsible manner. This is a fundamental aspect of reliable alcohol service, safeguarding public welfare.

What are the consequences of serving alcohol to underage individuals in South Dakota?

Serving alcohol to underage individuals in South Dakota can result in severe civil penalties, criminal charges, and potential legal consequences, including being charged with a Class 1 misdemeanour. This violation of state law can result in a maximum penalty of one year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
It is essential to check the age of customers carefully before serving alcoholic beverages.

Can I work as a bartender without a responsible alcohol server certificate in South Dakota?

While some establishments may hire bartenders without certification, many bars, restaurants, and other alcohol-serving businesses in South Dakota require alcohol server training and certification for all their staff. It’s advisable to obtain the necessary alcohol course and certification to increase your employment opportunities.

How can I save on bartending certification costs in South Dakota?

Some providers offer bulk purchases or discounts for alcohol training programs, especially if you must train multiple team members. Be sure to explore all available options to reduce your alcohol training program certificate certification costs.

Can you be a bartender at 18 in South Dakota?

Yes, you can be a bartender at 18 in South Dakota if you meet the legal requirements and have the certification or license for responsible alcohol service.

How much does it cost to get a liquor license in South Dakota?

The cost of obtaining a liquor license in South Dakota can vary depending on the type of alcohol license that you need. Prices typically range from $100 to $250. However, it’s important to note that specific fees may apply to different types of liquor licenses, so it’s advisable to check with the South Dakota Department of Revenue or the relevant local authorities for precise and up-to-date pricing information.

Can you drink at 18 in South Dakota?

No, the legal drinking age in South Dakota is 21. Individuals must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol or alcoholic beverages in the state legally.