Tennessee Responsibilty Act of 1995 and Server Permits

The Alcohol Server Responsibility Act of 1995 requires servers of alcohol to successfully complete an alcohol awareness class certified by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.  This class must be a minimum of (5) five hours instructional classroom time.  Instructional time does not include testing.

The primary legislative purpose of the Alcohol Server and Responsibility of 1995 is to prevent intoxication-related deaths, injuries, and other damages through responsible serving practices and awareness. 

The successful completion of a class, (a score of at least 70%; some programs require a higher score) makes a server eligible for a (5) five year permit issued by the TABC.  The TABC requires the trainer conducting the class to pay a $15.00 certification fee for each student.

If a student does not pass the exam, they are allowed (30) thirty days in which they can re-take the class and the exam.  If they are not re-taken within the 30-day period, they must pay to retake a class.

If it can be proven an individual has successfully completed a Commission certified program in another state within (1) one year from the date of application, then the Commission shall recognize such training.  The server is responsible for paying the $15.00 certification fee.

To apply for a permit, an application must be completed and submitted ONLINE THROUGH  the REGULATORY LICENSING and PERMITTING SYSTEM (RLPS).  The applicant must then pay a $20.00 application fee WHEN APPLYING FOR A PERMIT.

A server is not eligible for a permit if they:

  • have been convicted of a felony in the previous (4) four years

  • In the previous (8) eight years, been convicted of: Any crime relating to the sale of alcoholic beverages, schedule 1 or 2 controlled substances, embezzlement, or any sex related crime.

  • Have had any permit issued in other jurisdictions revoked in the previous (5) five years.

  • had ownership or interest in an establishment in which the license was revoked in the previous (8) eight years. 

Anyone serving or selling alcohol must (18) eighteen years old.

You must have a social security number or work permit number.

Servers may work for up to (61) sixty one days without a valid TABC Server Permit.  This grace period begins on the hire date or date of transferring to a serving position and the date must be able to be proven.

There is no grace period when a TABC Permit expires.  A server must attend another class in order to receive a new permit prior to the expiration date.  If a permit is lost and is still valid, contact the TABC office closest to you to obtain another copy.

The (5) five year permit issued by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission is the only permit allowing anyone to serve alcohol in Tennessee.  The certificate you'll receive for successfully completing your training is proof you attended and successfully completed an alcohol awareness program, but it is not a permit to serve liquor, wine or super beers.

A copy of the (5) five year permit must be readily available either by the server or the establishment for inspection at any time by an agent of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

 

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