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ServSafe Alcohol Certification

What is ServSafe Alcohol Certification?

ServSafe Alcohol Certification is required by many state and local jurisdictions. Serving alcohol has some inherent risks that other professions do not. This why bartenders are often required to receive training and certification.

A responsible alcohol server will have training in specific areas. Some of the things you will learn are:

– Check identification for legal age

– How to spot fake ID’s

– Not to serve to someone who is already intoxicated

– How to determine if someone is already intoxicated

– When and how to refuse someone service

– To understand the laws and your responsibilities

– How to deal with difficult situations

– When a bartender is liable for civil or criminal action

The regulations vary and ServSafe Alcohol certification is not accepted everywhere. Of all the ServSafe training and certification courses, ServSafe Alcohol is the most “patchy” in regards to where it is accepted. So you really need to check with your local health department or restaurant association for requirements. Below is a chart of the current (late 2019) regulatory requirements by state.

ServSafe Alcohol Regulatory Map
ServSafe Alcohol Requirements

ServSafe Alcohol Exams

The ServSafe Alcohol Primary exam contains 40 questions and the ServSafe Alcohol Advanced exam contains 70 questions. Although the advanced exam contains 70 questions, you’re only graded on 60 of them. The additional 10 questions are only “pilot questions” to determine if they will be used in future exams.

Both types of exams are multiple-choice with 4 possible answers, A, B, C or D. Neither of the exams are timed but you should allow at about 2 hours to finish.

To pass the ServSafe Alcohol Primary exam you must get at least 30 of the 40 questions correct. That’s a minimum score of 75%.

To pass the ServSafe Alcohol Advanced exam you must get at least 48 of the 60 graded questions correct. That’s a minimum score of 80%.

Try our free ServSafe Alcohol Practice Tests

ServSafe Alcohol Primary

The ServSafe Alcohol Primary exam is based on information learned directly from the course materials. The purpose of this exam is to test your basic knowledge of serving alcohol responsibly. The primary exam does NOT need to be taken in the presence of a certified proctor.

ServSafe Alcohol Advanced

The ServSafe Alcohol Advanced exam is more in-depth and tests your understanding of how to serve alcohol responsibly. It does this by presenting you with real-life situations and asking you how they should be dealt with. The advanced exam DOES need to be taken in the presence of a certified proctor.

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