Everything You Need to Know About RBS Certification

Everything You Need to Know About RBS Certification

3 Min Read

RBS Certification is a new requirement for all alcohol servers in California. Here’s what you need to know.

Effective July 1, 2022, all on-premises alcoholic beverage servers and their managers in California must have a valid Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Certification to legally serve alcohol. Valid Alcohol Server Certification is obtained by taking a state-approved RBS Training Course and passing the state exam. RBS Training is the only recognized Alcohol Server Certification program in California.

Prepare for the new statewide requirements and know that you have the tools you need to serve alcohol safely and responsibly. Here’s everything you need to know about California’s RBS Certification Program requirements.

Who can be an alcohol server in California?

An individual must be 21 or older to pour and serve alcoholic beverages in California. For businesses that also serve food, employees between 18 to 20 years old are permitted to serve, but not pour, alcoholic beverages.

Starting July 1, 2022, all alcohol servers and bartenders, along with their managers, must have a valid RBS Certification issued by the state department. Employees who do not have valid Alcohol Server Certification cannot sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Existing or new employees will have 60 calendar days to take the training and pass the state exam no later than August 31, 2022.

What you need to legally serve alcohol

As of July 1, 2022, alcohol servers in California must:

  • be the proper age to serve alcohol in the state
  • take an approved RBS Training Course and pass the state exam
  • have a valid RBS certification number, issued after passing the state exam

Who will enforce the state’s RBS Training requirements?

Alcohol related laws and regulations in California are regulated and enforced by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). ABC is responsible for developing and implementing the state’s Responsible Beverage Service Training Program.

What does the RBS Training cover?

RBS Training is California’s state-approved Alcohol Server Certification program and is what alcohol servers need to complete to legally serve alcohol.

While being an alcohol server or bartender is a fun and rewarding job that lets you connect with your customers, it also comes with big responsibilities. RBS Training is designed to educate alcohol servers on:

  • their legal responsibilities as an alcohol server
  • responsible practices related to the sale and and service of alcoholic beverages
  • the social impacts of alcohol consumption
  • the impacts of alcohol on the body
  • the knowledge and tools needed to prevent service to intoxicated and underage customers

How to get your RBS Certification

After RBS Training, you will need to write the state exam. You’ll have 30 days and three attempts to take the exam and get a passing grade of at least 70%.

After passing the exam, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will issue you a certification number through the RBS Portal.

The certification number is what you, or your employer, will need to show ABC when asked for proof of Alcohol Server Certification during an inspection. If an alcohol server does not have the valid certification, the business may face disciplinary action.


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