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RBS Exam: Answers to 5 Top Questions

3 Min Read

To get California RBS Certified, alcohol servers must pass the RBS Exam. Answers to five top questions are below to help you prepare. 

Alcohol server training and certification is mandated in California state as of July 1, 2022. The requirement came about with the passing of Assembly Bill 1221, establishing the Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Act. The goal of the act is to provide education to alcohol servers to better enable service and reduce incidents of harm related to alcohol within local communities.

The mandate requires all on-premises servers of alcohol and managers of servers to be trained and obtain certification. The last step in the certification process is to complete and pass the RBS Exam. Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the exam are looked at below.

1. Who administers the RBS Exam? The exam is administered by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverages (ABC). Once you’ve selected a training course, you will have to register with the ABC to proceed. See below for the additional steps in the process.

2. How do I sign up? Upon confirmation that you require RBS training and certification in your role, take the following steps to complete the process:
  • Step 1: Enroll in a certified RBS training course. It’s important to find a training provider that is approved by the ABC that also suits your needs and learning style.
  • Step 2: Register with the ABC at to obtain a Server ID number and pay the $3 fee for the exam.
  • Step 3: Complete your training program. Be sure to have your Server ID number handy once you’ve completed the training. Your training provider will need it to facilitate access to the exam.
  • Step 4: Take the RBS Exam. Answers to questions like how to access the exam, and what else you need to know about the ABC portal will be provided in an email from the ABC once your training provider confirms you have passed the training.

3. Is the exam open-book?
Yes! The RBS Exam is open-book format. You are welcome to use any notes or RBS training materials provided during training to assist you.

4. How many questions are there?
The ABC RBS Exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions.

5. What happens if I don’t pass?
The following conditions apply to successfully completing the RBS Exam:

  • The exam must be taken within 30 days of finishing Responsible Beverage Service Training
  • You will have three attempts to pass the exam
  • A passing grade for the RBS Exam is a score of 70% or higher

If the above criteria aren’t met, you’ll have to retake both the training and exam.

Once you’ve passed the RBS Exam, the certification process is complete and you will have met the legal requirement to serve alcohol in the state of California. If you have additional questions about the exam or Userve’s RBS Course, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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