Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Do You Need a License to Be a Bartender in Indiana?

Section 7 of the Indiana Code mandates that employees who serve alcohol in businesses in Indiana receive a permit. This law requires that all individuals who work as bartenders in the state obtain a state-issued license unless they work on a ship or the dining car of a train. The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission is responsible for issuance of bartender licenses.


Only applicants who are at least 21 qualify for a bartender employee license in Indiana. All candidates must complete an alcohol server training course within 120 days of being hired as a bartender. Typically, employers offer this training in-house as a part of orientation for new hires. Candidates who owe any unpaid taxes to the Indiana Department of Revenue are ineligible for bartending licensing under the state's law.


Candidates for a bartender license in Indiana must complete an application to request their permits. The application can be downloaded from the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission's website. On the application, candidates provide personal contact and identifying information, including their Social Security and driver's license numbers. They also answer questions about their personal history, which are used to determine their eligibility. Along with the application, prospective bartenders must submit a fee, which was $45 as of February 2011.

Operating While Intoxicated

The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission restricts the issuance of a bartender license to individuals who have previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol. Candidates who have two convictions within the past 10 years may be ineligible for licensing if the sentence for the second conviction ended within the two years prior to licensing. If candidates have three or more convictions in the past 10 years, they are ineligible regardless of the timing of the events. The IATC checks candidates' Indiana driving records to look for driving under the influence convictions. Candidates who had a driver's license in another state during the 10 years prior to applying for a bartender license must provide the IATC with a copy of their out-of-state driving record for review.

Additional Features

Once issued, a bartender license in Indiana remains valid for three years. At the end of each licensing cycle, bartenders must submit a new application and pay a renewal fee, which is equal to the initial licensing fee. After applying for a permit, prospective bartender licensees may work for up to 30 days while they wait for the issuance of their license, provided they retain a copy of the money order or cashier's check used to pay their licensing fee. Bartenders who work as a volunteer for a nonprofit organization receive a discount on the cost of the licensing fee. As of February 2011, the amount of the fee for such individuals was $15.


Faith Davies has been writing professionally since 1996, contributing to various websites. She holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. Davies graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.