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Your local TABC

TABC Certification FAQs

General Questions

You can find information and a list of Private Providers, including computer based/internet courses here: Seller Training - Course Providers    If you have a problem with an internet or video course, please contact the school, the customer service number is usually listed on the opening page of the website. TABC does not have access to their computer servers and cannot solve any computer problems with the course.    If you have a complaint about a school, please contact the TABC seller training division at seller.training@tabc.texas.gov or (512) 206-3420.

Visit our Certificate Inquiry page to learn more. You’ll need your social security number and birthday. 

You can print proof of certification with the issue date, expiration date, certificate number, status, name and date of birth. If you want a duplicate of the original certificate you were issued, contact the course provider you used to complete the training.  If you do not know which provider you used, email seller.training@tabc.texas.gov.  In the email make sure you provide your full name, date of birth and an approximate time frame for when you completed the course.

Visit our Certificate Inquiry page to learn more.

No. There is no requirement to be certified under state law, but many employers require certification for employment.

Your seller training certification is valid for two years from the date it is issued.

An offense under this section is a misdemeanor that could result in: 

  • A fine of $100 to $500. 
  • Up to one year in jail. 

If a person has been previously convicted of this violation, or the sale to a minor, a second violation is a misdemeanor that could result in: 

  • A fine of $500 to $1,000. 
  • Up to one year in jail. 

An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $4,000. 
  • Up to one year in jail. 

Yes. Counterfeit and forged seller training certificates are a criminal offense and can result in punishment ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony. 

We will prosecute those who make and possess forged seller training certificates.

Retailer Questions

By doing this, you help keep Texans safe and offer some protections to your business.

The courses will teach your employees about state laws about alcoholic beverage sales. They’ll also learn techniques for intervention to ensure that sales are not made to minors or intoxicated customers.

We also will not take administrative action against a license/permit holder if an employee sells or serves an alcoholic beverage to a minor or intoxicated customer, as long as they meet all the following criteria:

  • The person selling is not the owner or an officer of the company. 
  • The person selling holds a current seller/server training certificate from a TABC-approved school. 
  • All employees engaged in the sale, service or delivery of alcoholic beverages, as well as their immediate managers, are certified within 30 days of their hire date. 
  • The employer has written policies for responsible alcohol service and ensures that each employee has read and understands these policies. 
  • The employer does not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate the law. 
  • There are not three or more of these types of violations in a 12-month period. 

This relief is commonly referred to as safe harbor. If an illegal sale is made, the seller/server will probably be arrested, but the retailer's permit/license will have protection from administrative action by the TABC. Read more about safe harbor provisions in the FAQ below.

The definition of an employee is "one who sells, serves, dispenses, or delivers alcoholic beverages under the authority of a license or permit, including persons who immediately manage, direct, supervise, or control the sale or service of alcoholic beverages." 

You can verify the certification status of any employee at: Certificate Inquiry You will need the employee's social security number and birthday. 

Safe Harbor

If an employee sells or serves alcoholic beverages to a minor or an intoxicated person, employer has some protects from this violation if certain standards are met. This does not apply to alcohol sales to members of private clubs. 

We also will not take administrative action against a license/permit holder if an employee sells or serves an alcoholic beverage to a minor or intoxicated customer, as long as they meet all the following criteria: 

  • The person selling is not the owner or an officer of the company. 
  • The person selling holds a current seller/server training certificate from a TABC-approved school. 
  • All employees engaged in the sale, service or delivery of alcoholic beverages, as well as their immediate managers, are certified within 30 days of their hire date. 
  • The employer has written policies for responsible alcohol service and ensures that each employee has read and understands these policies. 
  • The employer does not directly or indirectly encourage the employee to violate the law. 
  • There are not three or more of these types of violations in a 12-month period. 

This relief is commonly referred to as safe harbor. If an illegal sale is made, the seller/server will probably be arrested, but the retailer's permit/license will have protection from administrative action by the TABC.

See Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §106.14(a) and TABC Administrative Rules §34.4 for additional information.

First, requiring the seller/server training and maintaining the safe harbor standards trains your employees for safe and responsible alcohol sales. It can also provide benefits, like: 

  • Lowering liability insurance costs. 
  • Gaining more knowledgeable and responsible employees. 
  • Being a more responsible member of your community. 

Visit our Certificate Inquiry page for more information.

Everyone that takes a TABC approved seller training course receives a certificate immediately. 

Always verify if an employee is seller/server certified by using the certificate inquiry function on our website. An employees' certificate will be available 14 calendar days after they have completed the course and can be verified using their social security number and date of birth.

Certified seller training schools have 14 days to upload trainee information into the TABC database. If an employee claims to be certified and is not in the system, contact TABC at 512-206-3420.

Contact one of the TABC certified course providers in your area. You can find the list on the TABC Certification Schools page. [link to: TABC Certification Schools page] 

What happens if there is a violation, like one of my employees serves alcohol to a minor? 

Criminal action will be taken against the employee. If you have met safe harbor standards, there are several next steps: 

  • The owner or manager will need to complete an affidavit stating that they’ve met the safe harbor requirements. 
  • The owner or manager will need to provide the names, social security numbers and dates of birth of all employees. 
  • TABC will use this information to verify the certification of the employees. 

See TABC Administrative Rules §34.4 and 34.5 explain additional sanctions and penalties.