What is the Legal Bartending Age?

Many people think the legal bartending age is 21 since each state has it’s own laws, in some states the age is 18. So check the law as you may be able to start now, while in other states you may have to wait til your age is 21!

Legal bartending age by state

Find your state in the table below. If you are not the legal age, you can start as a bar back or a server. Once you have your foot in the door, you can learn the ropes, and move up to a bartender job. As a server, however, you can serve drinks, but not pour. It is against the law to pour drinks if you are not the legal age in your state. Therefore never pour a drink if you are not the legal age. The bar will face fines and lose their liquor license, resulting in the bar being closed.

TIPS Certification

Even If you are not the legal age you should get TIPS, since it’s great for your resume to be TIPS certified. Employers prefer Employees with TIPS when they apply for a job. If you are not TIPS certified you are less likely to be hired. You can get TIPS certified here.

Learn more at the ATF website.


Legal Bartending age

How old do I have to be to bartend?
Alabama 21
Arkansas 18
Arizona 19
California 21
Colorado 18
Connecticut 18
Florida 18
Georgia 18
Hawaii 18
Idaho 19
Illinois 21
Indiana 21
Iowa 18
Kansas 21
Kentucky 20
Maine 18
Massachusetts 18
Minnesota 18
Mississippi 21
Missouri 18
Montana 18
Nebraska 19
Nevada 21
New Hampshire 18
New Jersey 19
New York> 18
North Carolina 21
North Dakota 19
Ohio 21
Oklahoma 21
Pennsylvania 18
Rhode Island 18
South Carolina 21
South Dakota 21
Tennessee 18
Texas 18
Utah 21
Vermont 18
Virginia 21
West Virginia 18
Wisconsin 18
Wyoming 21
Washington DC 21