|Responsible alcohol training required||Mandatory server permit training for servers, bartenders, and managers for on premise establishments
Mandatory responsible wine vendor clerk training for grocery clerks, managers, and package store employees
|Approved AIM to Serve Courses||Server Permit training, responsible wine vendor, designated manager|
|State application or license required||Yes. Server permits training must complete a RLPS application prior to completeing server permit training.
Designated manager must complete RLPS application for 5 year designated manager permit.
|Class Venue||Online class or In Person class is accepted|
|State Agency||Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission 615-741-1602
RLPS application link
Bryan Hill – RLPS Help Desk
|Certification||Server permit valid for 5 years
Wine vendor clerk valid for 1 year
Designated manger permit valid for 5 years (updated rules and regs course required each year)
|Age to Consume||21|
|Age to Pour||18|
|Age to Sell||18|
|Age to Serve||18|
|Dram shop liability law||Yes|
|Carding Requirements||On-premise establishments do not have mandatory carding policy, however it is against the law to serve anyone under the age of 21
Off-Premise establishments must card everyone. This includes grocery stores, package stores, and convenience stores. The ID can’t be expired. An exemption is made for those obviously over the age of 50.
|Acceptable Forms of ID||Drivers license
Concealed TN carry permit
State issued ID
|Additional Information||First you must apply for your RLPS before taking an accredited abc server permit class. This RLPS is the application process that can only be done online at rlps.abc.tn.gov/citizenaccess. Once you have completed the application process you will be given an RLPS number that will be formatted in the following format: Example: 21A-NPER-SER-000000. You will take this RLPS number and provide it to your in-person class trainer or in the RLPS field for the online ABC course. For step by step instructions for the RLPS click here for the video: (will send to you in email)|
Your ABC card is no longer mailed out. Contact the TABC at 615-741-1602 to obtain a copy by email. You can also login to your RLPS account to print off a copy.
Please login to your RLPS account on rlps.abc.tn.gov. If you do not have an account, please contact the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission at 615-532-1915.
An RLPS number is issued after a server permit application has been submitted and paid for with the TABC. This is the identification number used to submit your grade. Without an RLPS number, your grade can’t be submitted. Temporary RLPS numbers are not valid for submitting grades. (Example: 21TMP-1234)
The TN ABC Server permit class is 3.5 hours
Yes, the course/exam have to retaken every 5 years.
The TN Wine vender/clerk course is 1-2 hours.
The TN designated manger course is 1-2 hours.
The application fee to obtain an RLPS number for a TN ABC Server Permit is $20.
There are 2 steps to obtaining a server permit. 1) Submit and pay for a server permit application with the TABC. 2) Complete the TN ABC Server Permit course/exam. The course/exam can either be done online or in person.
24-48 BUSINESS hours after completing the course/exam. This is provided that the correct RLPS number is submitted at the time of completion.
Yes, it is important to keep a copy of your server permit on you when working for inspections.
No, it takes 24-48 BUSINESS hours for your ABC Server permit to be uploaded into your RLPS account.
Please contact the TABC at 615-741-1602 or 615-532-1915
Yes, please provide your employer with a copy of your server permit for inspections. It is also recommended to keep a copy of your permit on you while working.
Please visit https://rlps.abc.tn.gov/CitizenAccess/Default.aspx and click on Print my license/permit.
No. The certificate of completion provided by Aim To Serve does not serve as your TN ABC Card.
Yes, you can complete the ABC class and exam online at www.abcpermits.com. You can also download our app on the Apple store or Google Play.
In most cases, this means your application could be missing information or attachments. OR The TABC was provided information that you may have been convicted of a criminal offense. OR It could be the result of a background check done by the TABC. Please contact the TABC to find out more details at 615-741-1602.
A Responsible Wine Vendor is a vendor that has received certification from the commission ( TABC ) to sell wine by the bottle to individuals for off premise consumption that has met all the statutory and regulatory requirements set forth by the commission ( TABC )to encourage vendors to be prudent in their selling practices of wine , and to restrict or reduce the sanctions that may be imposed in the administrative proceedings by the local beer boards against the vendors. Certification is valid for 1 year only to renew annually.
To become a certified clerk, within 61 days from the date of hire an individual must annually attend either a responsible beer vendor or a responsible wine vendor training course by Aim To Serve, which is an approved program for the TABC.
Yes, The Aim to Serve course is an approved Responsible Wine Vendor course for Tennessee.
It is a Designated Manager Permit that identifies an individual who will be responsible for the order of wine from the wholesalers. This designation is for one location only. The permit is good for 5 years, however, the Designated Manager Course must be taken every year to maintain an active status along with the Certified Clerk Course.
It is a 5 year permit that designates one manager who is responsible for the store. The permit is good for 5 years, however, the Designated Manager course must be taken annually as well as the Certified Clerk Course to maintain an active status.
You must notify the TABC in writing that you have moved from one location to another or changed companies.
You must submit a Manager’s Permit application along with a Declaration of Citizenship (this must have a front and back copy of 2 forms of ID attached to it), your Designated Manager Certificate, Responsible Vendor Certificate, and a $200.00 company check, Cashier’s Check or Money Order
You will need to submit your Clerks List every 30 days you have changes. This means all terminated clerks, newly hired clerks, and newly trained clerks since the last time it was submitted.
No. An individual licensed as a sole proprietor is not required to obtain a manager’s permit. For this purpose, a sole proprietorship does not include any member, owner, or shareholder of an LLC, corporation, LLP, general partnership or any entity that is required to be registered with the Secretary of State. While the sole proprietor is not required to obtain a permit, other managers, who are not the sole proprietor owner, of the sole proprietorship must obtain a TABC manager’s permit and employees who sell alcoholic beverages or wine must become certified clerks.
Yes. A manager’s permit may be suspended or revoked by the Commission for any violation of Title 57 of Tennessee Code Annotated, and/or the rules and regulations of the TABC, including not attending required annual training, or other violations committed by the holder of the manager’s permit or by any person operating under the supervision of the holder of the manager’s permit.
A retail package store must check identification for any person who does not reasonably appear to be an age of fifty (50) years or older in a face-to-face transaction prior to the sale of alcoholic beverages. The identification checked must be a valid (unexpired), government-issued (state, local, national, federally recognized tribe, or foreign) document that includes the photograph and birth date of the customer. Any identification that meets such requirements may be accepted by the retail package store. The sale of alcoholic beverages or beer to a minor or a failure to check for identification is a Class A misdemeanor under state law.
Yes. Complimentary samples are allowed. A retail package store may conduct tastings for free on the premises of the retail package store during the hours the store is open for business. In order to do so, the retail package store must first give the TABC notice of its intent to conduct tastings at the time of license application
A TABC-issued manager’s permit allows an individual to operate, supervise, or manage a retail package store. Employees who perform these functions for a retail package store must obtain a manager’s permit.
Please note an individual licensed as a sole proprietor is not required to obtain a manager’s permit. For this purpose, a sole proprietorship does not include any member, owner, or shareholder of an LLC, corporation, LLP, general partnership, or any entity that is required to be registered with the Secretary of State. While the sole proprietor is not required to obtain a permit, other managers who are not the sole proprietor owner of the sole proprietorship must obtain a TABC manager’s permit.
A retail package store may sell intoxicating liquors, wine, high gravity beer, and beer. A retail package store is also permitted to advertise or sell items related to or incidental to the use, consumption, dispensing, or storage of alcoholic beverages, together with merchandise and supplies related to special events or parties. The list of items a retail licensee may sell, contained in T.C.A. § 57-3-404(e)(4), is illustrative in nature and non-exclusive. If you have questions on whether an item is allowed, please contact our staff. Such authorized items include, but are not limited to:
- Newspapers, magazines, publications, videos, and other media related to alcoholic beverages or food;
- Utensils and supplies related or incidental to the use, consumption, dispensing or storage of alcoholic beverages, including, without limitation, corkscrews, beverage strainers, pourers, flasks, jiggers, stirrers, wine racks, wine refrigerators, wine cellars, decanters, carafes, glassware, ice crushers, bottle openers, can openers, and devices to maximize oxidation in uncorked wine bottles and other items used in connection with the consumption, storage or dispensing of alcoholic beverages;
- Gift cards, packages and baskets that include alcoholic beverages, and nonalcoholic items;
- Nonalcoholic beverages;
- Kegs and growlers, whether empty or filled with beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages, on the licensed premises;
- Concentrates and ingredients used in the preparation of mixed alcoholic beverages;
- Beer and wine-making kits;
- Products and supplies related to beer and wine-making;
- Lemons, limes, cherries, olives, and other food items used in the preparation.
No. Each retail package store must be operated in a completely independent manner from all other retail package stores, and stores cannot combine purchasing power or swap inventory. Doing so could expose the store to regulatory fines, revocation of the store’s license, or criminal prosecution.
A retail package store may only be open between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. on Monday through Saturday and between 10:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. on Sunday. Additionally, retail package stores must be closed for business on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Businesses that have a package store license with the TABC may also sell beer on Sundays starting at 10:00 A.M.
Yes, a retail package store may deliver alcoholic beverages. No additional permit, license, or approval is needed from the TABC in order for a package store to deliver alcoholic beverages, but such delivery is subject to the following restrictions:
- Before making such deliveries, a package store must inform the TABC of the store’s intent to deliver and must post a $1,000 bond with the TABC. Please send the bond, and any questions about the bond, to Meenu Sinha at Meenu.Sinha@tn.gov or 615-741-7624;
- The delivery must be made to only the physical address indicated by the individual placing the order and delivery must be documented by a verification of delivery, signed by the order recipient;
- The order and delivery of alcoholic beverages must occur only during authorized hours of sale;
- A retail package store may not deliver to licensed liquor-by-the-drink establishments, with the exception of hotels;
- Only the actual employees of a retail package store may deliver on behalf of the package store, and the package store may not contract with any other business or person to make such deliveries on the store’s behalf, except a TABC-licensed delivery service;
- The retail package store must check the ID of the purchaser at the time of the delivery of the alcoholic beverages in a face-to-face transaction, unless the purchaser reasonably appears to be over fifty (50) years of age;
- The identification checked must be a valid (unexpired), government-issued (state,
Yes. Wine must be marked up at least twenty percent (20%). Please review the Wine in Grocery Stores and Unfair Wine Sales Law FAQ for more information. Other alcoholic beverages, including liquor, spirits, and high gravity beer, must be marked up at least ten percent (10%). These minimum markups do not apply to low gravity beer. Please review the following questions for more information.
Beginning January 1, 2019, retail food stores may only sell wine between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. on Monday through Saturday and between 10:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. on Sunday. A retail food store shall not sell wine on Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter.
This change in the law will have no impact on the hours in which beer can be sold at a retail food stores. For questions about hours of sale for beer at a food store, please contact your local beer board.
No, this is not required for either retail food stores or retail package stores.
The twenty percent (20%) markup is calculated by multiplying the per bottle price of a particular bottle of wine by one and two tenths (1.2). The per bottle price is located on the latest wholesaler invoice. This is the minimum price that a store may advertise or sell a bottle of wine. Calculation Example: If the per bottle price of a wine on the wholesaler invoice is $10.00, the minimum price the retailer may advertise or sell the bottle of wine is $12.00 ($10.00 x 1.2 = $12.00).
Yes. An individual who holds a manager’s permit may also seek to obtain a server’s permit from the TABC.
To obtain a server permit, you must be at least eighteen (18) years old. If the establishment permits smoking on the premises, then the server must be at least twenty-one (21) years old
A server has sixty-one (61) days from the time he or she begins serving at any establishment to obtain a server permit from the TABC. A server permit expires after five (5) years, at which time a server must apply for a new permit. An individual who held a server permit in the past is not eligible for the sixty-one (61) day grace period.
A server permit may be suspended or revoked by the Commission for any violation of Title 57 of Tennessee Code Annotated or the rules and regulations of the TABC. In lieu of suspension or revocation, the Commission may require the server to retake and successfully complete a program of alcohol awareness training conducted by an entity certified by the Commission.
- In order to obtain a server permit from the TABC, an individual must do the following:
Create and complete a server permit application online:
a. Create an RLPS account.
b. Create a new server permit application.
c. Upload the required documentation; and
d. Pay the $20.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Complete The Aim to Serve alcohol awareness training for persons involved in the direct service of alcohol, wine or beer by an entity certified by the commission to have an adequate training curriculum for alcohol awareness. The Aim to Serve class must be at least three and one half (3.5) hours long. The certificate indicating successful completion of the program is not a TABC server permit.