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Frequently Asked Questions ~ Scroll Down To See Answers

1. How do I get a permit to serve alcohol in Oregon?
2. Oh no! I lost my permit!
3. What the…?  There are two fees?  What am I paying for?
4. Do I qualify for a renewal course?
5. What do I have to do to renew?
6. What is a minor permit?
7. Can I bartend with a minor permit?
8. Can I use my permit as a piece of ID?
9. Can I laminate my permit?
10. How long does it take to get a permit?
11. Can I serve alcohol without a permit?
12. I’m only serving alcohol once or twice this year, do I still need a permit?
13. I’m volunteering, do I still have to get a permit?
14. How long does the permit last?
15. Will I get my permit right after class?
16. Can I serve alcohol right after class?
17. What is covered in the class?
18. Why, for the love of Pete, does the class have to be so long??
19. What if I have questions during the class?
20. What if I know everything there is to know about this stuff?
21. I just don’t have time to do this, can I just take the test please?
22. I want to be a bartender, what is that I really need to know?
23. I was thinking of going to bartending school, should I?
24. Come on, it’s just a sip, why can’t I have a tiny sip to make sure the wine is okay?
25. It’s a drop of an appletini, I have to make sure it takes okay before I send it out…


1. To recieve a permit to serve alcohol in Oregon, you must first submit an application (and pass the background check), and also attend an alcohol server education class and pass the test with a score of 70% or better. Your permit is mailed to you and is good for five years.

2. Oh no! I lost my permit! If you lost your permit, it’s quite easy to replace it.  You will need to fill out an application just as you did when you applied for your first one.  Only this time, you’re going to check “replacement” at the top of the page and you don’t need the “authorized signer”.  Just fill it out, sign it yourself, mail the original to the OLCC at the top of the page with a check for $5 payable to the OLCC, and keep a copy for yourself – this copy is your permit until you get your replacement in the mail a couple of weeks later.  Get your application here, and if you have any questions, please call this number:  503-872-5000.

3. What the…?  There are two fees?  What am I paying for? The $23 application fee that you must send to the OLCC pays for your background check and processing – not everyone gets a permit, you must apply for it.  The tuition pays for your class.  The OLCC does not teach the Alcohol Server Education classes – if they did, they would be very expensive as they, as a government entity, would not be able to use local businesses to conduct these classes.  They would have to send you to government offices and pay state wages to these instructors.  By using contractors and certified instructors, such as this company and it’s instructors, we can provide the class in a much more efficient manner and for much less expense to you.  Our company provides all the materials you need to learn to serve alcohol responsibly.  Our instructors do not come from learning institutions, they come from your industry – owners of bars, restaurants, cafe’s, wineries and security companies – so coming from your industry, we lean the class towards what you need to do to protect yourself and how to make more money while you do that.

4. Do I qualify for a renewal course? The law requires alcohol servers to pass a class in responsible alcohol service every 5 years. If you are a licensee or server who has to renew your service permit or server education requirement, you now have two options. You can repeat the initial class or you can take a shorter renewal course if you qualify.

Who qualifies to take a renewal class? There’s only one qualification: if you passed a server education class within the past 7 (seven) years, you can take a renewal class. It doesn’t matter whether your permit has expired or whether you’ve been out of the industry for a few years. If you passed your initial class within 7 years, you qualify. If it’s been 7 years + 1 day, you don’t qualify – no exceptions!

Not sure if you qualify? Call the OLCC and we’ll look up your record.
Call 503-872-5114 in the Portland metro area  or 1-800-452-6522 ext. 5114. Does that mean my service permit is good for 7 years? NO! Your service permit must be renewed every 5 years, and if you’re a licensee, your server education requirement must be renewed every 5 years. The 7 year period applies only to whether you’re qualified to take a renewal class.

Check the expiration date on your service permit. Service permits expire five years from the date the Alcohol Server Education class was taken. Remember: you must not mix, serve, or sell alcohol, or manage people who do, without a valid service permit.

What about the test? There’s some risk in choosing the shorter renewal class. The passing exam score for the initial class is 70%. If you fail the initial class exam, you may retake the exam up to two times before you have to retake the class. The passing score for a renewal class is higher – 80%. If you fail the renewal exam, you may NOT retake the exam. Instead, you must retake the initial class.

5. What do I have to do to renew?First decide if this is what you want to do.  What we mean is, you wouldn’t be needing this if you didn’t need another permit, but do you want a refresher or do you want to retake the course you had five years ago.  There are advantages to both, however, the first thing you must know is that some of the initial classes are just as long as some renewal classes.  That’s right, a couple of years ago when the OLCC approved the online course, the time requirement for the initial course was erased from the law books.  The material covered is the same as it has always been for the most part in both classes, but the time you spend in class is up to the instructor.  There are still six hour initial classes you can take out there, three hour classes for the renewal.  Our initial course is, however, about 2 1/2 hours – less than some renewal courses.  Crazy huh?  We have structured our class to a team-based curriculum – you learn from and network with your peers in the industry, not from your instructor.  The tuition is the same for either class, so you must decide how much training you want and need to do your job responsibly and make the most amount of money with the least amount of risk.  Contact us here f you would like more information.

6. What is a minor permit? Each permit, the adult and the minor permit, is good for five years – so if you are a minor, let’s say 18 years old, your permit will expire when you are 23 and will allow you to take orders for, serve, or sell alcohol but only in areas where minor postings allow minor customers. Thus, just because somebody has a green minor permit, it only means they received it when they were a minor, it doesn’t necessarily mean they ARE a minor.  After they turn 21, it is stated on the back of the green minor permit that they will have all the privileges of the orange adult permit.

7. Can I bartend with a minor permit? Generally, alcohol servers must be 21 years old.  Minors 18 to 20 years old may take orders for, serve, or sell alcohol, but only in areas where the minor posting allows them.  (See ORS 471.482.)   Minors must get a minor service permit.  On their 21st birthday, this same permit provides all the privileges of an adult service permit. All liquor licenses that allow retail sales privileges may employ minors in areas and during hours when minor patronage is allowed unless otherwise prohibited by OLCC rules.    Minor service permittees may NOT:

  • Serve alcohol or take food orders in areas prohibited to minors, such as a bar or lounge.
  • Function solely as a bartender or cocktail server.
  • Mix drinks.

Minor permittees MAY:

  • Take orders for and serve alcohol in areas not prohibited to minors, such as a dining room or hotel lobby.
  • Pour wine or beer as a service to patrons at their tables in areas not prohibited to minors.
  • Draw alcohol from the tap if the drawing is done in areas not prohibited to minors.
  • Enter areas prohibited to minors, such as the bar or lounge, to:

1)  Order and pick up drinks for service in non-prohibited areas.2)  Restock supplies.3)  Set and clear tables.4)  Deliver food, but not take food orders.Minors must leave the prohibited areas after performing these limited duties.  Minor service permits allow young people to work in businesses as food servers, but not primarily as alcohol servers.

8. Can I use my permit as a piece of ID?  No.  Your permit is not recognized as proof of identity in eyes of the government.

9. Can I laminate my permit?  Yes, and it recommended because it is a flimsy piece of cardboard that is easily damaged.

10. How long does it take to get a permit?  This is a difficult question.  It depends on there are holidays involved, it depends on if there are furlough days (due to the budget cut backs), it depends sometimes on the weather (like in the winter time).  Typically, you should receive your permit in about two weeks from the time you took your class (assuming you have sent in your application already).  Sometimes, it can take longer.  If you have been waiting 3 or 4 weeks, please call this number to see what’s what:  503-872-5000.

11. Can I serve alcohol without a permit?  Actually yes.  You may serve alcohol if you fill out an application, have it signed by an authorized signer (your employer, the OLCC, or one of our instructors) and mail it off with your check payable to the OLCC for $23 (that pays for your background check and processing).  This allows you to serve, sell and mix alcohol for 45 days while you find a class.

12. I’m only serving alcohol once or twice this year, do I still need a permit?  Yes.  Yes, you do.  Anyone who mixes, serves or sells alcohol by the drink must have this permit in Oregon – it doesn’t matter if you use it once or a thousand times.

13. I’m volunteering, do I still have to get a permit?  Yes you do.  It’s not about being paid or not.  It’s about knowing the laws and knowing how to handle situations before they arise.  You must have a permit when serving, selling and / or mixing alcohol in Oregon.  And really, it’s in your best interest to know what you’re liable for.

14. How long does the permit last?  Your permit will expire five years from the day you take your class (and pass your test).  You may renew any time from six months before your permit expires to two years after the day it expires.  So, you have two years to renew your inactive permit after the first five active years has gone past.

15. Will I get my permit right after class?  No.  Your permit is mailed to your from the OLCC office in Milwaukie after you have successfully completed your class and passed your test.  It typically takes two weeks, but sometimes longer.

16. Can I serve alcohol right after class?  Yes, as long as your application has been signed and sent in with your $23 check made payable to the OLCC.  The OLCC assumes you pass your test and thus allows you to serve alcohol immediately after class without truly knowing if you passed your test or not.  They will send you a postcard with your test score on it within ten days of your completed class and test.

17. What is covered in the class?

Here is the table of contents to our workbook:

The ProblemYour Legal, House and Professional Duties

The Service Permit

Alcohol The Drug

Visible Intoxication And Non-Alcoholic Drugs

Alcohol In The Body

Factors Affecting BAC And Impairment

Alcohol And Pregnancy

Alcoholism A Disease

Laws On Minors

Food Service Requirements

Checking ID

Identifying Minors

Acceptable ID

Minor Decoy Operation

Confiscating ID

Visible Intoxication

Date Rape Drug

sVisibly Intoxicated Person

Good Faith Effort Law



BAC Chart

Drink Equivalency


Intervention Attitudes and Techniques

Responsible Marketing

Management Commitment To Ongoing Training

Third Party Liability


Designated Driver Program

Oregon Implied Consent Law

Liquor Licenses

Hours Of Alcohol Service

Wine From A Partially Consumed Bottle

Oregon Open Container Law

Drinking On Duty

Minor Permitees

Licensee and Permittee Responsibilities

Neighbourhood Liveability Law

Cooperating With The OLCC

Fifty Likely Signs Of Intoxication

18. For the love of Pete, why does the class have to be so long?  There is a minimum required curriculum that must be covered.  Beyond this, the instructor may teach the class in a fashion deemed appropriate and responsible in accordance to the OLCC standards.  There are case studies covered, different techniques used by the instructors – some use stories, some use video, some use other props.  The length of these classes greatly vary based on the instructor’s style and content covered beyond the required material.  Classes range from 2 1/2 hours to about six hours.  It is always good to ask when shopping for a class.  Since 2007, we have been using team-based learning at our on-site locations that was developed and used by Baylor University and other medical schools to not only have more impact and a shorter class time, but a fun and interactive way to learn.  This gives the student one of the quickest classes possible but also one they remember very well.19. What if I have questions during the class? We strongly encourage participation.  One way to participate is to ask questions either while taking the online course or the in-person course.  There is a lot of information covered in your class and a lot of responsibility put on your shoulders when serving alcohol. You have to understand this thoroughly.  As our student, you will always be able to call and ask questions later as well.

20. What if I know everything there is to know about this stuff? So you think you know all there is to know about Oregon liquor laws to do your job responsibly?  Do you know how often the laws change?  Are you aware that most changes never make it into the media?  We strongly encourage everyone to take the full course again after five years – five years is a long time to have a misconception about a law, only to have it go uncorrected or not cleared up for another five years because the subject wasn’t covered in your “renewal” course.  There is so much personal liability involved with serving alcohol, that you should never-ever take the training lightly.  It only takes the one customer for you to lose your job over, lose your house because of a death or injury that your over-served customer was responsible for.  Face it, you don’t know everything – especially after five years between classes.  We rewrite our workbook at least a half-dozen times every five years

.21.  I just don’t have time to do this, can I just take the test please? This is a permit to serve the cheapest, most wide-spread drug in the world that kills over 17,000 people every year.  One out of ten drinkers is an alcoholic.  In Oregon, the cost to taxpayers of alcohol-related injuries and fatalities is over $1 billion a year–or more than $100,000 an hour.  People who drive impaired are dangerous killers.  Each year, 10,000 Oregonians are seriously injured and approximately 200 are killed because of alcohol-impaired drivers.  They kill and injure more people than all other violent criminals put together.   The cost in human suffering is incalculable.Please take this training seriously – the life you save might be one of your friends or family members.

22.  I want to be a bartender, what is that I really need to know?  Be excited.  There is a lot of money to be made out there – if you do it right.  How do you do it right?  Love your customers, work hard, be responsible and respectful – AND professional.  Learn from a good bartender.  Work for a responsible establishment.  Know all your alcohol – rum, gin, , tequila, vodka, wine, beer – know your industry, know your laws backwards and forwards, know about intervention, a little psychology will help too.

 23. I was thinking of going to bartending school, should I?  There are a lot of opinions about this.  But what you’re after are the facts.  Unless the school guarantee’s job placement (really important these days), it is a risky and expensive chance to take.  Think of yourself as an owner for just a moment.  Would you want someone with 20 years experience, that has a working knowledge of 100 different drinks, advice on how to run the bar efficiently, has been working fast paced happy hour shifts, and truly has a grasp and comfort level of their career?  Or, would you like to train someone fresh, from the ground up, without retraining a “professional” on how you want “your” bar to run and how you want “your” drinks made?  You want someone professional, trustworthy, who will work hard, and come to work on time, do what they are asked and perhaps a bit more.  Bartending school doesn’t make you a good employee, it shows you how to make several drinks correctly and quickly – while that is a part of the job, the other 90% is customer service.  Not all bartenders are Tom Cruise in “Cocktail”, but if you work hard enough – and have the perseverance, there should be no stopping you without paying the hundreds of dollars for the class that could possibly prevent you from getting a bartending job.

24. Come on, it’s just a sip, why can’t I have a tiny sip to make sure the wine is okay?  Alcohol affects the brain, right?  And the first ability of the brain that alcohol inhibits is judgment, right?  Oregon has a law about consuming alcohol while on duty for this reason.  Other states do not have this law, but Oregon does.  Consuming alcohol is putting any amount of alcohol in your mouth – since it gets absorbed there, consuming is, of course, consuming.  We cover this in class of course, but if you have any questions about this, please email us here or you can call the OLCC at 503-872-5000

.25.  It’s a drop of an appletini, I have to make sure it takes okay before I send it out…See above question about drinking on duty.