California Responsible Beverage Service Training

California law requires on-premise servers of alcoholic beverages be trained and certified in responsible beverage service. 

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Responsible Alcohol Server Certification


In California, servers of alcohol and their managers must be state-certified to legally serve alcohol. Certification is mandatory beginning July 1, 2022. With our California Responsible Beverage Service Training, you can be confident your servers and managers understand their obligation to sell alcohol according to the law. This online training program is easy to implement and track — get in compliance with the law today!

About This Module

Our California Responsible Beverage Service Training covers all the content required by state law, including:

N Terms and Definitions Related to California Alcohol Service Law

In order to be prepared to pass the ABC alcohol server certification exam, alcohol servers must understand the various terms related to alcohol service.

N The Social Impact of Alcohol

In this section of the training, alcohol servers learn that while alcohol is often part of positive social interactions and dining experiences, it also has risks. Serving alcohol responsibly starts with understanding that the overuse of alcohol is dangerous and harmful to California communities. This course emphasizes the responsibilities and legal obligations of all alcohol servers. When servers follow the law, as they learn to do in this program, they are protecting their customers, their communities, their establishments, and themselves.

N The Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Excessive alcohol consumption can have severe and fatal consequences. In this section of the training, servers learn how alcohol effects the body. They also learn how a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is used to measure impairment and the different factors that contribute to alcohol absorption.

N Laws and Regulations Relating to Alcohol Beverage Control and DUI

California has many different laws related to alcoholic beverage control and driving under the influence. To prepare for successful completion of ABC alcohol server certification exam, this section of the course covers many alcohol related laws and liabilities servers must be familiar with.

N Preventing Alcohol Sales to Minors

Throughout the state of California, it is illegal to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. In this section of course, employees learn the specific steps they must follow to verify the age of customers ordering alcohol. This includes examples that help servers recognize legally acceptable IDs, unacceptable IDs, and fake IDs.

N Preventing Alcohol Sales to Intoxicated Guests

It is illegal in California to serve alcohol to someone who is intoxicated. Intoxication may look different from one guest to the next, so alcohol servers must learn how to recognize intoxicated guests. In this section of the training, employees watch various examples to learn how to assess a customer’s possible level of intoxication.

N Refusing Service to Minors or Intoxicated Guests

Many sellers and servers will be faced with an intoxicated or underage guest who wants to purchase alcohol. In this section of the training, employees learn about their right to refuse service, when to refuse service, and specific techniques to refuse service.

N Management Policies to Support Responsible Alcohol Service

California law requires alcohol sales licensees to create and enforce policies that guide employees on serving alcohol legally. This section of the training covers various policy guidelines such as the use of an incident log, hiring practices regarding alcohol servers, and how to effectively interact with law enforcement when necessary.

In order to get your employees compliant and ensure they’re able to implement what they learn on the job, our 75-minute training program:

  • Complies with California law by covering all the content required by state law.
  • Engages alcohol servers by including real-world scenarios.
  • Organizes learning points into easy-to-understand sections.
  • Reinforces learning with quizzes after each section.
  • Emphasizes the server’s role in selling alcohol responsibly while delivering exceptional service.
  • Includes a comprehensive course summary (included with purchase) that will help your servers and managers prepare for the ABC alcohol server certification exam.

Our 75-minute training program will prepare you for the mandatory ABC alcohol server certification exam. Here’s how:

  • We cover all the content required by California law.
  • You’ll watch several real-world scenarios and examples to help you remember key learning points.
  • Our training is organized in focused and easy-to-understand sections.
  • Practice questions after each section will help you prepare for the state exam.
  • We understand both your obligation to sell alcohol responsibly and your need to deliver exceptional service, earning the tips you deserve. Our training gives you the tools you need to keep customers happy while complying with California’s alcohol service laws.
  • When you purchase our training, you’ll receive a comprehensive, downloadable course summary to use as a reference for the ABC alcohol server certification exam.

On July 1, 2022, AB 1221 (Responsible Beverage Service Training Program Act) goes into effect. This California law requires RBS training for alcohol servers and the managers of alcohol servers for ABC on-premise licensed establishments. Training is mandatory. All alcohol servers and bartenders working for ABC on-premise licensees have 60 days from July 1, 2022, to complete training by an approved RBS training provider and pass the ABC administered RBS exam.

Ready Training Online offers the California Responsible Beverage Service training you need to understand the material and pass the ABC alcohol server certification exam. After passing the exam, you will earn your California Alcohol Server Certification, which is valid for three years.

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Interested in a Full Solution?

RTO specializes in designing training solutions that fit your specific needs. Contact us for more information about our online training or our LMS subscription packages.

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Need To Train Employees Today?

Our California Responsible Beverage Service training is available for purchase by the seat for $12.95, without the commitment of a subscription. A server ID is required for each trainee. Please read these instructions before you purchase.

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Already an RTO Client?

If you’re a current subscriber, we can customize your solution as your training goals change. Contact your account manager to make modifications to your existing training network.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Are you approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)?

Yes. We were approved on March 29, 2021.

What is your provider number?

Ready Training Online's provider number is 5.

How much does the training cost?

Purchase your California Responsible Beverage training from our marketplace for $12.95 per seat. For larger businesses, we provide a solution through trainingGrid™, our learning management system, where you can assign and schedule your employees' training. Pricing can be obtained through our sales team.

Who is a server according to AB-1221?

An alcohol server, as defined under AB-1221, includes anyone who does any of the following:

  1. Checks customer identification for purposes of alcoholic beverage service or entry to an ABC on-premises licensed establishment;
  2. Takes customer alcoholic beverage orders;
  3. Pours alcoholic beverages for customers; or
  4. Delivers alcoholic beverages to customers.

Do you administer the exam?

No, RTO does not administer the exam. The exam must be taken through the California RBS website. The exam is 50 questions, and you must receive a score of 70% in order to pass.

How long does certification last?

Certification through the California RBS site is valid for 3 years.

Is your training applicable to all of California?

Yes. Our training meets requirements for the regulations that affect the state of California.

Can you guarantee passing?

We cannot guarantee a passing score; however, our training meets all requirements set by the state, and our downloadable course summary is a valuable reference for the exam.

Will I receive a certificate when I complete the training?

No, we do not offer certificates for completing the training, as you will not be fully certified in the state of California until you successfully pass their exam.

Who do I contact for more information about Ready Training Online’s program?

Please call us at 1-800-247-8514.

5 Easy Steps to Certification

Each person taking the training must have a server ID. Follow the steps below to obtain a server ID.

  1.  Visit the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control website here, and register for a login.
  2. After you have completed your registration, log in to your account. There you will pay the required fee for the exam and receive a Server ID. Record your ID. You will need it to purchase your training.
  3. Return to this page, choose your purchase option, and make your purchase.
  4. Take your training following the instructions in your confirmation email, then use our downloadable course summary (included with purchase) as reference for the exam.
  5. Once you have successfully completed the training, log in to your California RBS portal account to access the exam, which will be located on the dashboard.

Please Note: If you do not pass the exam within 30 days of completing the training, you must purchase both the exam and training again.