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Do I need an alcohol server permit?
Whether a person is required to have a server permit is determined by what that person actually does, not by their job title. Anyone involved in the sale or service of alcohol MUST be certified. For example:
- The licensee, including every individual listed as an owner of the license;
- Any lessee of the license;
- Servers who sell or serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on or off the premise of a business that is licensed under the provisions of the Liquor Control Act. For example:
- Door persons or security who check the ID's of customers to ensure they are 21 years old or who provide security in an event where alcohol is being served.
- Owners & managers, even if they don't sell or serve customers themselves, but "manage, direct, or control the sale or service of alcohol".
- Hosts in a restaurant who may take a drink order, deliver alcoholic beverages to a table and/or check a customer's I.D.
- Cashiers at restaurants who process a ticket of someone who had alcohol with their meal.
- Sellers (Cashiers) who sell alcohol in a grocery store, convenient store, drug store or liquor store.
What is alcohol server certification?
To be certified you must attend a State-approved alcohol server education class. The class, on licensed beverage training or responsible beverage service, requires 4 1/2 hours of instruction, plus an exam. Upon completion of the class, after passing the exam, Southwest Training Services will issue a temporary certificate, which is valid proof of certification. The New Mexico Division of Alcohol and Gaming will mail the permanent certificate.
How old do I have to be to get certified?
You must be at least 19 years old to obtain a server permit. Please note that persons 19 and 20 years of age may ONLY be employed to serve alcoholic beverages that will be consumed with meals in an establishment (Restaurant) which is defined as a place where meals are prepared and served and the primary source of revenue is food, and where the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages is not the primary activity.
How long is the Certificate good for?
A server permit is valid for three (3) years from the date of issuance of the permit. There is no automatic reminder system to renew permits, Servers are responsible for maintaining a valid Certificate by attending a regular server certification class prior to expiration.
Is there a shorter class that I can take to get Recertified?
No. The minimum class time is defined by law. A certified course must be a minimum of 4 ½ hours of class time and cover certain subjects.
How do I get my alcohol server's certification?
All that is required is for you to attend any one of our regularly
and pass the exam. You must bring to class a pen and valid photo ID (such as a driver's license or passport).
When will I receive my certificate?
When you complete a class, a temporary certification will be issued at the end of class for those students who have met all requirements. The temporary certificate is valid until you receive the certificate from the Division of Alcohol and Gaming in Santa Fe.
What if I lose or damage my certificate?
You can obtain a duplicate server permit three ways:
- By visiting the NM Alcohol & Gaming Division (AGD) at 2550 Cerrillos Road, 2nd Floor in Santa Fe, and filling out a form and paying in person;
- You can call the NM Alcohol & Gaming Division at (505) 476-4875 to request an application form, simply fill out the "Alcohol Server Certification Request" Form and return it to AGD along with your fee of $10.00 (money order or cashiers check only).
- You can access the Alcohol Server Certification Request Form
Simply print, fill out form completely, and return it to Alcohol & Gaming Division along with your fee of $10.00 (money order or cashiers check only).
NOTE: you cannot legally serve or sell alcohol during the time it takes to receive a duplicate. You must be able to produce your certification at any time, should enforcement officers ask for it during your working hours, according to Alcohol and Gaming Division.
Is there a "grace period" during which I can work without being certified?
Sometimes... There is a 30-day "grace period" which allows a person to begin working as a server provided that he/she takes an alcohol server training class within thirty days from the date of employment. This "grace period" only applies to new hires. If you are renewing your permit, you are required to renew it before its expiration date.
I recently received an alcohol server permit in another state. Can I transfer it into the State of New Mexico?
No. To work in the liquor industry in New Mexico, you are required to take an alcohol server certification class in New Mexico.
What if I don't get certified?
In the State of New Mexico, serving alcohol without a permit after the allowed 30 day "grace period", could result in a fine of up to $500.00. The manager on duty AND the establishment itself can also be fined separately. If your certificate has expired and you are caught serving alcohol, the fine could be as high as $500.00. Again, the manager on duty and the establishment could be cited and fined also. The trend has been for employers to require certification BEFORE hiring.
I heard that the Laws for serving Minors or Intoxicated People recently got tougher, what are the details?
Any person who sells, serves or gives alcoholic beverages to a minor or who permits a minor to consume alcoholic beverages on the licensed premises is subject to the following: An administrative fine of up to $10,000 and suspension of alcohol beverages sales for a licensee, and fines of up to $500 for servers. For the second or subsequent offense, the offender may also be charged with a fourth degree felony punishable by up to: Eighteen months imprisonment, five thousand dollars ($5000), suspension or revocation of liquor license or server permit.
If I have further questions, who should I contact?
We welcome your calls, or emails with your questions and comments, or you can search online resources for more information, or you
can contact the NM Alcohol & Gaming Division by calling (505) 476-4875.