MAST Permit two bartenders mixing drinks behind the bar.

What is a MAST Permit?

If you are looking to become a bartender or server in Washington and have been told you need a MAST Permit, you may be wondering “What is a MAST permit?

The MAST permit, or Mandatory Alcohol Server Permit, is a required document for anyone who serves, mixes, sells, or supervises the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption at any establishment licensed to sell liquor in the State of Washington. There are two different types of permits, a Class 12 permit, and a Class 13 permit. A Class 13 permit is for anyone 18 to 20 years of age and a Class 12 MAST permit is for anyone 21 years of age and older.

You are legally required to have a MAST permit if you work for an establishment that serves alcohol. Working without a permit and valid ID could not only expose you and the establishment to potential legal ramifications. Furthermore, if you lack the training, you could be putting your customers and community at risk as well. The dangers that come from over-serving and drunk driving can be catastrophic but are also preventable with proper service.

How do you get a MAST Permit

If you were just hired, you are required to obtain a MAST permit within 60 days of your hire date. In order to obtain the permit, you must complete the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training, either from an online provider or from an in-person provider. You can take ServeSmart’s state-certified course by clicking here, or you can find a class here (including ServeSmart) at the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board website. Courses last a mandatory 3 hours and typically range between $20 and $30.

Upon completion of the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training course, you will receive your permit within 30 days from your provider. There is only one course you need to take so whether you get a Class 12 permit or a Class 13 permit will depend on your age. In the event that you do not receive your permit within 30 days, reach out to your provider or contact the WSLCB.

What is covered in the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training?

The WSLCB requires the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training to be three hours long and covers five general topics. The course covers the science behind alcohol and how it affects the brain and body, how to check ID and identify minors, what an Apparently Intoxicated Person (AIP) is and how to handle them, the legal liability you and your employers face, and the laws related to your place of employment and the MAST permit. The material covered in the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training will not only lessen the legal liability to you and your employer, but it also helps you keep your community safe by responsibly serving your customers and preventing them from becoming a danger to themselves or others.

 Most courses contain educational videos, interactive quizzes, and items like a workbook that you can refer back to if needed. At the end of each course, you will receive a certificate (not to be confused with the MAST permit). You can use this certificate as proof to your employer that you have completed the MAST training. The course certificate is not a temporary permit, do not use it in place of the MAST permit.

What is the difference between a Class 13 and Class 12 Permit?

After completing the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training, you will receive either a Class 13 or Class 12 permit. As mentioned above, if you are between 18 and 20, you will receive a Class 13 permit and if you are 21 or older you’ll receive a Class 12 permit. The difference with the permits doesn’t stop there though. Each permit allows the holder to perform certain tasks related to serving alcohol.

Sample of a Class 12 Mixologist Permit

A Class 12 permit holder can:

  • Draw alcohol from the tap and mix drinks.
  • Perform duties included in the Class 13 permit.
  • Manage the establishment.
  • Conduct alcohol tastings at approved locations with a tasting endorsement.
Class 13 Mast Permit

A Class 13 permit holder can:

  • Take Alcohol orders.
  • Carry alcohol to the customer.
  • Pour it into a customer’s glass at the customer’s table.

Can I work without a MAST Permit?

The quick answer is no, working without the permit beyond the 60 day grace period is against the law. If you’re doing a tasting at an approved location, this grace period DOES NOT APPLY. You must have your Class 12 permit with you while conducting the tasting. Failing to have your permit and a valid ID with you while serving alcohol puts you and your employer at risk of legal action. Anyone violating this law may receive a criminal citation with a maximum $500 monetary penalty or up to 90 days in jail or both the fine and imprisonment.

WSLCB’s Retail Enforcement Officers enforce Washington’s liquor laws and conduct compliance checks to either respond to complaints or check to see if the establishment and its employees are following the law. The Retail Enforcement Officers have undercover officers who will come unannounced to observe the establishment and ensure compliance with state law. To avoid any negative encounters with Retail Enforcement Officers, have a valid permit and ID on you while working.

How long is a MAST Permit valid for?

The MAST permit is valid for 5 years from the completion date of your test. The expiration date is the 1st of the month following the month of the date you took your test. For example: if you completed the course on 10.15.2019, your expiration date would be 11.1.2024. If your permit expiration date is approaching, you should renew your permit 45 days before the permit expires. Serving alcohol with an expired license is against the law.

If you have turned 21, you’ll need to upgrade your Class 13 permit to a Class 12 permit. To do this, reach out to the provider you received your permit from and request a Class 12 permit.

How do you renew your MAST Permit?

It is against the law to serve alcohol with an expired permit. It is important to take steps to renew your permit before it expires. To renew your permit, you must retake the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training from any third-party provider. You can check the status of your permit by using the Permit Checker at WSLCB. The WSLCB keeps a record of all of the permits for five years. If the search does not come back with your permit details, your permit is no longer valid. If this is the case, you will need to retake the course.

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