Alcohol Servers Training & Services

Frequently asked questions

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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. If your job involves making the decision whether to sell and/or serve alcohol to a customer, you must be certified.

SERVERS who take drink orders, or serve alcohol must be certified. BARTENDERS must always be certified.

MANAGERS and OWNERS, even if they don't sell or serve customers themselves, must be certified, because they "manage, direct, or control the sale or service of alcohol".

BOUNCERS and SECURITY, if they are checking the IDs of customers to make sure they are at least 21, are "controlling the sale and service of alcohol", and therefore are also required to be certified.

HOSTS in a restaurant who do not make any decision to serve or sell alcohol, do NOT need to be certified. But if they EVER check a customer's ID, take a drink order or serve an alcoholic beverage, they must be certified.

CASHIERS generally must be certified. In a package-store situation (Grocery store or Liquor Store) cashiers must be at least 21 years old.
What is alcohol server certification?
To be certified you must attend a State-approved alcohol server education class. The class covers many topics of responsible beverage service, requiring 4 1/2 hours of instruction, plus an exam. Upon completion of the class, after passing the exam, Alcohol Server Training (sm) will issue a temporary certificate, which is valid proof of certification. Later, the New Mexico Division of Alcohol and Gaming, will send the official certificate.
How old do I have to be to get certified?
You must be at least 19 years old to attend a server certification class. Note: most employment positions require that you be at least 21 years old. Under age 21, the only LEGAL involvement with alcohol you can have, is as a server in a restaurant, which receives the bulk of its income from the sale of food.

What about an online course?

ASTS strongly opposes the notion that all training CAN be reduced to an "online course."  Just as you cannot learn how to do your job "online," we believe that you cannot obtain the necessary knowledge regarding how to serve SAFELY just by reading a computer screen.  Studies have shown that information provided via computer, even when it is printed out, is NOT RETAINED in memory as long as information provided by a REAL Instructor, face-to-face with the student.  More and more, establishments are requiring their servers to ATTEND a class to become certified to serve and/or sell alcohol.  Not only is the information more accessible in a classroom setting, it remains in memory longer, and its RELEVANCE to real-life, on-the-job alcohol server safety is assured.

How long is the Certificate good for?
Currently, the server Certificate is valid for five (5) years.
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 $250.00. 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.
How do I get my alcohol server's certification?
All that is required is for you to attend any one of our regularly scheduled classes (see CLASS SCHEDULE page), and pass the exam. You must bring to class a valid photo ID (such as a driver's license or passport).
Is there a shorter class that I can take to get my certification?
No. The minimum class time is defined by law. The Division of Alcohol and Gaming has previously taken away the certification of those providers who did not comply with the State rules and regulations.
When will I receive my certificate?
If you attend class at Alcohol Server's Training & Services (sm) a temporary certification will be issued immediately at the end of class for those students who have met all requirements.
The temporary certificate is valid until you receive the official certificate from the Division of Alcohol and Gaming.
What if I lose my certificate?
By calling or writing the Division of Alcohol and Gaming (see complete contact information on "LINKS" page) you can obtain a form to request a duplicate of your certification. 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?
Yes, IF you have never before been certified in New Mexico, you have 30 days within which to take a certification class. There is no "grace period" if you have previously been certified in New Mexico.
Will I receive a notification that my certification is about to expire?
No. You are expected to keep your certificate accessible, and to be aware of its expiration date.
How do I renew my certification after it expires?
Currently, the only way to renew your certification is to attend a regular server certification class. ASTS has many students returning for renewal, some for the third time! Renewing students find that there have been changes in New Mexico laws or enforcement practices since they last attended.

I have questions you didn't answer. What do I do?

We welcome your calls and/or emails with your questions and comments (see "CONTACT US" page for complete information), or search the sites listed on the "LINKS" page.

ASTS, Phone: (505) 323-5630