Minimum Age for Bartending: Bartender Age Laws by State

The majority of states in the U.S. permit adults age 18 to 20 to tend bar in on-premises establishments. Below is the minimum age for bartending in each U.S. state.


  1. Background
  2. Age for Bartending
  3. Resources
  4. Bartending Jokes

I. Background

Generally the term “bartender” refers to a person who dispenses alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, “server” refers to a waitperson.

On-premises establishments are those selling alcoholic beverages for consumption there instead of elsewhere. They are typically restaurants and bars.

In some states, adults under 21 may legally tend bar. But only in certain types of on-premises establishments, such as restaurants.

In some cases, bartenders must be at least a specified age. But younger employees may stock coolers with alcohol or clear alcoholic beverages from tables.

Some states place conditions on on-premises bartenders under 21 years of age. For example, that a manager or supervisor 21 or older be present when the person is tending bar. Or it might require that a bartender under 21 take special beverage server training.

II. The Minimum Age for Bartending in On-premises Establishments by State

18 19 20 21
Arkansas Arizona Alabama
Colorado Idaho Alaska
Connecticut Nebraska California
Florida Delaware
Georgia District of Columbia (Washington DC)
Hawaii Indiana (18 with restrictions)
Illinois Kansas
Iowa Kentucky (20 with restrictions)
Louisiana Missouri
Maine Montana
Maryland Nevada
Massachusetts New Mexico
Michigan North Carolina
Minnesota North Dakota
Mississippi Ohio
New Hampshire Oklahoma
New Jersey Oregon
New York South Carolina
Pennsylvania Utah
Rhode Island Virginia
South Dakota Washington
Tennessee Wyoming
West Virginia


III. Resources on Bartending

These resources are about successful bartending. They provide much information and suggestions. But they do not address the minimum age for bartending.

IV. Bartending Jokes

minimum age for bartendingVisit Drinking Jokes and One Liners (Alcohol Humor).

Note: Do not rely on this website. Nor any other website for legal information about the minimum age for bartending. Laws can change. Courts often reinterpret them. A locality may have its own higher minimum age for bartending.

This website does not provide any legal advice or opinion. Always consult a lawyer for legal help.