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How Do I Get a Tip Card in Louisiana

How Do I Get a Tip Card in Louisiana?

When it comes to serving in the hospitality industry, tipping plays a significant role in a server’s income. In Louisiana, it is essential for servers to have a Tip Card, also known as a Responsible Vendor Server Permit, in order to legally serve alcohol and receive tips. This article will explain the process of obtaining a Tip Card and answer some frequently asked questions related to this topic.

What is a Tip Card?

A Tip Card is an official document issued by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) that permits servers to legally handle and serve alcohol. It is a requirement for anyone working in an establishment where alcohol is served, including bars, restaurants, and casinos. This certification ensures that servers have received the necessary training to responsibly serve alcoholic beverages and understand the legal implications associated with alcohol service.

How to Obtain a Tip Card?

To obtain a Tip Card in Louisiana, servers must follow a few simple steps:

1. Complete a Responsible Vendor Training Course: The first step is to complete a Responsible Vendor Training (RVT) course approved by the ATC. These courses are designed to educate servers on the legal responsibilities and best practices associated with serving alcohol. There are various training providers throughout the state, offering both in-person and online courses.

2. Submit an Application: After completing the RVT course, servers need to submit an application to the ATC. The application includes personal information, proof of completion of the RVT course, and a fee. The fee varies depending on the type of establishment and the number of years the permit is valid.

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3. Undergo a Background Check: Once the application is submitted, the ATC conducts a background check on the applicant. This check ensures that the server does not have any disqualifying offenses, such as previous alcohol-related convictions.

4. Receive the Tip Card: After the background check is completed, and the application is approved, the server will receive their Tip Card. It is important to carry this card at all times while on duty as it may be required for inspection by law enforcement or ATC agents.


1. Is a Tip Card necessary for all servers in Louisiana?

Yes, anyone working in an establishment where alcohol is served, including bartenders, waitstaff, and cocktail servers, must possess a Tip Card.

2. Is there an age requirement to obtain a Tip Card?

Yes, applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a Tip Card in Louisiana.

3. How long is a Tip Card valid?

A Tip Card is valid for four years. After that period, servers need to renew their certification by completing a refresher course and submitting a new application.

4. Can I work without a Tip Card?

No, it is illegal to serve alcohol without a Tip Card in Louisiana. Employers are required to ensure that their servers possess a valid Tip Card.

5. Can I transfer my Tip Card to another state?

No, the Tip Card is valid only in Louisiana. If you plan to work in another state, you will need to obtain the equivalent certification required by that state.

In conclusion, obtaining a Tip Card in Louisiana is a crucial step for servers in the hospitality industry. It ensures that they are properly trained to serve alcohol responsibly and within the legal framework. By completing a Responsible Vendor Training course, submitting an application, and undergoing a background check, servers can obtain their Tip Card and legally serve alcohol while receiving tips. Remember, always carry your Tip Card with you and renew it every four years to remain in compliance with the law.

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