The Q2 2022 Report provides the latest insights on the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program Act and the upcoming compliance deadlines for Assembly Bills 1221 and 82.  


  • October 15, 2017: AB 1221 passed requiring alcohol servers and managers to be trained, pass an exam and be certified.
  • June 29, 2020: AB 82 passed to extend the inception date of AB 1221 to July 1, 2022.
  • July 1, 2022: AB1221 and AB82 enacted.  This certification is mandatory!
  • August 31, 2022: Mandatory Deadline!  Existing managers and servers must be certified within 60 days of first date of employment. 
  • Post-August 31, 2022: New managers and new servers must be certified.
  • Certification to be renewed every three years.
 Assembly Bill 1221, was originally passed on October 15, 2017

The bill required the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to create the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program (RBSTP) which ensures servers of alcoholic beverages, and their managers are educated on the dangers of serving alcohol to minors and over-serving alcohol to patrons with the intention of reducing alcohol-related harm to local communities.

Assembly Bill 82, was passed on June 29, 2020

This bill extended the inception date of Assembly Bill 1221 to July 1, 2022. This change was made to alleviate the financial strain on the hospitality industry caused by the COVID-19 state of emergency.

The mandate creates a new training requirement for alcohol servers and managers of alcohol servers with on-premises alcohol sales privileges. The alcohol servers and managers who work at these locations must register with the ABC, be trained, pass an exam, and be certified by August 31, 2022, or 60 days after their first date of employment.

Beginning July 1, 2022, any alcohol server and their manager must have a valid Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) certification from an ABC-accredited RBS training provider and pass an online ABC administered RBS exam within 60 calendar days from the first date of employment. 


Who does AB 1221 and AB 82 apply to?

Any California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control licensee who has an “ABC On-Premises License,” including winery tasting rooms. 

Who needs to be trained and certified?

Alcohol Servers and Managers

An alcohol server, as defined under AB 1221, includes anyone who does any of the following:

  • Checks customer identification for purposes of alcoholic beverage service or entry to an ABC on-premises licensed establishment.
  • Takes customer alcoholic beverage orders.
  • Pours alcoholic beverages for customers.
  • Delivers alcoholic beverages to customers.

manager means any person who:

  • Trains, directly hires, or oversees alcohol servers at an ABC licensed premises.
  • Any person who trains alcohol servers how to perform the service of alcohol for consumption for an ABC on-premises licensee, including but not limited to, when to check identification or when to refuse service to a patron.

*The manager definition specifically excludes an employee or contractor of another separate ABC licensee who is training alcohol servers for marketing or distribution purposes. 

What are the basic requirements?

All alcohol servers and managers will need to do the following:

  • Register with the ABC.
  • Take an ABC-approved RBS training course.
  • Pass an online exam administered by ABC.

Once an individual has successfully completed the training and exam, the certification will remain valid for three years. The alcohol server certification must be renewed prior to its expiration to remain valid.

Wine Institute Member Discounted Training Programs

Wine Institute is working with associate members who are certified by ABC to conduct online and in-person RBS training courses to provide discounted rates. Here is a list of Wine Institute associate member providers, rates, and training options:

Jerry R. Jolly and Associates LLC – Wine Institute Member Packet
  • Online for Wine Institute members – $10/person with discount code “CAWINES”
  • Live in-person and virtual training – contact for rates
  • Website
  • Email
Central Coast RBS
  • Live in-person and virtual training – Wine Institute members receive 20% off live virtual courses
  • Website
  • Email 

For more information on the RBS program, including who needs to be trained, visit the ABC FAQ web page.


Visit the ABC FAQ web page or contact the Wine Institute’s Sacramento office.


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Michael McNulty

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Faced with a changing climate and a seemingly unending series of natural disasters, California wineries must contend with a complex variety of human, economic, and natural threats to their survivability and sustainability. Addressing these challenges in a nimble and creative way is why we created the EPIC Winery Practice.

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