Operator's (Bartender) License

Any individual 18 or older who is serving or selling alcohol beverages must obtain an operators’ license (commonly called a bartender’s license), unless the person is under the “immediate supervision” of one of the following:
• The licensee
• Someone with the privilege of an operators’ license
• A person with an operators’ license
• The approved agent of a corporation or limited liability company

The City of Waukesha strongly recommends that each seller and server
apply for an operators' (bartender) license as It is highly unlikely that each unlicensed employee will be immediately supervised at all times.


Please click here to access the Bartender/Operator's application form.


The $82 license fee must be paid by cash, check or credit card. Please make all checks payable to the City of Waukesha. This is due at the time the application is turned in.

Record Check

A record check will be completed by the Police Department. The record check takes approximately 5 to 7 business days to process. If the record check reveals tickets or charges which were not reported on your application, your application may be rejected and you will have to reapply. If you have recent drug, alcohol, or domestic battery charges that occurred 2 years or less than the date of your application, you will be invited to speak to the Ordinance & License Committee. The Ordinance & License Committee meets two times per month, and they make recommendations to Council to approve or deny your license application.


If you failed to list all violations on your application, you will have to reapply to have your application considered and pay a reapplication fee of $20. You will be able to view your record check at the time of reapplying for your license.

Temporary/Provisional License

If there are no drug and/or alcohol related charges on your record, a temporary license may be issued. This is valid for up to 60 days, and cannot be renewed or extended. Please note that a temporary license can only be issued once the record check is completed. You must show proof you passed the Responsible Beverage Server's course in order to obtain your regular license.

Responsible Beverage Server's Course

State law requires that applicants complete a Wisconsin Department of Revenue approved course if they have neither held a license nor completed the course within the last 2 years. Proof must be supplied before a license will be issued. The City of Waukesha does not endorse nor administer any of these programs. Any issues you have concerning registration, student certification, fees, certificates, etc., must be directed to the individual vendor for resolution. Click here for a link to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's list of Responsible Beverage Server training courses approved for certification in the state.

Application Review

The Ordinance and License Committee reviews the applications and recommends approval or denial to the Common Council.

Related Ordinance

The sale of Intoxicating Liquor and Fermented Malt Beverages is regulated by chapter 125 of the Wisconsin Statutes and Chapter 9.08 of the Waukesha Municipal Code (PDF).

More Information

For additional information about licensing or to obtain applications, contact the Clerk/Treasurer's Office at 262-524-3550.