Do I Need a MAST Permit to Work an Event?
Did you volunteer to serve wine at an upcoming, local fundraiser? Or maybe you just got asked to pour drinks at your friend’s wedding. If you plan on serving alcohol at an event, you may be wondering if you need to get a MAST Permit.
In Washington, whether you are legally required to obtain a MAST Permit depends on the type of liquor license held at the place you will be serving alcohol.
Events That Don’t Require a MAST Permit
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) primarily issues two types of temporary liquor licenses for events. For both licenses, a MAST Permit is not legally required, but it is highly recommended.
SPECIAL OCCASION LICENSE ($60)
Only issued to non-profit organizations and charities. This license allows the non-profit to sell liquor at a specific time, date and place.
- Gala Dinner Fundraiser
- Wine Tasting at a Museum
- Auction Benefiting a Charity
- Beer Garden at a Community Festival
BANQUET PERMIT ($10)
Typically issued to ordinary citizens, but sometimes also issued to for-profit businesses, societies, and organizations. This permit allows the consumption of liquor at a private, invitation-only gathering held at a public place or business. Guests may bring their own liquor, or the liquor may be given away free of charge.
- Wedding in a Public Place
- Club Event
- Company Banquet
- Retirement Party
Alcohol servers operating under these temporary liquor licenses are not required to have a MAST Permit because it is a one-time event, and the location is like an extension of a private space. However, in most cases, the entity renting the space will require MAST Permits.
Events That Do Require a MAST Permit
Most people in the service industry work for an establishment that carries an On-Premises Liquor License. For this type of license, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) requires alcohol servers to obtain a MAST Permit within 60 days of their initial hire.
Sometimes, establishments with On-Premises Liquor Licenses have additional endorsements that allow them to serve alcohol at events located at an approved location off the premises. The following are two examples:
TASTING ROOM ADDITIONAL LOCATION (ENDORSEMENT)
A brewery, winery or distillery with a liquor license to manufacture alcohol can add on this endorsement to also serve alcohol at another location. Typically, these locations are brick and mortar, but they can also be at a farmer’s market or venue used for educational/marketing events. Individuals working under this type of liquor license are required to obtain a MAST Permit within 60 days of hire.
LIQUOR CATER (ENDORSEMENT)
A restaurant with a liquor license to sell alcohol can add on this endorsement to also serve alcohol at offsite events that it is hired to cater. Individuals working under this type of liquor license are required to obtain a MAST Permit within 60 days of hire.
There are a few more circumstances when alcohol may be served at an event. These two, miscellaneous types of liquor licenses are worth examining because they have different requirements for MAST Permits.
GROCERY STORE BEER/WINE TASTING (LIQUOR LICENSE)
A grocery store with a liquor license to sell alcohol can add on this endorsement to also offer beer or wine tastings onsite. If you are conducting an alcohol tasting under this type of endorsement, you must be able to present a permit. There is no grace period allowed for people working under this type of liquor license.
SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT FACILITY (LIQUOR LICENSE)
Last but not least, you may be wondering about venues that host music festivals. For example, the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Washington carries a Sports Entertainment Facility Liquor License. Individuals working under this type of liquor license are required to obtain a MAST Permit within 60 days of hire.
Can You Expedite My MAST Permit?
We wish we could get you your permit sooner, but processing MAST Permits is actually far more complicated than just printing a one-off and mailing it. We have to upload student information sequentially by course completion date, assign MAST Permit numbers and then report that information to the WSLCB.
That said, we might be able to present a good solution. If you choose to work before you get your MAST Permit, we recommend you keep a copy of your Certificate of Completion on your person while working. This document shows that your MAST Permit is on the way in the mail, which may help you gain some leniency should you get checked by an enforcement officer.
Can You Just Email Me a MAST Permit?
At this time, the WSLCB does not allow providers to email MAST Permits. We really wish we could email permits because it would be far more convenient for everyone involved. For that reason, we are trying to work with the WSLCB to advocate for this.
If you would also like to help encourage the WSLCB to go paperless, we recommend reaching out to your local WSLCB Officer directly or using the general contact information listed below.
Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Enforcement Customer Service
Phone: (360) 664-9878
Email: [email protected]
For other answers to questions about MAST Permits, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.
- HOW DO I GET A MAST PERMIT?
- WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY MAST PERMIT
- HOW LONG IS A MAST PERMIT GOOD FOR?
- HOW DO I REPLACE A LOST OR STOLEN MAST PERMIT?
- MY MAST PERMIT IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE, CAN I RENEW IT?
For more information about liquor licenses, please refer to the WSLCB’s website.
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MAST PERMIT COURSE
This online course is approved by the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board (WSLCB).
OLCC PERMIT CLASS
This online course is approved by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC).
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