Do I Need a MAST Permit to Work an Event?

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Craft Serving, LLC | 0 comments

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.

Examples include:

          • 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.

Examples include:

          • 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.

 
Most alcohol servers find the 60 day timeframe to be quite workable. However, some licensees have house policies that are stricter than the legal requirement. For example, it’s not uncommon for employers to require servers to have a MAST Permit before their first day on the job.
 
Our previous blog post, How to Get a MAST Permit explains that after you finish the course and pass the exam, we mail you a MAST Permit. This normally takes a week or two, so sometimes our students want to know if they can get their MAST Permit expedited.

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: EnfCustomerService@lcb.wa.gov

For other answers to questions about MAST Permits, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

For more information about liquor licenses, please refer to the WSLCB’s website.

LEARN MORE ABOUT
CRAFT SERVING

Craft Serving is WSLCB Certified

View Our Online Courses

 

WASHINGTON

MAST PERMIT COURSE

$20.00 $15.00

This online course is approved by the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board (WSLCB).

 

 

OREGON

OLCC PERMIT CLASS

$15.00

This online course is approved by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).

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Thanks for checking out this article!  If you found it helpful, feel free to share it or leave us a comment.

Below are links to some of our other Alcohol Server Education related news posts. Check them out and be sure to let us know if there is a topic you are interested in learning more about. We will try and cover it in our next news update!

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Sarah Travis
Co-Founder and Bon Vivant
Craft Serving, LLC

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