Server Permit FAQ2019-08-21T15:53:30+00:00

Server Permit FAQ

What is a Server Permit?2019-09-24T15:20:19+00:00

A Server Permit is a 5-year Server Permit issued by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage. This permit is valid for 5 years and allows you to work anywhere in TN that sells liquor by the drink.

What is the process for obtaining my Server Permit?2019-09-24T15:23:00+00:00

You must first complete the application process through the RLPS. Once you have your RLPS# you are required to complete either a certified online or classroom course.

Can’t I just renew my Server Permit?2019-09-24T15:44:58+00:00

No. The same process must be completed every 5 years.

What is the application fee for my Server Permit?2019-09-24T15:27:46+00:00

The non-refundable application fee is $20.00. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements before applying. If the TABC contacts you to make corrections or upload additional documentation, you will have 30 days to do so or you will lose your application fee and be required to start the application process over.

What is the RLPS#?2019-09-24T15:07:25+00:00

RLPS stands for “Regulatory Licensing and Permitting System”. You will set up your account, complete your application, and pay your permit fee through this system. Once the application process is complete, you will be issued your RLPS#. NOTE: You have not completed the application process if you have not paid the $20.00 application fee!

Find instructions here.

Why is this number REQUIRED?2019-09-24T16:11:57+00:00

The RLPS IS YOUR IDENTIFICATION number and is used to link your score with your Server Permit application. Without it, TopShelf cannot submit your score and the TABC will not issue your permit.

What is the difference in TopShelf and the TN Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)?2019-09-24T15:30:54+00:00

TopShelf is a training company certified by the TABC to produce this training course. The  TABC is the state regulatory agency that governs the sale of alcoholic beverages in TN and they issue your Server Permit.

How long is the course?2019-09-24T15:35:27+00:00

The required training must be at least 3.5 hours in length whether it is online or classroom.

How long do I have to complete the online course once I launch it?2019-09-24T15:38:30+00:00

Once you have launched the course you will have 7 days to complete it. You may exit the course any time using the exit button on the top right of the slide. When you launch the course again, it will begin on the next slide. If for some reason you cannot complete the course within 7 days, you will automatically see a failed status. No worries, our office will reset your course to “in progress” so you can complete it.

I am not good at taking tests, what should I do?2019-09-24T15:42:18+00:00

The course is divided into sections. There are quizzes after every few slides to help you remember the information. Keep notes on those quiz questions if you think you need to, the exam will have some of those same questions. If for any reason you fail the exam, our office can reset the course for you and you can try the exam again. Don’t worry, we’re here to help if you have any questions.

Why do I get a Certificate of Completion for my course?2019-09-24T15:43:39+00:00

The TABC requires the company conducting the course issues a certificate to every student. This certificate only proves you have successfully completed the course BUT IS NOT your Server Permit and WILL NOT substitute for it.

How do I contact TopShelf?2019-09-24T15:46:32+00:00

You can call or text us at 865-521-8085 or 865-521-8084. You can also email We are available Monday – Friday from 9:30 AM until 3:00 PM. After hours you can call or text 865-300-6246. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible, (normally within 24 hours on weekends).

For what reasons do I contact TopShelf?2019-09-24T15:49:10+00:00

If you have any questions regarding:

  1. TopShelf products and services
  2. Your TopShelf account or log in
  3. Purchasing or launching a course
Do I get my Server Permit the day I complete the course?2019-09-24T15:52:13+00:00

No, our office will submit your score to the TABC on the next business morning after you complete your course. Your permit is issued by the TABC, TopShelf only provides your training and results to the TABC.

When can I expect to get my permit?2019-09-24T15:55:05+00:00

Once your score has been submitted, it will take anywhere from 1-4 business days for the TABC to issue your permit.

How do I know when my permit has been issued?2019-09-24T15:56:56+00:00

Watch your email! The TABC will email you instructions on how to access your Server Permit from your RLPS account on the TABC’s website.  If there are any problems with your application, the TABC will email you with questions or requests for information.  If there are any problems with your RLPS account number preventing TopShelf from submitting your training, TopShelf will email you.

Who do I contact if I don’t get my permit within 4 business days?2019-09-24T16:18:17+00:00

You will need to contact the TABC in Nashville.

TABC Help Desk: 615-532-2297 or

For what reasons do I contact the TABC?2019-09-24T16:19:27+00:00

If you have any questions about:

  1. the RLPS
  2. creating an account
  3. completing your TABC Server Permit application

TABC Help Desk: 615-532-2297 or

What do I do once my Server Permit is issued?2019-09-24T16:03:53+00:00

You will need to get a copy of your permit to your employer.

Is it required to have a copy of my Server Permit on my person when I am working?2019-09-24T16:10:20+00:00

No, but your employer is required to have a copy on the premises. Special Agents may also ask to see a photo ID during an audit.

Go to Top