Who needs a Bartender License?
A license is required for any person 18 or older who is serving or selling Fermented Malt Beverages, Intoxicating Liquor or Wine in the City of South Milwaukee.

How to Apply for a Bartender License: (see below for how to RENEW a Bartender License)
– Apply in person at City Hall (Hours 7:30 – 4:00 M-F)

– Complete and sign the application form
– Show photo ID
– Pay non-refundable fees of $50 (cash or check accepted)
– Provide proof of Bartender License and/or Responsible Beverage Server Course, if required (see below)
– Take the application to South Milwaukee PD for background check and applicant photograph (new applicants)

How to Renew a Bartender License:
If your Bartender License for the City of South Milwaukee is current or expired within the past two licensing periods, you may download an application here and renew by mail, with check enclosed, or renew in person.

How long is the license valid?
The licensing period is July 1 to June 30 each year. Licenses applied for mid-year do not receive prorated fees.

Do I need to take the Responsible Beverage Server Course?
Applicants must submit proof that, within the past two years, they either completed a Responsible Beverage Server Course OR held a Bartender/Operator license in Wisconsin before a South Milwaukee bartender license will be issued (or are renewing a South Milwaukee Bartender License less than two years old).

A list of approved courses can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s website:

How long until I get my license after applying?
A two-week hold is placed on all bartender licenses while applicants’ names are posted and background checks are completed. Based on the background check findings, the applicant may be required to appear before the Legislation & Permits Committee of the Common Council before the license will be issued. The applicant will be notified if a meeting is required. If no meeting is required the license will be mailed to the applicant after the two-week posting period.

Licenses will be mailed to the address on the application unless otherwise specified.

What Is a Provisional License and do I need one?
A Provisional License is a temporary license issued at the time of application, valid for up to 60 days, for applicants who have completed the Responsible Beverage Server course and/or hold a license in another Wisconsin municipality (and are able to provide proof of same) and require a license immediately.

There is a fee of $15 for a Provisional License, which must be paid in addition to the regular Bartender License fee.

In most cases, a Provisional License is not necessary, as a new employee will be working under the direct supervision of a licensed bartender during their first weeks of employment.

City Clerk’s Office, City of South Milwaukee
2424 15th Avenue, South Milwaukee, WI 53172
(414) 762-2222