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Security Guard Requirements in California

In order to apply for security guard registration in the State of California and work as an unarmed security guard, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Undergo a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and
  • Complete a 40-hour course of required training. The training and exam may be administered by any private patrol operator or by a certified training facility.

40 Hour Security Guard Training Requirement

Prior to Being Assigned on Post 8 Hours
Training Required within the First 30 Days 16 Hours
Training Required within the First Six Months 16 Hours
TOTAL HOURS 40 HOURS

 

EXPEDITE PROCESSING ONLINE

In order to speed up the security guard application and fingerprinting process, the following steps should be followed:

STEP 1

The security guard must have received the eight (8) hour “Power to Arrest ” training and passed the examination. Click here to conveniently get training and pass the exam online.

STEP 2

The security guard applicant, private patrol operator or the training facility must submit the security guard application online at http://www.dca.ca.gov/bsis/online_services/online_licensing.shtml. The online application is sent electronically to the Bureau.

Breakdown of fees paid online:

  • Security Guard Application Fee: $50.00
  • Online Convenience Fee: $1.00
  • TOTAL: $51.00

STEP 3

The security guard applicant must submit fingerprints electronically using Live Scan. You must only use the security guard Live Scan forms downloaded from the Bureau’s Website or obtained from the Bureau. The Live Scan form from the Bureau contains the correct coding to ensure that the Bureau receives the FBI and DOJ responses.

Breakdown of fees paid at Live Scan site:

  • Department of Justice Fingerprint Fee: $32.00
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Fingerprint Fee: $19.00
  • TOTAL: $51.00

Live Scan site locations are available at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/livescan/scansites.shtml

Live Scan forms can be downloaded at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/livescan/forms.shtml

Note: Live Scan sites may charge a Live Scan submission processing fee. The Bureau does not set the fee amount.

STEP 4

Once the Bureau has received the online application and criminal history clearances, the cleared security guard will appear on the Bureau’s Web site. The security guard, private patrol operator or training facility can verify the Bureau’s approval by checking the Bureau’s “Verify a License” at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/online_services/verify_license.shtml.

Once the security guard registration has been cleared and appears on the Bureau’s Web site, a screen-print from the Web site may be made and used as an interim security guard registration. The security guard can then be placed on assignment. The actual security guard registration will be mailed to the applicant and should be received in 10 to 15 business days.

STEP 5

Security guards placed on assignment must keep the following documents with them:

  1. A valid security guard registration or a screen print of the Bureau’s approval obtained from the Bureau’s Web site.
  2. A valid photo identification

NORMAL PROCESSING

You may also submit your application to the Bureau the traditional way:

  • Submit your completed security guard application, a $50 registration fee and a Security Guard Live Scan form signed by the Live Scan operator (see above). A $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee and a $19 FBI fingerprint processing fee must be paid at the Live Scan site.
  • Send your application package to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, P.O. Box 989002, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002.

Applications for registration as a security guard are available from private patrol operators or training facilities certified by BSIS.

14 Responses to “Security Guard Requirements in California”

  1. This is really helpful information. I was confused about the process for becoming a security guard, but you laid out all the pieces in a clear way. Thanks for all the info.

  2. I already have from Yuba College a P.O.S.T. Modular Academy Level III certificate completed 162 hours of specialized instructions. (POST Certified (4) Chemical Agents, (23) CPR/First Aid, (8) Expandable Baton, and (64) P.C.832).

    I have a permit to carry conceal arms.

    What do I really need to get my guard card?

    Thank you.

    Henry

  3. i want to become a security guard
    but cant find any place to go??

  4. Can I et an unarmed guard card with a misdemeanor DUI?

  5. I am 19 years old still attending school to get my high school diploma but i am interested in being a security guard if you can please contact me on how i can become a security guard
    Thank You
    Edgar Juarez

  6. It has been a while since I went through CA security guard training, but I advise you to pay attention to the questions being asked because I was contacted by an attorney years ago, I did not realize the questions i answered were illegal to ask. I got 500.00 dollars from a class action lawsuit.

  7. I have a friend who is looking for a job,can you tell me how to become a private security guard for an important person, i.e. a celebrity or well-known person.

  8. Hello everyone, i have a security company and i being in business for years, i teach also the class for people who wants to become security guards, so if you are thinking of becoming a security guard give me a call to set an appointment for the class, i do the class twice a week and its 8 hours and a common sense test, i explain the course and make sure that everyone understand and pass the exam, i also help people who is their English as second language so there are fees applies to get the guard card which are
    $80 class fees
    $70.00 fingerprints
    $50.00 burearu of security and investigation.
    total =$ 200.00
    i can help you to get that and also i will give you hints of where to apply and how to get security jobs in minutes.
    i am located in Oakland California and i can be reach at 510-200-3007.
    Thanks

  9. The link on Step 1 is currently not working; could ya fix that?

  10. Some sights say that you need to complete 40 hours while others dont mention that at all.. my question is are the 40 hours mandatory or is that for a different guard card? thanks.

  11. I used guardcardcourses.com to obtain my (8) hours training. I followed the steps to get my guard card but most places want you to have the (40) hours training completed before they will hire you. I don’t have the extra $110 necessary to do this and now I can’t find work and rent is about to be do.

  12. It only mentioned that you need to finish (16) hours mandatory courses within (30) days of hire, and another (16) hours within (6) months. What can I do? I’m located in San Bernardino, CA.

  13. for a security job , I need guard card , how much the grand total money to spend to sign up for complete courses
    requirments, and how long the card is valid , and what are the renewal fees ?
    as above information do I forget any Hidden fees please
    inform me , and how long take to get my guard card to start for job

  14. I would love to ask that whether there is any placement in Private Security Companies California after training. Are you offering jobs as well.

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