What are the requirements for registering as a Security Guard?

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Undergo a criminal background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • Must complete training and exam administered by any private patrol operator or by a certified training facility.

How do I get started?

  • Contact a private patrol operator.
  • After you pass your final examination you will go to the nearest live scan site to have your fingerprints electronically submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Will it be easy to get a security guard job once I get my security guard license?

  • Yes, there are many security guard companies always in need of guards. There is a good chance of finding a security guard job close by. Our team members can provide you with information to help you find a security guard job.

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Is the exam needed to obtain a license difficult?

  • Although the information is comprehensive, most candidates, with sufficient time reviewing the training manual and working with the certified instructor, are able to pass the exam. Most certified training facilities will take the time to review the answers with you and make sure that you understand where mistakes occurred. Most training facilities do not charge extra to retake the exam.

How much will it costs me to get a guard card?

  • Most training facilities will charge you at a reasonable price for the eight-hour training and exam that the state requires to obtain a security guard license. Please be advised, however, that there are two other required costs. The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) has an additional charge to process your application, and live scan will also charge a fee to submit your fingerprints electronically.

Is security guard work dangerous?

  • A security guard is not a police officer. You will not be expected to place your own life in danger. The main role of a security guard should be prevention.  If prevention is not possible, the role of a security guard should be to observe and report.


Does a security guard license (guard card) expire?

  • Yes. BSIS requires that all security license be periodically renewed. A guard registration card is valid for two years and it expires the day after the expiration date on the card. The renewal application process can be done either by mail or the internet (on-line).

If I am changing employers, do I need to complete a new security guard application?

  • No. A guard registration authorizes you to work as security guard for any Private Patrol Operator or in-house.

Can I carry weapons with the security license?

  • The state requires you to be certified for each weapon you use on the job. You may not carry a gun on duty without a valid firearm permit. Also, a firearm permit issued by the Bureau does not authorize you to carry a concealed weapon. To do so, you will need Concealed Weapons Permit (CCW) issued by local authorities.

Can a security guard employee work for more than one employer?

  • Yes, as long as he/she is an employee, on payroll with the proper payroll deductions being made.



Did you know that the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) does not allow an off duty police officer to work in police uniform when working as a security guard in CA?

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