California Guard Card

How To Get A Security Guard Card in California?

A guard card is required to work as a security guard in California.

Sample california guard card

A sample of California Guard Card required to become a security guard.

In this article we will cover, how to become a security guard in California? California has the following requirements for you to obtain a guard card and become a security guard.

California Guard Card Requirements

California has the following requirements for you to obtain a guard card and become a security guard. Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) licenses security guard issues the California guard card.

California Security Guard Training

There are three main California guard card training requirements:

  • You must complete 40 hours of training to obtain and maintain your security guard card.
    1. Complete 8-hours training before you can apply for your guard card and start a job.
    2. Complete 16-hours training in the first 30 days of employment.
    3. Complete additional 16-hours of training in the first six months of employment.
  • Pass a background check: You must undergo a criminal history background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the California Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • You must be at least 18 years old.

You can complete your California guard card training online by BSIS approved online guard card training provider. You can also apply online for new security guard license or renewal. All online applications are given priority over mailed in applications.

You can follow the below five step process to speed up your California guard card application and fingerprinting process.

Step 1

Complete eight (8) hour “Power to Arrest ” training and pass the examination at the end of the training. The Powers to arrest training generally covers two to three main modules

Module 1: Powers to Arrest

  • Overview of Powers to Arrest Manual and subject matter
  • Role and Responsibilities of the security guard
  • Observation and Report Writing
  • Steps to Administering Power to Arrest
  • Relations with the Local Police
  • Legal Responsibilities and Liabilities
  • Inspections

Module 2 & 3: Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) & Terrorism Awareness

  • Identifying and reporting precursor activities
  • Nature of Terrorism
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Coordinating and sharing of critical information

Step 2

The security guard applicant, private patrol operator or the training facility must submit the security guard application online at California Online Security Guard Application for a California guard card. The online application is sent electronically to the Bureau.

You will be charged $51 for submitting your application online. Breakdown of fees paid online:

  • Security Guard Application Fee$50.00
  • Online Convenience Fee$1.00

TOTAL:  $51.00

Step 3

In order to use the online application process, you must submit your fingerprints electronically through the Department of Justice (DOJ) using Live Scan.

Note: The forms should be obtained directly from the Bureau’s Web site or should be obtained from the Bureau in person. The Live Scan form from the Bureau contains the correct coding to ensure that the Bureau receives and can match-up the responses from the FBI and the DOJ to your application.

Breakdown of fees paid at Live Scan site:

  • Department of Justice Fingerprint Fee$32.00
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Fingerprint Fee$17.00

TOTAL: $49.00

Live Scan forms for Security Guard
Live Scan site locations

Note: Additional fee may be charged by Live Scan for submission processing. BSIS does not set and regulate the fee amount.

Step 4

The BSIS waits for the criminal history clearance and processes the online application. The cleared security guard will appear 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 license can be verified online by security guard, private patrol operator or training facility at “Verify a License“.  The security guard can then be placed on assignment. The actual security guard registration will be mailed to the applicant and will take up to 10 to 15 business days to arrive.

Step 5

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

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

Normal (Offline) Processing For Security Guard Application in California

You can also mail in your California guard card application, however, it may take longer for your application to get processed compared to an online application.

Applications for registration as a security guard can be obtained from private patrol operators or training facilities certified by BSIS.

Along with you completed security guard application,

  • Submit a $50 registration fee and
  • A Security Guard Live Scan form signed by the Live Scan operator, including the ATI number.
  • A $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee,
  • $17 FBI fingerprint processing fee, and
  • Live Scan site processing fee must be paid at the Live Scan site.

Send your application package to:

Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, P.O. Box 989002,
West Sacramento,
CA 95798-9002.

Complete the additional training within the given time frame (16-Hours Training within the First 30 Days and additional 16-Hours Training within the First Six Months).

See how to become an armed security guard in California for firearms permit and additional training  requirements.

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