Do security guards need to be licensed in California

Do security guards need to be licensed in California?

When it comes to the security industry, one of the primary concerns is ensuring the safety of people and property. But do security guards need to be licensed in California? In this article, we’ll delve into the licensing requirements, the process to obtain a security guard license, disqualifications, and the validity of a California Guard Card.

Do security guards need to be licensed in California?

In California, security guards are required to obtain a license, commonly known as a guard card, to work in the security industry legally. 

The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services oversees the licensing and regulation of security guards to ensure the safety and security of the public. 

Failure to obtain the necessary license can result in legal consequences for the individual and the employing security company.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Security Guard License in California?

Obtaining a security guard license in California involves several steps and may take some time. To ensure that you meet the requirements, you need to plan your application carefully. It’s essential to consider the following important points:

1. Training Requirements

The first step in obtaining a security guard license in California is completing the required training. This training covers power to arrest, weapons of mass destruction, public relations, observation and documentation, communication, and legal aspects. 

Training courses can vary in length, but they typically span 8 to 40 hours. The duration of your training depends on the type of security guard license you are applying for.

2. Fingerprinting and Background Check

After completing the training, you must undergo a background check and get fingerprinted. This process can take a few weeks, and the time can vary based on your circumstances.

3. Application Processing Time

The California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Security and Investigative Services processes license applications. The processing time for the application can take several weeks, and it may be extended during peak times.

4. Examination

Depending on the type of security guard license, you may be required to pass an examination. The examination may be written or oral, and you must schedule it in advance.

In total, it could take several months to complete the licensing process. It is crucial to plan and be patient while waiting for your license to be approved.

How Do I Get a Security Guard License in California?

Obtaining a security guard license in California involves a systematic process. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Meet Eligibility Requirements: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the specific type of security guard license you want to obtain. These criteria may include age, legal residency, and criminal history requirements.

2. Complete Training: Enroll in the required training program and complete the coursework. Choose a training provider that the BSIS approves.

3. Fingerprinting and Background Check: Get fingerprinted and undergo a thorough background check.

4. Submit Application: Fill out the application for a security guard license, including all required documentation, and pay the necessary fees.

5. Pass the Examination: If required for your specific license, pass the written or oral examination.

6. Wait for Approval: Once your application is submitted, it goes through the processing period. Be prepared to wait for a few weeks.

7. Receive Your License: If your application is approved, you will receive your security guard license, also known as a Guard Card. You can now legally work as a security guard in California.

What Disqualifies You from Getting a Guard Card in California?

Several factors can disqualify an individual from obtaining a security guard license in California. Some common disqualifications include:

  • Criminal History: Convictions for certain crimes may disqualify you from obtaining a security guard license. Crimes involving violence, theft, or drugs are often disqualifying.
  • Mental Health Issues: A history of mental health problems that may impair your ability to perform security duties can be a disqualification.
  • Illegal Drug Use: Recent drug use or addiction issues may also result in disqualification.
  • Immigration Status: Non-U.S. citizens must have legal immigration status to apply for a security guard license.

How long is a CA Guard card Good for? 

In California, a guard card is valid for two years from the date of issuance. To continue working as a security guard, individuals must renew their guard card before the expiration date. 

Renewal requirements may include completing additional training hours, submitting updated personal information, and fulfilling any other specific requirements set by the BSIS. 

Security guards need to stay updated on the renewal process to ensure continuous compliance with the state regulations and to avoid any interruption in their employment.

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Conclusion

Security guards in California need to be licensed to perform their duties legally. Obtaining a security guard license involves training, background checks, and meeting eligibility requirements. It’s crucial to be aware of the disqualifications and the need for license renewal to maintain your status as a licensed security guard.