California Armed & Unarmed Security Guard Training & License Requirements

In order to become a unarmed security guard in California and work as a security guard / security officer you must be at least 18 years of age, undergo a criminal history background check which is done through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as complete a 40-hour course of required training.

There are also further requirements to become an Armed Security Guard in California which we have outlined further below.


Requirements of California Security Guards / Security Officers:

As we outlined above you need to be at least 18 years old, undergo a criminal background check and compete 40 hours of training. The training and the exam can be administered by a private patrol officer or certified training facility and is broken down by:

  • 8 Hours – Before being assigned to a post
  • 16 Hours – Training required within the first 30 days
  • 16 Hours – Training required within the first 6 months

There are two methods to become a security guard in California – Expedite Processing and Normal Processing. We have outlined both methods below:

Expedite Processing Online

To speed up your application, you can expedite it by following the steps to become a security guard in California below:

It is important to note that when you are on assignment you need to keep your registration and valid photo identification on you at all times.

Normal Processing

Alternatively you can submit the form by paying $50 fee, including the Security Guard Live Scan Form (link above) as well as paying $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee and a $19 FBI fingerprint processing fee – these must be paid at the live scan site.

Once you have done this you can send your application to: Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, P.O. Box 989002, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002

If you are interested in becoming an armed security guard in California please continue reading our guide below.

In California, you must have a licensed to become an armed security guard by completing a firearm permit. The course must be taught by a Bureau-certified training instructor at a bureau-certified training facility and you will complete a written and range exam at the end of your course.

As part of becoming a security guard in California you can apply for your registration and firearm permit at the same time for $219.

Basic Requirements of Armed Security Guards / Security Officers in California:

In order to get your firearms permit in California, you need to be a United States citizen or have permanent legal alien status. Have passed 14 hours of training of carrying and using firearms, and submit a firearm permit application.

The application must include your Security Guard Registration and a $38 Firearm Eligibility application, $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee and $19 FBI fingerprint processing fee must be paid at the Live Scan site.

Firearm Training In California

Your firearm training course is based on 8 hours in the classroom and 6 hours on the firing range and covers:

  • Weapons Handling and Shooting Fundamentals
  • Firearms Terminology
  • Legal and Moral Aspects
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Range Training

For more information and for our reference see: Security Guard Fact Sheet – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services