What You NEED to Know
The guard card is the basic license issued by the California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services. The guard card training is the first step new guards must accomplish in order to submit their application to the State of California. The guard card license allows people to work as security guards, bouncers, loss prevention agents, in security patrol, etc. Specialized training is typically available for niche assignments. AEGIS Security & Investigations offers advanced online guard card training in excess of state standards.
-To obtain a guard card, you must receive 8 hours of training including powers of arrest and weapons of mass destruction.
-Within the first 30 days of hire, you must receive an additional 16 hours of training both mandatory and elective courses. For a detailed listing of the courses, CLICK HERE.
-Within the first six months of hire, you must receive an additional 16 hours of training of elective courses. For a detailed listing of the courses, CLICK HERE.
-This results in a total 40 hours of guard card verifiable training. You must also receive 8 hours of annual refresher training.
The second step is to complete a Live Scan form and get your finger prints submitted to the state by a Live Scan Operator. For a copy of the Live Scan Form, CLICK HERE. To view a detailed list of Live Scan Operators, CLICK HERE. You must bring a completed Live Scan form with you when you get your finger prints taken. Live Scan is usually between $65-$80 depending on the provider.
The third and final step is to complete online guard card registration through the State of California. To access the state’s online portal, CLICK HERE. Make sure to use the information printed on the downloaded certificate at the end of your course when submitting your application. The application fee payable to the state is $51. If you have any questions, call the State of California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services at 916-322-4000 or 800-952-5210.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Does the course need to be completed at one time? No – the benefit of taking an online guard card course is that you get to complete it on your schedule.
- How long do I have to finish the course? As long as you need – however, it is recommended you finish the 8 hour course in 2-3 days and the 40 hour course in 2-3 weeks.
- How do I finish the process to get my guard card when I’m done? Print your certificate from the program, download and complete the LivesScan Form, get finger printed and submit your application to BSIS online. (see above for details)
- I’ve been waiting! How long before I get my guard card? The State of California is historically hard to predict when it comes to processing times. You can receive it in as little as 7 days and as much as 2-3 months, if not longer!
- I have a record… Does that mean I can’t get a guard card? The answer is, it depends. The state takes in to account your record on a case by case basis. If you have a record, you may get denied initially, but will have the chance to appeal before a board. There are cases of which people with felonies have obtained guard cards because they were able to show the board they have reformed.
- How do I start? Click the link above to start your training today!
- What do I do with my certificate when I am done? Simply print them out and give them to your employer as well as keep a copy for yourself.
- What if I don’t pass a test? Don’t worry! The system will give you a chance to study and re-take the test!
- Can I work as an independent contractor? No – only licensed Private Patrol Operators carrying general liability insurance may work as independent contractors.
- Can I take a cash gig? No – taking a cash gig is the same as working as an independent contractor. You must be employed by a Private Patrol Operator security company.
- Can I put together a team and sell our security services? No – only licensed Private Patrol Operators may contract guard services. You must be employed by a security company.
- Can I work as a bodyguard? – No – only licensed Private Patrol Operators may contract bodyguard services. You must be directly employed by the client or by a security company.
- What if I am a retired or off duty law enforcement officer? You may be exempt from certain training requirements, however to contract your services, you must be a licensed Private Patrol Operator. If not, you must be directly classified as a W2 employee by the client or work for a security company.
- Is it okay to be an independent contract security guard, 1099, or accept cash jobs? See the answer here.