Security Guard Agency
Who is required to be licensed?
"Private security guard service" means any agency, individual or employer in the business of furnishing to the public for hire, fee or reward dogs, watchmen, patrol service, private security guards or other persons to protect human life or to prevent the theft or the misappropriation or concealment of goods, wares, merchandise, money, bonds, stocks, notes,
choses in action or other property, valuable documents, papers and articles of value.
Note to Peace Officers: Peace officers operating a security agency
(business) must be licensed per the requirements of this webpage. This means the
submission of an application, fees, a workman's compensation policy, liability
insurance, a list of employees and a recent letter from the agency head (or
designee) that the officers may wear department uniforms and drive department
vehicles. If your agency will not permit the use of agency uniforms and
vehicles, you must follow the instructions below pertaining to security uniforms
and vehicles. Recent inquiries of various risk management and human resources
entities has shown that they WILL NOT cover officers working in this capacity,
the only exception is typically if the job was coordinated through an authorized
agency off duty work coordinator - check with your department for further
information as the policy may vary between agencies. If your agency will cover
you in this security capacity, submit a written statement from BOTH your HR and
Risk Management directors, in addition to all the other required application
paperwork. Consult with your agency head and HR department before creating a
security business due to conflicts related to peace officer status and liability
while working for a security company.
Instructions to start
a security guard agency can be downloaded
Qualifications of Licensee
A security guard agency license is issued to an individual who is the Qualifying Party regardless of the agency structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation). The Qualifying Party is sometimes called the Licensee.
The Qualifying Party must meet the requirements as listed in
§32-2612 B. Qualifications for Licensee
The Qualifying Party (or Resident Manager)… shall have at least three years of full-time experience as a manager, supervisor or administrator of a security guard agency or three years of full-time supervisory experience with any federal, United States military, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency.
The qualifying party must pass the
Documentation of Qualifications
The necessary documentation to fulfill the above Statute must be described in a
letter from an individual or individuals, such as a former supervisor, who can
specifically state their work relationship with you and personally verify your
appropriate supervisory experience. The letter should contain the date the
supervisory position was achieved, duties performed, date of termination (if
applicable). The author of the letter must be clearly identified by name and include an address and contact telephone number. The author must sign the letter.
You may also submit documentation from an agency from which you retired or were previously employed. This documentation may be in the form of retirement papers,
letters of recommendation, performance evaluations, or military records such as DD 214,
NCOERs, OERs, awards, etc. (a DD 214 alone is insufficient evidence - we also
need the copy that shows the type of discharge received). Generally, military
personnel in grade E-5 or higher and officers will be considered to have served
in supervisory capacities,
however, at least three years of supervisory experience must be documented. Submitted documents must explicitly state that you have the required experience from verifiable sources. Failure to provide
sufficient documentation of your experience from appropriate sources will result
in the rejection of your application.
Allow at least 15 business days after the submission of your application
before calling the unit to check your status. Repeated phone calls will only
delay your application.
Selecting Your Agency Name
You need to get approval
of your agency name through the DPS Licensing Unit before contacting the Arizona Corporation Commission or Arizona
Secretary of State. The Licensing Unit’s standards for name approval are more
stringent than other state agencies and the Licensing Unit must consider other factors before approving your
for choosing your agency name are listed
instructions and forms are available
Reader is required to download, open, and print the forms. This is free software. A link is provided on this
website to download the application.
Application Packets may also be requested from the
Licensing Unit office.
If these individuals reside and/or work in Arizona, they are considered Agency Associates:
Use the (one-page) Registration Application for each Associate’s application.
The fee for an Associate is a $50.00 application fee and $22.00 for the
fingerprint processing fee. Each Associate must submit a classifiable
fingerprint card, a passport photograph or a facial photograph, and proof of
identification, such as a photocopy of your driver's license, passport, etc.. Each
Associate must pass the
The associate application is available
If the Qualifying Party does not reside in Arizona, there must be an Arizona address from which the agency will conduct business. The Qualifying Party must also name, in writing, an individual who is to serve as the Resident Manager. The Resident Manager must meet the same experience and background qualifications as the Qualifying Party
and pass the
Use the (two-page) Security Guard/Private Investigator Agency Application to submit a Resident Manager’s application.
The resident manager application form is available
Uniforms and Vehicles
Uniform and insignia
AAC R13-6-501 Uniforms and vehicles
The particular type of uniform and insignia for a security guard shall be subject to approval by the director, and shall be such that it will not deceive or confuse the public or be identical with that of any law enforcement officer of the federal government, the state or any political subdivision thereof.
Patches and/or badge
No shoulder patch, breast patch or breast badge shall be worn or carried by a security guard, armed security guard, private policeman, special policeman, watchman, or employee or licensee of any patrol service agency or private security guard agency, unless previously approved by the director. Obtain
approval from the DPS Licensing Unit before you order your shoulder patch,
breast patch or breast badge in quantity.
Patches or badges shaped like a star, containing a prominent star,
law enforcement emblems or state center seals that are used on shields worn by Arizona law enforcement,
State government or federal agencies shall not be approved. The department
shall not approve any word or word combination
that could cause a reasonable person to confuse a security guard with law
Departmental policy prohibit the following
word on any badge or shield:
Shoulder identification patches shall
be worn on on the upper left and right sleeves of all shirts, coats and jackets and shall include the name of the agency
and the word "Security." Shoulder identification patches or emblems shall not be less than two inches by three inches in size.
The patch should contain the word "Security" on it, however, a rocker or smaller
patch reading "Security" in letters that are one-half inch or taller may be affixed below the the shoulder patch in lieu of
a patch with the word "Security" incorporated into it. A patch containing a
star, emblem, design, center seal or verbiage that resembles a law enforcement
or government agency patch will not be approved. Uniforms may use embroidered
cloth shoulder patches or patches that are silk-screened or embroidered directly
on the upper shoulder sleeves.
A breast patch shall be worn on all uniform
shirts, coats and jackets and shall include the name of the agency
and the word "Security." The breast patch shall not be less than one
and one-half inches by two inches in size.
The breast patch should contain the word "Security" on it, however, a rocker or smaller
patch stating "Security" in letters that are one-half inch or taller may be affixed below the the breast patch in lieu of
a patch with the word "Security" incorporated into it. A patch
containing a prominent star, emblem, design, center seal or verbiage that resembles a law enforcement or
government agency will not be approved. Uniforms may use an embroidered cloth
breast patch, metal breast badge or a patch that is silk-screened or embroidered
directly on the left breast side.
Metal Badge or Shield
A metal badge or shield
may be substituted for the breast patch.
No badge or shield shall be worn or carried by a security guard, armed security guard, private policeman, special policeman, watchman, or employee or licensee of any patrol service agency or private security guard agency, unless previously approved by the director.
Badges shaped like a star, containing a prominent star,
law enforcement emblems or state center seals that is used on shields worn by Arizona law enforcement
or government agencies shall not be approved. A
badge containing a prominent star, emblem,
design, center seal or verbiage that resembles a law enforcement or government
agency will not be approved.
Approved breast badges shall be worn only
left breast side of the approved uniform. Wearing the badge or shield on the belt
or lanyard is prohibited.
The uniform shirt
may be traditional or casual.
Traditional uniform shirts are Class A, dress
uniform, battle dress uniform (BDU) shirts or any type of uniform shirt that has
buttons down the front Traditional shirts require shoulder patches on the upper
left and right sleeves and a breast patch or breast badge on the left breast
Casual uniform shirts are polo shirts or t-shirts.
Casual shirts require shoulder patches on the upper left and right sleeves, a
breast patch or breast badge on the left breast side and the word SECURITY
across the back with letters that are at least three inches tall.
The following shirt over pant/shorts combinations are
Blue over blue
Tan over tan
Tan over brown
Black over black
The department shall not
approve any color combination that may cause a reasonable person to confuse a
security guard with law enforcement personnel.
Security guard coat or jacket may be any color.
Jackets shall display a shoulder patch on the left and right upper shoulder
sleeve, breast patch or breast badge on left breast side and the word "SECURITY"
displayed on the back with letters that are three inches tall or taller.
ARS §28-947.B., ARS §28-947.D.
AAC R13-6-501 Vehicles
All security vehicles, markings and equipment must be
approved by the licensing unit. Security guard vehicle shall not have; Blue lights,
Red lights visible from the front, Sirens and bells and markings that may cause
a reasonable person to confuse the security guard vehicle with vehicles used by
law enforcement personnel.
Guard Training Requirements
As required by
ARS §32-2613 and
ARS §32-2632, training must be provided to Security Guards
(currently certified AZ peace officers are exempt from training requirements). A copy of the
8 Hour Required SG Curriculum
is available on this website. The curriculum of your
training program must cover:
Use of Force
Armed guards must also complete the DPS approved 16 Hour
Firearms Training Course for
Liability and Worker's Compensation Insurance
Do not purchase or submit evidence of
your liability and workers' compensation policy until your
company has received notification from the Licensing Unit that your agency is
General Liability Insurance
ARS §32-2613.C.2 and
ACC R13-6-202.A.2. Once you receive such notification (and before the agency license is issued), you must submit a valid insurance certificate that indicates proof of general liability insurance, issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in Arizona, in the amount of $100,000 for each occurrence, and an aggregate total of at least $300,000.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety
Licensing Unit must be listed as the certificate holder.
If the security guard agency has an out-of-state address listed on the insurance certificate, the “description of operations” must include words similar to
coverage extends to Security Guard Agency operations in Arizona.
This certificate must be sent to DPS upon renewal of the policy. The agency file is updated with the new expiration date.
Workers' Compensation for Employees
ARS §32-2613.C.3 and
ACC R13-6-202.A.3. Each agency is required to have a valid Workers'
Compensation insurance, issued by a company authorized to conduct business in
The Arizona Department of Public Safety Licensing Unit must be listed as the certificate holder.
If the security guard agency has an out-of-state address listed on the insurance certificate, the “description of operations” must include words similar to for security guard agency operations in Arizona.
This certificate must be sent to DPS upon renewal of the policy. The agency file is updated with the new expiration date.
Authorized Signers and Instructors
The Qualifying Party and any Resident Manager can authorize individuals to sign
Part A of
the employee applications for the agency. Authorized Signers must be designated in writing. The Qualifying Party may add or delete signers as often as deemed necessary, but each action must be in writing.
The Qualifying Party must also designate, in writing, the unarmed trainiing Instructor(s)
for the agency. These unarmed training instructor(s) shall conduct the required
eight hour unarmed pre-assignment training class. Unarmed training instructors
are the only individuals who are authorized to sign as the unarmed trainer on the
Security Guard Unarmed Training Verification Forms.
If the agency is going to hire and/or train armed security guards, then the
Qualifying Party must designate, in writing, the firearm-safety Instructor(s)
for the agency. The firearm-safety instructor(s) shall conduct the required
sixteen hour initial armed training class and the yearly eight hour armed
refresher classes. Firearm-safety instuctors need to be licensed by the DPS
Licensing Unit. Firearm-safety instructors
are the only individuals who are authorized to sign as the armed instructor on the
Armed Security Guard Training Verification Forms.
The written authorization to DPS must include a signature sample with the printed name, as signatures are often illegible. These authorizations and sample signatures are retained in the agency file.
Licensing and Registration Fees
licensing fees may be paid by cash, money order, cashiers checks and/or
company checks issued by the security guard agency. Cashiers checks, money
orders and agency issued checks must be payable to DPS. Security
Guard Agency licenses are valid for two-years. Qualifying party licenses,
resident manager and associate registration certificates expire when the
security guard agency's license expires. No refunds will be given if
individuals are disqualified from obtaining a license.
Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint background check
The applicant's fingerprints will be used to check the criminal history records
of the FBI. The procedures for obtaining a change, correction, or updating of
your criminal history record are set forth in Title 28, Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR), Section 16.34.
New agency application fee
The new agency application fee is $500 plus $22 for the fingerprint processing of the Qualifying Party
($522 total). Any Resident Manager and/or Associate application fee is $72 each,
which covers the $50 license fee and the $22 FBI fingerprint processing fee. These
must be submitted with the new agency application.
New agency license fee
After the qualifying party (and resident manager if necessary)
experience, uniform and vehicle photographs, and background checks have been reviewed and approved, then a Ready
To License Letter will be
sent to the new agency requesting the $500 license fee and certificates
showing proof of General Liability and Workers' Compensation insurance.
Renewal license fee
The license fee for renewing an agency is $500. Include $22 for the
FBI fingerprint processing of the Qualifying Party
Any Resident Manager or Associate renewal applications and fingerprints must
be included with the agency renewal application. Include the $50 registration
certificate fee and
the $22 FBI fingerprint processing fee ($72 total, per person).
Revised Statutes-Security Guards-Chapter 26
Arizona Administrative Code-Security Guards
Links to Revised Lesson Plans
for Security Guard Training:
Arizona Department of Public Safety
PO Box 6328, MD 3140
Phoenix, AZ 85005
Phone: (602) 223-2361
Fax: (602) 223-2938