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Security Guard Agency License

Security Guard Agency

 

Who is required to be licensed?

Definitions from ARS §32-2601-16

"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 here.

 

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 ARS §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 background check.

 

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 agency name. 

 

Instructions for choosing your agency name are listed here.

 

Application packet

Application information, instructions and forms are available here.

 

Adobe Acrobat 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.

 

Agency Associates

If these individuals reside and/or work in Arizona, they are considered Agency Associates:

  • Corporation: Each corporate officer

  • Partnership: Partners other than the Qualifying Party

 

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 background check.

 

The associate application is available here.

 

Resident Manager

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 background check.

 

Use the (two-page) Security Guard/Private Investigator Agency Application to submit a Resident Manager’s application.

 

The resident manager application form is available here.

 

Uniforms and Vehicles

Uniforms

ARS §32-2635 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 enforcement personnel.

 

Departmental policy prohibit the following word on any badge or shield:

  • Officer

  • Police

  • Officer

  • Patrolman

  • Agent

  • Sheriff

  • Deputy

  • Marshall

 

Shoulder Patches

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.  

 
Breast Patch

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 on the left breast side of the approved uniform. Wearing the badge or shield on the belt or lanyard is prohibited.

 
Uniform Shirt

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 side.

 

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 prohibited.

  • 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.

 

Jackets

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.

 

Vehicles

ARS §28-947.B., ARS §28-947.D. , and ARS §28-954.C.

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:

  • Orientation

  • Criminal Law

  • Uniform

  • Communications

  • Use of Force

  • General Procedures

  • Crime Scene

  • Ethics

  • First Response

Note: Armed guards must also complete the DPS approved 16 Hour Firearms Training Course for Armed Guards.

 

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 approved.

 

General Liability Insurance

As required by 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

As required by 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 Arizona.

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

Agency 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 ($522 total).

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).

 

 

Arizona Revised Statutes-Security Guards-Chapter 26

Arizona Administrative Code-Security Guards

 

 

 

Links to Revised Lesson Plans for Security Guard Training:

 

Training Forms

 

 


Arizona Department of Public Safety

Licensing Unit

PO Box 6328,   MD 3140

Phoenix, AZ 85005

 

Phone: (602) 223-2361

Fax: (602) 223-2938  

 

Revised 06/13/2017

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