A State by State Security Guard License Guide

Security Guard Requirements in Florida

Florida security guards are licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing. Security guards must be licensed unless they fall under exemption categories described in state statute. The basic security officer license for individuals is ‘Class D’. A security officer who carries a firearm will also need a ‘Class G’ firearm license.

Florida also licenses professionals who provide management services for security agencies. These professionals may hold a ‘Class M’ or ‘Class MB’ manager license; some security agency/ branch officers will also need a Class G fiream license.

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Basic Eligibility Requirements

Licensees must meet certain basic requirements. They must be at least 18 years old and must be citizens or hold other appropriate work eligibility documentation. They must be mentally competent and free of addictions.

The licensee will need to have an acceptable legal background. A criminal history is not disqualifying in all instances. An individual convicted of a felony might be found eligible if ten years has passed since he or she completed supervision. However, an adverse legal history could be disqualifying even without a felony conviction. Standards are described in the application instruction file.

A noncitizen who will carry firearms must document permanent residency and provide evidence of having lived in the state for at least 90 days.

Class D Security Guard Training Requirements

A prospective security officer will complete a program that meets standards described in state administrative code (https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=5N-1). It may be taken through a Department-licensed training program or school.

The curriculum is divided into two parts. The first is 24 hours. The second is 16 hours. Competency will be assessed by examination.

Additional Requirements for Class G Firearms License

In most cases, a security guard who will carry firearms will need to complete a 28 hour course to earn his or her Class G license. The course will be taught by a professional who holds a Class K firearm instructor license.

The course will teach a state-mandated curriculum (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Licensing/Private-Investigation/Private-Investigation-and-Firearms/G-License-Classroom-and-Range-Requirements). Legal aspects of use will comprise 12 hours. Safety and mechanics will comprise another 11 hours; this portion will culminate in a written test. Up to eight hours will be credited for firearms qualification; this portion will include practical exercises and qualifying rounds.

Some individuals will be exempted from taking the mandated 28-hour course based on training they received as law enforcement officers or correctional offers. Those who qualify for firearm instructor licenses can also be exempted.

License holders will need to requalify each year.

The armed security officer will be qualified for a particular type of firearm (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Licensing/Private-Security-and-Firearms).

The Application Process

Applicants may request applications or download them from the website (https://licensing.freshfromflorida.com/forms/FormsRequest493.aspx). The application file includes a copy of relevant state statutes.

The applicant will need to provide a small photograph; a sample is included in the application instruction handbook.

The licensing agency will require documentation of having met training requirements.

The applicant will need to have a fingerprint-based criminal background check. He or she may opt to have fingerprints made electronically using Livescan technology. The Department has provided lists of sheriff's offices, regional offices, and private vendors that provide the service (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Licensing/Private-Investigation/Submitting-Fingerprints-Electronically/Submitting-Fingerprints-Electronically-for-Chapter-493-Licenses). Costs may vary. Regional offices currently charge $42. Sheriff's offices charge approximately $35, though the cost may be higher at some locations. Applicants are invited to call (850) 245-5691 with questions they may have about the process.

The Department can also accept fingerprints submitted on inked cards. Instructions are included in the application packet.

Applicants who have been licensed as security officers in other states will provide the name of the state and the period of licensure.

Applicants with histories of drug or alcohol abuse will provide references as well as evidence of rehabilitation. Those who have been diagnosed with mental illness are directed to provide documentation of fitness from a Florida psychiatrist or psychologist.

The applicant will sign a waiver, allowing the licensing agency to carry out various investigations that could be necessary, including an examination of school records.

A security guard pays a $45 license fee. The firearm license fee is $112.

The application form requires notarization.

Security and Firearm Instructor Licenses

A Class DI instructor license will need to must hold licensing as a security guard for at least three years to achieve eligibility unless he or she has other qualifying education or experience.

The licensing agency can accept a degree at the bachelor's level or higher in a related field such as education or criminal justice; an associate's degree is qualifying if combined with a year of security officer licensure. A professional can also qualify based on military law enforcement or security experience or on completion of a law enforcement training program provided that the training was at the required level. A security professional who is licensed at the managerial level (Class M or MB) is eligible if he or she can also demonstrate some licensed management experience.

Individuals can be qualified to teach in certain limited roles based on training in fields such as nursing, emergency medicine/ paramedics, or firefighting.

A Class K firearms instructor must 1) pass a Department-administered examination or 2) demonstrate firearm instructor certification from the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission or a federal law enforcement agency or 3) earn a National Rifle Association Private Security Firearm Instructor Certificate (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Licensing/Private-Investigation/Private-Investigation-and-Firearms/K-License-Proof-of-Training-Required).

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Licensing/Private-Security/Private-Security-Licenses). The Security Officer Handbook provides a detailed description of requirements (https://licensing.freshfromflorida.com/forms/FormsRequest493.aspx). The Division of Licensing can be reached by telephone at (850) 245-5691.

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