Security Guard Requirements in Delaware: Private Security License

Delaware’s private security employees are licensed by the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. An individual qualifies after completing training, passing a competency test, and going through a background check process. A person must be at least eighteen to work as an unarmed guard, and at least 21 to work as an armed guard. The Department-issued private security license is not offered to current law enforcement employees.

The Department issues a number of other licenses, including armored car guard.

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Select a Delaware Private Security License/Security Guard Topic:

Training and Examination Requirements

The prospective security officer must take a 16 hour course. The Department has provided a list of approved instructors with contact information; a link is found on the ‘Professional Licensing’ page of the Department website (

The graduate will need a training certificate signed by his or her instructor.

License is by examination. The candidate will need to score at least 75% on the security guard certification test. The Department has published a study guide that includes content outline and sample questions. The examination covers the following:

  • Laws
  • egulations
  • Use of force (including verbal force)
  • Ethics
  • Emergency services/ first response
  • Communication/ report writing
  • Asset protection/ safety/ fire
  • National Terrorism Advisory System

The examination is administered by Del Tech. It is offered at four campuses, located in Dover, Georgetown, Stanton, and Wilmington. A prospective security guard can visit the Delaware Tech Workforce Development and Community website to see a list of upcoming dates and times ( The Department has also provided a link to campus fliers.

The exam currently costs $49. Registration can be carried out online. The candidate may instead call 302-857-1400 for the Terry Campus, 302-259-6329 for the Georgetown Campus, or 302-454-3956 for the Stanton/ George campuses.

Background Check Requirements

A security guard applicant may not have been convicted of a felony or disqualifying misdemeanor, either in Delaware or another state. Disqualifying misdemeanors are described in Title 24, Chapter 13. They include those involving theft, drugs, or moral turpitude. An individual would also be disqualified on the basis of dishonorable discharge from the military.

The applicant will need to have a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Fingerprints can be made in Kent County or New Castle County. The Department has posted hours of operation for each site. The New Castle service is by appointment only; applicants may call 302-739-2528. Currently, no appointment is necessary to have fingerprints made at the Kent location. However, applicants may want to visit the Department website to confirm; they may call 302-739-5871 for directions.

Armed Security Guard Requirements

A security guard who will carry a firearm must have a commissioned security guard license. In most cases, an individual will need to complete a 40 hour course under an approved instructor. Former law officials are among those who might be exempted based on prior training.

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The armed guard must have been trained in the particular type of firearm that he or she is using. The list of approved instructors displays the particular type of weapon the instructor is approved to teach. It includes not only guns but items such as chemical spray, handcuffs, and nightstick. A security guard is not to use any items that he or she has not been certified to use.

The security guard license does not authorize a security guard to carry a concealed weapon.

The Application Process

Prospective security guards may submit their applications either before or after training; school policies vary. However, applicants should be aware of maximum timelines imposed by the licensing agency. Fingerprints are valid for only 30 days.

Applications can be downloaded from the Department website ( The Department will require training and testing certificates.

The applicant must pay a nonrefundable $89 fee.

The Department notes that it typically takes at least two weeks for fingerprints to clear and that applications should wait to make status inquiries until at least this much time has elapsed.

An approved licensee will received a security guard identification card.

Other Licenses Issued by the Professional Licensing Section

Requirements for armored car guards are the same as those for commissioned security guard; an individual must be at least 21 (

To receive a security guard business license, an individual must be at least 25. There are three eligibility pathways: Former police officers are eligible provided they attended police academy. An individual without police experience can achieve eligibility by attaining a management position at a security agency and accruing four years of experience. He or she may instead demonstrate five years of investigative experience.

To be eligible for an armored car guard license, an individual will need four years of experience at the managerial level working for an armored car agency.

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Professionals who go into business in either capacity will need to take out insurance policies and post surety bonds.

Additional Information

Private security employee licensing information is available from the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Licensure and practice are governed by the Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act (

The Delaware Chapter of ASIS International is a state professional organization (