Security Guard Registration Requirements in Georgia
Georgia security guards are under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Board of Private Detectives and Security Agencies. Armed security guards must register with the state. They will undergo thorough background checks.
Unarmed guards do not have to register, but must meet training requirements set by the state.
Professionals who operate security agencies must also meet requirements set by the state.
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Select a Georgia Security Guard Topic:
- Find Security Training Near You
- Training Requirements for Unarmed Guards in Georgia
- Additional Requirements for Armed Guards in Georgia
- The Georgia Armed Guard Application Process
- Requirements to Operate a Security Business
- The License Application Process
- Background Check Requirements
- Department Contacts and Additional Information
Training Requirements for Unarmed Guards
Training requirements are described in state rules and regulations (http://rules.sos.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/page.cgi?g=GEORGIA_BOARD_OF_PRIVATE_DETECTIVE_AND_SECURITY_AGENCIES_%2Findex.html&d=1). An unarmed private security will complete a program of at least 24 hours. The following topics will receive coverage:
- Private security role
- Legal aspects
- Observation and patrol
- Security resources
- Incident response
- First aid overview
- Customer service
The instructor will be a professional who is certified by the state. Typically, this is someone who has supervisory experience or law enforcement experience. A person may find instructors by doing a licensee search; he or she can get started by selecting “online services”.
Additional Requirements for Armed Guards
An armed guard must complete at least 15 hours of additional education (http://rules.sos.state.ga.us/docs/509/3/10.pdf). The instructor will be Board-licensed.
A handgun course will include the following:
- Liability issues
- Use of deadly force
- Types of handgun
- Range training
The individual will initially need to pass two tests. One is a written exam, the other a test of firing range. Both must be passed with scores of at least 80%. In the case of the firing test, two strings will be fired. The highest score will be the qualifier. Prospective armed guards must qualify with the type of weapon that they will be carrying on the job.
If the employee will carry a shotgun or concealed weapon, the employer must make a special request, detailing duties and providing justification. Training requirements for shotguns are also described in administrative rules.
The Armed Guard Application Process
Armed guard registration is agency specific. The registration application will be submitted by the employing agency, but the prospective armed guard will need to complete much of the application. The licensing agency will require a five year employment and address history.
An applicant who has a criminal or disciplinary history will need to submit certified documents such as court dispositions or agency orders.
The licensing agency will seek a copy of the training certificate. The employer will also affirm, in a notarized statement, that the individual has had the required security guard training.
The application package includes additional forms that require employee notarization.
The registration package can be downloaded from the Board website (http://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/plbforms.asp?board=31).
It costs $70 to register an armed security employee.
Application status can be monitored online (https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/PLB_appStatus).
Criminal Background Check Process
The applicant will be required to have a fingerprint-based background check. He or she will have fingerprints made through the approved vendor, Cogent. Cogent has provided a map of electronic fingerprinting locations. Registration can be carried out online (https://www.aps.gemalto.com/ga/index.htm).
Applicants who are unable to visit an electronic fingerprinting site will need to submit their fingerprint cards to Cogent for processing (https://www.aps.gemalto.com/ga/index.htm). It will be necessary to pre-register.
Requirements to Operate a Security Business
A professional who wishes to operate a security business must apply to the Board for licensure. There are several eligibility pathways (http://rules.sos.state.ga.us/docs/509/2/02.pdf). The individual may qualify with four years of experience in law enforcement or two years of managerial or supervisory experience in the security industry. The Board will also accept a degree at the baccalaureate level in criminal justice or acceptable related field. If the degree is not specifically in criminal justice, the licensing agency will review the coursework.
The individual will need to pass a pre-licensure examination. The candidate will first submit a license application. If approved, he or she will receive registration information from PSI. The examination is currently $125 (https://candidate.psiexams.com/catalog/fap_test_details.jsp?testid=1790&prev_page=/catalog/fap_test_catalog_details.jsp)
The licensing agency will require one of the following: a surety bond, liability insurance policy, or certified financial statement indicating net worth of at least $50,000. This is not due until post-examination. Details are found in the application packet.
A partnership, corporation, or other association can be licensed as a security business. There will, however, need to be an officer who meets requirements set by the state (http://sos.ga.gov/plb/acrobat/Laws/31_Priv_Detective_and_Security_43-38.pdf). The designee will complete the application.
The License Application Process
Application materials can be found on the Board website (http://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/plbforms.asp?board=31).
An individual who has held a supervisory position with a security agency or in-house supervisory operation will need to provide a notarized letter from his or her employer.
An applicant/ designee who is applying on the basis of academic degree will need to provide certified transcripts.
There is an application fee of $100 and license fee of $500. Applicants are advised to read the requirements before submitting materials.
Fingerprints can be made before application submission. The ORI number is included in the application packet.
Applicants are advised to provide email addresses.
Information about security guard requirements, including license exemptions, is available from the Georgia Board of Private Detectives and Security Agencies (http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/42). The Board can be reached by telephone at 404-656-2881.
The Investigative & Security Professional Association of Georgia Inc. (https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/42) is an additional professional resource.