Security Guard Requirements in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has an approval process for both armed and unarmed security guards who work as employees of security agencies. Unarmed security guards are not under Department jurisdiction if they are hired directly by businesses: for example, if someone is hired directly by a store to serve as a watchperson (

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Licensure of unarmed guards is based primarily on background check results. Armed guards have additional training requirements.

The Support Services Bureau, Permits and Licensing Unit licenses security service providers. One license category is for security agencies. Another is for individuals security guards who work for themselves and are not employees of security agencies. Self-employed security guards need to take greater financial responsibility than their counterparts who work as employees. (Employees are covered under a licensee’s surety bond, and have an employer who is responsible for their conduct.)

Select a New Hampshire Security Guard Topic:

Unarmed Security Guard Requirements

In order to work as an unarmed security guard, a person must meet general eligibility requirements. An individual could be denied based on criminal history or unprofessional acts.

Armed Security Guard Requirements

Armed security guards must complete a qualifying course, both initially and every year thereafter. They will need at least four hours of training that covers 1) firearms technique and safety and 2) laws and moral/ethical issues regarding use of force (

Firearms instructor schools operated by the following organizations have been accepted for qualification:

  • National Rifle Association
  • Smith & Wesson
  • SIG Sauer
  • Police Standards and Training Council
  • FBI

Other programs can be accepted if they are determined to be equivalent by the Commissioner of Safety.

Candidates must provide identification to their instructors.

The armed security guard will need to demonstrate accuracy. He or she can qualify with a score of 75%. Shooting expectations are detailed in the firearms proficiency certification form.

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A security guard will need a shotgun familiarization course if his or her employer has shotguns.

The licensing agency notes that a pistol permit does not authorize the carrying of firearms by a security guard.

A security officer who does not pass the annual qualification can be permitted to work as an unarmed guard if he or she is otherwise entitled.

The individual may be re-examined.

The Registration Process for Armed and Unarmed Guards

Unarmed guards have criminal history records checks; armed guards have criminal records checks and fingerprint-based criminal background checks. They are directed to call (603) 223-3873 to schedule their fingerprinting appointments.

Employee applications are available on the website of the Department of Safety ( Applications are to be brought in-person to the Department of Safety Building at 33 Hazen Drive in Concord. The public counter (Room 106) is open on weekdays between 8:15 and 4:00.

Armed guard status is dependent on receipt of a form DSSP 158, signed by the firearms instructor.

An applicant who “yes” to questions about criminal background, mental illness, addictions, protective orders, or actions against licenses will need to provide explanation.

The applicant will include names and addresses of three references. References will be sent questionnaires if there are questions about the applicant’s character; the process is detailed in state administrative code.

Fees for unarmed guards total $40; this included background check fees. For armed guards, there is an additional $26.50 fingerprinting fee.

Approved employees receive state-issued identification cards.

Individual Security Guard Requirements and Application Process

An individual who is licensed as a security guard must have a surety bond worth $50,000 ( An applicant will need to provide evidence of a bond that is concurrent with the licensing period.

Licenses are denied on the basis of felony convictions or on records of violent misdemeanor or crimes involving theft or dishonesty.

An individual applicant pay a $150 fee plus $35 in criminal records and investigative background check fees.

Private security guards are issued identification cards upon approval.

New Hampshire Public Sector Security Officer Requirements

Some New Hampshire security officers are hired into the public sector. Human Resources has provided a set of general requirements for security officers at Levels I through IV (

The expectation at the Security Officer I is a high school diploma or equivalency and a year of related experience. Experience could be earned in any of various job roles, including law enforcement, corrections, or military. Additional experience beyond the high school level may substitute for the year of experience. The individual is expected to have a driver’s license.

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Positions at the Security Officer II level are open only to candidates who are 21 or older. Candidates are expected to pass a physical. Some departments impose additional requirements.

In general, at the highest levels, there is an expectation of college coursework and police training.

Additional Information

Information about security guard requirements is available from the Permits and Licensing Unit of the Division of State Police ( Statutes ( and administrative code can be accessed from the website of the Division of State Police.

The Permit and Licensing Unit can be reached by telephone at (603) 223-3873 or by email at ‘PermitsandLicensing at’.