Security Officer Requirements in North Dakota: The levels of Security Officer Registration

North Dakota security officers are under the jurisdiction of North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board. All security officers must be credentialed unless they fall under exemption categories outlined in North Dakota Century Code.

Those who work as employees of security agencies are registered. Those who work for proprietary companies have the option of being registered.

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There are multiple levels of registration including apprentice security officer, security officer, and commissioned security officer. A professional moves through the ranks by accruing work experience hours and instruction hours.

Security officers who provide services independently are licensed.

Armed security officers must meet a separate set of requirements.

Select a North Dakota Security Officer Topic:

General Eligibility Requirements

In order to provide security services, an individual must have attained the age of at least 18. He or she must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. The person cannot have a mental condition that would impact on the ability to practice competently. He or she cannot have been convicted of a disqualifying crime. Felonies are disqualifying as are certain lesser convictions including Class A or B misdemeanors that involve violence or intimidation. Any crime that must be listed in subsection 12.1-32-15 is potentially disqualifying; however, the Board has authority to license an individual despite a criminal conviction if is it is determined that the crime does not impact negatively on the ability to carry out security duties and the individual has been rehabilitated to a sufficient extent.

However, registration can be denied on the basis of acts not specifically referenced in state administrative code if the licensing agency determines that they reflect poorly on moral character and have some bearing on security guard practice.

Apprentice Security Officer Requirements

The entry-level credential is apprentice security officer. To hold apprentice status, an individual must complete12 hours of classroom instruction or training ( In order to be credited, field training must be supervised by an experienced professional. The may be a commissioned security officer or a security professional who has 2,000 hours of experience as a security officer or otherwise meets requirements described in section 93-02-02.1-10. Classroom instruction is to be supervised by a Board-certified instructor. The initial training or instruction is to take place within 30 days of registration.

Security Officer and Commissioned Security Officer Requirements

In order to move up to “security officer” status, the security provider must accrue 1,000 hours of work experience. He or she must also receive 32 hours of classroom instruction.

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In order to move up to “commissioned security officer” status, the security officer must complete an additional 3,000 hours of experience at the security officer level. He or she will need 80 hours of education.

Armed Guard Requirements

In order to be authorized to provide armed services, an employee must have reached at least “security officer” status ( A North Dakota armed guard must also complete training on a par with peace officers.

The Board certifies firearms instructors. Board-certified instructors are professionals who have been certified as instructors by the North Dakota Peace Officer Standards and Training Board or the National Rifle Association or who have completed 24 months of internship under conditions acceptable to the Board (

The armed security officer will need to pass both a written exam and a shooting test.

Armed security officers must maintain continued proficiency. They must complete range qualification each year.

Security Provider Licensing Requirements

In order to be licensed for independent practice as a security service provider, a professional must have reached the “commissioned security officer” level or have fully 4,000 hours of experience and 80 hours of instruction.

The prospective licensee must pass an examination; this step is typically completed after application. The exam is delivered in Bismarck. The candidate will need to be familiar with the current versions of state laws and rules. The Board places limits on retakes. A candidate must wait 30 days after a failed attempt to apply for re-examination. If the candidate fails another attempt, he or she must wait a year. The Board has made a study guide available for $40.

Modified Requirements for Professionals with Comparable Training

There are various contexts in which the licensing agency will waive at least a portion of the training and experience requirements. As per 93-02-02.1-10 of state administrative rule, credit may be granted for security work performed in other states that have comparable requirements, for security work performed for exempt proprietary businesses, or for law enforcement work. The licensing agency can also credit academic education in relevant subject areas.

The Application Process

Initial registration may take place before educational requirements have been met.

Application forms are available on the Board website ( The applicant will also need to request fingerprint cards.

The applicant can also receive the necessary forms and materials by mailing a written request to the Board along with $20.

Applicants are asked to attach all post-secondary transcripts.

Applicants are to include two completed fingerprint cards. Those applying for licensure are also directed to include two passport-style photographs.

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An employee can be issued a provisional registration card after all application materials, including fingerprints, have been submitted. The applicant will need to provide results from a criminal history records check. The permanent card will be issued after the results of fingerprint based state and national background checks are in.

An applicant may incur multiple fees. The total fee for a security officer is $67 ($42 for background checks and $25 for registration). There is an additional $30 fee for armed status. A licensed security provider pays $42 for background checks, $100 for application and testing, and $130 for his or her license. This is in addition to the cost of a business license.

Licenses and registrations are renewed annually.

Additional Information

Licensing and registration information is available from the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board ( The Board can be reached by telephone at 701-222-3063.