Security Officer License Requirements in Utah

Utah licenses both security officers and security agencies. The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) recognizes three types of security officer: unarmed, armed, and armored car. Requirements include background check, training, and assessment.

The state also sets standards for qualifying agents: professionals who are responsible for the operations of security companies; these professionals may be proprietors or managers. Qualifying agents must meet examination and experience requirements. The qualifying agent and other managers and major shareholders are fingerprinted.

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Requirements for Unarmed Security Officers in Utah

Prospective security officers must meet eligibility and training requirements. A prospective security officer will be denied licensure based on a felony, a misdemeanor that involves moral turpitude, or another crime that, when the duties of a security officer are taken into account, indicates that licensure would not be in the public interest. Disqualifying crimes are referenced in state rule ( Other disqualifiers include chemical dependency, habitual drunkenness or having been declared incompetent by a court of competence (unless competence has since been restored).

The prospective guard will need to complete a Division-approved training program, consisting of required subjects and electives.

The basic program will include at least 16 hours of required courses. It will cover the following:

  • Private security nature and role
  • Legal responsibilities
  • State laws and rules
  • Situational response evaluations
  • Patrol techniques
  • Documentation and report writing
  • Use of force (including alternatives)
  • Community/ police relations
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace

The program will include eight hours of electives. The following are among the topics that may be covered:

  • CPR and first aid
  • Self-defense
  • Access control
  • Crowd control
  • Use of defensive objects

The program will culminate in an exam that includes concepts covered in the 16 hours of basic training. The student will need to score at least 80%.

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Unarmed guards are responsible for completing 16 hours of continuing education.

Requirements for Armed Security Officers

An armed guard must be at least 18.He or she will complete an additional approved course. The course will include at least six hours of classroom instruction and six hours of range instruction. The student will need to pass both a final exam and a practical pistol course. The passing score is again 80%.

The armed guard will complete 16 hours of continuing firearms training every two years. This is in addition to the general continuing education requirements. The armed guard should receive four hours of training every six months.

Requirements for Armored Car Security Officers

Armored car security officers must be at least 21.They must complete a basic program and a firearms training program. Armored car licensing requirements are described in Rule 156-63b.

The Security Officer Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from DOPL website ( There is one security officer application; applicants will mark the application to show whether armed, unarmed, or armored car security officer licensing is sought.

The security officer application packet includes a form that must be signed by the basic classroom instructor and (if applicable) the firearms instructor.

The licensing agency will need to see driver’s license, ID, or work authorization.

An applicant who answer “yes” to questions on the qualifying questionnaire will need to provide explanation. In some cases, court and police records will be required.

There is a $100 security officer application fee.

Applications may be mailed or hand delivered; there are two addresses listed in the application packet.

The licensing agency will require fingerprint-based background checks carried out by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) and the FBI. Fingerprints may be made at the DOPL office; there is no charge for this service. Applicants also have the option of having fingerprints made in advance and including two fingerprint cards in the application packet.

An interim permit can be issued more quickly than a license. An applicant who seeks an interim permit will need to provide a criminal history report that shows no record. The permit cannot be issued if the applicant has answered “yes” to any questions in the qualifying questionnaire (

A security guard who wishes to upgrade from unarmed to armed will need to provide an additional background check as well as evidence of required training.

Requirements for Qualifying Agents

A professional who serves as qualifying agent for a contract security company must have 6,000 hours of creditable experience. The professional must have had a position that required a level of responsibility. The licensing agency can accept supervisory, managerial, or administrative experience that was accrued within the security industry. The supervisory experience may instead be earned in law enforcement; duties may have been provided to a governmental or military entity but must be found acceptable to the Division.

The qualifying agent will need to pass the Utah Security Personnel Qualifying Agent’s Examination with a score of at least 75%. The following are among the topics covered:

  • Security business management
  • Qualifying agent liability issues
  • Workplace security
  • Retail security
  • Security officer training
  • Security officer supervision
  • Risk analysis and risk reduction

The prospective qualifier will take the examination before application. The examination is administered by PSI. PSI has provided a candidate handbook ( Candidates are allowed to register directly. There is a $72 fee. The candidate may register by internet, phone, fax, or mail. He or she will need to allow time for processing before scheduling the examination. The timeframe will vary depending on registration method. The examination is currently offered in the following Utah metropolitan areas: North Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, and St. George.

If qualifying agent leaves the agency, he or she must be replaced on the timeframe mandated in state statute (

The Qualifying Agent Application Process

Qualifying agents submit their application materials as part of the licensing agency application process.

The licensing agency will seek a current resume.

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Experience will be documented in two ways. The applicant will provide an employer form and W-2s or (in cases where there was ownership) tax returns.

Examination results are submitted directly to the licensing agency by PSI.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing ( The licensing agency can be reached by telephone at (801) 530-6628 or (toll-free within the state) at (866) 275-3675.