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Serving and protecting as a security guard in the state of New York requires dedication and a staunch work ethic. It also requires specialized training and earning a NYS security license to perform the duties of the job safely and effectively. After earning the NYS security guard license, the license holder must be sure to renew their registration card every two years, according to Article 7A, in New York State's General Business Law. Security license renewal includes filling out the DOS-1246 security guard renewal application, taking training classes and paying the renewal fee.
Duties of a NYS Security Guard
Article 7A of the New York State General Business Law outlines the job duties of a security guard. These job duties include protecting people and property from harm, theft and unlawful activity and patrolling businesses, companies and other entities. Other duties a security guard performs include detecting, deterring and reporting unlawful and unauthorized activities and responding to security system alarms. Security guards do not install or service security alarms, however; security installers must apply for a separate license in the State of New York. Active police officers and private investigators are not included under the security guard job description and have their own licensing process.
Characteristics of a Security Guard
Security guards must have a clean record, never convicted of a serious offense or any misdemeanor that would directly affect their duties as a security guard. Any security guard who previously has been denied employment as a security guard or similar role, or had any prior security guard licenses revoked or suspended, may not serve as a security guard in the State of New York. They must be at least 18 years old and a United States citizen, and should be of sound mind, good physical fitness and high moral standing.
Completing Security Guard Training
A security guard may not work for any security company in the State of the New York without a valid registration card. The first step toward getting a registration card is completing specialized security guard training. Training consists of eight hours of classroom-based pre-assignment training from an accredited security guard training school. Once the security guard has started their role, they must complete 16 to 40 hours of on-the-job-training within 90 days of starting employment. The exact number of hours needed depends on the security guard’s specific duties, nature of the work place and the security company’s requirements. The training school must submit records of completion to the State of New York; an individual is not allowed to turn in training completion certificates.
Special armed guards must also complete the introductory eight-hour course, as well as at least 16 hours of on-the-job training. In addition, they must hold a valid NYS pistol permit and take a 47-hour firearms training course to obtain the special armed guards registration card.
Exceptions to the training requirements include active police officers serving as a security guard as a secondary employment role. Certain peace officers with the State of New York are also exempt from training – sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, security personnel for the Tunnel Authority, uniformed court officers, court clerks, and NYS corrections officers.
Filing a NYS Security License Application
When applying for the registration card, the security officer needs several pieces of information. They need to fill out the Security Guard License Application and file it with the NYS Department of Licensing. The application is available online on the Department of Licensing Services website. Applicants can download the application in several languages, including English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian and Chinese.
The applicant needs a certification of completion of training from their security guard school and two photographs taken within 30 days of filing the application. Each applicant also must provide two sets of fingerprints taken for a background check with the FBI. Fingerprinting can now be done electronically through IdentGO by IDEMIA. You just make an appointment with IdentGO, bring a form of ID, get fingerprinted and leave with a receipt to submit with your application. The fee is $99 total, payable by check, money order or credit card, and includes $75 for the Division of Justice Services fee, $12 for the FBI fee and $12 for the fingerprint vendor fee.
Finally, the applicant has to pay the $36 licensing fee, payable by money order, company check or cashier's checks to the NYS Department of State. The department does not accept cash, personal checks or credit cards. Once completed, mail the signed NYS security license application, copy of completion certificate for training, fingerprinting receipt, and license fee to the NYS license center in Albany, New York.
Some applicants may be able to waive the background check if they’ve had a recent check or are also employed as a peace officer. It’s up to the security guard department and NYS licensing division to determine whether a background check is necessary.
Obtaining the Security Guard Registration Card
Once the Department of Licensing Services reviews the application and receives a clean background check from the fingerprints, they issue the registration card. The ID card includes the name and business address of the licensee and the word “employee” before the employee’s full name and registration title, either Security Guard or Armed Security Guard. The ID card also has the employee’s picture, date of hire and signature.
When an applicant submits all the necessary documentation for a license, they also have to submit a DMV Consent Form. This form gives the New York DMV permission to use the applicant’s driver’s license or state ID photo on file as their security guard license photo. When filing out the form, the applicant just needs to select the appropriate license (security guard), provide their DMV license number and sign and date. If someone does not have a valid driver’s license or state ID, they need to go to the DMV and have a photo taken at no cost to them, called an image-only transaction. After the DMV gets their picture, the applicant receives a receipt with their nine-digit ID number, which they should include with their security guard license application.
Registration Card Renewal
The NYS security license expires every two years. At least 60 days before the card is set to expire, the NYS security guard license department mails out notices of renewal and the renewal form. The DOS-1246 Security Guard Renewal application is not available online, so if a security guard does not receive a renewal notice, they should contact the Department of State Division of Licensing Services to obtain a renewal notice.
Security license renewal requires submitting the renewal form, the biennial renewal fee of $25 and certification of completion for two annual in-service training courses. Renewal applicants should give themselves plenty of time to get the renewal application in and approved before the expiration date. Security guards that have an expired registration ID card are not permitted to work, and can be fined for the infraction.
Each year, a security guard must finish an eight-hour in-service training course. Special armed guard license holders need an additional eight-hour in-service training course each year on top of the basic one. If a security guard license is expired longer than six months, that person will need to reapply for a license, following the same training, application and background check procedures as the initial application.
A private investigator or a watch, guard or patrol agency worker who already holds a license in one of those areas, does not need a separate license to also work as a security guard. They must work as a security guard for the same company where they have their license as a private investigator, guard or patrol agency.
- New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services: Security Guard
- New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services: Security Guard FAQs
- New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services: Licensing Law
- New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services: Licensing Fees
- New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services: Security Guard Training Requirements
- New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services: Electronic Fingerprinting