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How to Obtain a Security Officer License in Michigan

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In Michigan, security guards and security guard agencies are regulated under the Private Security Business and Security Alarms Act and must be licensed by the Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG), Bureau of Commercial Services. According to the Act, a private security guard--also known as a security officer--is defined as an individual or employee of a business who offers services for hire in order to provide protection of another persons' personal or business property. Security guards are issued a contractor license and are considered the license holder for a licensed security guard agency.

Review the licensing requirements provided by the Bureau of Commercial Services. To apply for a license, applicants must: be at least 25 years old; have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED); have no history of a felony conviction; and have no misdemeanor convictions within the past five years. Applicants must also meet one of three experience requirements: a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in police administration or industrial security, plus two years of full-time experience with a licensed security guard agency or as a security administrator for a private business; or have at least three years of experience working for a private security guard agency business in another state; or served in a supervisory capacity for at least four years with a rank higher than patrolman in a licensed security guard agency; or served as a full-time certified police officer for a city, county, state or the federal government for at least four years.

Complete the required licensing application forms available from the DELEG, Bureau of Commercial Services. To receive your security guard license, you must complete the Consent to Service of Process application and the Request for Conviction History Request. The Consent requires signature of a public notary; you must also have a state and FBI criminal history background check and fingerprinting done as part of the licensing process.

According to the Act, you must also submit five letters of reference from individuals who have known you for a period of at least five years. The Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth provides a Personal Reference Form for the gathering of this information. You may also need to complete a Disciplinary Action Information form if you have any disciplinary actions to report.

Submit your security guard license for application to DELEG, Bureau of Commercial Services. It takes about 12 to 16 weeks for your application to be licensed. Once your application for license is approved, you will receive a pocket and wall copy of your license via mail. Security guard licenses are valid for two years from the date of issuance before coming up for renewal.

Tip

You can request a copy of the listing of Licensed Private Security Guard Agencies in Michigan from the Bureau of Commercial Services. This information is available for a fee. For an additional fee, you can order a decorative copy of your licensing certificate from a printing firm contracted by DELEG. Visit the DELEG website for a description of the types of misdemeanors which result in denial of licensure.

Warning

Private security guard agencies in Michigan must be licensed. Search the online licensee database on the DELEG website to verify the licensing status of an agency.

About the Author

Serena Cassidy has written reports, policies, and research documents since 2000 on community development and government policy issues, and she has been featured in "CIO Canada." She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Saint Mary's University and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University. She currently works as a government policy analyst.

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