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California Guard Card Requirements

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Security guards operate all over the state of California, primarily working for private organizations and individuals in order to provide personal protection and to protect property from theft. This job entails a lot of responsibility, and because of the dangers associated with being a security guard, there are strict training and eligibility requirements you must meet before receiving your security guard card.

Basic Requirements

All individuals pursuing their guard card within the state of California must be 18 years of age at the date of application. Individuals applying for security guard training must also possess a valid identification card. Acceptable forms of identification include a state-issued ID card, valid driver’s license or military ID. Applicants must pay an application fee to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which can be done via the Internet. At the time of this writing (July 2010), the application fee is $50, though a small convenience charge may also apply.

Background Check/Fingerprinting

All applicants to the security guard training program in the state of California are subject to a background check by both the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the California Department of Justice. There are no additional fees for these background checks.

Applicants will also be required to submit an electronic fingerprint via Live Scan. This must be submitted to both the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the California Department of Justice, and applicants will be required to pay a processing fee for this service. At the time of this writing, electronic fingerprinting fees are $19 for submittal to the Federal Bureau of Investigations and $32 for submittal to the California Department of Justice. Live Scan may charge an additional fee.

Required Training

Security guard training in the state of California is broken down into three separate phases. You can take the first phase, known as “Power to Arrest” training, prior to submitting your application.

You are required to take an additional 16 hours of security guard training within the first 30 days of submitting your application, and yet another 16 hours within the first 6 months. You'll only receive your guard card once both phases of training are complete and you've been cleared through an individual background check.

Optional Training

Obtaining your California guard card does not entitle you to carry a baton, tear gas canisters or a firearm while on duty. All of these require additional licensing and training beyond what is offered in the basic program.