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NYS Department of State                                                                                                Licensing Services

 
SECURITY GUARD
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Numerous inquiries are received each month concerning the Security Guard Act. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions and our responses.

 

What does a security guard do?
A security guard as defined in Article 7A of the General Business Law [89-f (6)] is a person (other than an active police officer) employed in NYS to principally perform one or more of the following duties, and the person is not performing the functions of a private investigator as defined in Section 71 of Article 7 of the General Business Law:
  • protection of persons and/or property from harm, theft, and/or unlawful activity;
  • deterrence, observation, detection, and/or reporting unlawful or unauthorized activity;
  • street patrol service;
  • response to, but not installation or service of, a security system alarm.
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Who is exempt from registration?
  • A security guard who is otherwise subject to regulation with respect to registration and training by the federal government in the performance of his or her duties
  • A security guard providing services on a voluntary basis
  • Active police officers. However, police officers separated from service (e.g., retired) are considered civilians and must register as a security guard and complete all training. When employed by a contractual entity, you must complete an Employee Statement, but you do not need to be fingerprinted.
  • Peace officers while working in their official capacity for their primary employer. However, if moonlighting, a peace officer is considered a security guard and must register and complete all training.
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What are the requirements for registration?
Generally speaking, applicants must be 18 years of age, have completed an 8-hour pre-assignment training course, and have not been convicted of a serious criminal offense.

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What is the fee and term of registration?

The nonrefundable fee for a security guard registration is $135 payable to the NYS Department of State.
The breakdown of that fee is as follows:
Security Guard Application Fee       $ 36
NYS Fingerprint Fee                       $ 75
FBI Fingerprint Fee                        $ 24
            Total                                 $135

$25 - Renewal fee, every two years.
 

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Are there additional requirements for an armed guard registration?
Yes. You must complete a 47 hour firearms course, and submit the certificate with your application for issuance of an armed guard registration card.
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May I install security systems if I am registered as a security guard?
No. You must obtain an alarm installer license.
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If I am a retired police officer, do I have to register?

Yes. Retired police officers must register and complete all training. If a retired police officer (less than 10 years), you must provide the Department of State with a letter from your department (signed by your department). In addition, if you are required by your employer to carry a firearm, or are authorized to have access to a firearm, you must provide proof to the Department of State and your employer of having completed a Basic Course for Police Officers (or an equivalent course), that included initial firearms training, within one year prior to such employment. If your initial firearms training occurred more than a year before such employment, you must complete an 8 Hour Annual Firearms Course for Security Guards and report that training to the Department of State and your employer.

 

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Do active police officers who do part-time security work have to be registered as a security guard?

No. The amendment of August 2, 1994, exempts active police officers from the Act. Active police officers accepting secondary employment are not required to register or complete training. Individuals previously employed as police officers are considered civilians and must register and complete all training. When employed by a contractual entity, they must complete an Employee Statement, but they do not need to be fingerprinted. However, if an active police officer is hired by a contractual entity as an investigator, or if they are filing a PI/BEA/WGP application with us, they must be fingerprinted.up

What forms of payment does the Department of State accept?
Money Orders, Company Checks or Cashier's Checks only. (Must be made payable to the NYS Department of State). Do Not Mail Cash.
"NO PERSONAL CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS"
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Can I submit a photo with my security guard application rather than the DMV ID#?
No. ID cards are produced by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using the image on file in its office. Individuals with current NYS driver licenses or non-driver ID cards "with photos" must read the section "Informed Consent," sign and date it, provide their 9-digit DMV ID number, and return the bottom portion with their application packet.

Individuals who do not have a current NYS photo driver license or non-driver ID card must go to a DMV office and have their photo taken (at no cost to them) before submitting their application to the Department of State. This is referred to as an "image-only" transaction. When these individuals go to a DMV office, they must bring the insert (enclosed with their guard application) titled "If You Don't Have a NYS Driver or Non-Driver ID" with them. This insert provides instructions and will be retained by the DMV office. The "image-only" transaction produces an FS-6T receipt that displays the individual's 9-digit ID number for the new client record. Individuals who get "image-only" captures should save their receipts and write that ID number on their DOS original and renewal applications.

Once an individual is approved for licensure or registration, the Department of State sends his or her name and DMV number to the Department of Motor Vehicles to have an ID card printed. DMV sends the ID card to the residence address on file with the Department of State.

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May I satisfy my due diligence requirements by accessing the information available on the Department of State Web site?
No. You are still required to call the Registry to obtain a transaction number.
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How long do companies have to submit security guard registration applications after calling the guard Registry and receiving a transaction number?
Employers must submit the security guard registration application with appropriate documentation within 24 hours of employment.
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Do companies have to submit the fingerprint cards for their guard employees with the registration application?

Yes. In fact, all of the following documentation must be submitted with the application:

  • the completed, signed application
  • original certificate showing completion of an 8-hour pre-assignment course
  • signed DMV Informed Consent
  • NYS fingerprint card
  • FBI fingerprint card
  • $135 fee payable to the NYS Department of State
  • any additional documentation requested in response to specific questions on the application form; and
    if employment will commence with filing of the application, the Notice of Employment section must be completed by the employer.
    * If applying for armed security guard registration, a course completion certificate for 47 hrs of firearms training, or a copy of the waiver issued by the Division of Criminal Justice Services
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What address do I mail the security guard application packet(s) to?
Full application packets should be mailed to NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, 84 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208-3490.
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Who is authorized to take fingerprints?
Fingerprinting can be performed by a designated employee of a security guard firm or an approved training school that has been previously fingerprinted. Fingerpints can also be taken by local and State Police, or sheriffs and chiefs of police.
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How soon does a guard need to send his or her renewal form and $25 fee to the Department of State?
Guards must renew their registration by the expiration date of their current registration or they cannot work as a security guard. If their registration has not been renewed within 6 months after the expiration date of their current registration, they must re-apply and re-qualify.
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When should companies notify Licensing Services of employment?
Basically, on employment:
  • If employment commences with the filing of the application, the Notice of Employment section should be completed by the employer. No additional fee is required.
  • If security guard is applying independently, the Notice of Employment section need not be completed.
  • If the individual is already registered as a security guard, a "Security Guard Employment Status Notification" form and $25 fee must be completed and sent to the Licensing Division.
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What specific documentation should employers retain in personnel files for their guards?

Security guard employers should, at a minimum, retain one copy of each of the following in their personnel files for each of their guards:

  • the completed, signed application
  • original certificate showing completion of an 8-hour pre-assignment course
  • signed DMV Informed Consent
  • NYS fingerprint card (not required to be retaken when guard is already registered prior to this employment)
  • FBI fingerprint card (not required to be retaken when guard is already registered prior to this employment)
  • any additional documentation requested in response to specific questions on the application form; and
  • if employment will commence with filing of the application, the Notice of Employment section which must be completed by the employer.

    *If applying for armed security guard registration, a course completion certificate for 47 hrs of firearms training, or a copy of the waiver issued by the Division of Criminal Justice Services
     
  • Copy of the fingerprint fee transmittal form #1880
  • Temporary Identification Card (required upon termination of the guard)
  • Copy of Employment Status Notification (used for termination)
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Who fingerprints the guard?
Fingerprinting may be performed at the office of the licensee or at another licensed Private Investigator or Watch, Guard or Patrol agency by the person who qualifies as the licensee or by a designated person who is employed by the entity and who has been previously fingerprinted. Procedure is available for making official designation. Approved security guard training schools can be authorized to fingerprint students for security guard registration by submitting to the Department of State:
  1. a letter of request with the name(s) of the instructors who will actually be taking fingerprints; and
  2. a state fingerprint card and $75 fee in the form of a US Postal, Travelers, or American Express money order or corporate check made payable to the NYS Department of State for each instructor.
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Can a qualifier for a Private Investigator or Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency license work as an unarmed or armed guard under his or her license without additional filing as a security guard?
Yes. A qualifier complies with statutory requirements. A separate registration as a security guard is not needed.
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If a Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency or Private Investigator qualifier does guard work, does the qualifier have to be registered as a security guard?
The qualifier of a Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency or Private Investigator does not need a separate registration as a security guard as long as the qualifier is providing guard services for the qualifier's own company.

However, if the qualifier provides guard services for another Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency or Private Investigator, the qualifier must obtain a security guard registration in order to provide guard services to that company.up
Is security guard registration required from individuals who are waiting to be deputized as Peace Officers? This peace officer status is conferred pursuant to CPL 2.10 (27). While waiting to be deputized, the individual(s) will be employed to perform security guard functions.
Our rules provide that peace officers performing security guard duties in the course of their peace officer status are exempt from the registration requirements. However, no such exemption exists for individuals who are performing security functions while awaiting such status. Therefore, if the individuals are performing security guard functions, they must be registered.
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I am an authorized employer. Will the Department of State accept security guard applications with my stamped signature?
The Department of State will accept security guard applications with an employer's stamped signature. Employers wishing to do so must submit a signed statement with a sample of the rubber stamp. The liability for misuse rests with the qualifier.
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I need some information and forms relating to training courses.
The Department of State is not able to comply with requests relating to the new Security Guard Act training courses, instructors, and schools. The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, Bureau for Municipal Police, has regulatory authority over training requirements. They can be contacted directly at (518) 457-4135.
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