The initial steps for registering to be a security guard in California are relatively easy. It takes about 60 days from the time the application is submitted to processing completion.

First Steps. Before registering to become a licensed security guard in California you must be fingerprinted and pass an FBI background check. You will then need to complete a basic eight-hour introductory “power to arrest” security guard course. Another 32 hours of training must be completed within six months of registration. An additional eight hours of continuing education courses are required annually.

Training is provided by an approved training provider such as Access Control Security. ACS offers courses including the initial introductory course, required additional training and continuing education classes.

The Bureau of Security & Investigative Services (BSIS) manages security guard licensing. Check out the BSIS guard licensing fact sheet and a “how to” video to help fill out the registration form.

Typically, once you pass your FBI screening and eight-hour initial course, you can gain employment at a security guard company while completing the additional hours of training.

Contact ACS to learn more about security guard licensing and training. Go to or call 877-482-7324.