Security Guard Frequently Asked Questions

Guard Card Questionscalguarcard

(Scroll down a bit for Firearms Permit questions)

Security Guard Firearms Permit Questions

Guard Card Questions

How much will the guard card cost me in total?
$18.95 for an online course or $65 for a live Class (San Diego County only)
$51 BSIS Application Fee (paid directly to BSIS)
$49 DOJ and FBI Finger Printing Check  (paid to the LiveScan operator)
$17 Average Livescan Fee (paid to the LiveScan operator)

What is LiveScan?
Live Scan is a system for the electronic submission of fingerprints and the subsequent automated background checks and responses. Live Scan is required for Guard Card and Firearm Permit Applications.

Can I work before I receive my guard card?
You CANNOT legally work as a security guard until you are issued a Guard Card. However, once your guard card has been approved, you can print out the approval from the BSIS website. You can use the printout to show a potential employer that your guard card has been approved and is on its way.

How long will it take to get my guard card from the state?
If you apply on-line at the BSIS website, your guard card may be approved more quickly. Some of our students have received their guard card approval within two weeks. Others have taken four months. BSIS states that the application process can take as long as four months to complete (Currently Listed CA State Turn Time).

Can I get a guard card even if I have a criminal record?
Perhaps. It depends on the crime and when it occurred. Unfortunately, BSIS is the only organization that can answer this question. For more info contact BSIS directly:
Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 270
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 322-4000
1-(800) 952-5210
FAX (916) 575-7290
bsis@dca.ca.gov

Do I have to complete the guard card class before I apply for the guard card?
Yes, the class is a requirement before you submit your application for the guard card.

Am I guaranteed a guard card if I pass this guard card course?
No. Completing the course does not guaranty that BSIS will issue you a guard card.

If BSIS denies me a guard card, do I get my money back for the course?
No. You course fees are non-refundable.

How old do you have to be to get a guard card?
The minimum age requirement for a Guard Card is 18 years of age.

How long will my guard card be valid?
A security guard registration is valid for two years.

Is my guard card valid in other states?
No.

What happens if I’m caught cheating during the course exam?
If you cheat, you will fail the class automatically and your course fees will NOT be refunded.

If I fail the course, do I get my money back?
No. Although you have paid the course fees, successful completion of the course is not guaranteed.

If I fail the course do I have to take the whole thing over again?
Possibly. The Bureau allows each student to take the final exam over, if the student fails the first time. If the student cannot pass the Final exam the second time, that student will be required to take the course over again.

If I completed PC 832 arrest powers training, do I still have to take this course?
Yes! PC Section 832 training is not accepted by BSIS and cannot be used as a substitute course of training.

How long is the guard card course?
8 hours, not including a break for lunch.

What score do I have to receive on the final exam for this class?
100%. That’s right, you can’t even miss one! However, we will allow you to retake the test if you fail. Also, it is an open book, open notes test. To make sure you have the best chance of passing the test, you should download and print the Powers to Arrest manual and bring it to class. Click here to download the manual.

Will this class teach me how to subdue, search and handcuff a suspect?
No. Defensive tactics (self-defense), proper search techniques and handcuffing are learned in other classes. This class is an overview of the powers to arrest and does not provide practical training in how to physically arrest a suspect.

Do I have to provide ID in order to attend the course and receive my paperwork?
YES! You must provide a current, government issued, picture ID in order for Practical Defense Systems to release your guard card application to you. This is required by BSIS regulation and state law.

Security Guard Firearms Permit Questions

What are the requirements for obtaining a Firearms Permit?

  • Take a 14-hour course (8 hours classroom, 6 hours range)
  • Pass the written and range exams given at the end of the course.
  • Submit an application with appropriate fees.
  • Be a United States citizen or have permanent legal alien status.
  • Undergo a criminal history review

How much will the BSIS Exposed firearms permit cost me in total?
$ 99.00 Class Fee (Includes qualification with one caliber. Additional calibers are $15.00 each)
$ 10.00  to $20.00 Average Range Fee (prices vary in San Diego and Los Angeles)
$ 25.00 Ammunition (This is an estimate. Costs vary depending upon brand, caliber, availability, etc.)
$ 80.00 BSIS Application Fee
$ 49.00 DOJ & FBI Finger Print Check
$ 38.00 California State Firearms Eligibility fee
$ 17.00 Average LiveScan Fee
$318.00 Total Exposed Firearms Permit Cost

What is the range qualification like?
To qualify on the range for an Exposed Firearms Permit, a security officer must fire 50 rounds with a passing score of 200 out of a possible 250 points. The course of fire is as follows:

  • 3 yards – 6 rounds two handed
  • 5 yards – 6 rounds two handed
  • 7 yards – 6 rounds two handed
    • 6 rounds right hand only
    • 6 rounds left hand only
    • 6 rounds two handed standing
    • 8 rounds two handed kneeling
  • 15 yards – 6 rounds two handed

What is LiveScan?
LiveScan is a system for the electronic submission of fingerprints and the subsequent automated background checks and responses. Live Scan is required for Guard Card and Firearm Permit Applications.

Can I carry a firearm while I’m waiting for my permit to arrive?
No. You must wait for your Firearm Permit to be issued.

How long will it take to get my firearms permit from the state?
The application process can take up to six months (currently listed CA state turn time).

Can I get a firearms permit even if I have a criminal record?
Perhaps. It depends on the crime and when it occurred. Unfortunately, BSIS is the only organization that can answer this question. For more info contact BSIS directly:
Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 270
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 322-4000
1-(800)-952-5210
FAX (916) 575-7290
bsis@dca.ca.gov

Do I have to complete the class before I apply for the firearms permit?
Yes, the class is a requirement before you submit your application for a permit.

How old do you have to be to get a BSIS firearms permit?
The minimum age requirement for a BSIS Firearms Permit is 18 years of age.

Does the BSIS firearms permit allow me to carry a concealed weapon?
No, The CA BSIS Firearms Permit only allows for exposed carry. Your exposed carry is only valid for the hours you are on duty. For concealed carry, an additional permit is required from your county’s Sheriff Department.

Can I take the BSIS class if I can’t provide proof of my citizenship or legal residency in the U.S.?
N0. Unless you provide proof of citizenship, or legal residency and authorization to work, you cannot participate in this firearm training course. (B&P Code Section 7585.8(a)). The following documents are accepted by BSIS as proof of eligibility:

  • Valid U.S. Passport
  • Valid active duty or retired U.S. Military ID
  • U.S. Birth Certificate combined with valid government PICTURE ID (Driver’s license is acceptable)
  • DD214 combined with valid government PICTURE ID (Driver’s license is acceptable)
  • Valid imigration paperwork showing current imigration status and right to work.

Will I get a firearms permit if I have been convicted of a felony?
No. If you have any of the following , BSIS or the Sheriff’s Department WILL NOT issue you a firearm permit :

  • Felony conviction
  • Misdemeanor conviction that prohibits you from possession of a firearm for a period of 10 years
  • History of domestic violence
  • Subject to a Temporary Restraining Order
  • May not receive a permit if convicted of a crime of violence, such as assault, battery, assault with a deadly weapon, or a weapons violations, such as brandishing a weapon, illegal possession of and/or discharge of a weapon or carrying a concealed weapon without a concealed weapon permit.

Am I guaranteed a firearms permit if I pass this course?
N0. Passing this course does not guarantee that you will be issued you a permit.

If I am denied a permit, do I get my money back for the course?
No. Your course fees are non-refundable.

What happens if I’m caught cheating during the course exam?
If you cheat, you will fail the class automatically and your course fees will NOT be refunded.

If I fail the course or the range qualification, do I get my money back?
No. Although you have paid the firearm course fees, successful completion of the course is not guaranteed. Students must establish to the instructor’s satisfaction that they are proficient in the handling of the weapon and in meeting course requirements.

If I fail the course do I have to take the whole thing over again?
Yes. All students who fail the written exam, must take the entire firearms training course again before they can retake the test.

What do I have to score on the written test to pass?
You must receive a score of at least 85% or higher. If you don’t pass the first time, you can take the test a second time. However, if you fail the second time, you must take the entire course over again. You may NOT use the book or your notes during the firearms permit test. However, we have found that students who bring a copy of the course manual to class are more successful when taking the test. We suggest that you download and print a copy of the manual and bring it with you to class. Click here to download the manual.

If I completed PC 832 firearms training, do I still have to take this course?
Yes. PC Section 832 training is not accepted by BSIS and cannot be used as a substitute course of training.