How do I get a California Security Guard Card?





BSIS State License Numbers: TFF1296 & TFB1197

In California, security guards are licensed by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS).In order to get a California security guard card, you must first complete a pre-licensing course, often referred to as a “guard card class”. The online guard card class is 8 hours long and can be completed in one day.  It is composed of two sections: Powers to Arrest and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Practical Defense Systems offers the security guard card training and guard card course on-line and on-demand in three online packages:

Packages and Prices:

  1. 8hr guard card course – $18.95
  2. 32hr BSIS guard card course – $72.95
  3. 40hr guard card package – $82.95

BSIS online training courses are available anywhere there is an internet connection. In addition to the guard card courses, Practical Defense Systems offers a full range of security officer training.

Once you have completed your guard card training course and passed the written test, you must get your fingerprints taken at a LiveScan location.  The LiveScan operator will also collect the fees required to pay for your FBI and DOJ background checks.  At that point,  you may submit your application for a guard card to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS).  You can apply for your guard card, either on-line at the Bureau’s website at, or by postal mail.

Once you receive your guard card, you are required to compete an additional 32 hours of education.  The first 16 hours are composed of four mandatory classes: Public Relations (Community & Customer); Observation & Documentation; Communication and its Significance; and Liability / Legal Aspects.  The remaining 16 hours of education is composed of electives, such as Patrol Techniques, Officer Safety, and so on.  To make completing these continuing education requirements easier, PDS has combined them into two available online packages:

Practical Defense Systems is licensed by the state of California as a BSIS license training facility (lic #s TFF1296 and TFB1197).  We offer online security officer training throughout the state of California.  We are located at 8880 Rio San Diego Drive – 8th Floor, San Diego California 92108.   For more information, please contact us toll free at 888-233-6488 or refer to the detailed information available on our website.



More information can be found in the following articles:

How can a security guard make more money?

Are TASERs the right tool for security guards?

Which security guard courses should I take?