Explained: BSIS Guard Card Requirements
It isn’t hard to get a California Guard Card, but the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) has a few requirements you should know about before you get started.
Before you apply for a Guard Card…
- You must be 18 years old or over.
- You cannot have a violent felony or misdemeanor on your record.
If you have a conviction for something other than a crime of violence, the State will consider the circumstances and any evidence of rehabilitation. You’ll have the opportunity to explain your situation on the Guard Card application. Just be honest.
BSIS also requires you to take 8 hours of training classes before you can apply for a California Guard Card. The two mandatory courses are:
- Power to Arrest (4 hours)
- Weapons of Mass Destruction (4 hours)
After you’re done with your classes, you need to get your Livescan fingerprints taken so the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can do a criminal background check.
- NO drug test – Your future employer may require one before you get hired, but BSIS does not.
- NO education requirement – You don’t need a high school diploma or GED to apply for a Guard Card.
After you get your Guard Card…
BSIS has a few more training requirements you need to follow to keep your Guard Card in good standing order.
You need to complete a total of 32 hours of continuing education after your guard card is issued:
- 16 hours – Within the first 30 days.
- 16 hours – Within the first 6 months.
Annual Refresher Courses
Each year after, you need to complete 8 hours of training in the form of “refresher” courses.
It sounds like a lot. Forty hours of basic Guard Card training then 8 more hours every year to stay current. But you can check out the 3 biggest myths about guard card training to find out why the number of hours BSIS states classes should take is wildly inaccurate.
Hopefully all of this has given you a better understanding of what it takes to get, and keep, a California Guard Card. It’s not hard, but it can be confusing especially when it comes to the training requirements. If you ever have any questions, feel free to give Valley Guard Training a call or come on in. We’re always here to help.