Frequently Asked Questions

Guard Card

What is a California guard card?

A California guard card is a permit from the Department of Consumer Affairs that allows a person 18 years of age or older to work as a licensed unarmed security guard in the state of California. The guard card requires an initial 8 hours of training, submission of your fingerprints for a background check and the completion of an online application.

How do I get a California guard card? +

A California guard card requires a minimum of eight hours of training which consists of weapons of mass destruction and powers to arrest along with a background check which requires live scan fingerprinting and submission of fees for a total of $199 if you go through Valley Guard Training in-store for the entire course.

How long is the California guard card training? +

The initial training to get the California guard card is eight hours. Within 30 days of licensing as a security guard you need an additional 16 hours continuing education and within six months of licensing you need additional 16 hours of continuing education for a total of 40 hours of training within the first year from the date the guard card was issued.

I had a guard card before but it’s expired, can I pay and renew my guard card? +

The California guard card can be renewed if it has not been expired for more than 60 days with a payment of $65.00. If your guard card has been expired for more than 60 days you would need to repeat the entire guard training and licensing process before being issued a new permit.

How much does it cost to renew my guard card if it hasn’t expired yet? +

The renewal fee for a California guard card that has not expired is $40.00. If you also have a firearms permit the BSIS will sometimes try to sync the two dates of expiration so that your guard card and firearm card have the same expiration date resulting in the extending or shortening the period and a slight increase or decrease of the renewal fee.

I’m a security guard in another state of the United States, can I use that permit to become a security guard in California? +

California BSIS does not accept a security license from any other state. To be a security guard in the state of California you need to complete the training, fingerprinting and background check for California before you can work as a security guard.

I don’t speak English and was wondering if you offer the course in any other language? +

The BSIS requires that the California guard card course be taught in English only. BSIS does not allow the training to be offered in any other language.

Can I get a California guard card if I live out of state? +

Yes, you can complete our online training anywhere in the United States. When you finish, we will provide you with a state form that lets you use ink prints on a hard card instead of live scan fingerprinting. Lastly, we walk you through the process of the online application to the BSIS.

How long after I complete the training will I receive my guard card? +

It can take as little as 15-20 business days to process the application if there is no criminal background and all of your information is correct and matches. From the time it gets processed and approved, it takes an additional 2 weeks for BSIS to send you the actual guard card in the mail.

How long is a California guard card valid? +

A California Guard Card is usually valid for 2 years from the date of issue. If you owe child support, back taxes, tickets or any other debt to the government, they may require you to pay the money or enter into an agreement to start paying it back once you get your guard card and start working. Because of this, BSIS may issue your card for less than the 2 year period. If you keep making your payments they will extend your cards expiration date.

I am an active duty peace officer, how can I get my guard card and firearms permit? +

BSIS requires law enforcement officers to provide documentation of their training. These requirements vary depending on the agency of the officer. If you contact BSIS at 916-322-4000, the Bureau will explain the exact requirements for you.

What do I need to bring with me to class? +

The only things we require for a guard to start training with us is a valid state issued ID, social security number, you can bring the card with you or just the number and a proof of citizenship if you are taking the firearms course. Other than that the only other thing we would recommend would be a jacket since it gets cold sometimes in the office and possibly a drink or snack to have during the training.

Do I need a guard card if I’m only going to work for one company? +

If you’re working in an unarmed security guard position and you are only working for one company then you could use either a California guard card or a proprietary security officer card. That being said, we recommend that you get the California guard card since it allows you to work anywhere in the State of California as an unarmed security guard. A California security officer with a guard card can work either for a private patrol operation or proprietary security employer.

If I get denied for my guard card can I get a refund? +

We would not be able to refund the guard card fee since we already provided you with the training, fingerprinting and online application.

What do I do if I get denied my permit? +

If denied for a permit, you will have the opportunity to appeal the decision in writing within 30 days of the denial notice. If you are still denied, you will be able to appeal the decision in person after you request an appeal hearing.

Will unpaid traffic tickets keep me from getting my guard card? +

Unpaid traffic tickets can have an effect on whether or not your guard card is issued. Valley Guard recommends that you enter into an agreement for repayment for your tickets before applying for the guard card.

If I’m behind on my child-support payments can I still get my guard card? +

Unpaid child-support can have an effect on you being issued a guard card. If you are denied for this reason, you must setup an arrangement with the courts and have them release the hold keeping you from obtaining the permit.

Can I get my guard card if I owe the state money? +

You may need to enter into an agreement for repayment of the owed money before the state will issue you a guard card.

I already did my eight hours of guard card training is there more training I have to do? +

The BSIS requires a total of 40 hours of training. The first 8 hours are completed in order to apply for the guard card. Then once you receive the guard card, you are given 6 months to complete the additional 32 hours of training also known as continuing education.

Am I allowed to print out a temporary guard card while I wait for my guard card to be mailed to me? +

Once approved you are allowed to print out a temporary guard card to begin looking for work. It is available on the states website and will list your Name, guard number, and date of expiration.

What is the difference between online guard card training and in class guard card training? +

The only real difference is the ability to start and stop on your schedule rather than having to attend a class for a fixed duration. Online you can take the class wherever you are, when you are ready. The material covered is the same for both the online and in classroom guard card course.

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