Guard Card

California Guard Card

The Guard Card is a great door opener for an opportunity to become a security guard. It is the license that you need to become a registered security guard in the state of California.

You have to fulfill certain requirements in order to get a California guard card. Let’s discuss these requirements below:

Before Applying for the Guard Card

The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) has a few requirements that you should know before applying for a guard card.

The requirements are:

  1. You must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. 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 application. Once you are in this position, just try to be honest and explain your case.

Besides that, the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) also asks you to take 8 hours of training classes before you can apply for the Card.

The two mandatory courses are:

  • Power to Arrest (4 hours)
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (4 hours)

After you have completed these courses, you will need to get your Livescan fingerprints taken so the California Department of Justice (DOJ). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can also do a criminal background check.

Remember, there is:

  • 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.

After Getting the Guard Card

In order to keep your Card in a good standing position, you have to follow a few more requirements of BSIS.

These requirements include completing 32-hours of training after you get the guard card.

The 32 hours of training is divided into two parts:

  • 16 hours– Within the first 30 days of guard card approval
  • 16 hours– Within the first 6 months of guard card approval

Annual Refresher Training

Every year, you have to complete 8 hours of training in the form of “refresher” courses.

Overall, you need a total of 40 hours of basic guard card training and then 8 more hours every year to keep your license valid.

40-Hour Security Guard Training Requirement

Date of Completion Training Hours Needed
Prior to being assigned on post-Pre-licensing course. 8 hours-Can be completed in one day.
Required within 30 days of guard card approval. 16 hours
Required within 6 months of guard card approval. 16 hours
Total Hours 40 Hours

Guard Card Total Cost

If you choose to apply online:

  • Application Fee = $50.00
  • Online Convenience Fee = $1.00

       Total Fee = $51.00

  • DOJ Fingerprint Fee = $32.00
  • FBI Fingerprint Fee = $19.00

       Total Fee = $51.00

Mailing in your application is acceptable, but the mailing process takes longer and you will have postal charges that may total more than $1.00. In contrast, applying online will cost you a Convenience Fee of $1.00. Thus, the online process is faster. If applying online, remember to save copies of what you send in for future references.

 Validity Duration

Registration is valid for two years and expires the day after the expiration date on your card. There’s a 60-day grace period during which you can pay a delinquent fee to reinstate your registration. After 60 days, if you haven’t renewed, you must reapply as a new applicant.


You can renew your guard card through the Bureau of Security and Investigative Service (BSIS). If the expiration date is near, the Bureau will send you a renewal form. The renewal fee is $35.00 for this, but if it is expired, the fee will be $60.00 If it has been expired for 60 days or more, you can no longer renew it.

In conclusion, remember how important the Guard Card is in California. You must meet all of the requirements set by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS).  Experienced Security Guard Training Help Center is here to answer any additional questions you may have. Also, check out our FAQs section.

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