Security Requirements in Washington D.C.

Security Guard Requirements in Washington D.C.

The Security Guard Requirements in Washington D.C., are somewhat different than other states’ requirements.  The District of Columbia manages the licensing of Security Officers.  In this particular article, we are saying that Security Officers are the same as Security Guards.  DC security officers are certified by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) in cooperation with the Security Officers Management Branch (SOMB).  Security officers receive the same designation whether they work for security agencies or provide services directly to an employer.

To be eligible for a license, one must meet health and background screening requirements.

Certification also depends on completing mandatory training and passing an examination. A third party organization, Pearson VUE, handles some aspects of the certification process.

Security guards may receive temporary certification before all requirements have been met.

 Security Guard Requirements in Washington D.C.

  • The security officer/guard must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Competent in English.
  • They must be able to read and write English as well as speak it.
  • A prospective security officer/guard who is not a U.S. citizen will need a valid work permit.
  • The security officer/guard is not addicted to drugs or alcohol.
  • May not have a debilitating mental disorder or physical condition that could result in loss of control during extreme situations.
  • The prospective security officer/guard is to have a physical and provide documentation from his or her physician.
  • Results are due within 90 days.
  • The prospective security officer/guard can expect a drug test. An applicant who tests positive for any drug will need to provide documentation from a prescribing physician.
  • The candidate needs to have an FBI background check. A criminal history is not always disqualifying. The nature of the crime, the amount of time that has elapsed, and the applicant’s rehabilitation and motivation are among the factors that may be considered.
  • Applicants who have arrest histories will need to provide the disposition.
  • Also, you have to provide the background check results to the agency or employer.

Training and Examination Requirements for Security Officers

The security officer/guard will need at least 24 hours of pre-assignment training. Pre-assignment training must include terrorism awareness, emergency procedures, and customer service. Terrorism awareness includes responding to unknown substances and unattended packages. Emergency procedures include first aid and evacuation.

The security officer/guard must have an additional 16 hours of training during the first 90 days on the job Thereafter, the security officer/guard will need to do eight hours a year of in-service.

The candidate must pass the Security Officers Examination. The Examination information is found on the Pearson VUE website ( Candidates may call PSI at (800) 733-9267 to schedule an appointment. The administration of examinations takes place at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration office.

The Application Process

The hiring process and certification process are closely related. Individuals may receive applications from their employing agencies.

Applications, supplemental forms, and instructions can also be downloaded from Pearson VUE ( Pearson VUE has provided an instructional document that outlines which documents are to be submitted to Pearson and which are submitted directly to the DC government.

You will submit the application to Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE will require a copy of an ID, a birth certificate or passport, two small photographs, and documentation of any name changes. Pearson VUE will also receive documentation from the physician of your physical and mental fitness.

An Information Release Form and Arrest Affidavit are among the documents that will be provided directly to the governmental agency. Both require notarization.

Fingerprinting is typically carried out at the SOMB office (though a nonlocal applicant may instead submit two fingerprint cards through the mail). The applicant will provide other required documents when he or she shows up at the SOMB office. In addition to the Information Release Form and Arrest Affidavit, the applicant will provide:

  • Drug screening results
  • Also, examination results or range test results and approved gun list (if applicable).

The licensing agency notes that candidates may in the future apply online.

The licensing process entails payment of several fees. Also, you have to pay $35.00 to the DC Treasurer; this covers the criminal history check. A security officer/guard applicant will pay $103.00 to Pearson Vue; this includes a $65.00 application fee and $38.00 license fee.

In addition, an approved security officer/guard will receive a certification card.

Additional Information

Security guard regulations are present in Chapter 21 of Title 17

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