Security Guard Training – New York State

In 1992 New York State (NYS) adopted the Security Guard Act, making the NYS security guard training courses and registration of security guards and the approval of private security training schools mandatory for both new and working security guards.

In order to become a certified security guard in the State of New York, you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years old.
  2. Be a citizen or resident alien of the U.S.
  3. Pass an FBI background check (with no serious convictions or felonies).
  4. Submit to fingerprinting (this is done through L-1 Enrollment Services Company, which help you electronically scan your fingerprint and they’ll give you receipts for proof that you include in your SG Card application).
  5. Take a training class called the “8 hour Pre-Assignment course for security guards”.

The Pre-Assignment course will teach you how to write proper reports, how to properly deal with the public and crowd control, how to observe properties and spot criminal or suspicious activities, what your rights and duties are as a license NYS Security Guard, counter terrorism and homeland security education, etc. At the end of the course you will need to pass a written exam consisting of 25 questions, usually true and false. You must pass the test with a 70% score or better. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be issued a NYS Security Guard Training certificate (to find a training school certified by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services to perform the training, simply go to NYS Security Guard Program – Approved Schools). After receiving the NYS Security Guard Training certificate you must apply to the Department of State for a Security Guard Registration Card (you can get the application at the NYS DLS website).

What is the fee and term of registration?

The nonrefundable fee for a security guard registration is $36 payable to the NYS Department of State.

The breakdown of that fee is as follows:

  • Security Guard Application Fee $36
  • NYS Fingerprint Fee $75.00
  • FBI Fingerprint Fee $30.25
  • Total: $141.25
  • $25 – Renewal fee, every two years.

After you have your security guard license number in hand, you can then be hired as a security guard. Within the first 90 days after employment, New York State law requires you to complete a 16 hour on-the-job training and annually complete an 8 hour annual in-service training course for security guards every year thereafter. This course is designed so that it is relevant to the specific duties of a guard, requirement of the work site and the needs of the employer.

Are there additional requirements for an armed guard registration?

Armed security guard applicants must possess a valid NYS pistol license pursuant to Penal Law 400.00 and must complete a 47 hour firearms training course for security guards prior to applying for a Special Armed Guard Registration Card. Starting one year from the date of completion of the 47 hour firearms training course, holders of a Special Armed Guard Registration Card must annually complete 8 hours of additional “in-service training” to keep their registration current.

You can visit the State of New York Police Firearms – Pistol Permit Bureau website for more information about obtaining a New York State Pistol License.


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