Frequently asked questions: Security guards

Licensing and exams

Where do I mail security guard applications and forms?
  • Send all applications, forms, or documents that require payment to:
    Public Protection Services Section
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 35001
    Seattle, WA 98124-3401
    We encourage companies to collect forms with payments and mail them together rather than mailing each form separately.
  • Send correspondence without payments to:
    Public Protection Services Section
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9649
    Olympia, WA 98507-9649

Please discard all old application and forms, and see Forms to get updated versions. If you have questions, please contact us.

How long will it take to receive my license?
It may take up to 60 days to issue your license after we receive your completed application, fees, and fingerprint card. The process may take longer if you’re applying for a company principal license or if Washington State Patrol rejects your fingerprints.
Where will I take the exam?
Exams are scheduled at Driver Licensing Offices around the state. Your exam will be mailed to the licensing office you chose on the application. When you complete the exam, it will be returned to our office to be scored.
When will I get the results?
About 10 days after you take your exam, we’ll mail you a result letter indicating your score.
How often can I take the exam?
You must wait at least 7 working days between exams. There’s no limit to the number of times you can take the exam.
How do I get rescheduled if I don’t pass?
We’ll mail you a reexam application with the results letter if you don’t pass. To be rescheduled, complete and return the application with a check or money order for the fee. It costs $25 each time you reexam.

Security guard companies

What’s a company principal?
The individual who, in order to own or operate a private security guard company, must meet the minimum qualification of 3 years’ experience or pass the exam.
If I’m just working for myself and don’t want to hire employees, do I still have to get a company license?
Yes. Anyone who works as a private security guard must be licensed either as a private security guard company principal, or as a security guard licensed under a company.
How do my employees get licensed?
Once your company is licensed, you can submit applications for your employees. They’re required to complete 8 hours of pre-assignment training from a licensed certified trainer. This certified trainer signs the certification box on the front of the unarmed security guard application when the training is complete.
Can I have a certified trainer from another company give my employees the training?
Yes, if the trainer is currently employed and holds a valid private security guard certified trainer’s license.

Certified trainers

How do I become a certified trainer?
Once you’re licensed as a security guard, submit a certified trainer exam application, pay $25, and pass the exam. For more information, see Certified trainer.
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