Washington Security Guard Training & License Info

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Washington Security Guard Training & License Info

Washington Security Guard Training & License Info

Washington Security Guard Training & License Info

In Washington, the Public Protection Services Department of Licensing issues security guard licenses.

Public Protection Services
Department of Licensing
PO Box 35001
Seattle, WA 98124-3401
(360) 664-6611

Washington Security Guard Training Requirements & Fees


To be licensed as an unarmed private security guard, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a United States citizen or resident alien.
  • Be employed by, or have an employment offer from, a licensed private security guard company.
  • Have no criminal convictions that directly relate to your capacity to perform the duties of a private security guard or that hinder public safety. (See Recommended Sanctions  to determine length of time from date of conviction that must pass before you can re-apply for licensure.)
  • Complete the pre-assignment training requirements and pass the security guard exam at a drivers licensing office.

How to Apply

Apply directly to the security guard company you wish to work for. To apply, submit all of the following:

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  • Complete and mail in your Private Security Guard License Application.
  • Mail in with your application a non-refundable application free of $111 (check or money order only).
  • Also, mail in 1 completed fingerprint card with your application.

Pre-assignment Training for Security Guards

Pre-assignment training must include the following areas of required knowledge and be a minimum of 8 hours:

Basic Principles

  • Basic role of the security guard.
  • Washington State licensing laws.
  • Observation.
  • Proper actions, reactions, ethics and diversity.
  • Homeland Security – Terrorism and Surveillance.

Legal Powers and Limitations

  • Citizen arrest.
  • Authority to detain, question, or search a private citizen.
  • Authority to search or seize private property.
  • Use of force.
  • Building relationships with law enforcement.
  • Avoiding liability

Emergency Response

  • How to define what is or is not an emergency situation.
  • Response to fires.
  • Response to medical emergencies.
  • Response to criminal acts.
  • Bomb threats.

Safety & Accident Prevention

  • Hazardous materials including MSDS.
  • Accident reporting.

Report Writing. It’s a Legal Document

  • Elements and characteristics of a report.

Post-assignment training study guide: Security guards

The following topic areas are used for post-assignment training and training must be a minimum of 8 hours.

Basic Role of Private Security Guards

  • Security awareness
  • Private security guards and the criminal justice system
  • Information sharing
  • Crime and loss prevention

Legal Aspects of Private Security

  • Evidence and evidence handling
  • Use of force
  • Court testimony
  • Incident scene preservation
  • Equal employment opportunity (EEO) and diversity
  • State and local laws

Security Officer Conduct

  • Ethics
  • Honesty
  • Professional image

Observation and Incident Reporting

  • Observation techniques
  • Note taking
  • Report writing

Principles of Communication

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Building relationships with law enforcement
  • Customer services and public relations
  • Workplace violence

Principles of Access Control

  • Enter and exit control procedures
  • Electronic security systems

Principles of Safeguarding Information

  • Proprietary and confidential

Emergency Response Procedures

  • Critical incident response (e.g., natural disasters. accidents, human caused events)
  • Evacuation processes

Life Safety Awareness

  • Safety hazards in the workplace/surroundings
  • Emergency equipment placement
  • Fire prevention skills
  • Hazardous materials
  • Occupational safety and health requirements (e.g., OSHA related training, bloodborne pathogens, etc.)

Job Assignment and Post Orders

  • Assignments and tasks
  • Patrol

FAQs about Getting Your Washington Security Guard License

How long will it take to receive my license? Up to 60 days to issue your license after we receive your completed application, fees, and fingerprint card. The process may take longer if the 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 the licensing department to be scored.
When will I get the results of the exam? About 10 days after you take your exam, you will be mailed 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?  You are mailed 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.
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