Steps to Become a Security Guard in New York (NYC)

Requirements & Qualifications One Needs to Become an Unarmed Security Guard in NYC

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

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen or resident alien of the U.S.
  • Pass an FBI background check (with no serious convictions or felonies)
  • Submit your fingerprint through L-1 Enrollment Services (more on this below)
  • Take an 8-hour “pre-assignment” training course, which you must complete and pass prior to applying to the Department of State for a Security Guard Registration Card.

After you have your registration card in hand, you can then begin work as a security guard. Within the first 90 days after being hired, you must complete an additional 16 hours of on-the-job training.

Lastly, every year after that you need to complete 8 hours of additional “maintenance” training to keep your registration valid.

For your security guard training, you can contact any of these approved security guard schools in New York (PDF file). The schools on this approved list can be used for the 8 hour pre-assignment training, your 16 hours of additional on-the-job-training, as well as your annual maintenance training. School fees will apply.


Please note that all classes must be attended live. There are no approved online training schools available in New York, and taking an online course approved for another state does not qualify as well.

The Application Process

The New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services is where you will actually apply for your security guard registration card after your initial 8-hours of training.

Along with your application, you will need to submit your fingerprint for your background check. This is done through something called L-1 Enrollment Services, which help you electronically scan your fingerprint and they’ll give you receipts for proof that you include in your application.

Then, you can use the Employee Statement and Security Guard Employer Application to apply.

Registration fees will cost:

  • $36.00 for Security Guard Registration ($25 for renewal, every two years)

Must be paid via money order, company check, or cashier’s check. No personal checks or credit cards. Checks payable to NYS Department of State.

Fingerprinting fees will cost:

  • Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Fee: $75.00
  • FBI Fee: $19.25
  • Fingerprint Vendor Fee: $11.50
  • Total: $105.75

Check, money order or credit card. Checks payable to L-1 Enrollment Services.

Again, after you receive your registration card, you can then begin work as a security guard. Within the first 90 days, you’ll need to complete an additional 16 hours of training.
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