Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

Right Column

Frequently Asked Questions - Alarm Company Operator (ACO)

  1. What are the requirements for licensing an Alarm Company Operator?

    The general requirements for alarm company operator are:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Undergo a criminal history review by the Department of Justice and the FBI
  2. How long will it take to process my application after I submit it?

    The processing will take approximately three to six months.

  3. What forms and fees must be included in the application package?
    • Application for License (Form 31A-4)
    • Personal Identification (Form 31A-9)
    • The second copy of the Live Scan Form (BCII 8016) signed by the Live Scan operator.
    • Two recent passport quality photographs
    • Request for Authorization of Business name [Form 31A-12, if applicable]
    • Corporate applicants only: endorsed Articles of Incorporation or the Statement by a Foreign Corporations (if filed with the Secretary of State)
  4. How Long is an Alarm Company Operator's license valid?

    An alarm company operator's license is valid for two years.

  5. I was denied an Alarm Company Operator's license. When can I reapply?

    You may submit a new application one-year from the date of denial.

  6. I received a 1203.4 dismissal on my conviction. Do I still need to report the conviction on my application?

    Yes. You must report the conviction.

  7. I was not sent to jail, so do I have a conviction on my record?

    Yes. You do not have to go to jail to receive a conviction. Any of the following types of convictions are part of your record and should be reported on your application: jail, probation, community services, fine, restitution, counseling programs and rehabilitation programs.

  8. I was only convicted of a misdemeanor. Can the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) still deny my license?

    Yes. A conviction does not have to be a felony for the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services to deny licensure. The nature of the crime, whether it was related to the duties of an alarm company operator, the length of time elapsed since conviction, any evidence of rehabilitation, or mitigating circumstances are all considered when deciding whether or not to deny licensure.

  9. How does an alarm company operator renew his/her license?

    After two years, the license is scheduled for renewal. The licensee may receive a (courtesy) renewal application mailed to the last address of record. If you do not receive a renewal application, you should submit a renewal application (which can be found at: http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/aco_ren.pdf), including the fees for renewal (see fee schedule) and mail to: Bureau of Security and Investigative Services P.O. Box 989002 West Sacramento, CA. 95798-9002(This must be submitted before the expiration date.)

  10. When does an alarm company operator's license become delinquent?

    Your license is considered delinquent the day after the expiration date. To renew your license once it is delinquent you must pay the renewal fee and the delinquent fee.

  11. How long after the expiration of my license am I able to renew my license?

    You may renew your license up to three years after it has expired. The license may be renewed upon payment of the renewal fee(s), the delinquent fee(s) and any fines assessed against the license. If you fail to renew your license after three years, you must submit a new application and begin the application process again.

  12. Can I verify receipt of my application for license for an alarm company operator?

    Yes, you must contact the Bureau at (800) 952-5210 or (916) 322-4000.

  13. How do I notify the Bureau of my change of address?

    You must notify the Bureau in writing within 30 days of such a change. Be sure that you include your license number, name, previous address, the new address, date of birth and Social Security number (please print or type information).

  14. How do I change my business name?

    To change your business name, you must submit a $25 fee and a written request to the Bureau. Submit at least eight names for consideration. The first name requested will be approved unless the name could be confused with or is similar to a federal, state, county, or municipal agency function or to any law enforcement agency. In addition, any name, which could tend to describe any business function or enterprise, not actually engaged in by the licensee under that name. * You may not operate under your requested new name until an approval is received.

  15. If I lost my alarm company license or it was destroyed or damaged, how do I obtain a duplicate?

    You may request a duplicate license by submitting a written request explaining the circumstances. Please allow four to six weeks for receipt.

  16. The name/address was misspelled on my license. Is there a fee for a new one?

    No, an error on a license should be returned for correction to the Bureau without charge. A correction takes approximately three to four weeks. Please clarify the error in writing and return the license.

  17. Can an Alarm Company Operator use a post office box for an address?

    Yes, under certain circumstances. The Alarm Company Operator may list a post office box only if mail delivery to the business address is not possible, or if the place of business is located at the licensee’s personal residence. This request must be explained in writing. Otherwise, the company must state address by street, number and city. In addition, no licensee shall conduct business from any location other than the location for which a license or branch office registration was issued.

  18. How long does it take to process a new license after a name, address, or branch office change has been made?

    Typically name, address or branch changes take approximately four to six weeks.

  19. What forms are required to open a branch office? Is there a fee?

    Upon written request to the Bureau, a branch office application will be mailed to you. The branch office application fee is $35. (You may download a copy of the application from the Bureau's Web site at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/)