Frequently Asked Questions - Proprietary Private Security Officer (PSO)

Printer Friendly Version

  1. Can I carry a firearm and/or a baton while licensed as a Proprietary Private Security Officer (PSO)?

    No, a PSO cannot carry a deadly weapon.

  2. Is there a training requirement when obtaining a PSO registration?

    Yes, the PSO must complete a 16 hours course within the first six months of receiving the PSO registration, or within six months of the date of hire by the PSO employer. The training consists of two hours of Powers to Arrest, two hours of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Awareness, and twelve hours of security related courses as outlined in the syllabus. The training syllabus is available on the Bureau's web site.

  3. At what point am I required to obtain a PSO registration?

    With some exceptions, when you are working exclusively for one employer, your primary duty is to provide security services for his or her employer, your services are not contracted to any other entity or person, and you meet both of the following criteria: (a) You are required to wear a distinctive uniform clearly identifying you as a security officer, and (b) you are likely to interact with the public while performing your duties. For exceptions to these requirements, see Business and Professions Code section 7574 and following.

  4. Do I need to apply for a new PSO registration if I change my employment as a PSO to a new employer?

    No. However, the new employment must be exclusively with your new employer.

  5. How do I apply for a PSO registration?

    Submit to the Bureau a PSO Application, pay the application fee and submit a PSO Live Scan form signed by the Live Scan operator, to the Bureau. In addition, a $49 fee ($32 DOJ fee and $17 FBI fee) is paid at the Live Scan site.

  6. Click here to view the BSIS fee schedule

  7. When do I have to comply with this law?

    A person hired as a security officer on or after January 1, 2006, must begin the registration process on or after July 1, 2006. A person hired as a security officer before January 1, 2006, must begin the registration process on or after January 1, 2007.

  8. If I have a conviction, can I still apply for a PSO registration?

    Yes, applicants with criminal histories will be considered and registration decisions are rendered on a case-by-case basis.

  9. How long does the application process take?

    Average processing time is approximately 30 days. Issuance of the PSO registration is dependent on several factors including the completion of the criminal history check by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

  10. Can I work on a temporary registration?

    No, you must have a valid PSO registration in your possession before going on duty.

  11. Where can I obtain a PSO Application and a Live Scan form?

    The application can be downloaded from the Bureau's website or it can be mailed to you by calling (800) 952-5210 or (916) 322-4000.

  12. Who can I call to check the status of my application?

    You can contact the Bureau at (800) 952-5210 or (916) 322-4000.

  13. What if I sent in the wrong fee amount?

    Your PSO application will be returned to you with a notice of non-payment.

  14. If I am denied a PSO registration, can I appeal the denial?


  15. I am an owner of a business who employs in-house security officers. I am confused on how this new law affects my business. Can I request that a Bureau representative visit my company and help me implement this new law?

    Yes. The Bureau has an outreach program that fits your needs. Please contact BSIS at 1-800-952-5210 or send an email at to schedule an appointment.

  16. Where can I see a copy of the Skills Training Course for Proprietary Private Security Officers?

    The Skills Training Course can be found here.