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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about
Private Security

FAQ index

Company Questions

    1. What type of company licenses does the Private Security Program include?

The Private Security Program includes the following company licenses:

  • Class A – Private Investigation Company (Private Investigation services, including heir finders and unclaimed funds)
  • Class B – Security Contractor License (Alarms Systems, including camera/closed circuit television systems (selling, installing and monitoring)).
  • Class B – Security Contractor License (Guard services, including armed and unarmed guards)
  • Class B – Security Contractor License (Guard dog)
  • Class B – Security Contractor License (Armored Car or Courier Service)
  • Class B – Security Contractor License (Locksmith services)
  • Class B – Security Contractor License (Electronics Access Control Device)
  • Class B – Security Contractor License (Private Security Consultant)
  • Class C – Combination of Private Investigation & Security Contractor
  • Class T – Telematics Company
  • Class P – Private Business Letter of Authority
  • Class X – Government Letter of Authority
  • Class F   Level III and Level IV Training School
  • Class O – Alarm Level One Training School

    2. How do I apply for a company license?

You may apply online OR download the application forms, complete and mail with the required fees. Printable application forms are available on this website in the Downloadable Forms section.

For Private Business Letter or Government Letter of Authority, please submit PSB-04A (PDF) (Original Owner / Manager Application), PSB-05 (PDF) (Certificate of Liability Insurance) and PSB-11A (PDF) (Application for Letter of Authority) from this website.


    3. When does a company license expire?

A company license expires every year on the last date of the expiration month. In addition, the expiration date is printed on the company license.

Note: A Branch Office license expires on the same date as the Parent Company license.


    4. Where can I check the status of my company application?

You can check the status of a company application by searching Companies in the Private Security Database. This database is updated daily.


    5. When can I renew my company license online?

You can renew a company license sixty (60) days before the expiration date, and up to one (1) year after the expiration (late fees will be applied, if company license is expired). If you are within the renewal period and experience problems, please visit our secured online Contact Center or call (512) 424-7293.


    6. My company license is under insurance suspension; can I pay my reinstatement fee online?

No, the reinstatement fee must be mailed to the appropriate address. See PSB-24 (PDF) (Application for Reinstatement of Company License).


    7. Can I make a payment for my company renewal if my company insurance is expired and the system displays insurance suspension?

Yes, you can make payment for your company renewal. However, the renewal will not be processed until your company is reflecting current insurance in our database.


    8. Do I need to use a special format when entering the company license number online?

Yes, please use a capital letter such as A and do not include a space between the letter and number (a 00101 instead use A00101). In addition, do not use any special charters such as a dash, a comma or any others when entering the company license number (A-00101or A,00101 instead use A00101). Do not enter any other information in the company license field (NONE or NA, instead leave the field blank).


    9. How do I check the status of my company license renewal?

You can check the status of a company renewal by searching the  Private Security Database. This database is updated daily.


    10. How do I renew a branch office?

You may renew a branch office license by completing and submitting PSB-08 (PDF) (Branch Office License Application and Renewal) and mail with appropriate fee to DPS. Currently, DPS does not accept online renewals for branch offices.

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Eligibility / Compliance Questions

    1. What are the qualifications for a license/registration with regard to criminal history?

Applicants are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1702 of the Private Security Act and Board Administrative Rules. These publications are on this website in the Statutes and Rules section.


    2. Will I be notified if I am disqualified due to my background check?

Yes, a detailed letter will be sent to the applicant listing the reason(s) for denial. In addition, the employing company will receive a notification letter concerning the disqualified applicant. The letter sent to the company will not include any specific criminal history information.


    3. Do I need to submit court documents if I have ever been arrested for a felony, Class A or Class B misdemeanor, when applying for an original individual registration?

Yes, we will need such documents in order to verify the disposition of the case.


    4. How will I know my license has been reinstated?

A letter of reinstatement will be sent to you and your employer.

You can also check the status of an individual registration by searching for Individuals in the Private Security Database. This database is updated daily.

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Fingerprint / Crime Records Questions

    1. Do I qualify for the alternative fingerprint process?

To accommodate those registrants who may perform regulated services remotely, while outside of the state, the department will provide the alternate fingerprint process for the following applicants residing outside of Texas:  Alarm Monitor, Alarm Salesperson, Security Salesperson, Owner, Officer, Partner, Shareholder and Manager.

Applicants for all other registration types must submit fingerprints electronically through the Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST).

Applicants who qualify for the alternate fingerprint process must first submit an application.  After the application has been submitted, please contact RSD by phone at 512-424-7293 or by email to request a fingerprint packet. Once the application has been validated, the fingerprint packet along with detailed instructions will only be mailed to applicants who meet the criteria for the alternate fingerprint process.

Any applicant who resides in Texas must submit fingerprints electronically though the Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST).

Note: Rolled ink fingerprints may only be taken at a law enforcement agency by an employee of that agency. The fee for this service will vary by law enforcement agency. The fee must be paid to the law enforcement agency. Processing ink-rolled fingerprints will require additional review and handling.


    2. How do I schedule an appointment for electronic fingerprinting?

Information relating to electronic fingerprints may be found on this website at Fingerprinting Instructions.


    3. What do I do if an electronic fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled within three business days?

Please contact Fingerprint Services for assistance.


    4. How do I challenge the criminal history record contained in a Texas Record?

Please visit Criminal History Error Resolution for the procedures to challenge the criminal history record contained in a Texas Record.


    5. How do I challenge the criminal history record contained in an FBI Record?

Please visit Challenge of a Criminal Record for the procedures to challenge the criminal history record contained in an FBI Record.


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Individual Registration Questions

    1. How do I apply for an original registration?

You may apply online OR download the application forms, complete and mail with the required fees.  Printable application forms are available on this website in the Downloadable Forms section.

The application must include:

  • The required registration fee; 
  • All original Private Security applicants are required to submit fingerprints to DPS through the Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) as part of the complete application. Private Security applicants must submit fingerprints electronically, unless the applicant qualifies for alternative fingerprint process. Please see Instructions for scheduling a fingerprint appointment. If an electronic fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled within three business days, DPS can be contacted at Fingerprint Services.
  • A copy of the applicant's training certificate:
    •   Level II certificate of completion (Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Security Officer Applicants); or
    •   Level III certificate of completion (Commissioned Security Officer Applicants);
  • If you do not hold a Texas ID card or Texas Driver License, please submit a copy of your out-of-state ID card, out-of-state driver license, or a copy of your military ID. You do not need to submit a copy, if you have a Texas ID card or Texas Driver License.;

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens must include a copy of their Alien Registration Card.  Non-resident aliens must also submit a copy of a current Work Authorization Card; and

Upon request of DPS, any court documents required as part of DPS’s criminal history background check. The failure to comply with the request may result in the rejection of the application as incomplete.


    2. What are the requirements for submitting a Personal Protection Officer Application?

You may apply online OR download the application forms, complete and mail with the required fees.  Printable application forms are available on this website in the Downloadable Forms section.

The application must include:

  • The required registration fee; 
  • All Original Private Security applicants are required to submit fingerprints to DPS through the Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) as part of the complete application. Private Security applicants must submit fingerprints electronically, unless the applicant qualifies for alternative fingerprint process. Instructions for scheduling a fingerprint appointment can be found here. Applicants not currently registered with the private security program will need to submit the $25 FBI fee.
  • A copy of the applicant's Level IV Training Certificate of Completion
  • Submit proof of completion of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test or equivalent (proof of completion of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test shall be on the form of the board approved Declaration of Psychological and Emotional Health and shall be signed by a licensed psychologist).
  • If you do not hold a Texas ID card or Texas Driver License, please submit a copy of your out-of-state ID card, out-of-state driver license, or a copy of your military ID. You do not need to submit a copy, if you have a Texas ID card or Texas Driver License.

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens shall include a copy of their alien registration card. Non-resident aliens must also submit a copy of a current work-authorization card; and

Upon request of DPS, any court documents required as part of DPS’s criminal history background check. The failure to comply with the request may result in the rejection of the application as incomplete.


    3. When does my individual registration (pocket card) expire?

An Individual registration expires every two (2) years from the date of issuance. A Personal Protection Officer registration expires on the same date as a Commissioned Security Officer registration.  In addition, the expiration date is printed on your pocket card.


    4. How do I renew my individual registration (pocket card)?

You may renew online OR download the renewal forms, complete and mail with the required fees.  Printable application forms are available on this website in the Downloadable Forms section. You can renew a registration online sixty (60) days before the expiration date, and up to one (1) year after expiration (late fees will be applied if registration is expired). You can renew a registration by mail ninety (90) days before the expiration date. If you are within the renewal period and experience problems renewing online, please visit our secured online Contact Center or call (512) 424-7293.


    5. When renewing my registration online, do I need to use a special format when entering the company license number?

Yes, when entering a company license number, please use a capital letter such as A and do not include a space between the letter and number (a 00101 instead use A00101). If renewing to a branch office, the branch office designation is not required when renewing an individual registration (A00101A, instead use A00101). In addition, do not use any special characters such as a dash, a comma or any others when entering the company license number (A-00101or A,00101 instead use A00101). Do not enter any other information in the company license field (NONE or NA, instead leave the field blank).


    6. I have multiple registrations that are renewable. Can I select which registration I renew online?

Online, no. The current system requires all renewable registrations to be included.

Manual, yes. You can select the registration(s) you wish to renew by submitting the appropriate renewal form(s) and fee(s) by mail to DPS.


    7. How do I process a renewal registration that has expired?

You may apply online OR download the application forms, complete and mail with the required fees.  Printable application forms are available on this website in the Downloadable Forms section. However, if the registration has been expired for less than one year and the individual has changed employers, the new employer must submit each of the following:

  • PSB-14 (PDF) (Employee Information Update);
  • PSB-50 (PDF) (Application and Fee Submission Form); and
  • PSB-17 (PDF) (Individual Renewal), the renewal fee, late fee and subscription fee), along with the $17 update fee.

If the registration has been expired for more than one year, the current employer must submit an original application, electronic fingerprints, registration fee, FBI fee and the subscription fee.


    8. Currently, I hold a registration that has not expired and I am seeking other employment. Do I need to complete an original application for the same license registration type? (i.e. current registration locksmith and applied as a locksmith for a different private security licensed company)

No, the license registration (pocket card) initially issued to you is a transferable card. Note: the new employer does not need to submit an original application.

However, the new employer must complete and submit the following forms PSB-14 (PDF) (Employee Information Update) and PSB-50 (PDF) (Application and Fee Submission Form), along with the $17 update fee.


    9. I renewed online and have printed my receipt. Do I need to submit any documents?

Yes, if a commissioned security officer registration was renewed, please submit the required firearm proficiency certificate. For all other registration types no documents are required to be submitted. However, you should keep a copy of the renewal receipt if there are any questions related to your payment transaction. If you are employed by a new company and need to renew your registration, please submit the Employee Information Update PSB-14 (PDF) with the $17 fee. 


    10. Do I need to submit a copy of my driver license, identification card, or military ID?

No, if you do not hold a Texas ID card or Texas Driver License, please submit a copy of your out-of-state ID card, out-of-state driver license, or a copy of your military ID. You do not need to submit a copy, if you have a Texas ID card or Texas Driver License.


    11. Where can I check the status of an Individual application or Individual renewal?

You can check the status of an Individual application by searching Individuals in the Private Security Database. This database is updated every daily.


    12. When does my instructor registration expire?

An Instructor registration expires every one (1) year from date of issuance. In addition, the expiration date is printed on the pocket card.


    13. What license number do I use if I am renewing my instructor registration online?

When renewing an instructor registration, please use your instructor license number. The instructor number starts with one of the following letters G, H, J, K, or W and is followed by five (5) numbers. (Example: W12345)


    14. I am a Level III Firearm Instructor. Can I sign my own firearm proficiency certificate?

No. An instructor cannot certify his or her own firearm proficiency. Texas Occupations Code §1702.1675 and Texas Administrative Code §35.145 require an “actual demonstration of proficiency.” A “demonstration” requires the presence of another person, and in this case, another Level III Firearms Instructor.

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Military Fee Exemption Questions

    1.Who qualifies for the military fee exemption (SB 807)?

Active Duty Military Service Member: current full-time military service in the armed forces of the United States or active duty military service as a member of the Texas military forces, as defined by Texas Government Code §437.001, or similar military service of another state.

Military Veteran: a person who has served on active duty and who was discharged or released from active duty.

Active Military Spouse: a person who is married to an active duty military service member who holds a current license issued by another jurisdiction that has licensing requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements for registration in this state; or a military spouse who, within five years preceding the application date, held the license in this state.


    2. What fees are waived with the military fee exemption (SB 807)?

For qualified applicants, the application fees for individual original and renewal applications are waived.  Applicants will be responsible for the subscription fee, pocket card fee, and the FBI fee.

The military fee exemption does not include any company license fees. Please see Military Exemption Fee Schedule (pdf).


    3. How do I apply for the military fee exemption?

Currently, DPS does not accept online applications with military fee exemptions. Applications must be submitted by mail.

Please include the following:

Please submit the application(s), FBI fingerprint fee and supporting documents to:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Private Security Program
P.O. Box 15999
Austin, Texas 78761-5999


    4. What supporting documentation do I need to submit with my application to obtain the military fee exemption?

Active Duty Military Service Member: Military Fee Exemption Form (PSB-807), a copy of your active military ID card (front only) and copy of current orders.

Military Veteran: Military Fee Exemption Form (PSB-807) and a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy - 4).

Active Military Spouse: Military Fee Exemption Form (PSB-807), a copy of your active dependent military ID card (front only) and a copy of your spouse’s current orders. If licensed in another jurisdiction, a copy of your out-of-state license.

Note: The following training documents must be submitted with all original applications:

  • Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Security Officer Applicants: Level II certificate of completion
  • Commissioned Security Officer Applicants: Level III certificate of completion
  • Personal Protection Officer Applicants: Level IV Training Certificate of Completion
    • Proof of completion of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test or equivalent (proof of completion of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test shall be on the form of the board approved Declaration of Psychological and Emotional Health and shall be signed by a licensed psychologist).

    5. My registration expired while I was serving as an active duty military service member. Do I need to pay the late fees?

Late fees will be waived, if the individual was serving as an Active Duty Military Service Member in this state or any other state. Applicants seeking this exemption will need to submit a copy of their orders reflecting they were on active duty.


    6. I am a qualifying Active Duty Military Service Member, Military Veteran or an Active Duty Military Spouse, seeking to take the qualified manager exam. Does the military fee exemption waive the qualified manager exam fee?

Yes, if you are a qualifying Active Duty Military Service Member, Military Veteran or an Active Duty Military Spouse, the manager exam fee will be waived.

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Miscellaneous Questions

    1. Are fees submitted refundable or transferable?

No, in accordance with Texas Administrative Code §35.131, and as printed on all applications submitted to the Private Security Program, “fees submitted are non-refundable or transferable.”


    2. Can I change an application/license from one registration type to another (i.e, non-commissioned security officer to a commissioned security officer)?

No, a new application must be submitted for the new registration type, plus you must submit the appropriate fees.


    3. How do I obtain a replacement pocket card or company license?

Please complete and submit PSB-37 (PDF) (Request for Duplicate License), PSB-50 (PDF) (Application and Submission Form) along with the $15 fee for a duplicate pocket card or $10 for a duplicate company certificate. The new pocket card or company certificate will be mailed to the company mailing address.


    4. How do I notify DPS an individual has been terminated from my company?

To notify DPS an employee has been terminated from a company, please submit PSB-19B (PDF) (Notification of Termination for Employee Registration). However, please keep records of all terminations in your company files for inspection.

For Owners, Corporate Officers, Partners, Shareholders, Managers and Supervisors please submit PSB-19A (PDF) (Notification of Termination for Owners, Corporate, Officers, Partners, Shareholders, Managers and Supervisors)

(Note: A notification for termination states an employee was terminated by the current employer however a termination notice does not remove the individual from the company employee list.)


    5. What does Incomplete Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp. (TG) and who do I need to contact to resolve this matter?

This means the applicant has been identified as being in default of a student loan guaranteed by the non-profit corporation. Education Code §57.491 prohibits a licensing agency from renewing an occupational license until the matter is resolved. Applicants must contact the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp. at (800) 222-6297 or (512) 219-7337 to obtain a clearance letter.


    6. How do I get copies of my paperwork, certificates, files, etc?

Open Record Requests must follow the Texas Public Information Act, please refer to the following requirements and guidelines.


    7. How do I file a complaint against a regulated company or individual?

Please complete and submit PSB-22 (PDF) (Complaint Form) and submit by using the secured online Contact Center.

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