How to Get a Security License in Texas: Step-by-Step Guide for 2023

How to Get a Security License in Texas: Step-by-Step Guide for 2023

Thinking about a career in security in Texas? You’re in the right place. Whether you’re looking to work in private security or as a security guard, obtaining a security license is your first step. Texas has specific requirements and procedures you’ll need to follow, but don’t worry—this guide will walk you through everything you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for a security license in Texas, you must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or legally authorized to work, possess a clean criminal record, and pass a background check by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
  • Training Requirements: Non-commissioned officers need to complete a 40-hour training course, while commissioned officers require 48 hours of training, including firearms proficiency. Specialized roles may require additional training.
  • Application Process: Submit your application through the Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) portal with all necessary documentation, including proof of training and identification. Fingerprints are also required for a background check.
  • Costs: Training costs range from $100 to $400 depending on the license type. Application fees are $55 for non-commissioned officers and $60 for commissioned officers, plus a $25 fingerprint processing fee.
  • License Renewal: Security licenses are valid for two years. Renewal requires completion of continuing education hours (six for non-commissioned and ten for commissioned officers) and payment of renewal fees through the TOPS portal.
  • Specialized Roles: Additional requirements exist for roles like armed security guards and private investigators, including extra certifications and firearms training.

Understanding the Texas Security License Requirements

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a security license in Texas, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. First, you need to be at least 18 years old. Second, you must be a US citizen or have legal authorization to work in the United States. Third, you should possess a clean criminal record, with no felony convictions or misdemeanors involving moral turpitude. Lastly, you need to pass a background check conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Training Requirements

Texas mandates specific training for various security roles. For non-commissioned security officers, you must complete a 40-hour training course covering basic security guard responsibilities and state regulations. For commissioned security officers, the training extends to 48 hours, including firearms training and proficiency exams. Additionally, some specialized roles require extra training modules, such as personal protection officers or alarm responders. These training programs help ensure you are prepared to perform your duties effectively and legally.

Application Process

After meeting the eligibility and training requirements, the next step is to submit an application to the Texas DPS. This includes completing the appropriate forms, paying required fees, and providing documentation like proof of training and identification. Fingerprints must also be submitted for a background check. The DPS evaluates your application and issues your security license upon approval.

License Renewal and Continuing Education

Security licenses in Texas are valid for two years. To renew, you need to complete continuing education requirements, which vary based on your specific license type. Typically, you will need to undertake a certain number of hours in refresher courses or additional training programs to stay updated on new laws and techniques.

Additional Requirements for Specialized Roles

Different specialized roles in the security industry may come with additional requirements. For example, armed security guards need to undergo firearms training and pass a shooting proficiency test. Those looking to work as private investigators or private security consultants may require further certifications or experience in law enforcement or a related field.


Steps to Obtain a Security License in Texas

Completing the Required Training

You must complete specific training courses based on your desired security role. Non-commissioned officers take a 40-hour course focusing on state laws, communication skills, emergency response, and ethical conduct. Commissioned officers undertake a 48-hour course, covering the same topics as the non-commissioned course but adding firearms training and advanced defensive tactics. Ensure your coursework meets the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) standards and is provided by a certified training school.

Applying for the License

After finishing the required training, complete the application process for your security license. Submit your application online via the Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) portal. You need to provide:

  • Personal details (name, address, SSN)
  • Proof of completed training
  • Applicable fees

Ensure all information is accurate to avoid delays. Once submitted, the DPS reviews your application and notifies you of further steps.

Background Check and Fingerprints

You must undergo a background check and fingerprinting as part of the application process. Schedule your fingerprinting appointment with IdentoGO. This step ensures you meet the state’s legal and ethical standards for security personnel. The DPS uses your fingerprints and background check results to verify your eligibility. If issues arise, you might need to provide additional documentation or clarification.

Costs Involved in Getting a Security License

Training Costs

Training costs for obtaining a security license in Texas vary based on the type of license you’re pursuing. For a non-commissioned officer, the 40-hour course generally ranges from $100 to $200. Commissioned officer training, which includes an additional 8 hours for firearms training, typically costs between $200 to $400. Prices can differ depending on the training provider, with some offering package deals that include study materials. Verify the exact costs with approved training schools.

Application and Licensing Fees

After completing the training, you’ll incur application and licensing fees. As of the latest guidelines, the application fee for a non-commissioned officer stands at $55, and for a commissioned officer, it’s $60. Additionally, there’s a fingerprint processing fee of $25, required for the mandatory background check. Ensure you submit these payments through the Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) portal, which handles all relevant documentation and fees. Keep in mind that these fees are non-refundable.

Renewing Your Texas Security License

Renewing Your Texas Security License

Renewal Process

To renew your Texas security license, access the Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) portal. Login using your credentials, and navigate to the renewal section. Ensure that you complete the renewal application and pay the associated fee of $30 for non-commissioned officers and $35 for commissioned officers. If your license expired, an additional late fee of $15 applies. The renewal process includes a review of your background check and updating your fingerprint records if necessary.

Continuing Education Requirements

Meeting continuing education requirements is essential for renewing your Texas security license. Non-commissioned officers must complete six hours of continuing education coursework. Commissioned officers need to complete ten hours, including two hours focusing on the use of force and firearms safety. Ensure to provide proof of completion for these educational courses during the renewal process. Accredited training schools offer these courses and provide certificates upon completion, which you must upload through the TOPS portal.

Conclusion

Getting a security license in Texas requires careful attention to the state’s specific requirements. By following the outlined steps, including completing the necessary training and submitting your application through the TOPS portal, you can efficiently navigate the process. Remember to stay on top of renewal deadlines and continuing education to maintain your license. With the right preparation and adherence to guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career in security.

Obtaining a security license in Texas involves completing required training, passing background checks, and submitting an application to the state’s regulatory agency. The process ensures that security personnel meet the necessary standards for professional conduct and capability, as outlined by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Additionally, staying informed about ongoing requirements and maintaining your license through continued education is crucial for a successful career in security, according to ASIS International.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for obtaining a security license in Texas?

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have no felony convictions, and meet training and background check requirements.

How many hours of training are required for non-commissioned and commissioned officers?

Non-commissioned officers need a 40-hour course, while commissioned officers require 48 hours, including firearms training.

Where can I apply for a security license in Texas?

Applications are submitted through the Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) portal.

What are the application fees for a security license in Texas?

The fee is $55 for non-commissioned officers and $60 for commissioned officers, plus a $25 fingerprint processing fee.

What are the continuing education requirements for renewing a security license?

Non-commissioned officers need six hours, and commissioned officers need ten hours, including coursework on the use of force and firearms safety.

How do I renew my security license in Texas?

Access the TOPS portal, complete the renewal application, and pay fees of $30 for non-commissioned officers and $35 for commissioned officers. Continuing education proof is required.

What is the cost range for training courses?

Training costs range from $100 to $400, depending on the provider and training type.

Do I need to provide fingerprints for the security license application?

Yes, providing fingerprints is mandatory for the application process.

What specific courses are required for commissioned officers?

Commissioned officers must complete courses on the use of force and firearms safety.

How do I prove completion of my training courses during the renewal process?

Submit proof from accredited training schools when renewing your license.